It has been said that every six months the moral panic over videogame violence tries to rear its ugly head, and sure enough, nearly six months ago to the day I wrote a post about the public’s perceptions about violence and referenced a widely discussed New York Post column.
Well, now Nick Wadhams of the Associated Press has written a pretty wildly picked up article that once again Lawmakers are attacking Violent Video Games. Wadhams has written a fair number of articles on videogames before, so it is sad to see this new article to folow the stereotype so well.
Matteo Bittanti has written a great article about the formula for the moral panic and created, “The “Crusade against videogame violence story” CONSTRUCTION KIT.
The most disappointing thing about the article for me is that it appeals to the same old sources: Iowa State University’s Craig Anderson, Mary Lou Dickerson, Leland Yee, Joe Baca, the National Insittute for Media and the Family and what report on videogame violence would be complete without a quote from my FAVORITE lawyer Jack Thompson?
Can we please get some new sources? At least Wadhams didn’t call up Dave Grossman but the new kid on the block, Evan Wright author of Generation Kill.
However, I must say that the reason why the use of sources is so disappointing is that not only are these people the exact same people who pop up every six months saying exactly the same things and for exactly the same reason, but in addition these are people with an agenda whose opinions are presented as if they had credibility. I’m sorry, but in my opinion none of these people have any credibility whatsoever. Of course if you are reading this then you probably know that. However, I don’t think it can be said enough. These are people with an agenda. I am not interested in the violence issue, but if we want to be able to talk about anything else the agenda that people have against videogames needs to be made clear and obvious so that we as academics can get on with more interesting subjects.
Untill that time comes, how about we all meet back here six months from now?