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Around the Tubes

It’s a new week. What are folks looking forward to? Also, San Diego Comic-Con is right down the road! Folks excited for one of the biggest conventions of the year?

Around the Tubes

Lawyers, Guns, Money – The Dark Knight Returns and The Zak Snyder School of Literal FilmmakingBut to really look at this, wouldn’t it be better to look at his adaptation of 300. And is it weird these are all Frank Miller comics?

Bleeding Cool – Does Superior Spider-Man Make Peter Parker Seem Pathetic?I think the article missed the point that the series is about Otto’s journey, not Peter’s.

The Motley Fool – Marvel’s Marketing Masterstroke Atones for Its “Iron Man 3” MistakeSo how did they atone? Kind of missed the ball on this one two as I had no idea it released finally.

Bleeding Cool – After Sandy Hook, Jim Carrey “Cannot Support That Level Of Violence” In Kick-Ass 2As opposed to all of the other shootings?

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

Book Burnings are Back in Fashion

CensorshipThe tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut has lead to a new round of moral panic leading to individuals to once again point their fingers at entertainment as the cause. News “experts”, politicians and people living in the affected area have all put their spin on the cause, primarily targeting video games as the main culprit.

As reminiscent to the 1950s Senate hearings, the PMRC attack on music in the 80s,  and video games previously in the 90s, we’re looking at a new round of blame in hopes of not finding the cause, but bringing about some closure and reason, no matter how incorrect that reason is.

An organization in the nearby town of Southington is doing their version of a “book burning” offering to buy back video games, DVDs and CDs deemed to be “violent.” After the collection on January 12, the media will be “snapped, tossed into a town dumpster and likely later incinerated.” Their goal is to start a conversation between parents and children about virtual violence and the burning is “just a possible outcome.”

Senator Rockefeller has stated he wants a study by the National Academy of Sciences on the affects of violent video games on individuals. The Senator ignores the fact that a study has already taken place and it, like so many other studies, concluded that there is no link. That particular study was performed by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice to the Center for Mental Health and Media to the cost of $1.5 million.

But the fact is reality and the “facts” don’t add up linking real world violence and media. In fact, looking at statistics the exact opposite is clear. When thinking through this topic and the cause of such violence keep these facts in mind:

  • Most gamers are adults, with the average player age being 30 years old and average purchaser being 35 years old.
  • In fact, the largest segment of gamers falls in the politically coveted, and increasingly vocal, 18-45 age bracket, most of who grew up playing video games.
  • The video game industry already does a great job of self regulation through the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and has been recognized as having the best enforcement for entertainment by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • If children are playing ‘M’ (for mature) rated games, they’re getting them from their parents who are present during purchasing or renting 90 percent of the time.

While video game sales have increased according to the FBI’s own statistics violent crime has been steadily decreasing.

So, sales have increased, violence has decreased, parents are involved when kids purchase or rent games and the average player’s age is 30. Time to stop blaming video games, and have a real discussion without a bad guy already picked out.

Virginia Schools Close Due to TDKR/Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory

We earlier posted up about the strange The Dark Knight Rises/Sandy Hook conspiracy/rumor/weirdness that was going on around the internet. It looks like that has gone further into more tin foil territory and have lead to the closure of a school temporarily in Narrows which is located in South West Virginia.

A post on RevelationNow.net, which has since been taken down, lead officials in Giles County, Virginia to warn parents and cancel classes on Wednesday. The article titled “The Next School Massacre Target?” prompted the closure though there was no specific threat. A Giles County Sheriff Morgan Milliron stated:

We have to take this as serious information.

A scene in the movie has Commissioner Gordon referencing a map of attack sites, one is called Sandy Hook and the other is Narrows, hence the far flung stretch and conspiracy.

sandy hook dark knight rises(via The Hollywood Reporter)

GrayHaven Comics Looks to Help Those in Need

“You are not alone.” That’s the message that the GrayHaven Comics team is getting out to the world in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook. As a response to those tragic events in Newtown, CT the comic book team is producing a FREE COMIC BOOK that can be used to help those in need. Topics will cover dangers that many children unfortunately face every day in their lives, racism, homophobia to body issues and so on.

The tragic events of December 14, when 26 innocent people, including 20 children, lost their lives, affected the GrayHaven team. This lead to a discussion between the editors as to what they could do. What could be done?

What good is having the ability to reach people with our stories if we can’t put that to use in a beneficial way?

It goes beyond the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School. It goes beyond the victims of Aurora. This is not about gun violence or gun control. This is not a political statement. This is a statement of being good to your fellow man.

The GrayHaven team thought about Brandon Elizares, a 14 year old boy who took his own life after being bullied for coming out to his friends and classmates.

It’s about Victoria Gray’s African American son who was tied to a locker at his High School as classmates taunted him with cheers of ‘slave for sale’

This is about the 11 year old developmentally challenged child who was held down on a kitchen table by four adults who took turns beating him.

This is about the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse and others like him.

This is about the children who are ridiculed or worse because of the color of their skin. Their sexual orientation. Their mental capacity. Their weight. Their interests.

This is about the children who no longer feel safe going to the movies or to school.

This is about the millions of kids who suffer abuse and suffer in silence thinking that no one cares.

The project is designed to reinforce that these children that are abused, and the many more we don’t know about know they are not alone. The GrayHaven team cares. Those involved in this project care. People care and want to help.

GrayHaven Comics will be publishing You Are Not Alone a very special anthology one shot featuring stories inspired but not based on real life events like the ones mentioned above. With this book they hope to give people the means to get help and know what to do should they ever witness or face such situations themselves. The book will be produced by their editors and distributed for FREE in order to get the message out to as many people who could benefit from it as possible. Along with print volumes they will also offer a free digital version of the book for those that prefer their reading on handhelds. A donation button will be placed on the site for anyone who wants to contribute any amount (be it a dollar or ten) and those funds will go to the charities established for the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

GrayHaven will be taking open submissions for these topics and full details will be released soon. Room will be limited and stories will be capped at 4 pages in length and editorial will guide writers and artists to make sure the material fits the criteria and is suitable for younger readers who they hope to reach with these stories. Interested writers and artists can contact them directly at gatheringanthology@hotmail.com


The Sandy Hook/Dark Knight Rises Coincidence

sandy hook dark knight risesIn a coincidence that’s too weird not to mention, there’s a connection between The Dark Knight Rises and Sandy Hook. In the scene James Gordon talks about figuring out which truck has the nuclear device a map is shown and the words Sandy Hook is clearly visible.

Unless that image is doctored, and it doesn’t appear to be, that’s an eerie coincidence.

Sandy Hook recently suffered tragedy in the form of lives take too soon due to gun violence, similar violence that marred the opening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Almost American