In the spring of 2005, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich proposed the Illinois Safe Games Act, which bans the sale or rental of violent or sexually explicit video games to minors and threatens merchants who violate the act with fines of up to $1,000. While the Act specifically targets video games, it is simply the latest salvo in the ongoing controversy surrounding images of violence and sexuality in pop culture and their effects on young people.
While the subject has been studied extensively, there is little consensus about just what effect repeated exposure to violent images can have on a developing mind. Though many people point to violent video games as the cause of events such as the Columbine school shootings, others point out that events such as these took place before video games, violent or not, even existed.
What effects does the pervasive violence and sexuality in pop culture have on the young people who are its dominant consumers? Are the creators of video games using violence to draw young players to their wares, or is it simply a reflection of the violence in our society. Do bans or restrictions on games represent an erosion of freedom?
Join us this week to discuss violence, video games and the first amendment.
This Week’s Articles
- Safe Games Illinois Act Clears General Assembly
- Video Game Violence Research Yields Mixed Result
- It’s the Media-Truth About Pop Culture
- Video Game Violence and Public Policy
For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.