ECA, IGDA Speak Out on Gun Violence

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ECA, IGDA Speak Out on Gun Violence

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In a letter to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, the Entertainment Consumers Association and the International Game Developers Association make their point clear: "Media does not cause violence."

Because no conversation about violence is complete without a healthy dose of media scapegoating, the Entertainment Consumers Association and the International Game Developers Association have joined the chorus of agencies contributing statistics, opinions and offers of more of both to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is heading a new task force aimed at coming up with solutions to the problem of gun violence.

Compared to the letter sent earlier this week by the Electronic Merchants Association, the ECA letter is short and sweet. After a brief reaffirmation of the First Amendment and a description of the association's mandate, ECA Vice President and General Cousel Jennifer Mercurio got to the point in a hurry.

"Studies show that media does not cause violence," she wrote. "Christopher J. Ferguson, Chair of Texas A&M International University's Department of Psychology & Communication, has shown through his work that there's no link between violent video games and real world violence like mass shooting, bullying or youth aggression. Others' work, including federally funded studies, all agree."

"While video game sales have increased, violent crime has been steadily decreasing according to FBI statistics. In 2011, video game sales increased to over $27 billion dollars and violent crimes nationwide decreased 3.8% from 2010. Since 2002, violent crime has decreased 15.5%. This is all during the time when games like Call of Duty and Halo have dominated sales," she continued. "At the same time, federal courts - including the Supreme Court - have routinely held that government regulation of media, including video games, is unconstitutional. Funding more studies - or passing laws that then get fought out in courts - costs taxpayers millions of dollars."

In a separate letter, the International Game Developers Association said that "unlike some industry groups, [it] does not seek to impede more scientific study" about videogames and "welcomes more evidence-based research into the effects of our work to add to the large body of existing scientific literature that clearly shows no causal link between video game violence and real violence."

"We ask that any new government research look at the totality of imaginary violence. Instead of simply trying to find negative effects, we ask that any new research explore the benefits of violent video games, too," IGDA Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Chairman Daniel Greenberg wrote. "For example, recent research shows a steam valve effect in which violent video gameplay helps release stress and aggression before it can lead to violence. Others studies have indicated that recent declines in real world violence can be attributed in part to potentially violent people spending more time looking for thrills in video games instead of on the streets. Psychologists tell us that playing with imaginary violence is healthy and can help children master experiences of being frightened. This is beneficial and can even be life saving. We can supply links to this research and spokespersons on these issues. The IGDA supports good research and we ask for more science, not less."

The Vice President's task force is expected to make its recommendations on gun control to U.S. President Barack Obama on January 15.

Sources: Entertainment Consumers Association, International Game Developers Association

Permalink

Andy Chalk:
For example, recent research shows a steam valve effect in which violent video gameplay helps release stress and aggression before it can lead to violence.

I know it's probably just a coincidence, but I really hope Daniel Greenberg just slipped in a pun in his letter to the vice president.

I'm glad these organizations are voicing their opinions. That being said, I'm fairly confident that video games aren't going to face any restrictions soon. The people that seriously blame violent video games for mass shootings are very much the minority.

The Goat Tsar:

Andy Chalk:
For example, recent research shows a steam valve effect in which violent video gameplay helps release stress and aggression before it can lead to violence.

I know it's probably just a coincidence, but I really hope Daniel Greenberg just slipped in a pun in his letter to the vice president.

I'm glad these organizations are voicing their opinions. That being said, I'm fairly confident that video games aren't going to face any restrictions soon. The people that seriously blame violent video games for mass shootings are very much the minority.

Not only that but a lot of them are NRA gun nuts like Alex Jones who look for something else to blame outside their valued high-capacity cartridges, while at the same time proudly proclaiming "1776 will commence again!".

Recent research from where? From whom? You know maybe i'm just wierd like this, but when I do something like this, usually it's accompanied by some type of source that proves i'm not making up a bunch of BS.

Good for them. We need well-spoken voices like the people in these organizations to be the voice of reason. Because let's face it, we as gamers don't really have a credible voice when it comes to defending our medium.

Better and better. If we're going to spend more money to placate the fearful, why not have a more thorough examination and find out if the positive effects attributed to video games are truth or fiction?

I'm starting to hope that the task force reads these letters over and does perform an investigation, one that digs a bit deeper than the usual "disprove the myth" levels. Would be kinda nice to have a government study that says video games are good for you.

There is a reason why violent videogames are so popular, and not just among school shooters.

Remus:

The Goat Tsar:

Andy Chalk:
For example, recent research shows a steam valve effect in which violent video gameplay helps release stress and aggression before it can lead to violence.

I know it's probably just a coincidence, but I really hope Daniel Greenberg just slipped in a pun in his letter to the vice president.

I'm glad these organizations are voicing their opinions. That being said, I'm fairly confident that video games aren't going to face any restrictions soon. The people that seriously blame violent video games for mass shootings are very much the minority.

Not only that but a lot of them are NRA gun nuts like Alex Jones who look for something else to blame outside their valued high-capacity cartridges, while at the same time proudly proclaiming "1776 will commence again!".

Funny how the guys who are the most willing to shoot people think it's the video game's fault. Was it video games that made them paranoid and psychotic? The very reason guns were INVENTED was because we needed a more efficient way to kill each other. Humans are just as violent and stupid as they have always been, the NRA and it's mandate are living proof of that. It's not the guns that gun laws control, it's the people themselves. People are always going to find excuses to hurt and kill each other, so lets not make it so god damned easy!

deleted this since I didn't think it was constructive.

DVS BSTrD:

Remus:

The Goat Tsar:

I know it's probably just a coincidence, but I really hope Daniel Greenberg just slipped in a pun in his letter to the vice president.

I'm glad these organizations are voicing their opinions. That being said, I'm fairly confident that video games aren't going to face any restrictions soon. The people that seriously blame violent video games for mass shootings are very much the minority.

Not only that but a lot of them are NRA gun nuts like Alex Jones who look for something else to blame outside their valued high-capacity cartridges, while at the same time proudly proclaiming "1776 will commence again!".

Funny how the guys who are the most willing to shoot people think it's the video game's fault. Was it video games that made them paranoid and psychotic? The very reason guns were INVENTED was because we needed a more efficient way to kill each other. Humans are just as violent and stupid as they have always been, the NRA and it's mandate are living proof of that. It's not the guns that gun laws control, it's the people themselves. People are always going to find excuses to hurt and kill each other, so lets not make it so god damned easy!

http://youtu.be/g_EANFsZbXk?t=3m6s

This is for you. Take the guns away and violence increases. Enjoy. :)

Glad the ESA is back to defending games, and the people that play them. I like the idea of the totality of research being shown, instead of just the negative effects. That's a good move to push for.

GAunderrated:

DVS BSTrD:

Remus:

Not only that but a lot of them are NRA gun nuts like Alex Jones who look for something else to blame outside their valued high-capacity cartridges, while at the same time proudly proclaiming "1776 will commence again!".

Funny how the guys who are the most willing to shoot people think it's the video game's fault. Was it video games that made them paranoid and psychotic? The very reason guns were INVENTED was because we needed a more efficient way to kill each other. Humans are just as violent and stupid as they have always been, the NRA and it's mandate are living proof of that. It's not the guns that gun laws control, it's the people themselves. People are always going to find excuses to hurt and kill each other, so lets not make it so god damned easy!

http://youtu.be/g_EANFsZbXk?t=3m6s

This is for you. Take the guns away and violence increases. Enjoy. :)

Holy crap Ted Nugent! You're actually going to parade him out as a reliable, factual source? Here's a newsflash: he isn't.

Remus:

GAunderrated:

DVS BSTrD:
Funny how the guys who are the most willing to shoot people think it's the video game's fault. Was it video games that made them paranoid and psychotic? The very reason guns were INVENTED was because we needed a more efficient way to kill each other. Humans are just as violent and stupid as they have always been, the NRA and it's mandate are living proof of that. It's not the guns that gun laws control, it's the people themselves. People are always going to find excuses to hurt and kill each other, so lets not make it so god damned easy!

http://youtu.be/g_EANFsZbXk?t=3m6s

This is for you. Take the guns away and violence increases. Enjoy. :)

Holy crap Ted Nugent! You're actually going to parade him out as a reliable, factual source? Here's a newsflash: he isn't.

Wow and I thought you couldn't get any more ignorant.

Goes to show that you didn't do more than look at the title of the link. I started the link up at 3:06 of the video which shows a news article in both england and Austrailia they banned guns and their crime rates have skyrocketed. Which is actual statistical proof over your opinionated garbage you heard from CNN.

Devoneaux:
Recent research from where? From whom? You know maybe i'm just wierd like this, but when I do something like this, usually it's accompanied by some type of source that proves i'm not making up a bunch of BS.

Well, that's the thing: There've been no decent studies on the subject. The few that were methodologically correct show games do not cause violence. A few were inconclusive.

Some studies claim they found videogames cause agression, but that was ussually a very flawed method of research. Ussually involving some task to 'measure agression' (but which didn't) after people did or not play video games, on a very limited sample size of only students.

Basically the kind of stuff that would get you a failing mark if it was your master thesis.

Holy crap Ted Nugent! You're actually going to parade him out as a reliable, factual source? Here's a newsflash: he isn't.

Neither is most of the gun control crowd.

GAunderrated:

DVS BSTrD:

Remus:

Not only that but a lot of them are NRA gun nuts like Alex Jones who look for something else to blame outside their valued high-capacity cartridges, while at the same time proudly proclaiming "1776 will commence again!".

Funny how the guys who are the most willing to shoot people think it's the video game's fault. Was it video games that made them paranoid and psychotic? The very reason guns were INVENTED was because we needed a more efficient way to kill each other. Humans are just as violent and stupid as they have always been, the NRA and it's mandate are living proof of that. It's not the guns that gun laws control, it's the people themselves. People are always going to find excuses to hurt and kill each other, so lets not make it so god damned easy!

http://youtu.be/g_EANFsZbXk?t=3m6s

This is for you. Take the guns away and violence increases. Enjoy. :)

Yes, because banning something automatically makes it disappear. Like that one time the United States banned alcohol and nobody ever got a DUI ever again. Must be nice living in a world where Amy Winehouse is still alive. And how about all those illegal drugs? I guess Jim Morrison, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Janis Joplin and Billy Mays just decided to up and die for the hell of it.

But hey it's not like, in an area populated by people specifically trained in the use of firearms and the most populated United States military installation in the world, Some demented individual could still manage to shoot 42 people before being subdued.
*cough* Fort Hood *cough*

DVS BSTrD:
This is for you. Take the guns away and violence increases. Enjoy. :)

Yes, because banning something automatically makes it disappear. Like that one time the United States banned alcohol and nobody ever got a DUI ever again.[/quote]It's always prohibition that gets dragged in isn't it?

That's because there's not a single example of a gun ban that failed. They all worked. Populations do disarm, so do criminals, and violence does decrease. Australia of course being the latest example of this; no spree shootings anymore since a gun ban was put in place.

GAunderrated:
Which is actual statistical proof over your opinionated garbage you heard from CNN.

Actually the claims on Australia are bullshit... In fact, they look to be the same numbers that the NRA pulled out their arses in 2000 (claims were based on dodgy newspaper articles not recorded data).

Blablahb:

DVS BSTrD:
Yes, because banning something automatically makes it disappear. Like that one time the United States banned alcohol and nobody ever got a DUI ever again.

It's always prohibition that gets dragged in isn't it?

That's because there's not a single example of a gun ban that failed. They all worked. Populations do disarm, so do criminals, and violence does decrease. Australia of course being the latest example of this; no spree shootings anymore since a gun ban was put in place.

Kinda messed up the quote there, but should clarify.

In the united states, there are a lot of urban areas that try to heavily regulate gun ownership but none the less have high levels of gun violence. If you're going to ban guns you need to go the extra step of making sure that guns actually don't get sold and distributed to the population. That's why I'm saying simply making them illegal won't do shit. I honestly don't think we have the will to see such laws all the way through in America. The values of the population are too varied to form a consensus, or to actually obey it.

DVS BSTrD:
In the united states, there are a lot of urban areas that try to heavily regulate gun ownership but none the less have high levels of gun violence.

So they couldn't get effective gun control measures because they're in a country where guns are everywhere, and you can't even legislate effectively because of national rules which prohibit effective measures against gun violence? Well what a surprise. Obviously a national ban would work much better. You can't draw many conclusions based on local ordnances.

New York celebrated the lowest murder rate in 50 years, thanks to gun control though.

Other countries have demonstrated that gun bans are a smashing succes. Australia stopped all spree shootings. Belgium cut it's number of violent deaths in half, especially suicides. Etc, etc.

Blablahb:
Australia of course being the latest example of this; no spree shootings anymore since a gun ban was put in place.

Why do people keep calling it a 'gun ban'? It's not as if all firearms ownership is prohibited. Shit, at last count my uncle and his eldest son had over 30 longarms between them.

RhombusHatesYou:
Why do people keep calling it a 'gun ban'? It's not as if all firearms ownership is prohibited. Shit, at last count my uncle and his eldest son had over 30 longarms between them.

Because... guns are banned unless you can obtain a permit? ^_^

But I suppose if the details bother anyone they can call it whatever they like. As long as it keeps firearms away from people, and keeps people from murdering one another.

Blablahb:

DVS BSTrD:
In the united states, there are a lot of urban areas that try to heavily regulate gun ownership but none the less have high levels of gun violence.

So they couldn't get effective gun control measures because they're in a country where guns are everywhere, and you can't even legislate effectively because of national rules which prohibit effective measures against gun violence? Well what a surprise. Obviously a national ban would work much better. You can't draw many conclusions based on local ordnances.

New York celebrated the lowest murder rate in 50 years, thanks to gun control though.

I'm aware, but the thing is there are other factors that contribute to a lower murder rate. New York isn't just doing well as far as murders go: New York is doing well overall. Meanwhile we have other cities like Detroit, Cleveland and LA that aren't. High levels of poverty, racially divided slums, high prevalence of street gangs and illegal drugs. Unless we exercise more control over the gun industry itself, firearms are going to keep finding their way into high demand areas like those. Legally or not.

Blablahb:

RhombusHatesYou:
Why do people keep calling it a 'gun ban'? It's not as if all firearms ownership is prohibited. Shit, at last count my uncle and his eldest son had over 30 longarms between them.

Because... guns are banned unless you can obtain a permit? ^_^

That's some interesting logic people are using.

... and speaking as someone who is legally prohibited from obtaining a firearm (or getting a driving licence) because of my mental health record and my medication, all the people talking about 'the ban' should pull the hyperbole stick out of their arses and beat themselves to death with it.

Australia never banned guns. Basicly what happened in Australia after some nut shot up a village in Tasmania was you had to show why you needed to own a gun and self defence wasn't a valid reason. Basicly to own a gun you had to prove you were a farmer (pest control), knew a farmer who would let you hunt on their property (also pest control), belonged to a shooting club (sports shooting with the additional requirement you had to participate in at least one competitive shoot a year) or a gun collector (you collected guns but you were limited in how much ammunition you could buy and there were additional storage requirements in that firing pins had to be stored in a seperate locked container from the guns and the ammunition). There were also some storage things added like guns and ammo had to be stored in seperate locked containers for everyone because the nut basicly broke into an old couples home killed them then took the guns he used in the massacre out of a cupboard and then proceeded to the village square and shot at whoever was there which just so happened to include a bus load of tourists.

Australia hasn't had a major shooting (though shootings still happen) since these laws were enacted. Violent crime in Australia still happens and I heard home invasion was one of those crimes that rose afterwards but I don't know where those numbers came from or if the economic situation in Australia at the time contributed to that rise. For those interested in the economic climate at the time Australia was just emerging from what was politically called "the recession we had to have" and entering into one of the worst droughts they had seen for some time (this in a country which typically has a 10 year drought about once a decade). So many people were down on their luck at the time which may of had something to do with people breaking into other peoples homes and trying to steal stuff evan if the home owners were there.

capture:true blue hehe I love it

I just want to make a quick point before we go too much farther into this debate:

The atomic bomb was invented, developed AND used before ANY sort of video game ever existed.

Thanks,

CCM

Devoneaux:
Recent research from where? From whom? You know maybe i'm just wierd like this, but when I do something like this, usually it's accompanied by some type of source that proves i'm not making up a bunch of BS.

University's Department of Psychology & Communication <-- A good start?

This is an official, diplomatic style letter, not a random person on the net. If he is blowing wind out his backside he will directly be held accountable politically for attempting to deceive a head of state (we may never see the result of such a thing but trust me, when massive amounts of money pass hands insults like that can be very costly).
If you want the links to them, maybe..you know..look for them yourself as well? While I don't take his word as law I am inclined to at least trust he has a leg to stand on if he makes a mention of it to the VP and I am myself familiar of reports of similar work. However, I am not that invested in the topic to search for copies of original papers regarding it. If you are, Google Scholar is a fairly reliable method for finding scientific reports, however be mindful not all scientific journals are created equal.

Author is Physical Geographer Undergrad, final year on self conducted field work (Yes, this means I have about as much clue as most when it comes to psychological mumbo jumbo, hence I am not aiming to dig deeper into the matter as it is not my area of interest or knowledge; however, I do know how to do research well in theory and how to start picking the good from the bad, hence my commenting)

Have a good life and remember, always question, but do so with wisdom about what is. Seeking answers about the stars at the bottom of a well is not likely to be as useful as asking a good astronomer (and finding a good one is a chore in itself)

I can relax a little knowing that sanity still exists in this world. Unfortunately, the ignorant idiots will strike out again...

Now, all we need is people like them in Congress. If that happens, I'll probably be less bitter when it comes to dealing in politics...

Remus:

Not only that but a lot of them are NRA gun nuts like Alex Jones who look for something else to blame outside their valued high-capacity cartridges, while at the same time proudly proclaiming "1776 will commence again!".

But theyz comin to take all awr gunz

CaptainKoala:
Good for them. We need well-spoken voices like the people in these organizations to be the voice of reason. Because let's face it, we as gamers don't really have a credible voice when it comes to defending our medium.

Especially since half the community is prone to freaking out and acting like children.

Violent threats, for example, are probably a poor way to dissuade people from believing we are all psychopaths.

GAunderrated:

This is for you. Take the guns away and violence increases. Enjoy. :)

Yeah, that increase in violence that happened in the 90s after the assault weapons ban never happened was horrible.

DVS BSTrD:
I'm aware, but the thing is there are other factors that contribute to a lower murder rate. New York isn't just doing well as far as murders go: New York is doing well overall. Meanwhile we have other cities like Detroit, Cleveland and LA that aren't. High levels of poverty, racially divided slums, high prevalence of street gangs and illegal drugs. Unless we exercise more control over the gun industry itself, firearms are going to keep finding their way into high demand areas like those. Legally or not.

I would point out that the states with the tightest gun control laws tend to have the fewest gun-related deaths. People always forget the practical to emphasise the hypothetical. While people say firearms will keep showing up in these areas, they actually do so a lot less in places where gun laws are strong. You bring up Detroit, but Michigan is fairly lax in its gun laws. I mean, I think that's kind of "mystery solved" there. Of course guns are going to get in if little effort is made to stop it.

GAunderrated:

Remus:

GAunderrated:

http://youtu.be/g_EANFsZbXk?t=3m6s

This is for you. Take the guns away and violence increases. Enjoy. :)

Holy crap Ted Nugent! You're actually going to parade him out as a reliable, factual source? Here's a newsflash: he isn't.

Wow and I thought you couldn't get any more ignorant.

Goes to show that you didn't do more than look at the title of the link. I started the link up at 3:06 of the video which shows a news article in both england and Austrailia they banned guns and their crime rates have skyrocketed. Which is actual statistical proof over your opinionated garbage you heard from CNN.

What statistical proof? All you've done here is make a claim based on false data points chosen by the NRA to enforce their pro-gun agenda.

In fact, England's violent crime rates have, in general, been in decline since 1995. And unlike yourself, I have data from more reliable sources to back this claim up.

Here's a report from the FBI: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/tables/viortrdtab.cfm

And a chart of violent crime data as reported by the British Crime Service:
image
(data comes from http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb1109chap2new.xls )

Also, an info-graphic indicating that all manner of violent crimes in both England and Wales are down from 2010/2011: http://www.mycrimeprevention.co.uk/images/crime-prevention/crime-prevention1.jpg

Groups like the NRA are purposely misleading you by cherry-picking their statistics, pointing out that "violent crimes using knifes and blunt instruments have increased"....which means nothing, because that's simply reporting that the criminals are using different weaponry due to a lack of firearms. Of COURSE those statistics will go up, because most of them won't have guns so that makes it awfully hard to commit a crime with one. The statistic they purposely avoid quoting directly is the actual rate of violent crime in the UK, which has been decreasing at a steady rate and is far, far below that of any of the worst US cities.

This data doesn't necessarily mean that gun bans make crime go down, of course. Only that the claim "England's gun bans have caused its crime rates to skyrocket" is a false one based on insufficient and inaccurate data from an unreliable and biased source.

As for my own stance? I don't believe it's as simple as "guns cause crime"....but there's no question that they help out an awful lot. Questions should be asked about why people should be allowed to stockpile entire armories of guns (Alex Jones admits to owning 50 guns of various types), why there are limited-to-no regulations on how these weapons are stored (which inevitably allows children to get their hands on them), and why exactly our country is so against the treatment of the mentally ill that it takes major school shootings to keep reminding us.

GAunderrated:

Wow and I thought you couldn't get any more ignorant.

Goes to show that you didn't do more than look at the title of the link. I started the link up at 3:06 of the video which shows a news article in both england and Austrailia they banned guns and their crime rates have skyrocketed. Which is actual statistical proof over your opinionated garbage you heard from CNN.

Violence has NOT skyrocketed in Australia since the gun bans, that was a hoax. There was a falsified set of statistics that claimed so which was published by the American NRA, but the federal attourney general of the time called them out on it.

EDIT: Fixed quote issue

CriticKitten:

In fact, England's violent crime rates have, in general, been in decline since 1995. And unlike yourself, I have data from more reliable sources to back this claim up.

Here's a report from the FBI: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/tables/viortrdtab.cfm

And a chart of violent crime data as reported by the British Crime Service:
image
(data comes from http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb1109chap2new.xls )

Also, an info-graphic indicating that all manner of violent crimes in both England and Wales are down from 2010/2011: http://www.mycrimeprevention.co.uk/images/crime-prevention/crime-prevention1.jpg

Violent crime peaked and fell in 1995. The only significant thing I can remember from that year, was that the Playstation 1 was launched. Man, those pre-order queues must have been hellish.

Wait, '95 was Dunblane, wasn't it?

Deathlyphil:
Wait, '95 was Dunblane, wasn't it?

1996 was Dunblane, but that was also Scotland and not England - though I can't actually tell whether the poster was citing evidence of England or the whole United Kingdom.

Thyunda:

Deathlyphil:
Wait, '95 was Dunblane, wasn't it?

1996 was Dunblane, but that was also Scotland and not England - though I can't actually tell whether the poster was citing evidence of England or the whole United Kingdom.

I knew it was Scotland (lived in here all my life), but couldn't remember the year. Thank you.

For anyone who hasn't heard of this tragedy, a guy walked in to a school and shot about 30 children (all 5 or 6 years old, I think), and a couple of teachers before shooting himself.

The outcome of this was that all handguns were banned, and laws over shotguns and rifles were toughened. Security at schools increased, and there was a massive number of firearms handed over to the police.

Remus:

The Goat Tsar:

Andy Chalk:
For example, recent research shows a steam valve effect in which violent video gameplay helps release stress and aggression before it can lead to violence.

I know it's probably just a coincidence, but I really hope Daniel Greenberg just slipped in a pun in his letter to the vice president.

I'm glad these organizations are voicing their opinions. That being said, I'm fairly confident that video games aren't going to face any restrictions soon. The people that seriously blame violent video games for mass shootings are very much the minority.

Not only that but a lot of them are NRA gun nuts like Alex Jones who look for something else to blame outside their valued high-capacity cartridges, while at the same time proudly proclaiming "1776 will commence again!".

Magazines, not cartridges. A cartridge is what goes inside the magazine.

But yeah, Alex Jones is insane.

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