New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who’s been all worked up about violence in video games, and his friends in the New York Department of Criminal Justice are wiping the egg off their faces after a 20-minute presentation cited a well-known Internet hoax and parody site, Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence (www.mavav.org) as an important “parental resource.” The site, in truth, does a terrific job of spotlighting and lampooning the very type of moral panic Spitzer’s fomenting. The MAVAV citation caps a sensationalized presentation filled with errors, inaccuracies and misinformation about the so-called dangers of violent video game content, including the since-discredited report that the Virginia Tech shooter was an avid player of Counter-Strike. With the ominous title “Video Games and Children: Virtual Playground vs. Danger Zone,” the slide show was designed to drum up support for state new laws restricting the sale of video games. For more see Cord Blomquist’s post at Technology Liberation Front and this entry at Gamepolitics.com. Note also that all of New York State’s links to the presentation are currently down.
Steven Titch served as a policy analyst at Reason Foundation from 2004 to 2013.