Video Game Law Blog

April 08, 2005

A local radio station from Gainesville, Florida, reports that a 14-year-old Gainesville boy has been arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse for severely beating his 2-year-old cousin. Apparently investigators believe that the aggressor was mimicking wrestling moves from EA's 'Def Jam Fight for New York"?, which the two children used to play together (the game is rated M, for users 17 and older).

Whether the connection between the real-world violence and the video game will be pursued remains to be seen. No doubt it will receive media attention, regardless of whether any connection is established. As always, though, media reports like this leave more questions than answers. Was it the video game that caused the violence? Did the video game contribute to the violence? Did the children also watch pro wrestling? Or the Power Rangers? How did a 14-year-old obtain an M-rated game? What was a 2-year-old doing playing video games like this?  The boy's (it's not clear which boy's) grandmother has been arrested and charged with neglect for failing to seek medical treatment for the injured child. Should there be similar charges for allowing children to play violent games, in the way people may be charged for leaving weapons in places where they are accessible to curious children?

Coverage at