Monday, November 13, 2006

Dawson College Talk and Gamer Ethics

A recent survey by Evolution Research found that most parents are familiar with ESRB ratings (71%, versus the industry's reported 83%), and that people who don't play games are much more likely to think that some games should be banned based on content. As Kris Graft reports:
"Of these non-gamers, 77 percent said that they "really agree" or "agree" that some games should never see the light of day because of material deemed unfit for the general public."

The survey shows that 60% of consumers believe that video games have more influence on children's behaviour than other media forms. At the same time, however, the findings also reveal that, "Despite the heed paid to ESRB ratings, individuals from all age groups felt that video games do not and could not have a negative effect on them." Read full-coverage of the survey findings here at Next Generation.

These types of contradictions came up quite a bit in my talk at Dawson College last Wednesday (Nov. 8, 2006), where we discussed how conflicting beliefs and research around video game violence contributes to seemingly irresolvable debates within the press, public sphere and legal system. Thanks again to Sean Elliott and the awesome students of his Knowledge: States of Nature class for iniviting me to participate in last week's seminar, and for their lively discussion and thoughtful comments around this sensitive and controversial topic. I was deeply impressed by the sophistication and insight of all the students who participated in the exchange.

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