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Thousands of sex offenders blocked from online gaming

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Wednesday, thousands of sex offenders were blocked from online gaming in a huge sweep led by the New York State Attorney General's office.

It's called "Operation Game Over", with the goal of protecting the safety and security of children online.

To date, 5,600 accounts of registered sex offenders have been blocked from major online gaming networks.

The huge number was made possible with the cooperation of online companies like Microsoft, Apple and Sony.

When a child goes online, he or she enters a virtual world where there can be little control.

But Eric Schneiderman's office is making it a point to make sure online gaming is made a little safer.

Now, convicted sex offenders must register all email addresses and screen names that are linked to them with the state. Under "Operation Game Over," those registered sex offenders access to online gaming is now blocked by more than a dozen major companies.

Schneiderman says as a result, those offenders access to children is also blocked.

"The internet is the crime scene of the 21st century, and we must ensure that online video game platforms do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators," says Schneiderman. "That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming systems as a vehicle to prey on underage victim."

The Attorney General's office says what makes operation game over even more important is that many online video games allow users to access the internet and send messages to other players anonymously.

The Attorney's General's office reminds parents that parental controls do exist for these systems.

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