As more and more game consoles offer network connectivity and online play, potential downsides to this bevy of networkability have begun to crop up. More recently, ‘net-connected consoles are being treated as a new battleground in the sexual predation of children.Sexual predators are turning to online games that offer in-game test messaging and voice chat to lure new victims.
But as the predators move to new types of media to court their prey, police and federal enforcement agents are hot on their heels, moving to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Now, if there’s a cool law enforcement job to have, it would have to be spending your days playing online games in order to catch sexual predators. You’d be able to get your game on, and do good for society at the same time. Heck, I’d sign up for that.
In Utah, a man was charged this year with sexual exploitation of a minor for enticing a 12-year-old boy he met through an online game into having sex, says Lt. Jessica Farnsworth, field commander of the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. She says predators meet kids on a game, "groom them and then try to move off the game."