UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed by Indiana University Research

December 2, 2011 -

Leicester East MP (United Kingdom) Keith Vaz is at it again, now buoyed by research released last week that found that violent video games change the brain in young adult males. The MP has called for a debate on the harmful effect of violent games just as parents are considering buying them as presents for their children during the holiday shopping season.

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Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says Violent Games Change Brain

November 28, 2011 -

According to a press release issued this morning by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), new research shows that violent video games alter the brain functions in young men. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze the long-term effects of violent video game play on the brain, researchers found that changes in brain regions associated with cognitive function and emotional control in young adult men occur after one week of game play. The results of this study were presented at the annual meeting of the RSNA.

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Dr. Lawrence Kutner on the Myths about Youth Violence and Violent Video Games

November 15, 2011 -

The Huffington Post serves up a video of Dr. Lawrence Kutner discussing what he calls the myths about violent video games and his research on the links between video game violence and youth violence.

Kutner is nationally recognized clinical psychologist who trained at the Mayo Clinic and teaches at Harvard Medical school, where he's co-founder and co-director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media. He's also the president of Health Communication Consultants, Inc.

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Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

October 31, 2011 -

New research from the University of Queensland suggests that playing violent video games leads to players seeing themselves and their opponents as "lacking core human qualities" such as warmth, open-mindedness, and intelligence. The research, conducted by Dr. Brock Bastian from UQ's School of Psychology, was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

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Research: Aggressive Children Enjoy Violent Games

October 24, 2011 -

A new study conducted by academics from two German universities says that "aggressive children" ages 8 - 12 years-old have a preference for violent video games.

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Study Author to Discuss Findings on Time-Use Effects and Violent Games

October 20, 2011 -

University of Texas at Arlington economics associate professor Michael Ward will explain his findings about violence and video game usage in detail at 3 p.m. Friday (Oct. 21) in Business Building Room 609 as part of the Kuemmerlein Workshop Series at the university. Ward worked with A. Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Benjamin Engelstatter of the Center for European Economic Research’s Information and Communication Technologies Research Group to study the effects of playing video games as it relates to violent crimes.

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Study: Violent Games are 'Emotionally Desensitizing'

October 13, 2011 -

Violent games are "emotionally desensitizing" according to new research from the University of Bonn (Bonn, Germany). Researchers from the University found that brain activity patterns in "heavy" game players differed from those of non-gamers. The study's results have been published in the scientific journal Biological Psychology.

Researchers - psychologists, epileptologists and neurologists - from the University of Bonn studied the effect of first-person game images and other "emotionally charged" photos on the brain activity of heavy gamers.

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Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy Book Released

September 7, 2011 -

Mike Langlois psychotherapist, educator, and proprietor of the excellent blog "Gamer Therapist," criticizes the prevailing attitude of mental health professionals that video game usage is a root cause of bad behavior in his new book, "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy." Langlois, a Teaching Associate in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, discusses the disdain for gamers and the video games they love that many therapists and mental health professionals have.

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Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in Games, Life

August 31, 2011 -

According to a study that will be printed in the September issue of Psychological Science, breast-feeding moms are more aggressive than moms who use formula. You may be wondering why a study about breast feeding moms might matter to you, and the reason it does is because of what researchers used to test these aggression levels. The researchers' hypothesis was that mothers display a higher level of aggressiveness while breast feeding.

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Research: Video Games Help Reduce Crime Rates in U.S.

August 23, 2011 -

Video games help reduce crime rates in the United States, according to new research conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, the Baylor University and the University of Texas at Arlington. According to research video games reduce crime rates because they keep "potential criminal offenders" busy using their computers or gaming consoles. The study analyzed the effect of both violent and non-violent video games on the number of violent and non-violent crimes in the United States.

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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!"

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UFC Personal Trainer and Blurring the Lines on Violent Video Games

August 4, 2011 -

Is using a Kinect martial-arts simulator like UFC Personal Trainer like practicing martial arts or like playing a videogame? The answer is neither, according to a guest editorial on Wired's Game|Life written by Paul Ballas, a Philadelphia-area child psychiatrist. Ballas's editorial, "UFC Trainer Is Helpfully Violent," comes to the conclusion that, while UFC Personal Trainer is based on a violent fighting franchise, it could also have positive effects on kids' health.

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Playing Columbine Now Available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video

May 31, 2011 -

Playing Columbine is now available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and soon will be available via Netflix. The documentary chronicles the controversy surrounding the making of Super Columbine Massacre, a game that let players jump into the boots of the Columbine killers. The game was downloaded more than a half a million times and caught the attention of the mainstream media who strongly condemned it as wrong and as a "murder simulator." Here's an excerpt from the film's about page":

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Study: Violent Video Game Players are More Aggressive, Desensitized

May 26, 2011 -

A new University of Missouri study found that the brains of violent video game players became less responsive to violence, which in turn diminished brain response to violence.

"Many researchers have believed that becoming desensitized to violence leads to increased human aggression. Until our study, however, this causal association had never been demonstrated experimentally," said Bruce Bartholow, associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science.

Seventy young adults were randomly assigned to play a non-violent or violent video game for 25 minutes. Immediately following the game time, researchers measured brain responses as participants viewed a series of neutral photos. Next, players competed against an opponent in a task that allowed them to give their opponent a controllable blast of loud noise. The level of that noise blast the participants set for their opponent was the measure of aggression, according to researchers.

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Amnesty International Releases Bulletproof iOS Game

April 20, 2011 -

The French chapter of International human rights organization Amnesty International has released an iOS game called Bulletproof. The goal of the game is to raise awareness about human rights violations around the world and to raise money for the organization. The game, playable on iPhone and iPad, cost a mere 0.99 cents. The group celebrates 50 years of fighting for human rights around the world. It's hard to hate on Amnesty International, unless you're a maniacal dictator that jails and tortures people..

The game was created by Mobigame and is sponsored by French ad agency La Chose. In Bulletproof, players tap the touch screen to stop bullets from a firing squad trying to execute a condemned man. While the design sounds simple, the message is powerful. You can send a powerful message by buying it and supporting the organization. You can buy it here.

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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.

Commonwealth Club Video Game Debate Footage

March 18, 2011 -
Watch live streaming video from commonwealthclub at livestream.com

Last night in San Francisco, the Commonwealth Club hosted a debate on violent video games featuring George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard, and James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. Today we have a video of the action. John Diaz, editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, acted as the moderator.

The most interesting comments to come out of the debate? No one on the panel believes that the Supreme Court will find in favor of the 2005 ant-video game law written by State Senator Leland Yee. Check out the video to your left.

8 comments

Lorne Lanning and Spencer Halpin Headline New Media Film Festival

March 16, 2011 -

Lorne Lanning (Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey), and Spencer Halpin (director of the documentary MORAL KOMBAT) will be joining founder/director Susan Johnston for the second Annual New Media Film Festival, to be held May 20-21. Showcasing the best in new media and featuring award nominated and winning filmmakers, the New Media Film Festival is dedicated to the creation, development, and distribution of new media content in all forms and across all platforms.

Spencer Halpin's Moral Kombat is a documentary that offers both those for and against video games a chance to speak their minds. The documentary explores whether violent games should be banned or be protected as free speech under the First Amendment. Lorne Lanning is the creator of the Xbox launch title Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey and co-founder of the video game development company Oddworld Inhabitants.

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Study: Video Games May Help Soldiers Fight Combat Related Nightmares

March 11, 2011 -

The results of a new survey reveal that video games help keep nightmares away. According to an online survey of 98 military personnel, regularly playing games that involve war and combat like Call of Duty help to decrease the level of "harm and aggression" dreamers feel when they are dreaming about war. Of those surveyed, soldiers who did not play games reported having more violent dreams combined with feelings of helplessness. The survey was conducted by Jayne Gackenbach of Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada. She presented some of her findings at the Game Developers Conference earlier this month.

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UK Therapist Compares Gaming to Drug Addiction, Alcoholism

March 10, 2011 -

A Lancashire, UK-based therapist named Steve Pope has jumped the shark as far as ludicrous statements go related to video games. Speaking to BBC Radio 5Live in an interview last night, Pope said that "spending two hours on a game station is equivalent to taking a line of cocaine in the high it produces in the brain."

What?! Oh, there's more:

"We're now onto second generation game station players who have always grown up with it," he continued. "Computer game addiction can also spiral into violence as after playing violent games, they may turn their fantasy games into reality."

It's a shame that Pope has no scientific data to back up his ludicrous claims that games are like cocaine and that gamers act out the violence they experience in their games in real life.

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Epic's Mike Capps on How Fox News Affected Bulletstorm Sales

March 8, 2011 -

Epic Games' president Mike Capps is delighted with the early success of Bulletstorm, saying that the game sold out its first run at "one major retailer."

"We got a reorder on day one from one of the big U.S. retailers that focuses on games," said Capps. "So that was a pretty good feeling."

We would assume he did not want to say "GameStop" for some reason. Capps went on to say that launching a brand new IP is one of the most challenging aspects of developing a game:

"[Launching a new IP] is really hard. I read something that less than 1% of console games this generation launched as new IP sold a million units,” he added. “So if you don't sell a million units you lost money, basically. I'm pretty confident we'll be on the good side of that [1 million] number. I'd rather sell Gears-type numbers that'd be fantastic."

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Saudi Man Accused of Targeting Former President Pegged as a 'Gamer'

February 26, 2011 -

A Saudi national who was arrested for plotting to "blow up" former President George W. Bush's Texas home and other targets in America has been connected ever so slightly to violent video games - particularly the Resident Evil series from Capcom. The 20-year-old chemical engineering student at Lubbock's South Plains College, described by authorities as a "jihadist" plead not guilty to charges last Wednesday in a Texas federal court. The charge was attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. According to an affidavit in the Northern District of Texas, Aldawarsi, who was came to the US in 2008 on a student visa, had allegedly researched how to make a chemical-based, improvised explosive device (IED) online.

The New York Post reports that enjoyed watching game videos from five titles in the Resident Evil series on YouTube - information the paper found while sifting through his blog.

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Vietnam: No Online Gaming after 10 PM, says Government

February 22, 2011 -

The Vietnamese government instituted an online curfew and has ordered service providers and Internet café owners to block online game access after 10:00 PM. The Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communication has told all ISPs operating in the country to block access to online games from 10 PM to 8 AM. The government has given ISPs and cafes a deadline of March 3 for the ban to be implemented. Those who do not comply can expect to face some serious fines or be put of business.

"Provincial departments of information and communication will inspect on-line games activities nationwide and deal with organizations that violate regulations by cancelling their services," said minister Le Nam Thang.

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Mexican Congressman Wants Call of Juarez: The Cartel Banned

February 21, 2011 -

According to several published reports this morning a legislator in the Mexican state of Chihuahua is trying to ban the sale of Call of Juarez: The Cartel. Ricardo Boone Salmon, a congressional representative for Chihuahua State, is urging the Secretariat of Governance and the Secretariat of Economy to block the sale of Ubisoft's upcoming action game.

So what is causing this Congressman to go on public campaign against this game? Basically, he wants to keep it out of the hands of Mexico’s children. Also to many on both sides of the Mexican-U.S. border, The game's setting and plot are too much like what is really going on in towns around Mexico. Ubisoft's description of the Techland-developed sequel explains what the game is all about:

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Stupid Experiment Draws Stupid Conclusion

February 16, 2011 -

Bust out your padded headwear, dear readers because this story will make you facepalm.

Hard.

According to Kotaku, South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation ran a news story attempting to demonstrate that violent video games do indeed make players violent.  How did it do this?  Simple.  It went to a net café where customers pay to use the internet and shut off all the computers.  Observing the profanity-laced reaction of the establishment’s patrons, the report noted:

"They've been transformed into the violent characters they are playing."


The segment reportedly vexed many a viewer who pointed out that anyone would be upset if the service they were paying for was suddenly cut off and the show should apologize to the café’s customers and refund their money.

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Study: Violent Games Do Not Desensitize Players to Violence

February 15, 2011 -

According to researchers at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada), violent video games do not desensitize players to violent imagery. The study was led by Holly Bowen (a PhD candidate in psychology) and co-authored by psychology professor Julia Spaniol. Researchers examined the impact of chronic exposure to violent video games on emotional memory and responses to negative stimuli.

"Emotional long-term memory helps us avoid negative situations," Bowen said. "This has significant implications for public health. For example, if you remember the negative experience of being involved in a bar fight, you will avoid future situations that may lead to an altercation."

The study involved 122 undergraduate students (male and female) who had some experience with video games in the last six months (45 participants) and those who had no prior video game "exposure" (77 students).

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Texas Law Enforcement Complain About Call of Juarez: The Cartel

February 13, 2011 -

Earlier this week Ubisoft announced plans to publish Call of Juarez: The Cartel this summer. Unlike the previous releases in the series, The Cartel is set in the present day and focuses on a "bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico."

While the description of this mature rated game may not shock gamers, the modern-day setting combined with the title has rubbed law enforcement officials in south Texas the wrong way. Pointing to gang and drug cartel-related violence that is very real to towns in southern Texas bordering Mexico, Brownsville Police Chief Carlos Garcia says that any game involving organized crime "sets a bad example." More from Garcia:

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Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

February 11, 2011 -

Game | Life is the latest outlet to talk to psychologist Carole Lieberman about her recent "games cause rape" comments to Fox News. Much like every other outlet that has sought out an explanation for those outlandish comments (or some evidence to back those comments up), Wired instead finds a wall. And let's face it, there's no back pedaling from the fantastic conclusion that Lieberman drew in that Fox News article.

The most interesting comments don't come from Lieberman in Wired's piece - they come from Iowa State University professor Douglas A. Gentile, who soundly squelches her claim that there are "thousands of studies" that draw some sort of correlation between sexual scenes in games and real world sexual assault.

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Lieberman Discusses FoxNews Comments

February 10, 2011 -

"WTF?"

That was certainly the reaction of many a gamer when they read Dr. Carole Lieberman's comment in FoxNews' Bulletstorm article earlier this week: “The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.”

As we saw a couple weeks ago with Dr. Walid Phares' opinion on a link between Modern Warfare 2 and the recent Moscow airport bombing, sometimes talking points can be taken out of context.  With this in mind, we decided to see what Lieberman had to say in regards to how her comments were presented by FoxNews.

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Andrew EisenMP - Probably not and for good reason. That term holds a lot of deserved negative baggage.08/27/2014 - 10:02pm
Uncharted NESApprently there is still a classic mode, but...08/27/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelanteSo, there's been massive positive reception to the Mario Kart 8 DLC bundle. Somehow, I doubt it would have gotten as much positive buzz if they called it a "Season Pass".08/27/2014 - 9:34pm
Uncharted NEShttp://m.pcgamer.com/2014/08/27/quake-live-makes-newbie-friendly-changes-in-latest-update-people-get-mad/08/27/2014 - 9:19pm
Uncharted NESQuake Live makes newbie-friendly changes in latest update, people get mad.08/27/2014 - 9:19pm
Uncharted NESAnd here's another article about it.08/27/2014 - 9:19pm
Uncharted NEShttp://kotaku.com/id-software-lives-dangerously-decides-to-change-classi-162774804308/27/2014 - 9:16pm
Uncharted NESid Software Lives Dangerously, Decides To Change Classic Quake08/27/2014 - 9:16pm
Matthew WilsonI am flying out to pax tomorrow.08/27/2014 - 9:16pm
MechaTama31Haven't been to GOG in a while. Their website reminds me of the old Zune software now...08/27/2014 - 6:01pm
Andrew EisenAlso, I know it's nitpicking but only ONE of the 21 movies on offer goes for $15. Four more are $10 and the rest are $6. But right now, all of them are $6 (except for two that are free).08/27/2014 - 3:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMasked, What are you talking about? I guess you never buy DVDs either?08/27/2014 - 3:21pm
Andrew EisenNot if they've hired more people.08/27/2014 - 3:13pm
MaskedPixelantePlus, now that they're negotiating movies, that's LESS manpower to negotiate true, pre-2000, non-console-port classics.08/27/2014 - 3:08pm
MaskedPixelanteNo rewatch value, once you've seen it there's no reason to rewatch it, and it's 15 bucks down the drain.08/27/2014 - 3:06pm
E. Zachary KnightIndie movies are a great start. They need a great distribution system too.08/27/2014 - 3:04pm
Andrew EisenEven if that were true, so what?08/27/2014 - 3:01pm
MaskedPixelanteYou do realize that there are going to be NO Hollywood movies on this service, right? It's all going to be indie documentaries and stuff like that.08/27/2014 - 2:56pm
Andrew EisenI think it's an awesome next step for GOG and completely fail to see why anyone finds it problematic or improper.08/27/2014 - 2:51pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ZGKI8vpcg My feelings on the latest GOG news.08/27/2014 - 12:47pm
 

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