Monday, April 30, 2007

Progress report on West Virginia and Dance Dance Revolution

About a year ago the State of West Virginia decided it's going to add Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) into the physical education curriculum on all of its 765 public schools.

They've since added DDR on all 185 of their middle schools. The New York Times is writing about the results of the expirement.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Virginia Tech and video games

MSNBC has published an excellent article about how video games get blamed for every violent act by a young male in the US. It goes on to discuss how certain people went on to blame video games for the Virginia Tech tragedy even before anyone knew anything about the shooter.

It quotes Dr. Karen Sternheimer, a sociologist at USC, who says it's disingenuous to blame video games, because pretty much all young males have, at some point in their lives played video games and despite every young adult male being a gamer youth violence rates are at an all time low.

It's a good read to get past the blame game.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My anti violence declaration

Gaming blog has written a declaration about violence in video games from the gamers' perspective.

It lists a few statements that should be obvious to anyone with common sense. It's too bad most people these days do not have common sense, so people have to spell these things out.

The list includes, among others:

  • I know the difference between right and wrong.
  • I know that people have played Cops and Robbers for generations without becoming real robbers.
  • I know that video games are a safe way to let out my aggression without hurting anyone.
  • I know, in the end, that these are only games.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

British Board of Film Classification studies video gaming

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), an independent organization that rates film and video releases in the United Kingdom, has published their research on playing video games.

The BBFC prefaces the press release about the research with the following.

Video games tend to polarise opinions in a way that other entertainment media do not. People who do not play them cannot understand their attraction and that lack of understanding can lead to some games being demonised.

Well said.

The research is one of the first research on why people play video games and what do the gamers think of their gaming habits. The research included gamers from 7 to 40 years old, parents of young gamers, gaming industry representatives and games reviewers.

One of the most poignant, especially during this time when the witch hunt against video games has been fueled again by the tragic events at Virginia Tech University, findings of the research state:

gamers are virtually unanimous in rejecting the suggestion that video games encourage people to be violent in real life or that they have become desensitised. They see no evidence in themselves or their friends who play games that they have become more violent in real life. As one participant said: "I no more feel that I have actually scored a goal than I do that I have actually killed someone. I know it’s not real. The emphasis is on achievement."

The research also found out that most gamers find violence on television and in films more upsetting and more real than violence in video games.