Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Video Games and Violence

Finally, someone to decided to take this subject seriously and write a good, concise article about it! If you have looked for a good link to post whenever some whiny idiots try to claim that video games are the root of all evil this is it. Point your browser at pbs.org and bookmark this essay written by Henry Jenkins from MIT.

The author aims to dispel the 8th myths about video games, and does an excellent job at it. He is through, he cites his sources, and makes insightful comments. I find his arguments convincing and his facts sound. I will enjoy rubbing this into the faces of gamer haters :) Here are some juicy bits.

On video games and youth violence:

According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low. Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population. It's true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers — 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play. The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts. According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure.

On video games and aggression:

no research has found that video games are a primary factor or that violent video game play could turn an otherwise normal person into a killer.

On stupid parents that should know better:

parents need to share some of the responsibility for making decisions about what is appropriate for their children. The news on this front is not all bad. The Federal Trade Commission has found that 83 percent of game purchases for underage consumers are made by parents or by parents and children together.

How nice - this last quote plays directly into my recent GTA rant. Here is a proof. Parents are apparently not doing their job here.

In short, this is a great article. Definitely check it out!


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