Internet Hub Offers Both Sides of Game Violence Debate

ProCon.org, a California-based nonprofit charity that specializes in promoting "critical thinking" by presenting both sides of compelling issues has launched a new site dedicated to the topic of video games and violence.

The hub offers an introduction to the topic, noting that “The effect of violent video games on children and teens has been debated by researchers and the media since the release of the video game Death Race in 1976.”

It then lists a variety of research and opinions on the subject, from both sides of the fence, and offeres gathered images and videos on the subject. Visitors to the site can take a survey on the subject and add their own voice to the debate. A separate debate section highlights pros and cons offered by politicians, scholars or public figures.

A 1999 quote from Bill Clinton is used on the pro (or, yes, violent games contribute to youth violence) side:

… video games like ‘Mortal Kombat,’ ‘Killer Instinct,’ and ‘Doom,’ the very game played obsessively by the two young men who ended so many lives in Littleton, make our children more active participants in simulated violence.

A Henry Jenkins quote is utilized to illustrate the con side of the argument:

According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General’s report , the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure. The moral panic over violent video games is doubly harmful.

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