Professor of Communication at University of Southern California
Con to the question "Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?"
"According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low. Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population. It's true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers - 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play. The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts.
According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure. The moral panic over violent video games is doubly harmful. It has led adult authorities to be more suspicious and hostile to many kids who already feel cut off from the system. It also misdirects energy away from eliminating the actual causes of youth violence and allows problems to continue to fester."
"Reality Bytes: Eight Myths about Video Games Debunked," www.pbs.org (accessed Jan. 13, 2010)
Experts Individuals with PhDs, MDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to violence and video games; and top-level federal government officials significantly involved in media violence and related issues. [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, 2009-Present
Member, Editorial Board of Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media, 2002
Member, Advisory Board, International Game Designers Association Committee on Violence, 2000