Games 1

Video Game Violence and its Effect on Children

A few years back, I had to write a paper about the effects of video game violence on kids as well as the overall portrayal of video games in the media. It was not a particularly good paper, but it did have a nice amount of interesting quotes and perspectives that you don’t often hear. Anyway, I was browsing around my hard drive and came across a copy of the paper. I am sure this is not the final draft, as there are many spelling errors and words out of place, but I feel like posting it anyway.

Video Game Violence and its Effect on Children

Pretty much since they first appeared, video games have been met with scorn and suspicious. Of course, older folks have always been suspicious of what the younger generations are up to. Recently, many politicians and people in the media have set out to do something about a perceived threat from violent video games. “Like comic books and hip-hop music before them, videogames are currently fueling a firestorm of media controversy”[1]. The increasing coverage in the media recently has been overwhelmingly negative, despite the evidence that video games might not be all that bad as they are reporting. Patricia Vance, who is the president of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, believes that the media is exaggerating and not being completely honest in their portrayal of video games. “She believes the mainstream media is cherry-picking facts about gaming to show the industry in a bad light. ‘Few games are M-rated [for Mature content],’ she points out, ‘but that’s the type of game the mainstream media always shows when they want to drive home any point about videogames.’ In fact, only 12 percent of the games released so far in 2005 have been rated M, but they have clearly dominated mainstream news coverage on gaming”[2], and that has been the trend for a long time. “Only one of 10 video games released in 2003 was rated mature (17 and older). More then half (57%) were rated for all ages, and about one-third (32%) were suitable for teens, according to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board”[3].

There are many theories as to why the media is portraying games the way that they are. Some people, such as Seth Schiesel of the New York Times believe that the issue is generational. “’The first thing to understand is that very few people in the mainstream media are actually gamers themselves,’ Schiesel explains. ‘There’s a much broader gap of understanding then you traditionally find for other types of entertainment. A lot of the people running the media outlets right now are of a different generation. They didn’t grow up playing games, and the notion of doing so is alien to them. Right now, the decision makes are simply too old to have grown up with games as part of their culture. The guys running media right now are in their 40s, so they don’t have the same frame of reference’”[4].

The same can be said about the politicians who are rushing to put laws into place that they feel will protect children. They have a hard time understanding how games work, much less how people feel while they are playing them. “’Games are completely different from all other types of entertainment,’ Schiesel explains. ‘They’re much harder to explain to an audience that has no point of reference. Anyone can watch a movie or television, read a book, or watch a play and draw their own conclusions. It’s very difficult to ask someone who has never played a videogame to understand – particularly if they just don’t have the ability to experience what you’re talking about. It’s like trying to describe the difference between the colors red and blue to a blind person’”[5].

The whole situation reminds others of previous forms of media that have come under attack. Looking back now, many of the reasons for attacking that media are laughable. “Novels were once considered too low-brow for university literature courses, but eventually the disapproving professors retired. Waltz music and dancing were condemned in the 19th century; all that twirling was thought to be “intoxicating” and “depraved”, and the music was outlawed in some places. Today it is hard to imagine what the fuss was about. And rock and roll was thought to encourage violence, promiscuity and Satanism; but today even grannies buy Coldplay albums”[6]. If that is the case, then we can expect the whole situation to eventually solve itself many years down the road, but right now the whole situation is pretty bad.

Until today’s game players grow up and come into power, we can expect to see a lot of legislation against video games. Recently, Schwarzenegger enacted a bill (AB 1179) that makes it illegal to sell violent games to anyone under the age of eighteen. “It makes a major escalation in the ongoing battle over video-game violence just as a new generation of consoles and games are about to flood the store shelves. But with blood flowing freely on network news, Nip/Tuck and Total Recall reruns, the war over pixilated gore strikes many as the new reefer madness. ‘Activists have jumped way ahead of researchers,’ says Henry Jenkins, director of comparative media studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ‘Their own concern is to regulate culture and enforce morality through law.’”[7]. One of the main opponents of video games is Jack Thompson, “the scripture-quoting attorney who counts Arnold and Hillary Clinton among his allies”[8]. So where do these crusaders get their information? “In consultations, Thompson often cites his go-to research group, the National Institute on Media and Family. But psychologist David Walsh, president and founder of the institute, distances himself from Thompson. ‘We’re coming from a scientific and public-safety perspective,’ Walsh says, ‘not a religious one.’”[9]. The big question is if Walsh actually agrees with what Thompson is saying. When asked, “Walsh admits that the research linking violent games and aggression is still a work in progress. ‘None of these studies are definitive,’ he says, ‘I would never say that playing a violent video game is going to make a kid act violently. What I would say is, when kids have risk factors, if you add violent video games into the mix, you’re increasing the chances.’”[10]. Of course the same can be said about almost all forms of violent entertainment, from music and movies to comic books. So why are they targeting video games? Like previously stated, many think it is a generational issue. Videogames are an interactive medium, in the game the player is the one who kills someone, and non-players have a hard time understanding that. As Bing Gordon, chief creative officer of Electronic Arts, says, “This is just bad science and bad social engineering. People who are too old to have grown up with video games have systematically underestimated this new form of media. … The real issue is that people under thirty don’t vote enough”[11].

The problem with this bias in the reporting is that it makes it very difficult for those who are pro-gaming to be heard. “It doesn’t help that those with an “antigaming” agenda are so good at their jobs”[12]. As Chris Morris, director of content development at CNN Money says, “Foes of the industry are very, very good at public relations. By the time the ESA, ESRB, and others began trying to educate the public the games weren’t just for kids anymore, opponents had already saturated the media with their releases for years, so it was harder for some to get perspective”[13].

Seth Schiesel agrees with Chris Morris’s analysis of the situation. As he says, “The antigaming forces have been much more effective about getting their messages across. The game industry needs to do a better job of explaining that it’s not just about shooting and killing. It needs to counteract the activists, who, let’s face it, just have to show a screenshot of the Hot Coffee sex scene to get their message across. People that don’t understand gaming make the connection: videogames, kids, sex… bad”[14].

But of course, the politicians are not just acting on emotion or instinct. Many of them like to cite studies that claim that it has been proven that violent video games lead to real world violence. The problem is that such statements aren’t exactly true most of the time, and that the bias media reporting makes it difficult to distinguish facts from assumptions. “It would not be fair to say that the arguments for video game criminalization are completely on contaminated by evidence. But prohibitionists are highly selective about the evidence they present and are careless once they’ve presented it, hoping to substitute raw emotional appeal for plausible explanatory framework. Blagojevich, for example, claims ‘experts have found that exposure to violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors’ – as if no more needs to be said about the casual relationship between playing video games and engaging in anti-social behavior. Such rhetoric implies that video game players are empty, infinitely corruptible ciphers”[15].

The fact is that there is lots of research that discusses the relationship between media exposure and behavior. It is not difficult to find research that directly opposes the statements made by the prohibitionists. For example, “A 2004 study of ‘Short-Term Psychological and Cardiovascular Effects on Habitual Players,’ conducted by researchers at the University of Bologna, concluded that ‘owning videogames does not in fact seem to have negative effects on aggressive human behavior’. A 2004 report in The Journal of the American Medical Association noted: ‘If video games do increase violent tendencies outside the laboratory, the explosion of gaming over the past decade from #3.2 billion in sales in 1995 to $7 billion in 2003, according to industry figures, would suggest a parallel trend in youth violence. Instead, youth violence has been decreasing’”[16]. A similar conclusion was found by Joanne Savage, a criminologist, in an issue of Aggression and Violent Behavior from 2004. Joanne Savage says, “There is little evidence in favor of focusing on media violence as a means of remedying our violent crime problem”[17].

The targeting of video games as a cause of real world violence has made some people, who have nothing to do with the game industry, pretty angry. They see the targeting of video games instead of real world violence as a waste of time and money. “We live in a society saturated with real-life violence – violence that is difficult to legislate away. So it is sadly not surprising when legislators attack fictional and fantasy images of violence portrayed in media products instead of dealing with actual crime”[18]. Some may ask why they would choose video games over other violent media. “Legislators fully recognize they would face certain peril if they tried to ban books, movies, or TV programs, so instead they take on a new technology and try to convince their constituents that graphic depictions of violence in an interactive format somehow makes it more harmful to minors. The flaw in that reasoning is that no one has ever been able to prove through independent research that video games are harmful to children or to show that they cause violence. There have been some contrived laboratory experiments that purport to show a correlation between viewing video games and increased aggression in some people, but aggression is not the same thing as violence, and correlation does not equal causation…. Gang members don’t commit drive-by shootings simply because they played a video game, nor do school kids shoot others simply because they played a video game. The factors influencing such violent acts are far more complex than that. Hundreds of thousands of kids who play video games, the vast majority of which do not portray violence, will never assault, attack, or otherwise harm anyone”[19].

It’s not hard at all to find even more studies that show no relationship between violent viewing and violent doing. “Most of the research on whether video games encourage violence is unsatisfactory, focusing primarily on short-term effects. In the best study so far, frequent playing of a violent game sustained over a month had no effect on participants’ level of aggression. And, during the period in which gaming has become widespread in America, violent crime has fallen by half. If games really did make people violent, this tendency might be expected to show up in the figures, given that half of Americans play computer and video games. Perhaps, as some observers have suggested, gaming actually makes people less violent, by acting as a safety valve”[20]. There are many people who play video games that claim they do just that. “’I stop by in here on the way home from work after I’ve had a bad day,’ says thirtysomething insurance salesman playing SEGA’s ‘Altered Beast.’ ‘It’s just a way for me to channel some of my stress and forget about the tension of my day’”[21]. The same article also touches on the fears by some that video games can lead to addiction as well as violence. ‘There’s no good evidence for that either. On addiction, if the worry is about generally excessive use of screen-based entertainment, critics should surely concern themselves about television rather than games: American teenage boys play video games around 13 hours a week (girls for only five hours), yet watch television for around 25 hours a week. AS to the minority who seriously overdo it, research suggests that they display addictive behavior in other ways too. The problem, in other words, is with them, not with the games”[22]. Keith Robinson, president and co-founder of Intellivision Productions, would agree with these statements. As Robinson explains, “Video-game playing is just like anything else. It has to be done with perspective and balance from other areas of life. Am I concerned about those guys who play video games 10 hours a day? Yes. But I’m equally concerned about anyone who spends 10 hours a day doing any one thing”[23].

Most of the negative opinions of video games are coming from media-effects scholars, or at least they are the most mentioned. “But if media-effects scholars speak loudest on these issues, they may not have the last word. They share their territory with scholars from a less quantitative tradition: cultural studies. It’s not a filed that influences public policy; its practitioners are rarely summoned to testify before Congress. But cultural studies have produced a rival analysis that calls for a more optimistic assessment of teenagers’ powers of discernment. Rather then sheltering kids from violent images, these scholars say, adults should seek to understand what these images really mean – or don’t mean – to teenagers. It’s a compelling argument”[24].

There are a respectable number of correlative studies that point to violent video games and real world violence. “Media-effects scholars can’t definitively isolate exposure to simulated violence as a cause of teen aggression,”[25] however they constantly say that the evidence shows there is a strong link. “The numbers may look stark, but they are also fraught with ambiguity, say cultural studies scholars. For one thing, correlative studies inevitable raise the question about cause and effect: How can we know that children who seek out violent video games or watch violent movies weren’t the more aggressive kids in the first place? And although statistics may reveal broad patterns, they can’t tell us what an experience means to a particular individual, let alone how violent media affects the culture as a whole”[26]. Henry Jenkins, the chairman of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Program has a positive view of video games. “At a Senate hearing two years ago, he cautioned that ‘it takes a series of interpretive leaps and speculations to move from [statistical] data to any meaningful claim that media images cause real-world violence.’ Not even statisticians make such bold claims, he pointed out, because ‘decades of research on media violence sill yields contradictory and confusing results’”[27]. “A scholar of digital film and video-games, and editor of The Children’s Culture Reader (NYU, 1998), Jenkins believes that the study of video games will one day be a field in its own right, like film studies. ‘Video games are tools for teenagers’ imaginations,’ he explains, as we sit in his book-lined living room near Charles River. Action figures lie prostrate before theory compendiums on the bookshelves. As Jenkins writes in his contribution to From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (MIT, 1998), an anthology he co-edited with Justine Cassel, video-game culture displaces physical violence into a ‘symbolic realm… Rather then beating each other up behind the school, boys combat imaginary characters, finding a potentially safer outlet for their aggressive feelings’”[28]. Many people in cultural studies are somewhat annoyed by those in the media effects group. “Jenkins and his colleagues in cultural studies and media studies fault the media effects camp for, among other things, presuming that adolescent audiences are ‘naïve, impressionable, uncritical,’ says UC-San Diego communications professor Ellen Seiter, and that television viewing is ‘passive and mindless.’ What the social scientists are missing, says Seiter and Jenkins, is that young audiences often extract unanticipated meanings from commercial popular culture. In his senate testimony, Jenkins cited a group of girls who play the notoriously violent games Quake and Doom: ‘these women were taking great pleasure in beating the boys at their own games; they experienced the aggressive on-line play as a vehicle of empowerment… [that] would help them prepare… for professional lives where they would have to compete with men’”[29].

Another person who believes video games are good for children is Jib Fowles. “Jib Fowles, a communications professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the author of The Case for Television Violence (Sage, 1999), goes so far to advocate sanguinary television. ‘I think violence is helpful to children – it helps them maintain emotional balance,’ he says. In this book, he notes that levels of television violence remained constant in the United States during the 1990s, but that actual rates of violent crime decreased. He also cites the University of Toronto psychology professor Jonathan Freedman, who has argued that the studies connecting media violence to aggression are far from conclusive. According to Freedman, what the media-effects camp presents as ‘overwhelming’ evidence for such linkages is supported by only about 25 percent of all studies”[30].

At least some of their research has been put to work in the past to confront video game legislation. “Last year, when an Indianapolis video arcade lost its legal right to admit minors, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the First Amendment Project, and the Free Expression Policy Project filed a brief on the arcade’s behalf. Drawing on the work of Jenkins, Fowles, Seiter, Vivian Sobchack, and Constance Penley, among others, the brief questioned the social science research that supported the court’s decision. ‘For a relatively few predisposed young people, a particular film, TV show, or video game may inspire imitation,’ the brief read, ‘but for a far greater number, the same work may be relaxing, cathartic, or simply entertaining…. [As Henry Jenkins has written] ‘universalizing claims are fundamentally inadequate in accounting for media’s social and cultural impact.’”[31].

There are a few people on the side of video games who can very thoroughly defend their position. One of those people is Gerard Jones, author of Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence. “A mild-mannered former comic-book writer, Jones is waging a gentle crusade to convince parents and educators that violent video games, television shows, pop songs, comic books, and fantasy games are good for kids. … Jones believes that children love them because they allow them to safely explore and come to terms with frightening emotions. Teaching children to abhor violence in real life is a good idea, he says, but condemning violence in their fantasy lives does more harm then good”[32].

In Gerard Jones’s book, one of the first things he discusses is the existing studies and what they do and do not show. One thing that people believe the studies show is that when children are exposed to less violence they become less violent, but that is not the case. “One of the things the study does not show is that children become less aggressive because they saw less violence. Why, then, did nearly every news story interpret it as showing exactly that? The reason, I believe, is that this misinterpretation has become such an integral part of our discussion of entertainment violence that we’ve ceased to recognize it. It’s become such a habit of thought that when we hear the words ‘media’ and ‘aggression’ together, we go instantly back to the same looping conversation without stopping to be sure of what’s been said. We expect to see evidence that violent imagery leads to violent behavior, and so we do see it. Not only do we expect it, we often want to see it, because it provides a reassuring familiar answer. So we look in one direction even when logic, personal experience, and the scientific data itself should lead us to look elsewhere”[33].

On July 26, 2000, an important statement was made by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In this “Joint Statement of the Impact of Entertainment Violence on children”, they stated that “At this time, well over 1,000 studies – including reports from the Surgeon General’s office, the National Institute of Mental Health, and numerous studies conducted by leading figures within our medical and public health organizations – our own members – point overwhelming to a casual connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children. The conclusion of the public health community, based on over thirty years of research is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values, and behavior, particularly in children…. The effect of entertainment violence is complex and variable. Some children will be affected more than others. But while duration, intensity and extent of the impact may vary, there are several measurable negative effects of children’s exposure to violent entertainment…. We in no way mean to imply that entertainment violence is the sole, or even necessarily the most important factor contributing to youth aggression, anti-social attitudes, and violence…. Nor are we advocating restriction on creative activity. The purpose of this document is descriptive, not prescriptive: we seek to lay out a clear picture of the pathological effects of entertainment violence. But we do hope that by articulating and releasing the consensus of the public health community, we may encourage greater public and parental awareness of the harms of violent entertainment, and encourage a more honest dialogue about what can be done to enhance the health and well-being of America’s children”[34].

“Clearly this was no unreasoned statement. It stood upon extensive research, and it spoke pointedly of “some children.” But the view of the children and entertainment violence it presented was broad and simple. The impact of entertainment violence varies in “duration, intensity, and extent,” but not in its essential nature or quality; its effects are “pathological” and “negative,” never beneficial. When such a broad, simple statement is made about the infinitely complex and mutable behavior of human beings, we need to look very hard at what has led up to it. We need to determine whether there is in fact a consensus of opinion among the experts, whether the research has in fact been viewed from every angle and whether our conclusions are leading us to the most effective actions in the real world”[35]. Throughout the book, he makes it quite clear that there are many differing opinions, and many of the studies are flawed. For example, “Dr. Stuart Fischoff, founder of the Media Psychology lab at California State University said in his 1999 address to the American Psychological Association: ‘Whether we cite 100, 1,000, or 10,000 research studies which conclude that exposure to violent media produces violent behavior, 10,000 is no more persuasive or credible then 100, if the designs of the research are flawed and/or the generalizations to an external population of behaviors are patently unjustified. The current violence in society is disturbing to all of us. The excessive, gratuitous violence in film, in video games, in music lyrics is disturbing to all of us. But because two phenomena are both disturbing and coincident in time does not make them casually connected…. Abhorrent as what I have to say may be, I believe that there is not a single study that is externally valid…. After 50 years…, there is, I submit, not a single research study which is even remotely predictive of [events like] the Columbine massacre’”[36].

A good amount of the studies out there are correlation studies where the researchers compare the viewing habits of those who are violent with those who are not. Many people who are against violent video games like to use these studies. The problem with these studies are that they apparently not reliable. The studies vary “from some that find considerably higher correlations to some that find none at all to others that find correlations between media violence and lower aggression”[37]. There is, however, an even greater problem with using these studies to support anti-game agendas. “The trouble with using such studies as evidence of media’s effect on children is that a correlation is not a cause. The researches know this well, which is why all their studies refer to a ‘link’ or ‘relationship’ between violence-viewing and violence-doing, but never of cause and effect. The ‘link’ may mean only that aggressive kids are more inclined to link violent entertainment. We all know that starry-eyed romantics like love stories, but few would argue that early and intense exposure to sappy melodrama causes a romantic temperament. Young people who are more aggressive, more restless, more angry at the world, or simply more inclined to enjoy roughhousing are also more likely to watch action shows, listen to angry songs, or play combative video games”[38].

Another type category that a lot of studies fit into is laboratory studies in which they study how children behave after they are exposed to violent imagery. The problem with those experiments is that the laboratory is not reality. Jib Fowles, who is a professor at the University of Houston described a typical lab experiment for behavior from the viewpoint of a child. In these experiments, children view violent images on the screen, which can be compared to viewing a violent video game. “Selected as a subject, a child would have to be brought to a strange universe…. The setting is institutional, with hard surfaces and angles. There are none of the textures of a home nor the school’s familiar display of handwork. Other youngsters are also arriving, few of whom the child is likely to know, but all of whom are to comprise a novel social group to which the child must be aware and attuned. Around and above the children are adult strangers with clipboards who are in charge. Now in a room with other unmet children, the child may be unexpectedly frustrated or angered by the experimenters – shown toys but not allowed to touch them, perhaps, or spoken to brusquely, The child is then instructed to look at a video monitor. It would be highly unlikely that the young child would sense that this in any way resembled television viewing done at home. At home, the child may be prone and comfortable, and viewing is nonchalant; here, the room is overlighted, the child is seated upright, and viewing is concentrated. Most signally, at home television viewing is an entirely voluntary activity…. In the behavioral laboratory, the child is compelled to watch and, worse, compelled to watch material not of the child’s choosing and probably not to the child’s liking. The essential element of the domestic television-viewing experience, that of pleasure, has been methodically stripped away”[39].

At which point the children are exposed to violent images which are not like what the child would normally see at home. The images are taken out of context with no story or humor to relieve it. It is also lacking the closure that television shows have. The child is then instructed to go play with the children whom he has never met before while adults watch what he does. “There are typically only a limited number of options, all behavioral, for the young subjects. Certainly no researcher is asking them about the meanings they may have taken from the screened violence. In summary, laboratory experiments … are concocted schemes that violate all the essential stipulations of viewing in the real world and in doing so have nothing to teach about the television experience”[40]. If these studies should not be used for violent television, the same should apply to violent video games.

With all of these conflicting studies, and flawed lab experiments and correlation studies, it seems pretty clear that there is not enough evidence to support the idea that violent video games bad for children. In fact, there is some who think that video games are positively good for children. Steve Johnson believes that video games teach children important skills and mental abilities. He believes that games can give people a mental workout that is good for them and that it’s not what they are thinking about, but how they are thinking. “Start with the basics: far more then books or movies or music, games force you to make decisions. Novels may activate our imagination, and music may conjure up powerful emotions, but games for you to decide, to choose, to prioritize. All the intellectual benefits of gaming derive from this fundamental virtue, because learning how to think is ultimately about learning to make the right decisions: weighing evidence, analyzing situations, consulting your long-term goals, and then deciding. No other pop cultural form directly engages the brain’s decision-making apparatus in the same way. From the outside, the primary activity of a gamer looks like a fury of clicking and shooting, which is why so much of the conventional wisdom about games focuses on hand-eye coordination. But if you peer inside the gamer’s mind, the primary activity turns out to be another creature altogether: making decisions, some of them snap judgments, some long-term strategies”[41].

He divides that entire activity into two smaller activities that players must do when they are playing a video game. One of which is called “probing”. “Most video games differ from traditional games like chess or Monopoly in the way they withhold information about the underlying rules of the system. When you play chess at anything beyond a beginner’s level, the rules of the game contain no ambiguity: you know exactly the moves allowed for each piece, the procedures that allow one piece to capture another. The question that confronts you sitting down at the chessboard is not: What are the rules here? The question is: What kind of strategy can I concoct that will best exploit those rules to my advantage. In the video game world, on the other hand, the rules are rarely established in their entirety before you sit down to play. You’re given a few basic instructions about how to manipulate objects or characters on the screen, and a sense of some kind of immediate objective. But many of the rules – the identity of your ultimate goal and the techniques available for reaching that goal – become apparent only though exploring the world. You literally learn by playing”[42]. James Paul Gee, a game scholar, breaks down what Steve Johnson calls “probing” into a four part process called the “probe, hypothesize, reprobe, rethink” cycle. “The player must probe the virtual world (which involves looking around the current environment, clicking on something, or engaging in a certain action). Based on the reflection while probing and afterward, the player must form a hypothesis about what something (a text, object, artifact, event, or action) might mean in a usefully situated way. The player reprobes the world with that hypothesis in mind, seeing what effect he or she gets. The player treats this effect as feedback from the world and accepts or rethinks his or her original hypotheses. Put another way: When gamers interact with these environments, they are learning the basic procedures of the scientific method”[43].

After examining all of the conflicting studies about video game violence, it would clearly be immature to claim that there is a cause and effect relationship between violent viewing and violent doing. Then, considering all of the potential benefits that video games have for people, passing legislation or banning certain types of games for their violent content seems inappropriate. In fact, banning the sale of some games might do more harm then good. It is clear that more research has to be done on the subject, but the way in which this research is conducted should be re-examined. “Another appropriate step would be to tone down the crusading rhetoric until we know more. Several researchers write, speak and testify prolifically on the threat posed by violence in the media. That is of course their privilege. But when doing so, they often come out with statements that the matter has now been settled, drawing criticism from colleagues. In response, the alarmists accuse critics and news reporters of being duped by the entertainment industry. Such clashes help neither science nor society”[44].


[1] John Davidson, “Pop Culture Pariah,” Computer Gaming World, October, 2005, pp. 17-19

[2] John Davidson, “Pop Culture Pariah,” Computer Gaming World, October, 2005, pp. 17-19

[3] Mike Snider, “Video Games,” USA Today, December 28, 2004, pp. 02d

[4] John Davidson, “Pop Culture Pariah,” Computer Gaming World, October, 2005, pp. 17-19

[5] John Davidson, “Pop Culture Pariah,” Computer Gaming World, October, 2005, pp. 17-19

[6]Breeding evil,” Economist, August, 2005, pp. 9

[7] David Kushner, “Blood and Pixels,” Rolling Stone, November, 2005, pp. 37.

[8] David Kushner, “Blood and Pixels,” Rolling Stone, November, 2005, pp. 37.

[9] David Kushner, “Blood and Pixels,” Rolling Stone, November, 2005, pp. 37.

[10] David Kushner, “Blood and Pixels,” Rolling Stone, November, 2005, pp. 37.

[11] David Kushner, “Blood and Pixels,” Rolling Stone, November, 2005, pp. 37.

[12] John Davidson, “Pop Culture Pariah,” Computer Gaming World, October, 2005, pp. 17-19

[13] John Davidson, “Pop Culture Pariah,” Computer Gaming World, October, 2005, pp. 17-19

[14] John Davidson, “Pop Culture Pariah,” Computer Gaming World, October, 2005, pp. 17-19

[15] Daniel Koffler, “Grand Theft Scapegoat,” Reason, October 2005, pp.72-73.

[16] Daniel Koffler, “Grand Theft Scapegoat,” Reason, October 2005, pp.72-73.

[17] Daniel Koffler, “Grand Theft Scapegoat,” Reason, October 2005, pp.72-73.

[18] Robert D. Richards and Clay Calvert, “Target real violence, not video games,” Christian Science Monitor, 97(2005), pp.9.

[19] Robert D. Richards and Clay Calvert, “Target real violence, not video games,” Christian Science Monitor, 97(2005), pp.9.

[20]Breeding evil,” Economist, August, 2005, pp. 9

[21] Daniel B. Wood, “Gauging the effects of violent video games,” Christian Science Monitor, 91(1999), pp. 3

[22] Breeding evil,” Economist, August, 2005, pp. 9

[23]Daniel B. Wood, “Gauging the effects of violent video games,” Christian Science Monitor, 91(1999), pp .3

[24] Alissa Quart, “Child’s Play,” Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life, 11(2001), pp. 50

[25] Alissa Quart, “Child’s Play,” Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life, 11(2001), pp. 50

[26] Alissa Quart, “Child’s Play,” Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life, 11(2001), pp. 50

[27] Alissa Quart, “Child’s Play,” Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life, 11(2001), pp. 50

[28] Alissa Quart, “Child’s Play,” Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life, 11(2001), pp. 50

[29] Alissa Quart, “Child’s Play,” Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life, 11(2001), pp. 50

[30] Alissa Quart, “Child’s Play,” Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life, 11(2001), pp. 50

[31] Alissa Quart, “Child’s Play,” Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life, 11(2001), pp. 50

[32] Karen Dukess, “’Monsters’ supports violent TV, games,” USA Today, June 6, 2002, pp. 04d

[33] Gerard Jones, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 25

[34] Gerard Jones, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 26-27

[35] Gerard Jones, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 27

[36] Gerard Jones, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 28

[37] Gerard Jones, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 30

[38] Gerard Jones, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 31

[39] Gerard Jones, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 34

[40] Gerard Jones, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 34

[41] Steve Johnson, Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, (New York: Riverhead Books, 2005), p. 41

[42] Steve Johnson, Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, (New York: Riverhead Books, 2005), p. 42

[43] Steve Johnson, Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, (New York: Riverhead Books, 2005), p. 45

[44] “A calm view of video violence,” Nature, 424 (2003), pp. 355

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Video Game Violence and its Effect on Children by Ryan Jacob is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.