Okay, this is beyond absurd. Why are video games still being blamed for violent behavior?
It's not like video games are a new medium; they've been around for decades. It's not like it's a niche activity either; playing video games is a very common and normal part of most people's lives. And it's not like there's any evidence to support the idea that playing video games cause people to act violently so why, for the love the Linux penguin, are video games still suffering that stigma?
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.
California Governor Jerry Brown (D) is a strange bird sometimes. He, representing the state's view as Attorney General, put his name on a lawsuit (Brown v. EMA) defending a 2005 law written by State Senator Leland Yee that sought to prohibit minors from buying Mature rated games. That case went to the Supreme Court and was eventually struck down as unconstitutional. The state ultimately was forced to pay the legal fees of the Entertainment Software Association - the trade group representing the video games industry in the United States - in 2011.
On Episode 69 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the "unique nature" of Valve Software's "family sharing program" for Steam, Fox News and Dr. Keith Ablow making a concerted effort on connecting video game violence with real-world violence, and a whole lot more. Download Episode 69 now: SuperPAC Episode 69 (1 hour, 1 minute) 28 MB.
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.
The former White House "video game czar" (official title: senior policy analyst for the White House Office of Science and Technology) Constance Steinkuehler tells the Christian Science Monitor that the discussion about Grand Theft Auto's part in yesterday's shooting involving an 8-year-old in Louisiana is simply bait for pageviews and viewership because there's no research to support such claims.
In the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Star-Ledger newspaper, IGDA chair of the Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg says that New Jersey lawmakers are "playing games with truth." He is referring to bill S2715, which mandates that public schools in New Jersey through the state Department of Education spread disinformation about video games to parents.
Oklahoma-based indie developer E. Zachary Knight and a number of other Oklahoma-based game developers have signed onto a letter asking Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) to oppose Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D) Violent Content Research Act of 2013 (S. 134). The letter, which was sent to his office today, urges Sen. Coburn to oppose the bill on the grounds that it is wasteful spending - a topic he has been all too vocal about in the past.
Update: The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued a prepared statement this evening applauding more research, though the group said that it hopes it will be objective scientific research. The trade group representing the video games industry in the United States also said that it looked forward to having an open dialog with Chairman Rockefeller and members of the Committee on this issue.
The IGDA and its New Jersey Chapter have written a letter to Governor Chris Christie (R) strongly encouraging him to veto S2715 - or as the group calls it, "the New Jersey Video Game Disinformation law." The IGDA urges Gov. Christie to veto the law because it provides "false and misleading information to the people of New Jersey" and because it could expose the state to lawsuits "if the state fails to propagate a full and accurate assessment of the research into video games."
As it often likes to do, the UK paper the Daily Mail tries to pin the death of a 16-year-old on "too much excitement" while playing a Sonic the Hedgehog game on his "Xbox."
Andrew Eisen's latest video commemorates the recent anniversary of Brown v. EMA, with a pacifist play through of Postal 2. While Andrew rattles off facts about the case that overturned a silly law written by Leland Yee, we are subjected to more brown textures than most of us can handle.
Check out the video to your left. If you don't subscribe to Andrew's videos, you can do so at his YouTube channel.
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.
A new 13-page report by Media Coalition called "Only a Game: Why Censoring New Media Won’t Stop Gun Violence," concludes that the idea that media (video games, movies, etc.) causes people to kill is based on flawed research, and those who support it ignore the growing body of evidence to the contrary.
The goal of the report is to educate the public and in response to politicians and interest groups that continue to lay the blame at the feet of popular media related to recent tragic shooting incidents.
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.
In a "Friday Follow-Up" segment that aired on her show, Katie Couric admitted that her recent show on video game violence that featured a "who's who" of anti-video game voices was one-sided. The show, "Are Video Games Ruining Your Life?" aired on April 29 and featured Daniel Petric, who cited video games as being a "catalyst" for shooting and killing his mother on October 20, 2007. It also featured Dr.
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.
The murder trial of Chris Harris from Arminton, Illinois began earlier this month in Peoria, Illinois. Harris is accused of murdering Rick and Ruth Gee and three of their children with a tire iron in the family’s Beason home in late September 2009. One of the children, a three-year-old girl, survived the attack. Prosecutors laid out what happened after brothers Chris and Jason Harris, intoxicated from a night of drinking and doing cocaine visited the Gee home in search of marijuana.
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."