A pair of studies from Ohio State University finds that playing games like Halo, Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament with a teammate can reduce the negative behavioral effects that are associated with those games.
Research from the Centre for European Economic Research (also known as ZEW), Baylor University and the University of Texas at Arlington showed games reduce the number of criminal incidents by keeping potential assailants, thieves and other ne’er-do-wells occupied.
As the video game industry celebrates Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which formally recognized video games as entitled to First Amendment protection, many are assuming the political fight that has loomed over the industry for years is finally over.
That’s wrong. In fact, it’s simply the start of Act 2.
In a landmark ruling, the U. S. Supreme Court Monday declared video games are protected forms of free speech, striking down a controversial California law that that attempted to restrict the sale of some titles to minors.
The state argued that violent games are harmful to children and, as such, their sale should be restricted. California took a slightly different approach than other states who have attempted to pass similiar laws, though, by including violent games in the same category as cigarettes and adult magazines. The Court strongly rejected the argument.
The majority of titles that are released each year are made for general audiences and enjoyed by families. But it only takes a few bad apples to damn an entire industry. And the gaming industry has had its share.
When action video games hit their first golden age in the early 1990s, concepts like “stealth” and “consequences” weren’t even a glimmer in developer’s eyes. The focus was on over-the-top carnage. The premise: if it moved, shoot it – though you could also kick, punch or stab it, depending on the title.
As the industry matured, though, in-game violence evolved. Narratives were added to the action, and heroes became more than one-dimensional instruments of destruction. It wasn’t a bad thing, per se, but it seemed like a move away from what hardcore action titles were all about.
When the U.S. Supreme Court agreed in April to review a California law prohibiting the sale or rental of violent video games to minors in its next term, it sent shock waves through the gaming industry.
Analysts, insiders and even casual observers had been expecting justices to let stand a lower court ruling, which had declared the law unconstitutional. Once they didn’t, the scramble began to assess the possible implications—and leaders of the industry say they could be dire.