I keep hoping that the more I read articles like “Natural Born Regulators” the more people it is reaching. I know I bang the drum pretty loudly here, but I’m just background noise in the grand scheme of things. This article is another good look at the problem with politicians trying to protect the you-know-who.
From the article:
Indeed almost every important social indicator has been improving in recent years even as video-game use among youths has increased. Juvenile murder, rape, robbery, and assault are all down significantly over the past decade. Aggregate violent crime by juveniles fell 43 percent between 1995 and 2004. Meanwhile, fewer kids today are carrying weapons to school or are victims of violence in schools than in the past. Alcohol and drug abuse, teen birth rates, high-school dropout rates, and teenage suicide rates have all dropped dramatically as well. These results do not conclusively rule out a link between exposure to games and violent acts or promiscuous sexual behavior, but they should at least call into question the “world-is-going-to-hell” sort of generalizations made by proponents of increased regulation.
Heard that before, right? What about this one:
Finally, there might be some cathartic or educational benefits associated with many video games. From the Bible to Beowulf to Batman, depictions of violence have been used not only to teach lessons, but also to allow people — including children — to engage in a sort of escapism that can have a therapeutic effect on the human psyche. Kids know the difference between make-believe violence and the real thing. And many games today are remarkably sophisticated, offering players a “cognitive workout” that is far more stimulating, rewarding, and even educational than much of the other media fare that is available.
Yeah, heard that one before, too. Unfortunately, the one we hear the most is this:
In sum, the debate over video-game regulation is being driven by myths and misperceptions. Policymakers and critics should consider the facts before moving forward with efforts to regulate the gaming industry, especially since such rules could have profound First Amendment implications as well.
And that’s the problem. Those pesky facts keep getting in the way!
(thanks to my bud Rightank for the tip)