A thirteen-year-old Camarillo, Calif. boy was arrested on March 17 for allegedly making multiple calls to police departments in Ventura County, Calif., and New Jersey in an attempt to "swat" three different targets. According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the teen (whose name was not released because he is a minor) allegedly made three calls reporting violent crimes in progress between January 15 and 20.
In the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Star-Ledger newspaper, IGDA chair of the Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg says that New Jersey lawmakers are "playing games with truth." He is referring to bill S2715, which mandates that public schools in New Jersey through the state Department of Education spread disinformation about video games to parents.
A federal judge in Camden, New Jersey has given the greenlight on a lawsuit against GameStop filed by three customers who claim that three of the company's South Jersey stores sold used games that sometimes cost more than buying the game new. The lawsuit alleges that GameStop did not disclose to customers that buying used games would have additional costs of anywhere from $10 - $15 online. All three of the plaintiffs bought EA games, which up until recently contained online passes.
The IGDA and its New Jersey Chapter have written a letter to Governor Chris Christie (R) strongly encouraging him to veto S2715 - or as the group calls it, "the New Jersey Video Game Disinformation law." The IGDA urges Gov. Christie to veto the law because it provides "false and misleading information to the people of New Jersey" and because it could expose the state to lawsuits "if the state fails to propagate a full and accurate assessment of the research into video games."
Online gambling company Ultimate Gaming has inked an agreement today with Donald Trump's Taj Mahal Associates LLC to operate a range of real money online casino games and poker, using its proprietary technology platform and the Ultimate Brands. Ultimate Gaming launched real money online poker in Nevada at UltimatePoker.com in April of 2013. Ultimate Gaming is also the exclusive online gaming partner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Joan E. Bertin, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, has penned an editorial for the Times of Trenton calling on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) to reject a bill the New Jersey legislature passed this week requiring the state to publish and promote what it calls "dubious research about the effects of violent media."
New Jersey Senators Raymond Lesniak and M. Teresa Ruiz - both Democrats - have managed to push a proposal (bill S-2715) through the Senate. The bill commissions the New Jersey Department of Education to create a pamphlet that would provide information for parents about violent media. The proposal was part of Senate Democrats' gun safety plan. According to PolitikerNJ, the proposal has passed the Senate by a vote of 36-0 and is heading to the Assembly.
Three editorials offer just about every side of the New Jersey Governor's push to study and then regulate the sale of violent video games in the State. The first two are two different sides from a special dueling editorial in The Star-Ledger called "Do violent video games breed violent behavior?". The first one, "Do violent video games breed violent behavior? Yes " was written by Paul Boxer of Rutgers-Newark.
While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may not let his children play Call of Duty or any other mature rated games, and even though retailers like GameStop and the ESRB work hand-in-hand to make sure his children can't even buy those games without some sort of identification to prove their age, it hasn't stopped the governor from convening a task force and proposing new laws that would require that parents give permission to buy the games children can't get their hands on.
New Jersey State Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) plans to introduce legislation to ban violent video games in public places. The Assemblywoman has proposed a law that would ban all "M" rated and "Adults Only" games from public places such as amusement parks, movie theaters, bowling allies, retail stories and other public places. It is a move similar to what the Massachusetts Department of Transportation did on its thruways earlier this year.
New Jersey lawmakers have approved a bill that will make online gambling in the state legal, opening the door for companies in the space -- including game companies like Zynga -- to operate online games that provide real-money gambling. Of course, you won't be able to play these games unless you reside in a state where it is legal to do so. Currently there are three: Nevada, Delaware, and now New Jersey. Nevada passed its online gambling bill last week.