This CNN article written by Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan to promote the new TED Book, "The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It," concludes that the Internet-using-male-gamer out there is addicted to pornography (sex) and video games (violence), and as a result isn't quite capable of achieving academic goals, real-world relationships, or taking any chances.
Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in July of last year has talked about "training with Call of Duty" and being "obsessed with World of Warcraft" in his 1000+ page manifesto and during his ongoing trial in Oslo, Norway this week. Naturally the media is eating the whole obsessed gamer angle up and reporting on it as fact, but mental health professionals like Seena Fazel are saying that there's a real problem with connecting the dots.
As you are probably aware, the trial of Anders Behring Breivik is in its third day in Oslo, Norway. The Norwegian man is charged with murdering 69 people at a summer camp and eight others using a bomb last year - a charge that he has pled not guilty to. Yesterday Breivik took the stand and the media pounced on what he said about gaming, along with what he wrote about it in his lengthy manifesto, along with his anti-Islamist views.
Birmingham resident Twana Bond-Jones has written a play called "Game Over" that deals with gaming and how it interferes with relationships. The first run of the play will take place April 21 at the Carver Theatre ( 1631 Fourth Ave. North) in Birmingham, Alabama at 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Tickets cost $22 and are available at the box office and online.
Today, a jury has found Virginia Tech negligent in its response to the first shootings in the massacre committed at the school in 2007.
On April 16, 2007, at about 7:15 AM, Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed two students in the Ambler Johnston Hall dorms. About two hours later, Cho entered Norris Hall and opened fire on the students and faculty within. He killed 30 and wounded 17 more before killing himself.
The university informed the students about the first shootings via email at 9:26 AM.
Common sense dictates that you can't scream "fire!" in a crowded movie theater and that doing so isn't considered protected speech. In the wake of the recent Ohio school shootings, making public jokes about shooting up your local high school also falls under the purview of widely held common sense doctrine.
The lawyer of a man accused of attempting to firebomb several synagogues in New Jersey is saying that his client suffers from mental illness and was unduly influenced by video games. The 19-year-old man, Anthony M. Graziano of Lodi, N.J., pled not guilty to first-degree attempted murder, bias intimidation and aggravated arson for two attacks on synagogues in the area. Graziano was in court today seeking a reduction in his $5 million bail. Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi cut the bail in half because Graziano is "destitute."
Oklahoma City police have arrested a 13-year-old boy in connection with the death of his nine-month-old baby sister after a questionable story of what happened to the child was told to the staff at a metro hospital. ER doctors became suspicious and called the local police. Officers were called to a metro hospital on August 16 after doctors noted that the baby's injuries were not consistent with an explanation given by the girl's parents.
The Georgian teen that murdered his great grandmother and injured his grandmother with a sword after being told to stop playing video games and do his chores, will be tried as an adult, according to a Reuters report. The 15-year-old's name was also released, along with the names of the victims in the incident. The 15-year-old has been identified as Gevin Prince, and the 77-year-old great-grandmother who died from multiple stab wounds has been identified as Mary Joan Gibbs.
A 14-year-old from Douglasville, Georgia is now in the custody of Douglas County Sheriff’s office after fatally stabbing his 77-year-old great grandmother and wounding his 55-year-old grandmother with a sword, according to multiple media reports. The incident occurred at around 5:00 p.m. on Monday at a home on Spring Ridge Drive in Douglasville. When the great grandmother told the teen to stop playing video games and do his chores, he apparently got a 3-foot sword and attacked the 77-year-old woman, who later died from multiple stab wounds.
A safety-escort tug that ran aground two years ago on Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef went off course because of a captain who was playing video games, according to a report from the U.S. Coast Guard. The tugboat ran aground at the very same site where the Exxon Valdez disaster occurred. The tugboat Pathfinder was part of a navigation safety system established in the aftermath of the 1989 oil spill and was designed to guide oil tankers through the sound after they fill up with crude at the trans-Alaska pipeline's maritime terminal in Valdez.
But the tug boat operated by the Crowley Marine Services ended up striking the same submerged reef that ripped open the hull of the Exxon Valdez supertanker, causing the worst tanker spill in U.S. waters.
By way of GameSpy comes this story of a man who decided to play Frogger in real life and lost. Toad in the road. Tire tracks across his back. Game Over. A 23-year-old Clemson, South Carolina man darted into traffic on Highway 123 at approximately 9 p.m. on Monday night and was promptly struck by an SUV. What looked like a jaywalking incident gone wrong turned out to be a real life game based on Konami's 1981 arcade classic.
Police say the man is now in a hospital bed recovering from his injuries. Police did not release the man’s name, or the friends who encouraged him to play the real life version of the game.
Citing their “potential harmful effects,” California State Senator, and anti-videogame law architect, Leland Yee is advising parents and anyone else buying gifts for kids this holiday season, to avoid purchasing violent videogames.
Yee urged purchasers to retain awareness of marketing and advertising that targets kids, check a game’s age ratings and content descriptors and to become familiar with the game. He warned that if any violent or sexual images appear on a game’s box, or in its title, “you can assume these themes are also in the game."
It was also suggested that shoppers avoid all first and third-person shooters entirely, as they “usually focus on gunning down hundreds of people,” and to avoid games “that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior.”
A George Mason University teacher believes that society is blind to the permeation of videogame addiction in college students; a problem so widespread that she believes it is swelling the number of dropouts.
Demonstrating less tactfulness than Rush Limbaugh (yes, that was odd to write), Erica Jacobs kicks off her column by alluding that Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho’s addiction to Counter-Strike contributed to his actions, before recounting the tale a student of hers told about a roommate at school that became so addicted to World of Warcraft, he eventually dropped out.
A report out of South Korea states that a 15-year old killed his mother and then committed suicide following a fight over online videogames.
A police official said that a fight began sometime on Monday in Busan, Korea when the mother scolded her son about playing online games. The mother was later found strangled to death in the family’s home, presumably the same place where the son was found dead after hanging himself.
The police official claimed that the alleged murderer’s sister said that the boy had been “playing violent Internet games for the past two to three years.”
Busan, a port city, is South Korea’s second-largest municipality after Seoul, boasting a population of about 3.6 million.
You might think something as innocuous the American Library Association’s third annual National Gaming Day, held this past Saturday, might be beyond the scope of criticism, but when you have an agenda (and a book) to push, logic, perhaps, goes out the window.
Psychology Today is hosting a column by Ryan Van Cleave, author of Unplugged; My Journey Into the Dark World of Video Game Addiction and the man behind the Video Game Addiction Awareness Week (VGAAW) website.
An article penned by the Editorial Board of the Oregonian calls violent games “poison to the teen mind,” and cites “a fragmented but growing body of research,” to back its hopes that the California legislation will at least “find footing” in order to “set a promising example.”
The opinion piece states that Schwarzenegger vs EMA is not exclusively about free speech, since the law does not seek an outright ban on violent games.
The California law, according to the Oregonian, would “simply prevent the neighborhood video store clerk from deciding to sell ‘Postal 2’ to a 14-year-old.”
The editorial continued, stating:
The author of an opinion piece appearing in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a piece ostensibly related to the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court case, takes a hatchet to videogames.
Author Jack Markowitz offers, “grudgingly,” that “the Supreme Court will uphold the precious freedom to sell stupid, overpriced electronic games to children.”
A total of eleven state attorneys-general backed California in its Schwarzenegger vs EMA Supreme Court run, with ten signing on to an amicus brief (PDF) penned by the eleventh, James “Buddy” Caldwell (pictured), the Attorney General of Louisiana.
Keeping abreast of where these eleven enemies of the game industry are after Election Day could allow us to possibly anticipate what vantage point they might pull off their next attack on videogames and gamers from.
Let’s see where they are now:
A Vancouver high school student was assaulted by a group of people on Monday, all because the victim and his friends reportedly trash talked opponents after a victorious WarCraft III skirmish.
The student in question was roughed up at Eric Hamber secondary school during lunch hour. The Vancouver Sun reported that the beating came following a WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos online battle in a Defense of the Ancients custom scenario, after which the winning team mocked the losers.
“Four or five assailants,” described as in their late teens, tracked the boy to Eric Hamber, and “made him kiss their feet before hitting him with batons, breaking his fingers.” No arrests have been made yet, though Vancouver’s police youth squad continues to investigate the assault.
After dancing around the question of whether tattoos are okay for Christians, marriage and family therapist Dr. Linda Mintle (pictured) turned her attention to the subject of violent videogames.
On the CBN website, a “preteen” stated that “My mom and dad don’t want me to play violent video games,” and asked the doctor “What’s the big deal?”
Mintle, who is also Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, before responding with a laundry list of maladies she attributed to playing violent games, said that the “big deal” is that playing such games can lead to aggression and “increase delinquency.”
Among her claims:
Upon visiting a local sports bar, a San Antonio man made a new friend and invited him home to play videogames. Unfortunately the man’s new friend, a “self-proclaimed” mixed martial arts fighter, allegedly beat up the friendly gamer and robbed him.
Patrick Lockhart (pictured) was eventually arrested after his victim picked him out of a lineup. According to WOAI.com, the injured party was purportedly attacked, and knocked out, once the pair entered his home.
The victim suffered a broken jaw and black eye, in addition to having $2,000 in cash and his television stolen.
Lockhart was charged with aggravated robbery.
The potential moral to the story? It’s probably safer to play games on PSN or XBL rather than in person with strangers.
Following a recent rash of violent crime, the district attorney for the Massachusetts county of Middlesex is attempting to pin at least some of the blame on violent videogames.
District Attorney Gerry Leone, when asked about the recent transgressions, stated that “None of this surprises me,” adding, “I find young people have a more cavalier attitude toward crime than they've ever had.”
Continuing, Leone stated that today’s youth are “not really drawing the boundaries between a bad choice and a really seriously bad choice.” Why? “I attribute that to the numbing of our young people,” answered Leone.
A Pennsylvania man was arrested on a variety of charges after his live-in girlfriend, enraged that the unemployed man was playing games all day, snatched his PlayStation and took off in her car.
42-year old Darren Suchon took off after Colleen Frable down Route 248, driving her 1996 Porsche. According to a story on the Morning Call, Suchon was “waving his arms and yelling, trying to get her to pull over,” and when she eventually stopped at a traffic light, his car rear ended hers.
Suchon was yelling at Frable “to give him the PlayStation and trying to force down her driver side window.” Two men from a nearby business came out, scaring off Suchon.
Using data provided by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, researchers recently presented an overview of videogame-related injuries at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco.
Between January 1, 2004 and January 1, 2009, there were a total of 696 game-related injuries in the U.S., of which 604 were suffered from “traditional games,” while 92 were attributed to “newer interactive games” that require a greater investment of interactivity, like Nintendo’s Wii. Of the 92 injuries caused by “newer” technology, 49 injured parties were male and 43 female.
The mean age of the injured was 16.5 years old. Those injured were more likely to hurt their shoulder, ankle or foot. Bystander injuries were also “significantly” more likely to occur when playing games using the “newer” interactive technology.
The decision by Utah Attorney-General Mark Shurtleff to support the game industry side of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA has made him a target in the Beehive State.
The latest person to bash Shurtleff is the failed politician, and Utah’s “common sense conservative” Cherilyn Eagar. Eagar, who was running for Senator in the state as a Republican—and against Shurtleff, before he withdrew from the race—but did not make the final run-off, took to her blog to bash Shurtleff’s decision to oppose the California law.
In the article, entitled “Children Must be Protected from Video Games,” Eagar writes that Shurtleff’s rationale in backing of the game industry could be adapted in order to “logically argue that it is free speech to allow minors to purchase cigarettes or drugs.”
Over the past month, the “pro-family” Eagle Forum attempted (and failed) to lobby Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff into supporting the California side of Schwarzenegger v. EMA, while its founder, Phyllis Schlafly, scribbled out a withering column on the “evil products” and “highly disturbing” content emerging from the videogame industry. Now another Eagle Forum member is attempting to pin the group’s anti-videogame stance on protecting children.
The courting of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (pictured) by both sides in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA U.S. Supreme Court case ended with him signing onto an amicus brief supporting the game industry, where he was joined by fellow attorneys general from Arkansas, Georgia, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Washington.
A disjointed op-ed in Utah’s Standard-Examiner praised Shurtleff’s decision, yet still managed to take some pot shots at the game industry.
Shurtleff stated that he backed the game industry because he was “convinced” that the First Amendment protects games, a point agreed with in the op-ed:
Is it right for the government to freeze speech -- in this case the video games -- because some people are offended by the violence? The answer is no.