March 1st, 2006

New Theory on School Shootings, Game Addiction & Everything Else

So GP is clearing out his Inbox the other day (checks, people, where are the checks?), when what do we come across, but a new, um...theory.

The author - we know him only as Larry (and would strongly prefer to keep it that way) - writes that he found GamePolitics "...while researching Jack Thompson. I noted your entries on game regulation and school violence correlated to video game play. Thompson is RIGHT ABOUT CORRELATION BUT WRONG ON CAUSATION."

"The content of games is not the cause of the violence but they can be correlated because of a little known problem with human physiology. The problem is the game playing or computer workstation. Violence and user suicides are being caused by exposure to Subliminal Distraction..."

The author refers readers to this site for more information. Regarding the Red Lake, MN school shooting, his theory is that:

"The Redlake shooter... placed a second monitor near his computer so he could watch movies... That placed a source of repeating detectable movement in his peripheral vision. While he used the computer he could subliminally detect 'threat movement' to cause a peripheral vision reflex... That exposure is Subliminal Distraction and will eventually cause the mental break. It, not the game content, is responsible for the violence."

According to the author, this theory explains many things, from the famous flight of the "Runaway Bride" Jennifer Wilbanks to the 1994 crash of a B-52 bomber. MMO addiction can also apparently be attributed to subliminal detection. In the case of the so-called Everquest addiction of actor Ben Stein's son Tommy, the author recounts his aha! moment:

"It was the fall of 2002... I was resting, watching 48 Hours... I saw the problem I had been attempting to research being featured on the program... They were calling it the Sony Everquest Addiction Problem. I was stunned."

"...Ben Stein was interviewed and the program moved to... his son's room. The boy sat there, his back to the camera... There it was on the boy's right side. A big glass box sat a foot or two from his right shoulder, against the wall. It was about half full of water... I saw that the glass box was a lighted aquarium... I was sure that I had seen enough. I had confirmation the Sony Everquest addiction problem was also my research problem."

GP: MMO addiction proven by an aquarium. It was so simple. Who knew?

GameCloud Interview with New Video Game Lobbyist

John Callaham over at GameCloud is back with another of his insightful interviews. This time, John speaks with Stuart Spencer, recently hired as a Washington, D.C. lobbyist for the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) and Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA).

Be sure to read the whole article on the GameCloud site. Here are a few juicy morsels from Stuart Spencer to whet your appetite:

"I am here to ensure that retailers have a voice in the debate and a place at the table. Numerous issues are hitting them at once - piracy, restrictions on marketing, calls for censorship. Attacks on the industry, especially during an election year, will likely increase. IEMA and VSDA are sending a clear signal to lawmakers that they intend to be engaged at every level, state and federal."

"It's important to note that out of the 60 potential bills considered around the country last year just a couple passed... In many ways, the work they have done at the state level previously has made my job easier because the subjects of violent video games, censorship and voluntary ratings systems is much more commonly appreciated than just a few years ago."
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Industry Insider Offers View on Political Landscape

GP loves hearing from that rarest of birds - a video game business insider who actually dares to break ranks and advocate that the sluggish game industry try new tactics to win hearts and minds.

Hence, we refer you to a terrific op-ed in today's GameDAILY Biz. Jayson Hill, former PR guy for Infogrames/Atari, Hasbro and the Classic Gaming Expo.

Hill's main points?

"The video game industry has recently been pummeled with a rash of legislative attempts to place vague restrictions on the games that may be made and sold... the industry has used conventional weapons and tactics to fight back for too long. It is time to reevaluate our adversary and adjust our tactics accordingly."
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