Researcher Chris Ferguson Offers Olive Branch to Mass. State Sen. William Brownsberger Concerning Video Game Research Bill

In an excellent editorial concerning video games and the moral panic that ensued after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012, Christopher Ferguson Ph.D. (and an associate professor and chair of the department of psychology at Stetson University) said that he would be willing to work with Massachusetts state Sen. William Brownsberger, the sponsor of Senate Bill 168. Senate Bill 168 would commission a study on violent video games, though the language used in the bill gives a good indication that the results would probably be slanted in favor of the author's view that video games help train people to be "killers."

In his editorial Ferguson says that he has spoken with Sen. Brownsberger, and though he doesn't agree with the language of his bill he does find him to be a refreshingly articulate, candid, and even reasonable person. Its because of this good impression that Ferguson, who has done his fair share of research on video games, offers the following olive branch:

"This bill remains problematic, but I’d be happy to work with Sen. Brownsberger on something less focused on worrying about non-existent links between VVG and societal violence, and perhaps something more akin to a calm educational campaign on the existing ratings systems, controls, and opportunities for parents to become more involved in their children’s media lives."

We can only hope that Sen. Brownsberger would take that olive branch and in turn do something useful and constructive with Massachusetts' residence tax dollars.

You can read the entire editorial from Ferguson here. It's well worth the time.

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