Responding to a bill proposed by New Jersey state Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) that would ban "mature" rated games from use in public spaces, Christopher Ferguson, a Professor of psychology at Texas A&M, told NBC that the bill is a typical waste of taxpayer money that capitalizes on a national tragedy to support a war against culture.
New Jersey State Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) plans to introduce legislation to ban violent video games in public places. The Assemblywoman has proposed a law that would ban all "M" rated and "Adults Only" games from public places such as amusement parks, movie theaters, bowling allies, retail stories and other public places. It is a move similar to what the Massachusetts Department of Transportation did on its thruways earlier this year.
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.
A new study by Iowa State researchers claims that (wait for it) there is a "strong connection" between playing violent video games and youth violence and delinquency. Backed by the usual suspects at the university that continues to publish studies saying that video games are basically responsible for everything wrong with children today, this particular study was conducted by Matt DeLisi, a professor of sociology at the university.
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:
Last week you told you about a one-sided hearing being put on by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) today to discuss the recent report created by National Science Foundation's director Subra Suresh and Dr. Brad J. Bushman about violent video games and real world violence like the horrific tragedy that occurred in Newtown late last year.
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.
A new study from Brad Bushman of Ohio State University comes to the conclusion that some players of violent video games are led there out of a sense of frustration because they cannot engage in taboo behaviors in the real world such as stealing or cheating. Don't worry, the latest Bushman study will connect this to aggression, violent video games, and a negative effect of some kind... The temptation to steal or cheat is sometimes great — especially when the risk of being caught is low.
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."
As Republicans and Democrats publically spar over sequestration, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to throw "wasteful spending" into the mix by mentioning research on smoking machines, a free cell phone program, and even the use of video games for research on the elderly into the national conversation (here is a great explanation of what 'sequester' means, if you are interested).
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.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund points out a new two-part report produced by the Hartford Courant and PBS that reveals how video games continue to be part of the ongoing narrative of the police investigation into the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that occurred in Newtown Connecticut in December of last year.
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:
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.
Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) defended the call for more research related to the alleged effects of violent media on the youth of America as it relates to gun violence. Both Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress have been quick to pounce on violent media and gun control as issues that need to be addressed in the wake of the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Taking aim at Lamar Alexander's (R-Tenn.) seat in the United States Senate in the 2014 election, U.S. Senatorial candidate (D-Tenn.) Larry Crim says that the Senators recent comments about video games are just a political game to avoid tough questions. Crim, who filed federal papers this morning to oppose Alexander in 2014, was referring to the Senator's recent comments on MSNBC when he told Chuck Todd that "video games are a bigger problem than guns because video games affect people."
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.
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."
The Escapist reports that Connecticut State Representative Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) has introduced H.B. No. 5735, or "an act establishing a sales tax on certain video games." The bill would add a ten percent tax in Connecticut on video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB, which would then be redirected to the State's department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
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.
Earlier this month we reported that the Massechusetts Department of Transportation pulled arcade shooting games from Mass Turnpike rest stops after a single complaint from a Newtown, Connecticut family including such titles as Time Crisis and Beach Head 2000.
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.
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) went to Washington D.C last week to talk to members of Congress and their staff about the connection between video games and violence, and their conclusion was that Congress does not have the best interests of the millions of gamers in America in mind. The ECA says that when they tried to talk to lawmakers about the connection between video games and real-world violence they came away from those meetings feeling like lawmakers were not interested in the facts and instead were relying on their own biases and preferences about the video games.