A Democratic state representative from Chicago’s south side has called for a ban on the sale of the video game Grand Theft Auto, arguing that it may be linked to a rise in carjackings in the city.
Fox News reports that Rep. Marcus Evans Jr, who represents Illinois’s 33rd Congressional District, has called for a ban on games depicting “motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present.”
Evans’s call comes after he held a meeting with local philanthropist Early Walker, who suggested that Grand Theft Auto may inspire carjackings. Walker cited the increasing number of people below the age of 16 stealing cars, speculating that they may have been inspired to do so from playing video games.
The increase in carjackings, however, correlates with a general increase in violent crime which has been seen across major American cities in 2020. In Chicago, murders and shootings in 2020 were up 50 percent from the previous year.
It wouldn’t be the first time that the series of video games, which has been available for well over two decades, has been blamed for violent crime. Former New York Senator Hillary Clinton called for the series’ ban in the mid-2000s.
The alleged link between violent video games and real life violence has been studied rigorously since the 1990s, with no substantial evidence proving that such video games inspire violent behaviour.
“There is insufficient scientific evidence to support a causal link between violent video games and violent behavior,” according to the American Psychological Association.