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Video Games and Media Don’t Cause Violence

take actionWith recent tragedies on everyone’s minds, some people are looking for a cause and culprit other than the shooters and perpetrators of the Aurora and Sandy Hook tragedies. Unfortunately some are blaming media, including video games, for violent behavior in individuals. We know this isn’t the case; banning or regulating media content even more won’t solve the issue.

As if a repeat of a television show we’ve seen before, there’s talk of more hearings and federally funded studies. Christopher J. Ferguson, the chair of the Texas A&M International University’s department of psychology and communication, among others including federally funded studies, have shown there’s no link between violent video games and real world violence like mass shooting, bullying or youth aggression. There’s no need for more federal studies, when there’s been federal studies completed. Past research has been mixed, at best, and often weakened by substantial methodological flaws.

The facts also back up no connection. While video game sales have increased, according to the FBI’s own statistics, violent crime has been steadily decreasing. In 2011, violent crimes nationwide decreased 3.8% from 2010. Since 2002, it’s decreased 15.5%. This is all during the time when games like Call of Duty and Halo have dominated sales.

CensorshipAt the same time, federal courts – including the Supreme Court – have routinely held that government regulation of media, including video games, is unconstitutional.  Funding more studies – or passing laws that then get fought out in courts – costs taxpayers millions of dollars. That’s money better spent on treating the mentally ill or shoring up and improving background checks for weapons purchases.

We’ve seen these same conversations before. In the 1950s comic books were blamed for truancy, violence and homosexuality in youth. This lead to hearings in the United States Senate. We look back on this piece of history and laugh out how ludicrous this claim was then. It’s just as ludicrous today when the conversation turns to video games and their affects.

Act Now!

The Entertainment Consumers Association has put together an easy to send email that will send a message to your Representative in the House, two Senators and President Obama. It takes less than a minute to do and adding your voice to reiterate that entertainment does NOT cause violence might help the focus turn to factors that actually do.

There’s no easy solution to prevent violence like these events. But focusing on the wrong things isn’t the answer. Make your voice heard today.

Full Disclosure: Brett Schenker is a consultant for the ECA

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day, what’s everyone getting?

Around the Blogs:

Chud – Joss Whedon Signs For The Avengers 2 -Nice.

Spinoff Online – Hulk TV Pilot Is Just Waiting For Writer, Guillermo Del Toro TeasesI want this to happen so bad.

MTV Geek – BBC To Make Documentary On Aurora Tragedy With Unfortunate Title ‘The Batman Shootings’ This seems like a horrible idea and beyond exploitative.

Bleeding Cool – Scenes Revealing Bane’s Origins Were Cut From The Dark Knight Rises -Could be interesting.

Kotaku – The Justice League Can’t Fight Their Way Out of This Terrible Video Game – Another game I don’t need to play.


Around the Tubes Reviews:

ComicVine – Archer and Armstrong #1

ICv2 – Battle Beasts #1

IGN – Gambit #1

Electronic Infatada – Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me

Comics Alliance – Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer

Poisoned Rationality – Polterguys Volume 1