According to this wild report in the Independent, parents who let their young children play games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty could be reported to police and children’s social care as it is being negligent.
Former State Senator Leland Yee is getting a bit of unwanted attention this week as news reports surface that he is using the money he raised for his run at California Secretary of State last year (he ultimately dropped out of that race) as a legal defense fund. According to a report in the LA Times, Yee has spent $128,000 on attorney's fees from his campaign war chest to defend himself on federal corruption charges.
MidBoss Games has announced the launch of the "first completely public playable demo" for its cyberpunk themed adventure game Read Only Memories.
"Over the last 10 months we’ve had an amazing time showing off our game at events like GaymerX2, GDC, Indiecade, PAX and E3," note MidBoss Games in its announcement about the demo. "Now we finally have a chance to put a final(ish) version of the game’s Prologue & Chapter 1 in your hands."
Mother Jones officially owns the dubious distinction of publishing one of the most ridiculous articles about #GamerGate - the social media movement about "ethics in games journalism" (or about gender politics, depending on whom you ask) - to-date.
Tea Party-endorsed candidate Zach Dasher is trying his best to unseat Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.), but an old podcast about the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting has come back to haunt him. Dasher, who is the nephew of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, hosted a podcast called "Why Did This Happen" three days after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. (which occurred on December 14, 2012), claiming that the shooter Adam Lanza was influenced by atheism, postmodernism, and video games.
Conservative TV and radio host Glenn Beck criticized Ubisoft's recently released open-world hacking game Watch Dogs on his Internet TV show. During a recent episode of his show The Blaze, Beck called the game's protagonist Aiden Pearce an "anti-hero."
"Why must everyone be an anti-hero? Why must everyone break the law? Why can't we have a Superman? Why can't we have somebody who is doing the right thing, does the hard thing? Instead, everybody is an anti-hero," Beck said.
Washington D.C-based news station WIJA offers a report that tries to solicit anger from local policemen about the depiction of violence in Starbreeze Studios.
Connecticut state lawmaker DebraLee Hovey (R) has penned a lengthy editorial calling for warning labels on video games and for a sin tax to be levied against interactive entertainment products rated "M" by the ESRB. This is the second time Hovey has called for a sin tax on video games in the state, though her last effort failed to get passed by CT lawmakers.
A 15-year-old teen from the UK accused of stabbing his Spanish tutor is being pegged as a "loner" and a "gamer" who enjoyed "achievement hunting" and playing games like "Dark Souls" and other PS3 games by UK paper The Daily Mail. The Daily Mail calls the unnamed teen a "depressed recluse" obsessed with a "video game [Dark Souls] where [a] lone cursed character travels through fantasy world killing others."
The 15-year-old is currently being held on suspicion of stabbing his Spanish tutor Ann Maguire.
What's faster than a speeding train? Apparently U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who was nearly clipped by one at a press conference on Friday while standing on a train platform. Ironically enough, Sen. Blumenthal (who is known on GamePolitics as a politician keen on passing laws against gaming and the video games industry at large) was at the train stop to promote train safety.
New research coming out of Iowa State University (can you guess where this is going to go?) suggests that children who play violent video games will have more aggressive behavior and keep aggressive thoughts regardless of age, gender or parental involvement.
The research results are based on a three-year longitudinal panel study that surveyed (on an annual basis) 3,034 children and adolescents from 6 primary and 6 secondary schools in Singapore. The study notes that the beginning of the survey period participants were in the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth grades.
New research from Craig Anderson, a psychologist and professor at Iowa State University who is known for his anti-game research is making the rounds this week, but it is not going unchallenged. Anderson's latest research suggests that children who play violent video games "may experience" an increase in aggressive thoughts, which "could" lead to aggressive behavior.
According to a Wall Street Journal report (membership required), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent a considerable amount of money and effort in fighting anti-videogame laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey - and in Oklahoma last year. Many of the bills have either died or are locked in legislative committees waiting for approval.
The ESA is also taking aim at a federal bill, according to records and a co-sponsor of the bill.
I'm not sure if this Telegraph article on game addiction is supposed to be some kind of Onion-esque comedy bit, but it sure reads like one. In it the author offers five tips for beating your game addiction.
Putting aside that fact that game addiction (and Internet addiction for that matter) is not a real recognized addiction like gambling is by mental health professionals around the world, the article offers such wonderful tips as:
1) Time Yourself.
MCV points out a pretty astonishing story that recently appeared in the UK newspaper the Daily Mail.
A nine-year old boy from Orlando, Florida has been placed in "home confinement" for bring weapons to school. His father claims that the boy brought "an unloaded handgun, a magazine with six bullets inside, a steak knife and a small-handled sledge hammer" to school because he was emulating what the main character "Steve" does in Minecraft.
"They use hammers to dig and knives and guns to protect themselves from zombies," he said, according to the a report from Orlando news station WFTV.
It must be hard for the mainstream media to continue with the hypothetical that Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis was heavily influenced by playing violent video games in the wake of new evidence released by the FBI on Wednesday. The FBI released a note written by Alexis prior to his shooting rampage that led to the killing of 12 people. His rampage ended when police shot and killed him. In the note, Alexis says that ultra-low frequency attacks had unsettled him enough to kill:
Conservative college group Campus Reform's Caleb Bonham asks college students about the "virtual morality" (or lack thereof, from his perspective) in Grand Theft Auto V. In his video he interviews college students about whether it is acceptable to run over a prostitute and get your money back or kill policemen in the game. Most say that these are perfectly acceptable activities because the world is not real. Bonham does manage to stump a few people when he asks if allowing a player to rape someone is acceptable, just like the other things players can do in the game.
Tulsa, Oklahoma Talk Radio Station KFAQ AM 1170 gives former Florida Attorney and familiar anti-game crusader Jack Thompson a chance to talk about his favorite subject: Grand Theft Auto.
On Pat Campbell's podcast, Thompson discusses at length the effects of the Grand Theft Auto series, the Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis' obsessive gaming habits, and the possible culpability of corporations that make violent video games.
You can find the show here. It's about 30 minutes long.
Dr. Charles Williams, Ph.D., Associate Teaching Professor of Psychology and Education at Drexel University, stopped by Fox News show The O'Reilly Factor to talk to host Bill O'Reilly about "the impact of violent video games."
An article on ABC News tries to determine how violent video games fit in with real-world violent behavior. The report focuses on what Michael Ritrovato said about Washington Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis' obsessive gaming habits.
Ritrovato, who has been name checked in a number of stories for these comments, tells ABC News that the former Navy reservist was obsessed with military-style video games:
Not to be left out of the "let's blame video games for every mass shooting that happens" narrative being pushed by American cable news outlets like MSNBC and Fox News, UK paper The Daily Telegraph offers an article on how Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis was "obsessed with video games." The title of the article?
The new Fox & Friends host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck (formerly the lone conservative on ABC's The View) suggested during the Tuesday morning show that "the left" was trying to make Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard about "gun control." Instead she pointed out that the country doesn't need a national registry for guns, it needs one for to track video game purchases.
In a new report, the conservative news network tries to link video games to gunman Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people before police shot him dead at the Navy Shipyard in Washington where he worked earlier this week. While the report goes into great detail about the gunman's troubled past - including issues with mental illness and multiple run-ins with police, the focus of the Fox story is about his video game habits.
On August 14, Connecticut Speaker of the House J. Brendan Sharkey wrote a letter to executives at Valve Software, Take-Two, the Entertainment Software Association, and Activision Blizzard asking them to stop licensing real guns from gun manufactures for popular first-person shooter franchises such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.
While it took a long time, Andrew Eisen has finally created a video response to the State lawmaker's request entitled "Guns Don't Kill People, Licensed Guns in Video Games Do."
Fox News can't seem to get enough of trying to connect the dots between real-world mass shootings and violent video games. Part one of a two-part report on the subject gathers the usual suspects to try and say definitively that video games played a central role in inspiring some of the worst shootings in the last decade or so including Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, Adam Lanza, etc.