New York initiative removes sex offenders from online gaming services

The internet is now just a little bit safer for children playing online games, thanks to the efforts of seven major game publishers and the New York Attorney General's office to purge the online accounts of registered sex offenders.

"Operation: Game Over," the nickname of the initiative by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, used the New York sex offender rolls and compared them to the list of online video game accounts of Blizzard, Disney, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Microsoft, Sony and Apple. More than 3,500 accounts were successfully removed from the game companies' databases.

A press release announcing the effort reminded parents that games and consoles have the capability of connecting with people all over the world, and that parental controls exist for those systems. "Password-protected "family settings" on many online gaming platforms allow parents to restrict Internet access, track content and monitor contacts," the release said.

As a PSA from the Shack (OK, I'm a parent, too), monitor your kids' activities online and don't use computers or consoles as babysitters. Also be sure to follow pay attention to the ESRB game ratings to be aware of game content your child may be exposed to. /psa