Violent games

Ralph Nader calls violent video games "electronic child molesters." Seriously.

Phil Savage at

Wow. The continued demonisation of violent games following the shooting at Newtown, CT is to be sadly expected. But there's political bluster, and whatever agenda lies behind it, and then there's Ralph Nader's recent comments to Politico.

In an extremely rant-filled interview about Obama's then impending inauguration speech, the activist and two-time Green Party presidential candidate said, "We are in the peak of [violence in entertainment]. Television program violence? Unbelievable. Video game violence? Unprecedented."

U.S. wants to spend $10 million investigating possible gun violence causes, including games

T.J. Hafer at

In the wake of tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting, the U.S. government is taking a closer look at, among other things, the causes of violent behavior. Vice President Joe Biden recently met with game developers to discuss the issue of a potential link between violent games and antisocial or criminal behavior. Today, Reuters reports that the Obama administration is looking to set aside $10 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to "study the root causes of gun violence, including any relationship to video games and media images."

Missouri Representative proposes tax on "violent" video games

Phil Savage at

A Representative of Missouri, Republican Diane Franklin of Camdenton, is calling for a sales tax on violent video games following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. "Violent," in this instance, really doesn't mean what you think it does. From the proposed bill: "the term 'violent video game' means a video or computer game that has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only"

Connecticut town plans to collect and destroy violent games

Phil Savage at

Set your eyes to maximum roll. Polygon reports that Southington, CT, a small town around 30 miles from the site of the Newtown massacre, is organising a "Violent Video Games Return Program". Despite the name, the drive will be collecting violent games, DVDs and CDs, which will then be destroyed, most likely through incineration. Of course, there's no mention of books being collected. Only crazy people burn books.

Violence and videogames: we look at the studies cited in the aftermath of Sandy Hook

Phil Savage at

In the wake of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week, it's understandable that people would look to place blame. Many in the media have been quick to suggest a link between shooter Adam Lanza's interest in videogames and the violence he perpetrated. Does the evidence support their claims? My research suggests not.

I've taken a look at the reports videogame-detractors have referenced, and talked to the author of an oft-cited study about the conclusions being drawn from his work. If video games do cause increased aggression, then it's not supported by the data available, and to suggest otherwise is to misrepresent the prevailing scientific opinion.

Violent games "may help reduce stress"

Jaz McDougall at

According to the Texas A&M International University's news feed, "Young adults who play violent video games long-term handle stress better than non-playing adults and become less depressed and less hostile following a stressful task."