The Player, Not the Video Game is to Blame, Study Finds

Parents who are worried about their kids playing violent video games might want to shift their concern.  Recent research focuses on the player and not the game itself. If your kid has certain dispositions — say they are moody, impulsive or unfriendly — then you might want to limit their violent video game playtime. Otherwise, placing all the blame on the violence may be unfair, according to USA Today. This study, which aims to cut through the confusion surrounding the topic, comes from psychologist Patrick Markey who co-wrote it and had it published in the journal Review of General Psychology.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Sale of Violent Video Games to Children

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday struck down a California law banning the sale of violent video games to children in a 7-to-2 decision.  The majority opinion in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, equated video game content with that of books and films.

“Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas — and even social messages — through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player’s interaction with the virtual world),” Justice Scalia wrote. “That suffices to confer First Amendment protection.”

Justice Scalia wrote that violence in literature and art have never been subject to government regulation. “Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed,” he wrote. The California law defined violent video games as “patently offensive” when “the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being” and lacked “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. Stores that sold violent video games to minors would have been subject to $1,000 fines.

Unique Study Says Evidence Backs Claims Violent Videogames Harm Teens

For years, scientists have been studying whether violent video games are harmful to teens, but their findings have often contradicted one another. Now, three researchers have analyzed the data from experts who filed briefs in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving violent video games. The case, Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, decides whether California can ban the sale or rental of violent video games to kids under 18. They found that experts who believe violent video games are harmful to teens published more evidence than those who do not believe they are harmful. “The evidence suggests that those who argue violent video games are harmful have a lot more experience and stronger credentials than those who argue otherwise,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

MOM on a Mission: The New Stranger Danger

“DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS”. Definitely one of the top 10 rules you instill in your child from a very young age. Looking back on my own childhood, I think of the creepy guy in a car offering candy and a ride. Boy how times have changed! When my son, Quinton, got a PlayStation gaming system for Christmas last year, I chose games carefully based on the ratings.

Video Game Addiction Linked to Depression, Fights, Substance Abuse

Two new studies say that videogame addiction in kids may have serious consequences.  Although most kids will never have a problem, those who do face an increased risk of depression, substance abuse, and lower grades in school. A study by an international research team found that 9 percent of Singapore kids were pathological videogame players.  The researchers say this number is similar in countries around the world. A Yale School of Medicine study found only 5 percent of adolescents reported having symptoms of videogame addiction. However, these kids were more likely to smoke cigarettes, do drugs, and get in fights. Reading both studies requires a subscription but Science Daily has more info.  You can read about the Singapore study here and the Yale study here.