May 17th, 2006

20/20's John Stossel Rips Game Critic Dave Grossman in New Book

We don't always agree with ABC journalist John Stossel of 20/20 fame.

But a section of Stossel's new book Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity addresses the oft-repeated argument that violent games produce violent kids. In particular, Stossel takes game critic Dave Grossman down a peg or three.

Stossel writes, in part:

"Self-appointed experts are sometimes so successful in propagating their arguments that the original source gets lost in the confusion..."

"Even the Surgeon General's Office told us, 'The Marines use the game Doom to desensitize recruits.' Where did they learn that? From Grossman. We called the Marines, They said (Doom) is not used to desensitize Marines, They say they used a version of the software to teach eye/hand coordination and teamwork. Period.
"

Stossel continues: "Do we, individual parents, get to decide for ourselves and our children, or will the government appoint some expert, maybe David Grossman to decide for us? After all, he's the source of the 'conventional wisdom' on the subject. Get out the shovel."

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Louisiana House Unanimous in Support of Video Game Bill

Frankly, we're stunned.

Despite last Wednesday's embarrassing committee hearing marked by misinformation, gross distortions and frothy, purple prose about crushing skulls, 26-year-old murderers and how force feedback controllers teach one to be a cold-blooded killer, the Louisiana House passed HB 1381, Rep. Roy Burrell's video game bill, 102-0 yesterday.

102-0.

According to the Associated Press, several House members questioned whether Burrell's bill, HB1381, would survive an inevitable First Amendment challenge by the video game industry, but voted for the bill anyway.

"That's for the courts to decide," said Rep. Danny Martiny, (R), who presided over the House Criminal Justice committee which approved Burrell's bill on May 10th, thus setting it up for yesterday's floor vote in the House. "Anything's subject to challenge."
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