A recent screening of Spencer Halpin’s Moral Kombat documentary featured a post-show panel of game experts discussing some of the topics presented in the film.
The screening took place on November 11th in San Francisco. Members of the roundtable included Wired’s Chris Kohler, Dean Takahashi from Venure Beat, Lorne Lanning of Oddworld Inhabitants and Spencer Halpin.
Perhaps the most interesting response was that of Lanning’s in response to the question of why violence and videogames is still such a hot topic:
They (media groups) want the sensationalism. They will broadcast anytime there’s a shooting; they will find people that have a very specific, loud, sensational, fearful opinion of it, and they will give them prime airtime. If you add up those minutes of airtime it’s actually a fair amount of penetration into the public mind.
But then, we look at the court cases and the Supreme Court decisions and court decisions in nine states, at the time I looked into it. And all of them, throughout all of these cases… they were sham cases. Those court cases, and the results of that, never get any airtime, because that’s not selling news. So we wind up with a very distorted opinion from the public perspective, those that rely on the corporate media. The results of the court case maybe be on page 9, probably on page 19 and take up a tenth of a page.
Meanwhile, when the sensationalism happens… the critics, with false claims that they are never held to, get a lot of exposure and that exposure compounds. We see this in so many things… in the lead up to the war, in healthcare… When it was a hot topic, we could count on the coverage being in a certain direction and I think we can continue to count on that because the media behavior isn’t changing for the better, if anything it can pretty much be proven it’s changing for the worse.
The full post-film discussion is available on YouTube in four segments: part one, part two, part three and part four.
Disclosure: Filmmaker Spencer Halpin is the brother of Entertainment Consumers Association president Hal Halpin. The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.