Continuing to show just how out of touch he is with reality, Joe Scarborough offered some silly comments about 20-somethings being lazy gamers on the Morning Joe show he co-hosts on MSNBC. His comments were his contribution to what could have been a serious conversation about how women are becoming the primary bread winners in American households and the shifting roles of gender. He did his best to derail the conversation, as usual.
New Jersey Senators Raymond Lesniak and M. Teresa Ruiz - both Democrats - have managed to push a proposal (bill S-2715) through the Senate. The bill commissions the New Jersey Department of Education to create a pamphlet that would provide information for parents about violent media. The proposal was part of Senate Democrats' gun safety plan. According to PolitikerNJ, the proposal has passed the Senate by a vote of 36-0 and is heading to the Assembly.
Government Security News offers an interesting story on a recent speech given by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who you may recall is the man associated with "Killology" and the man who often refers to first-person shooter video games as "murder simulators." No doubt emboldened by recent shootings in the United States, Grossman is probably finding it easier to spread his anti-video game message.
Vice President Joe Biden thinks that it would be perfectly okay to tax violent video games. During a recent meeting to talk about strategy for enacting the president’s proposed gun legislation, Biden said that an idea floated by Reverend Franklin Graham in late April to tax violent media might be a good idea. Participants in the session told Politico that Mr. Biden said there’s "no restriction on the ability to do that; there’s no legal reason why they couldn’t."
A recent episode of Katie Couric's syndicated talk show offers a pretty one-sided look at video game addiction, asking the question in the title: "Are Video Games to Blame for Violent Crimes?" Couric does mention that she asked the Entertainment Software Association to participate in the show or comment on its contents, but they did not respond to the request...
Three editorials offer just about every side of the New Jersey Governor's push to study and then regulate the sale of violent video games in the State. The first two are two different sides from a special dueling editorial in The Star-Ledger called "Do violent video games breed violent behavior?". The first one, "Do violent video games breed violent behavior? Yes " was written by Paul Boxer of Rutgers-Newark.
Daniel Greenberg passed along this little gem that flew under the radar earlier in the year - a resolution introduced to the Pennsylvania General Assembly (Resolution 6) that would direct the Joint State Government Commission to study "the issue of violence prevention, to establish an advisory committee to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the underlying causes of violent crime, including mass shootings, and to report to the Senate with its findings and recommendations."
While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may not let his children play Call of Duty or any other mature rated games, and even though retailers like GameStop and the ESRB work hand-in-hand to make sure his children can't even buy those games without some sort of identification to prove their age, it hasn't stopped the governor from convening a task force and proposing new laws that would require that parents give permission to buy the games children can't get their hands on.
Oblivious to a Federal Trade Commission report released this week that said that only 13 percent of under-age secret shoppers it deployed (as part of a Secret Shopper Survey program in 2012) were able to buy video games from national retailers (see the story here) New Jersey Assemblyman Sean T.
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) pounced on a New York Daily News report published on Monday about the investigation into Sandy Hook Elementary school shooter Adam Lanza. Rockefeller, who has long been a critic of video games has been pushing for a study on the impact of violent video games on children, said that most of the popular titles played in America contain “often obscene levels of violence."
Rockefeller also hinted that it might be time for something the government enjoys doing - some good old fashioned censorship:
On this week's show we talk about Congressman Frank Wolf's hearing this week to slam "violent video games," changes being made to the ESRB, the ESA's plan for a PSA campaign, the latest SimCity news, and the results of the latest GamePolitics poll. Download Episode 45 now: SuperPAC Episode 45 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 66.6 MB.
On March 19 the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the National Science Foundation and Youth Violence Research report.
Video game developer and Chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg offers a scathing rebuke to Republicans in Congress for criticizing World of Warcraft and tax payer dollars given to use the virtual world for research over at Salon today.
The Hartford Courant is reporting that lawmakers in Connecticut are set to hold a public hearing on Tuesday related to several proposed bills to deal with video game violence. A public hearing of the legislature's Children Committee is scheduled for Tuesday to decide on a bill pushed by Sen. Toni Harp (D-New Haven) that would prohibit minors from playing violent games in arcades. The hearing will also address a bill pushed by Sen.
During a panel discussion on CBS' popular Sunday political show Face the Nation, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole said that politicians rushing to blame video games for the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are misguided because the evidence does not support their theory.
"It’s my experience that video games do not cause violence," O’Toole told CBS News."However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently."
An interesting article on The Atlantic examines why sin taxes like the one proposed for video games by Connecticut State Rep. Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) never really do anything productive. You may recall that Hovey, who represents the district that includes Newtown, Connecticut, proposed a 10 percent sin tax on violent video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB.
Right Wing Watch (a web site that admittedly doesn't like the principals of conservatism or the people who push its agendas in print, online and on broadcast television) points out in this story that Glenn Beck blames the Sandy Hook School Shooting in Newton, Connecticut entirely on the shooter's consumption of violent video games. Beck made his comments on last night's show which airs on his web site.
House GOP majority leader Eric Cantor called out a study by North Carolina State University related to World of Warcraft's ability to "boosts cognitive functioning in some older adults" a waste of tax payer dollars. The study was paid for by a $1.2 million federal grant. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement released this week that this kind of spending is the cause of the country’s debt.
The mayor of Aurora, Colorado had hoped for more regulations on violent video games after the Aurora Theater shooting in July of 2012 (that saw 12 people dead and 70 injured), but it looks like he has been rebuffed by the City's Attorney, who pointed him to a widely known U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. EMA...
The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued an alert urging members of the community to let the U.S. Senate know that you think Senator Rockefeller's bill to study violent video games is a misguided mistake. Why?
Because the Senator has publicly stated that this bill and the result of it are simply a step towards government regulation of video games. The bill, S. 134, calls for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the connection between the "exposure to violent video games and video programming and harmful effects on children."
The Escapist reports that Connecticut State Representative Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) has introduced H.B. No. 5735, or "an act establishing a sales tax on certain video games." The bill would add a ten percent tax in Connecticut on video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB, which would then be redirected to the State's department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
This week's show focuses on indie developers and an excellent editorial on various bills aimed at video game violence. This week hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about an indie game that got a Canadian gentleman fired from his day job, another indie developer calling Kickstarter stretch goals "bullsh*t," and a discussion on this Popcults.com editorial. All this and the latest GamePolitics poll results await in Episode 39.
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) went to Washington D.C last week to talk to members of Congress and their staff about the connection between video games and violence, and their conclusion was that Congress does not have the best interests of the millions of gamers in America in mind. The ECA says that when they tried to talk to lawmakers about the connection between video games and real-world violence they came away from those meetings feeling like lawmakers were not interested in the facts and instead were relying on their own biases and preferences about the video games.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about SimCity's EULA fiasco, all the stupid things said about video game violence by various politicians, and the latest GamePolitics poll. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 38 (1 hour, 4 minutes) 58.4 MB.
The brutal murder of a 31-year-old woman is being attributed to the tenuous association of the killer's time playing Final Fantasy XIV. These conclusions are being drawn by two German tabloids, according to this Kotaku report. The 31-year-old woman, Katrin M. (the last names of both the victim and the killer are being withheld) was reportedly murdered by 18- or 19-year old Marco F, who stabbed the victim 18 times using a katana.