IGDA Anti-Censorship Committee Chairman Talks Violent Video Games on Fox News Segment with Neil Cavuto

December 20, 2012 -

In a segment that aired during Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto's show this week, Daniel Greenberg joined in to discuss Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D-WV) bill to study the effects of violent video games on children. Greenberg is the IGDA Anti-Censorship Committee Chairman and game developer at Washington D.C.-based Media Rez.

CNN Contributor Theorizes That Video Games May Be Connected to Colorado Shooting

July 20, 2012 -

Last night 24-year-old James Holmes used four guns (a rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, according police), and tear gas to shoot, disorientate, and trap theater goers attending the opening of The Dark Knight Rising movie at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. The attack left 12 people dead and 38 59 injured. He was arrested outside the theater by police shortly thereafter.

How the Internet Helped Shape Opinions on Brown v. EMA SCOTUS Decision

July 9, 2012 -

In the old days, Supreme Court Justices had very little information to turn to outside of legal briefs presented by combatants and case law when making a ruling, but a new study by William & Mary law professor Allison Orr Larsen finds that justice are increasingly turning to information on the Internet to shore up their opinions. According to research from Larsen, there were more than 100 instances where justices used information on the Internet in their opinions.

Tales from Down Under: Parliament Calls for Enquiry on Online Pricing, Australian Christian Lobby Calls Game 'Sick'

April 30, 2012 -

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian parliament has decided that an enquiry is necessary to investigate the "imbalance in pricing" for online content and services in the country compared to other global territories.

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UK Neuroscientist Claims Games Can Cause Dementia in Children

October 14, 2011 -

Two UK tabloids - The Sun and The Daily Mail - are highlighting comments from a neuroscientist who claims that video games can cause dementia in children. Neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield told a gathering at the science centre (part of the Sherbourne Girls' School) in Dorset this week that online gaming and activities such as Facebook can "disable connections in the brain" - and in extreme circumstances - cause dementia in children. She also said that, on average, children spend around 2,000 hours a year either playing games or doing other things online.

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A Mother's 'Long-Overdue Reaction' to Brown v. EMA

September 15, 2011 -

I'm all for letters to the editor, but one written by one Tina L. Bechtel, is particularly over the top and needs to be read to be believed. The Marysville, California mother of at least one son (at least the one she mentions in her letter) delivers what she calls her "long-overdue reaction to the 'supreme sellout' of our children," referring to the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year in the Brown v. EMA case.

Research: Competitive Games Cause More Aggression Than Violent Games

August 29, 2011 -

Some early research from Brock University in Canada seems to indicate that playing highly competitive video games may lead to aggressive behavior faster than playing games with more violent content. Competitiveness, says a new study published by the American Psychological Association, may be "the main video game characteristic" that influences or causes aggression.

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Super Nanny Discusses London Riots, Blames Video Games

August 17, 2011 -

UK publication Express turns to guest columnist Jo Frost (better known as the star of the TV show Super Nanny), for answers to what caused last week's riots in London. And a good thing too, because apparently Jo has a "plan to save" those out-of-control youngsters who burned, looted, and committed acts of violence (thanks to C&VG by way of our own Magic). But first, Jo describes the riots as she saw them:

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Former Oasis Singer Blames Games for London Violence

August 15, 2011 -

Former Oasis front man and now solo artist Noel Gallagher says that video games and TV violence are to blame for the civil unrest in London.

"We live in this age of violence—and I don't care what other people say: Brutal TV and brutal videogames are a reason for this pointless violence as well," Gallagher is quoted as saying in Bang Showbiz. "The people are immune to violence, they are used to it. And if they get caught they aren't punished the right way. The prisons are already full? Then build new ones!"

13 comments | Read more

Swiss Police Association Calls for Ban of The Darkness II

August 12, 2011 -

Some police in Switzerland hate fun. A Swiss police association has called for a ban on The Darkness II because the game depicts scenes where police are shot at and killed. And in other news, police have also called for the ban of every television crime drama ever made in the entire world.

"Politicians, game producers and sellers have been advised that such games be immediately removed from circulation," read a statement from the Swiss Christian Police Association."

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ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

July 25, 2011 -

The Australian Christian Lobby has called for games to be banned if they contain violence that is "excessive or gratuitous." The call came as the world digests the bizarre rambling of a 1500-page manifesto written by Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik and released online shortly before he killed 76 people in and around Oslo, Norway.

The Australian federal government said yesterday that Breivik committed his crimes because there is "something clearly intrinsically wrong with him", not because he played violent video games.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge did say that Modern Warfare 2 should be reviewed to have a more restrictive R18+ rating in the country. It is currently rated MA15+.

18 comments | Read more

Delta Kappa Gamma Society Leader Encourages B.C. Video Game Ban

July 19, 2011 -

An open letter by Mrs. O. Babiuk of New Westminster, British Columbia - written on behalf of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International - urges (with dramatic flair) Premier Christy Clark to "keep sexually explicit video games away from kids." The letter appeared this week in the Royal City Record newspaper. The group she represents is a professional honorary Society devoted to women educators in British Columbia. In her letter Babiuk asks Clark to take steps to limit the availability of violent and sexually explicit video games as part of the premier's "caring for children and families initiatives."

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NBC's Today Show Calls 40-Year-Old Gamers 'Weird'

July 12, 2011 -

NBC's Today Show featured a segment this morning called "The Other View: Getting A Guy's Perspective On Love." Along with hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, TV personality Donny Deutsch was asked to address several questions about relationships from a man's perspective. Deutsch is the host of the relationship show "The Big Idea" where he doles out advice to men and women on a variety of topics.

But the most important part of the segment, and relevant to our readership, is Deutsch's answer to the question: "Is it normal for men to play games in their 40s?"

According to the male equivalent of Dear Abby, "When you're 30, there should be something more on your mind than video games, that's it," Deutsch said.

The hosts agreed, calling it "weird."

22 comments | Read more

Denver Archbishop Calls SCOTUS Decision 'Wrong'

July 5, 2011 -

In a July 1 opinion piece in First Things, Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote that the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the California video game violence law (Brown v. EMA) is "wrong," and will add "poison" the country's future.

Chaput also wrote that the court's ruling "extends and elevates the individual’s right to free expression – or in this case, a corporation’s right to make a healthy profit - at the expense of family sovereignty, the natural rights of parents and the intent of the Constitution’s authors."

Chaput went on to write that the ruling overlooked the government's duty to protect "human dignity and the common good."

"A law which respects mothers and fathers trying to make good choices for their family does just that," he wrote.

45 comments | Read more

Yee Vows to Fight on Despite SCOTUS Decision

June 27, 2011 -

While Leland Yee maybe disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Brown v. EMA, he says that he isn't done with the fight against violent videogames, according to multiple reports. One story from ABC station KGO and another from newspaper The San Francisco Appeal report says that Yee was heartened by the dissenting opinions of Thomas and Breyer, and that comments from Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito have left the door open for future legislation.

"Even with the existing court, there may be, if we craft the bill differently, there may be a basis for trying to get another hearing within the Supreme Court on this critical matter," Yee said.

46 comments | Read more

UK Labour MP Keith Vaz Continues Anti-Game Agenda

May 20, 2011 -

An Early Day Motion tabled by UK Labour MP Keith Vaz, an outspoken critic of video games, has managed to garner 11 signatures. The Early Day Motion calls for better control of video game sales to customers under the age of 18, and encourages parents to limit the screen time of children. Eight signatures are from Labour MPs, with one from the Liberal Democrats, one from the Conservatives and another from the DUP. The petition was tabled last Friday, May 13th.

Develop points out that these signatories have basically agreed that video games are addictive, and that game playing should be combined with a variety of extra-curricular activities (preferably outdoors) to ensure that "children flourish." The motion also highlights the "Hungarian EU Presidency priority of protecting minors from harmful audiovisual media content in media legislation.”

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Parent Angry over Adoption Joke in Portal 2

May 18, 2011 -

A North Carolina father has gotten his 5 - 10 minutes of fame by complaining about adoption jokes in Portal 2. Charlotte news channel WBTV indulges the complaining parent in a story that goes out of its way to malign one of the best games of 2011. According to the report, Neal Stapel was playing Portal 2 with his adopted daughter and enjoying it until jokes started to fly about one of the characters being adopted. Stapel found himself utterly offended. None of the other jokes and occasionally crude humor bothered him, apparently.

"It throws the question, the most ultimate question that that child is ever gonna have for you and it just throws it right in your living room," he said. "It says it's rated "E" for everybody and I'm thinking maybe it's rated "E" for everybody except for orphans."

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Massachusetts Town Will Vote to Undo 29 Year Old Ban of Public Video Games

April 25, 2011 -

In 1982 the south coastal Massachusetts town of Marshfield banned arcade games in public businesses. The town wanted to maintain the town's image as an authentic "Massachusetts seaside" destination. Though the fight went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the town prevailed and the ban has remained for 29 years. Now a new effort hopes to let the residents of the town overturn that decision and allow games in businesses that want them. At the time the ban was passed, parents were worried about the effects of coin-operated Donkey Kong and Pac-Man on their children.

"People wanna come in, it's another form of entertainment," Stephen Drosopoulos, owner of the Venus II Restaurant. "(They) wanna come in, have a couple drinks, play some video games in the bar."

But some residents are holding on to the ban, saying that it will change the image of the town:

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Gamers' Voice Files Complaint With Channel 5 Over Anti-Game Segment

April 18, 2011 -

UK game player advocacy group Gamers' Voice has filed a formal complaint with Channel 5 over an episode of The Wright Stuff in which violent video games were the topic of discussion. During the show playing violent video games were linked to the shooting of Agnes Sina-Inakoju by Leon Dunkley and Mohammed Smoured. The two have already been convicted for the crime. The pair are members of the London Fields gang, who were responsible for a number of violent acts including the stabbing of 14 year old Shaquille Smith in 2009.

During the show, the host and panel members discussed whether violent games were a significant factor in the boys' behavior. Anne Diamond, who is known for anti-video game rhetoric, was one of those panelists. The show also aired footage of 18-rated Modern Warfare 2's infamous "No Russian" level.

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Pennsylvania State Rep. Warns Parents About School Shooter 'Game'

April 8, 2011 -

Pennsylvania State representative Lawrence Curry (D- Montgomery/Philadelphia County) is warning parents about " a violent video game" called School Shooter: World Tour 2012. He apparently doesn't know that it's a modification for Half-Life 2, or that it will be free to download if its creators actually ever finish it, but we won't split hairs.

"The game is modeled after the Columbine incident, or Northern Illinois or the Virginia episode. It is a real concern to me," said Curry to News station CBS 21.

"I think it's definitely in poor taste," adds Dr. Kathleen Doherty, the chair of psychology at Harrisburg Area Community College.

She tells them during the interview that she believes all the studies she has seen that link violent media to aggressive behavior in children.

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Study: Violent Game Players Less Sympathetic to Others

April 5, 2011 -

A new study from Simmons College researchers comes to the conclusion that children exposed to more violent games for longer periods of time are less able to sympathize with others. The new study published in the Journal of Children and Media surveyed 166 Boston, MA and southern New Hampshire schoolchildren. The study was overseen by Simmons College professors Edward T. Vieira and Marina Krcmar. They examined the relationship between violent games and kids' attitudes toward violence.

The duo surveyed children age 7-15 about their favorite games, how many hours a week they played, and questions to gauge their ability to sympathize with others, to see things from another person's perspective, and whether they saw violence as an appropriate response in situations where it would be deemed justified or unjustified. The favorite "violent games" included Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Counter Strike, Mortal Kombat: Deception, and World of Warcraft.

Schwarzenegger Confirms Stan Lee Project

April 4, 2011 -

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is only anti-game when it suits him apparently. Even as the Supreme Court deliberates over the validity of the 2005 anti-gaming law, Schwarzenegger confirms that Stan Lee is making a comic book that will inevitably be made into a video game. The comic book will be called "The Governator" and will be written by the legendary comic book icon Stan Lee. The comic book follows the exploits of a governor who leads by day and fights crime by night as a costumed super hero.

"First will come comic books, then a TV series and after that we will develop the games and then a movie," Schwarzenegger said at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend. "Maybe then we'll be back in Cannes for that."

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Wyoming Valley Counselor Disturbed by School Shooter Mod

March 31, 2011 -

The Times Leader reports on a drug and alcohol counselor who is agitated over the Half-Life 2 mod, School Shooter: North American Tour 2012. The CEO of Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services wants parents, teachers, school administrators to be aware of its existence and the possibility that it might be "available soon."

Showing that he doesn't understand the concept of a mod or that it is being developed online and to be given away for free, Ambrosino said he has warned the superintendents of area schools, federal and state legislators, as well as major retailers such as Kmart, Walmart and Target about the game.

16 comments | Read more

Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Talk Ratings, Censorship

March 29, 2011 -

The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab is hosting a series of video talks that explores everything from ratings systems in Europe and North America to game censorship. The first in the series, available now, is called "Blood, Sex, and Politics in Video Games: How Censorship Is Done (or Not): "'Die!' Censoring Game Violence." Below is the tease from the GAMBIT Game Lab site:

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Ghana Game Centers Could Face Government Regulation

March 22, 2011 -

ModernGhana.com reports that the government of Sunyani, a municipality in the African nation of Ghana, may pass strict laws on video game centers. Last week the 15-member Brong-Ahafo Regional multi-sectoral Child Right Committee expressed its concerns about an uptick in "commercial video game centres in the Sunyani Municipality." The committee appealed the Municipal Assembly to work with other institutions within the government to enact some sort of by-laws governing these businesses.

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Jack Thompson Threatens Valve over School Shooting Mod

March 17, 2011 -

We have to write a story about Jack Thompson today. The anti-video game firebrand and former Florida attorney fired off a letter to Valve Software threatening to do something (we're not sure what he is threatening to do because he hasn't indicated the consequences in his letter to Valve's CEO) if the company doesn't do something about the Half-Life 2 mod, "School Shooter: North American Tour 2012."

Before we get into what Valve can actually do about a mod it has nothing to do with, here is Thompson's letter:

ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

March 17, 2011 -

Responding to public comments from Australian Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor about the desire to have a consensus about an R18+ game classification at July's SCAG meeting, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has come out swinging. The ACL issued a statement saying that the ban on games that require a classification higher than the current rating of R15 should continue as it is.

First, let's look at what Brendan O'Connor said to ABC Australia:

10 comments | Read more

Reminder: Commonwealth Club Video Game Debate March 17

March 15, 2011 -

Just a friendly reminder that the Commonwealth Club will host a panel featuring California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco); George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard; and Michael McConnell, the Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The trio will debate whether playing violent video games leads to violence in the real world. They will also discuss at length AB 1179, the notorious anti-game legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2005 but never put into effect because of a court-ordered injunction. Now the case is before the Supreme Court.

The debate will take place this Thursday (March 17) at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco () at 6:00 PM local time. More information from the Commonwealth Club follows:

3 comments | Read more

Mortal Kombat Classification Appeal Rejected in Australia

March 15, 2011 -

No Mortal Kombat for you, Australia. An appeal by publisher Warner Bros. Interactive to overturn an earlier decision by Australia's Classification Review Board to deny classification has also been denied. That means that the forthcoming Mortal Kombat reboot has been permanently refused classification in Australia, banning the title from official retail release. In an official statement, Warner Bros. Interactive praised fans in Australia and expressed disappointment in the classification board's decision:

"We're obviously extremely disappointed that the refused classification decision has been upheld by the Classification Review Board. We want to thank the thousands of Mortal Kombat fans in Australia and around the world who have voiced their support during the appeal process."

Mortal Kombat's  reboot will still arrive next month in other territories so you can expect fans that want the game bad enough will simply import it from those regions.

8 comments | Read more

Tokyo Gubernatorial Candidate Promises to Ban Games

March 11, 2011 -

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:

17 comments | Read more

 
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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
 

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