On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll, the Xbox One 4 launch, the latest GamePolitics Letters to the Editor, and the controversial game about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that happened almost a year ago. Download Episode 78 now: SuperPAC Episode 78 (1 hour, 18 minutes) 71.2 MB.
An indie game developed by a man from Sydney, Australia is getting national attention this week because of its controversial subject matter: the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that happened almost a year ago in Newtown, Connecticut. Politicians, journalists, parents of victims, Connecticut state officials, and even the National Rifle Association have weighed in on the game, "The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary."
The plaintiff in the landmark gun rights Supreme Court decision that bears his name (Heller v. District of Columbia) warned that the effort to regulate violent video games in the U.S. Congress is "a backdoor attack on gun rights." The Supreme Court case, Heller v. District of Columbia, overturned D.C.'s handgun ban. In a report on conservative publication Human Events, Heller said that lawmakers are targeting video games as a way to get at the issue from behind.
On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by Ben Hayward, who wrote an interesting article last week about how video game players are often gun owners too, and how the government often tries to pit one group against the other. Andrew also reveals the results of last week's poll concerning the Mighty No. 9 and the possibility that the developer behind the game might get sued by Capcom.
Today at GamePolitics we are launching a new feature called Letters to the Editor, where we let our readers offer their very strong opinions on the issues that matter most to them.
Our very first letter comes from Ben Hayward, who felt the need to write about mass shootings, guns, firearms education, and video games. We left Ben's comments mostly unchanged, and only lightly edited. We hope you enjoy it.
Despite the national media's fascination with the Washington Navy Yard shooter's violent video gaming habits, lawmakers on Capitol Hill focused on the need to shore up rules on guns in the United States. Democratic lawmakers and anti-gun groups focused their efforts on the push for a vote on background checks legislation, according to Polticio. During that debate there's was very little talk about violent video games.
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.
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."
In an extensive report on lobbying efforts in Washington, Games Industry International reveals that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spends more on lobbying efforts than the National Rifle Association - on paper, at least. But in reality a good lobbyist knows all the tricks of influence peddling through other spending that doesn't have to be reported because it isn't technically considered lobbying.
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."
Former CNN host Campbell Brown was a guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe program yesterday, where she suggested that President Barack Obama would have a better shot at passing gun control laws in the United States if he would stop singling out the Nation Rifle Association and put some of the focus on the violent content created by Hollywood and the video game industry.
Brown has written several op-ed pieces about the issue in publications like the Daily Beast and - most recently - the Wall Street Journal.
You can watch her appearance to below.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said that the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun manufacturers are to blame for what she categorized as the "disconnect between the broad public support for gun control and the reluctance in Congress" to support legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines." Feinstein made her comments at a gathering of about 500 people in San Francisco on Wednesday.
Indie game development studio Molleindustria has created a game called The Best Amendment, which it describes as an "unofficial NRA Game" that they say demonstrates why some of the NRA's stances on guns do not work.
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."
Video Game Developer and IGDA Member Daniel Greenberg has challenged Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to a debate on whether video games are a bigger problems than guns in America. His comments were made awhile back during a segment on MSNBC.
While it is unlikely that the Senator from Tennessee will take up Mr. Greenberg's offer for a vigorous and substantive debate on guns, media violence, and real-world violence, he has thrown down the gauntlet anyway:
Yesterday Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) released "A Comprehensive Plan That Reduces Gun Violence and Respects the 2nd Amendment Rights of Law-Abiding Americans," which details the recommendations of the " Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force." While there are plenty of recommendations on guns and curbing gun violence, mental health issues and school safety, there is a portion of the report dedicated to violent media.
This week's show focuses on indie developers and an excellent editorial on various bills aimed at video game violence. This week hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about an indie game that got a Canadian gentleman fired from his day job, another indie developer calling Kickstarter stretch goals "bullsh*t," and a discussion on this Popcults.com editorial. All this and the latest GamePolitics poll results await in Episode 39.
In a discussion about gun violence and gun control, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) says that games are way more problematic than weapons because "they affect people." Weapons apparently don't affect people, except the fact that they put holes in them where blood can leak out... Speaking today on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, Alexander said video games are a greater societal threat than guns.
Children's rights advocate and attorney Paul Mones (@MonesPaul on Twitter) delivers a "Perry Mason moment" in a new editorial over at the Huffington Post titled "Video Games Hold No Answers." In it Mones notes that making a connection between violent crimes committed by teens based on the video games, movies, or even mu
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued a statement in response to President Barack Obama's call for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to conduct a study on whether there is a correlation between gun violence and "violent video games" and other forms of media. The trade group representing the interactive entertainment industry said that it agrees with the President's proposals and plans to cooperate / collaborate with the Administration and Congress as they examine the facts that will bring about meaningful solutions.
President Barack Obama unveiled measures today to curb gun violence in America that he wants Congress to pass as soon as possible, and issued executive orders calling for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to conduct a study on whether there is a correlation between gun violence and "violent video games" and other forms of media.
When the NRA-branded iOS app NRA: Practice Range launched earlier this week (nearly on the one month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting that took place in Newtown Connecticut on December 14, 2012) it carried a rating of ages 4+.
It should not come as any surprise that Vice-President Joe Biden's Commission on Gun Violence delivered 19 recommendations on how to deal with... gun violence, with the key word being "gun." Despite much ado about a meeting late last week with video game industry executives, trade groups, and five researchers, Biden didn't seem all that interested in taking on the industry but did tell those gathered at the meeting that the video game industry needed to improve its image with the general public.
It's hard to argue against a culture of violence influencing children when you release an iOS app that teaches kids ages 4+ how to aim a gun and more accurately shoot. Not that the newly released NRA-licensed game developed by MEDL Mobile, Inc. will turn your tiny tot into a killing machine - nor does the game include any type of violent content save the ability to fire a handgun at human shaped targets and clay targets. And to its credit, the game also offers plenty of safety tips for players to keep them from doing stupid things - we assume - in real life.
On CNN's State of the Union with host Candy Crowley, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TENN.) sat in on a panel discussion about gun control and the likelihood of legislation being passed by the current Congress. But instead of discussing gun control, Blackburn decided to take a few shots at Activision's Call of Duty series. Blackburn said that in preparation to appear on the show she watched some video of the game and was shocked at the violence she saw... she also called the game "Call to Duty."
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about Anonymous putting forth a DDoS free speech petition to the White House, various violent video game buyback programs (Southington CT. and Melrose, MA.), the video game industry meeting with Vice-President Joe Biden's Gun Violence Commission last week, and a whole lot more. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 36 (1 hour, 7 minutes) 61.5 MB.
According to a Polygon report, the video game industry executives and other interested parties that met with Vice-President Joe Biden's Gun Violence Commission walked away feeling that they were unscathed, and that Biden was looking for general input on media and violence.