Okay, this is beyond absurd. Why are video games still being blamed for violent behavior?
It's not like video games are a new medium; they've been around for decades. It's not like it's a niche activity either; playing video games is a very common and normal part of most people's lives. And it's not like there's any evidence to support the idea that playing video games cause people to act violently so why, for the love the Linux penguin, are video games still suffering that stigma?
A new report from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) found that 75 percent of "moms" play video games. The data comes as part of a new report from the trade group representing the video games industry called "Mom Gamers Study: A New Generation of Gamer." The report is based on a survey of 2,500 females over the age of 18 with children under the age of 18 in the household.
The former White House "video game czar" (official title: senior policy analyst for the White House Office of Science and Technology) Constance Steinkuehler tells the Christian Science Monitor that the discussion about Grand Theft Auto's part in yesterday's shooting involving an 8-year-old in Louisiana is simply bait for pageviews and viewership because there's no research to support such claims.
New research from Christopher Ferguson of Stetson University and independent researcher Cheryl Olson (author of Grand Theft Childhood) concludes that games such as Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, and Halo do not serve as "triggers" to teenagers with symptoms of depression or attention deficit disorder. In other words, video games do not cause these groups to become aggressive bullies, delinquents, or murderers.
In the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Star-Ledger newspaper, IGDA chair of the Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg says that New Jersey lawmakers are "playing games with truth." He is referring to bill S2715, which mandates that public schools in New Jersey through the state Department of Education spread disinformation about video games to parents.
Mobile gaming "big spenders" - often referred to as "whales" - are more likely to be young men, according to research firm EEDAR. The data comes from the "Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming report," which relies heavily on a July survey of more than 3,000 active mobile and tablet gamers. According to the survey, 66 percent of the top five percent of respondents who paid money for mobile games were male.
Oklahoma-based indie developer E. Zachary Knight and a number of other Oklahoma-based game developers have signed onto a letter asking Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) to oppose Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D) Violent Content Research Act of 2013 (S. 134). The letter, which was sent to his office today, urges Sen. Coburn to oppose the bill on the grounds that it is wasteful spending - a topic he has been all too vocal about in the past.
Tell your parents: video games don't kill your brain cells, they help find them. Michael Kahana, a professor in the Department of Psychology in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, former graduate student Joshua Jacobs - now at Drexel, and researchers at UCLA and Thomas Jefferson University, have discovered a new brain cell that helps humans navigate in unfamiliar territory.
Researchers from the University of B.C. are using a simple game to find new ways to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Miriam Spering, an assistant professor in the department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of B.C., led research to determine the disconnect between vision and the information the brain collects to solve problems.
Researchers in the United Kingdom are warning MMO developers that they need to consider limiting the amount of time the average player spends per session to combat "pathological addiction," and avoid inevitable government intervention. Researchers at Cardiff, Derby and Nottingham Trent universities said some gamers play up to "90 hours a session," and that if game companies did not create in-game limits for players, governments might have no choice but to follow Asia's model for limiting play time.
Update: The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued a prepared statement this evening applauding more research, though the group said that it hopes it will be objective scientific research. The trade group representing the video games industry in the United States also said that it looked forward to having an open dialog with Chairman Rockefeller and members of the Committee on this issue.
The IGDA and its New Jersey Chapter have written a letter to Governor Chris Christie (R) strongly encouraging him to veto S2715 - or as the group calls it, "the New Jersey Video Game Disinformation law." The IGDA urges Gov. Christie to veto the law because it provides "false and misleading information to the people of New Jersey" and because it could expose the state to lawsuits "if the state fails to propagate a full and accurate assessment of the research into video games."
A new research paper published in the Pediatrics 2013 medical journal concludes that young boys with autism spectrum disorder spend much more time playing video games than boys with average development. Researchers also conclude that boys with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD are at greater risk for "problematic video game use."
New research from Penn State Altoona suggests that new technology such as the motion sensing technology used in the Wii does not increase aggressive behavior in players. The research, which was recently published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, was conducted by Eric Charles and a team of researchers at Penn State Altoona (thanks to PHX Corp. for the tip).
An extensive and exclusive report over on Polygon reveals that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are getting closer to pursuing the Obama Administration edict to study the correlation between violent media (music, movies, television and video games) and gun violence. The President called for more research in January of this year in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
The results of research conducted by Morgan Tear and Mark Nielsen from the University of Queensland (Australia) concludes that playing violent video games does not diminish prosocial behavior (in other words, it doesn't make participants anti-social as some research has claimed). The results of the research was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.
A new study coming out of Australia says that video games are great for combating sedentary time after school and making small improvements in physical activity levels - if the only ones you play are "active games." Leon Straker, PhD, of Curtin University in Perth, Australia led a team to conduct a crossover trial study to see how the effectiveness of active games could be maximized. One of the best ways was to remove all other kinds of games that did not require the user to get up and move. Removing all video games from the home of participants had similar results.
The University of California, Davis announced grants for vocational education, child poverty, international migration and the cultural impact of video games. All of these topics are part of the Interdisciplinary Frontiers in Humanities and Arts program, which will receive combined funding of $3.6 million over three years. The goal is to kick start new research that can go on to compete for funding from "external sources." The funding comes from indirect costs of grants awarded to UC Davis under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or stimulus funds.
According to new research, recovering stroke patients who use video games as a therapeutic exercise are more physically capable of movement compared to patients who use traditional motor therapy. The research comes from Dr. Rebbie Rand, an occupational therapist of Tel Aviv University's Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine; and a team of researchers from Sheba Medical Center. The research was funded by a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant.
An interesting report from Ars Technica compares the pricing of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with consoles released in America all the way back to 1977 with the release of the Atari 2600. At E3 Sony announced that the PS4 would retail for $399, while Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would cost $499.
Researchers from North Carolina State University are using cockroaches and Microsoft's Kinect sensor for an experiment that allows them to drive the little insects around. Using Microsoft's motion-sensing Kinect technology and some electronics, they've figured out how to control a cockroach in real life.
The team of scientists working on this bizarre project hope that a remote-controlled cockroach could one day be used in disaster search-and-rescue scenarios, such as mapping out a collapsed building or finding survivors.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) says that exposure to violent media such as video games can put those with mental illnesses "over the edge" and that he supports President Obama's plan for more research into violent games. The research - which includes (for the first time) the study of the (possible) connection between guns and mass shootings - was recommended by the Administration in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown Conn. in December of last year which resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults.
A new 13-page report by Media Coalition called "Only a Game: Why Censoring New Media Won’t Stop Gun Violence," concludes that the idea that media (video games, movies, etc.) causes people to kill is based on flawed research, and those who support it ignore the growing body of evidence to the contrary.
The goal of the report is to educate the public and in response to politicians and interest groups that continue to lay the blame at the feet of popular media related to recent tragic shooting incidents.
New research from Duke University published in the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics finds that first-person shooters (or action games) help gamers to develop increased visual sensitivity that can be used to react quickly to stimuli in their field of vision. Games mentioned include Call of Duty and BioShock. The more immersed they are in the self-contained world of a video game, the better gamers become at quickly making "probabilistic inferences" about what certain visual indicators might lead to, even with limited information.
Monash University researcher Dr. Andy Ruddock from the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies and Brendan Keogh from the School of Media and Communication at RMIT (both in Australia, in case you didn't know) will host a seminar to discuss how better collaboration between media effects researchers and games studies researchers can find common ground and work together to improve understanding on the effects of violent video games on real world behavior.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this week asked the Institute of Medicine in conjunction with the National Research Council to form a committee that will look at the influence of video games and other media on real-life violence. The IOM is part of the federally funded National Academy of Sciences. It will also focus on gun violence - something it has not been allowed to do since Congress put a stop to such research from being allowed way back in 1993.