Video Games: The Latest Scapegoat

February 18, 2013
By

(Source: Kotaku)

Within hours of the Newtown shootings, video games were targeted as a cause of the violence. It wasn’t the first time video games were blamed, and we don’t expect it to be the last. Much like the arguments against comics in the 1950s, much of the “evidence” against video games is specious. Let’s take a look at the heated argument that’s taken place in the latest attempt to scapegoat popular entertainment:

New Legislation Mandates Investigation of Video Games and Violent Behavior

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D – WV), has introduced a bill mandating that the National Academy of Sciences investigate the effect of violent video games on children. Rockefeller’s bill was ultimately killed by the end of the Congressional session, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be back. more…

Evidence Does Not Support Link Between Video Games and Violent Crime

Max Fisher with The Washington Post examined crime data for the 10 countries that spend the greatest amount on video games. Of the 10 countries examined, the United States was actually an outlier data point that did not follow the general trend of slightly decreasing violence with more video game play. more…

Connecticut Town To Destroy Video Games And Violent Media

A community organization in Southington, Connecticut, announced a buyback program to collect video games, DVDs, and CDs deemed to be violent, and the media will be “snapped, tossed into a town dumpster and likely later incinerated.” The community ultimately cancelled the event. more…

Vice President to Meet with Entertainment Execs About “Culture of Violence”

Vice President Joe Biden invited the leaders of various entertainment and video game businesses to Washington DC to address concerns over violent media. Many sources concluded that the Vice President’s meetings didn’t amount to much but President Obama still recommended more research in his recommendations to curb gun violence, and a congressional task force made the same recommendation. more…

KOTAKU Takes a Look at 25 Years of Research on Violent Video Games

In the wake of President Obama’s directive to the CDC, Jason Schreier with Kotaku took a balanced look at 25 years of research on video game play. He reviewed dozens of studies and journal articles from 1984, finding no direct link between video games and violence. more…

Light-gun Games Too Dangerous for Massachusetts Rest Stops

After the parents of a 12-year-old boy complained, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation removed arcade games that utilize light guns from state-run rest stops. The National Coalition Against Censorship wrote a letter to Masacchussetts authorities defending the games. more…

Senator Claims Video Games Are “Bigger Problem” Than Guns

The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings regarding gun violence and during a day of heated commentary, the most ridiculous statement came from Senator Lamar Alexander (R-KY), who told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that violent video games are a “bigger problem” than guns are. Senator Charles Grassley also blamed video games for violent behavior. more…

CBLDF Signs Letter Protesting Video Game Ban in NJ Library

NCAC sent a letter to the Paterson Free Public Library in Paterson, New Jersey, to protest a policy that bans the playing of certain video games, in particular first-person shooters, on library computers. CBLDF is one of the organizations that signed the letter. more…

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi Defends Video Games

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was not taken in by the anti-video game rhetoric and defended video games when Fox News host Chris Wallace falsely asserted that more research on video games is not needed because the link to violent behavior is obvious. more…

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