After the Sandy Hook shootings, at presidential behest, $10 million was allocated to to explore links between gun violence and video games. A year later, Mike Rose reports that nothing seems to be happening.
It's been more than a year since the meeting with Biden, and more than a year since Obama called for $10 million to be set aside for research into whether new media, such as violent video games, influence root causes of gun violence. In that time, you probably haven't heard much about that research.
That's because it never actually happened, nor did any funding change hands. As discovered in my various talks with individuals and researchers close to discussions, any potential research efforts from Congress broke down fairly rapidly following the meeting with Biden, and hardly anything has been said since.
An unsuprising P.S. to this round of the game scapegoating scarehouse: despite screaming tabloid suggestions that he was inspired to kill by Call of Duty, it turned out that Adam Lanza wasn't a hardcore gamer at all. He liked innocuous kid-friendly fare such as Dance Dance Revolution and Super Mario. The report into his rampage focused on the fact that he was a) mentally ill and b) had easy access to guns and ammunition.
Here's what we know in a nutshell: The best research into the field has found very little evidence of a link between violence in games and real-life violence, and past research suggests that video game violence has even less impact that other media, like television for example.
There is absolutely no consensus amongst researchers -- and even when a group does claim to find that link, they are quickly rebutted by numerous others.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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