Tokyo gubernatorial candidate Shigefumi Matsuzawa says that if he is elected he will ban violent video games because they create murderers. Matsuzawa banned a handful of games he found objectionable as the governor of Kanagawa, but as the governor of Tokyo he would get serious about banning violent games. Matsuzawa sees violent video games as a leading cause of youth violence.
I’m not sure what the murder rate is in Japan, or what the average age of a convicted murderers is, but I doubt there’s any scientific data to back up anything Matsuzawa says about video games. Below is a statement from Matsuzawa outlining how he feels on the subject:
Of all harmful information, the worst is that containing violence.
Games like ‘Grand Theft Auto III’ award points and allow advancement for murdering people, and there are cases of these games lowering inhibitions to killing and ultimately stimulating people to murder.
To stop this scourge spreading through the youth of Kanagawa, I reformed youth protection ordinances to ban the sale of these games.
If possible, I’d like to bring restrictions in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama into line with each other. It’s not right for us to ban these games in Kanagawa only to have youths able to buy them in Tokyo.
According to a separate report on Sankaku Complex, Japan was hit with an 8.9 magnitude earthquake that caused extensive damage to northern areas in the country, with much of the damage occurring in the northern areas of Miyagi and Fukushima, and the coastal city of Sendai especially badly hit.
Politicians like Matsuzawa should probably worry about helping the citizens of Japan in the midst of this serious natural disaster, and stop wasting time worrying about political nonsense about video games.