Violence tied back to video games in Japan has begun to worry the game industry. In February, a 17-year-old boy was arrested for stabbing three people and killing one teacher in his old elementary school. And more recently, a 15 year-old-boy murdered his parents and then tried to hide his crime by blowing up their apartment with homemade explosives. (Isn’t it strange how killing everyone in a building and then blowing the building up only works in video games?) The connection between these two crimes? Both young people were professed hard-core gamers, the former playing hours of the Resident Evil series and the latter linking his crime to Grand Theft Auto III.
In reaction to these game-related crimes, manufacturers like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are considering self-imposed regulations on the sales of games to minors. The actions considered are requiring identification to people under eighteen trying to purchase video games targeted at an adult audience. The Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association’s (CESA) distribution committee is currently discussing the issue with retailers and publishers.
Game companies want to make moves toward limiting sales to minors in order to deter the Japanese government from banning certain games from being sold at all. Already, several prefectures have banned all sales of Grand Theft Auto III to minors as a "harmful publication". Others have begun to take similar steps.