Joan E. Bertin, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, has penned an editorial for the Times of Trenton calling on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) to reject a bill the New Jersey legislature passed this week requiring the state to publish and promote what it calls "dubious research about the effects of violent media."
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) says that exposure to violent media such as video games can put those with mental illnesses "over the edge" and that he supports President Obama's plan for more research into violent games. The research - which includes (for the first time) the study of the (possible) connection between guns and mass shootings - was recommended by the Administration in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown Conn. in December of last year which resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults.
In Episode 55 hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll, a video game researcher's testimony at a mass murder trial, the Xbox One, the Ouya, and some discussion on the upcoming E3 press conferences. Download Episode 55 now: SuperPAC Episode 55 (1 hour, 37 minutes) 89.5 MB.
In a syndicated editorial penned by Dr. Mehmet Oz (who is known best for "The Dr. Oz Show") and Dr. Mike Roizen (chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute), the good doctors proclaim that "It's official (again)- violent video games hurt teens." They determine (without citation) that playing games like Call of Duty: Black Ops (which they say features dismembered limbs, obscene language, torture) and Hitman: Absolution is "bad for teens" (both games are rated "M" and therefore shouldn't be played by teens).
You may recall that back in January, Missouri State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) put forth a bill to levy a one percent sin tax on "violent video games." Apparently not realizing that she lived in a state where raising taxes on anything was considered bad form, she pushed the bill forward in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that occurred in December of 2012.
Continuing to show just how out of touch he is with reality, Joe Scarborough offered some silly comments about 20-somethings being lazy gamers on the Morning Joe show he co-hosts on MSNBC. His comments were his contribution to what could have been a serious conversation about how women are becoming the primary bread winners in American households and the shifting roles of gender. He did his best to derail the conversation, as usual.
New Jersey Senators Raymond Lesniak and M. Teresa Ruiz - both Democrats - have managed to push a proposal (bill S-2715) through the Senate. The bill commissions the New Jersey Department of Education to create a pamphlet that would provide information for parents about violent media. The proposal was part of Senate Democrats' gun safety plan. According to PolitikerNJ, the proposal has passed the Senate by a vote of 36-0 and is heading to the Assembly.
Government Security News offers an interesting story on a recent speech given by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who you may recall is the man associated with "Killology" and the man who often refers to first-person shooter video games as "murder simulators." No doubt emboldened by recent shootings in the United States, Grossman is probably finding it easier to spread his anti-video game message.
Vice President Joe Biden thinks that it would be perfectly okay to tax violent video games. During a recent meeting to talk about strategy for enacting the president’s proposed gun legislation, Biden said that an idea floated by Reverend Franklin Graham in late April to tax violent media might be a good idea. Participants in the session told Politico that Mr. Biden said there’s "no restriction on the ability to do that; there’s no legal reason why they couldn’t."
A recent episode of Katie Couric's syndicated talk show offers a pretty one-sided look at video game addiction, asking the question in the title: "Are Video Games to Blame for Violent Crimes?" Couric does mention that she asked the Entertainment Software Association to participate in the show or comment on its contents, but they did not respond to the request...
Three editorials offer just about every side of the New Jersey Governor's push to study and then regulate the sale of violent video games in the State. The first two are two different sides from a special dueling editorial in The Star-Ledger called "Do violent video games breed violent behavior?". The first one, "Do violent video games breed violent behavior? Yes " was written by Paul Boxer of Rutgers-Newark.
Daniel Greenberg passed along this little gem that flew under the radar earlier in the year - a resolution introduced to the Pennsylvania General Assembly (Resolution 6) that would direct the Joint State Government Commission to study "the issue of violence prevention, to establish an advisory committee to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the underlying causes of violent crime, including mass shootings, and to report to the Senate with its findings and recommendations."
While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may not let his children play Call of Duty or any other mature rated games, and even though retailers like GameStop and the ESRB work hand-in-hand to make sure his children can't even buy those games without some sort of identification to prove their age, it hasn't stopped the governor from convening a task force and proposing new laws that would require that parents give permission to buy the games children can't get their hands on.
Oblivious to a Federal Trade Commission report released this week that said that only 13 percent of under-age secret shoppers it deployed (as part of a Secret Shopper Survey program in 2012) were able to buy video games from national retailers (see the story here) New Jersey Assemblyman Sean T.
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) pounced on a New York Daily News report published on Monday about the investigation into Sandy Hook Elementary school shooter Adam Lanza. Rockefeller, who has long been a critic of video games has been pushing for a study on the impact of violent video games on children, said that most of the popular titles played in America contain “often obscene levels of violence."
Rockefeller also hinted that it might be time for something the government enjoys doing - some good old fashioned censorship:
On this week's show we talk about Congressman Frank Wolf's hearing this week to slam "violent video games," changes being made to the ESRB, the ESA's plan for a PSA campaign, the latest SimCity news, and the results of the latest GamePolitics poll. Download Episode 45 now: SuperPAC Episode 45 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 66.6 MB.
On March 19 the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the National Science Foundation and Youth Violence Research report.
Video game developer and Chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg offers a scathing rebuke to Republicans in Congress for criticizing World of Warcraft and tax payer dollars given to use the virtual world for research over at Salon today.
The Hartford Courant is reporting that lawmakers in Connecticut are set to hold a public hearing on Tuesday related to several proposed bills to deal with video game violence. A public hearing of the legislature's Children Committee is scheduled for Tuesday to decide on a bill pushed by Sen. Toni Harp (D-New Haven) that would prohibit minors from playing violent games in arcades. The hearing will also address a bill pushed by Sen.
During a panel discussion on CBS' popular Sunday political show Face the Nation, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole said that politicians rushing to blame video games for the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are misguided because the evidence does not support their theory.
"It’s my experience that video games do not cause violence," O’Toole told CBS News."However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently."
An interesting article on The Atlantic examines why sin taxes like the one proposed for video games by Connecticut State Rep. Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) never really do anything productive. You may recall that Hovey, who represents the district that includes Newtown, Connecticut, proposed a 10 percent sin tax on violent video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB.
Right Wing Watch (a web site that admittedly doesn't like the principals of conservatism or the people who push its agendas in print, online and on broadcast television) points out in this story that Glenn Beck blames the Sandy Hook School Shooting in Newton, Connecticut entirely on the shooter's consumption of violent video games. Beck made his comments on last night's show which airs on his web site.
House GOP majority leader Eric Cantor called out a study by North Carolina State University related to World of Warcraft's ability to "boosts cognitive functioning in some older adults" a waste of tax payer dollars. The study was paid for by a $1.2 million federal grant. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement released this week that this kind of spending is the cause of the country’s debt.
The mayor of Aurora, Colorado had hoped for more regulations on violent video games after the Aurora Theater shooting in July of 2012 (that saw 12 people dead and 70 injured), but it looks like he has been rebuffed by the City's Attorney, who pointed him to a widely known U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. EMA...
The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued an alert urging members of the community to let the U.S. Senate know that you think Senator Rockefeller's bill to study violent video games is a misguided mistake. Why?
Because the Senator has publicly stated that this bill and the result of it are simply a step towards government regulation of video games. The bill, S. 134, calls for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the connection between the "exposure to violent video games and video programming and harmful effects on children."