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Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 10:33 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 10:32 AM
NEW YORK — In the wake of the Florida school shooting, President Donald Trump is reviving an old debate over whether violent video games can trigger violent behavior. There's just one problem: Roughly two decades of research has repeatedly failed to uncover any such link.
Trump plans to meet Thursday with representatives from the video game industry. Trump's recent public comments referencing the "vicious" level of game and movie violence in the context of school safety show that he is eager to explore the issue.
The Entertainment Software Association, the biggest video game trade group, said Monday that it will attend the meeting at the White House. A full list of attendees hasn't been released. Here's a look at the issues the meeting may address.
WHAT DOES RESEARCH SHOW?
Some studies have shown a connection between gaming and emotional arousal, although there's no evidence that this heightened emotional state leads to physical violence.
In 2006, a small study by Indiana University found that teenagers who played violent video games showed higher levels of emotional arousal, but less activity in the parts of the brain associated with the ability to plan, control and direct thoughts and behavior.
The study assigned 44 adolescents to play either a violent or nonviolent but "equally fun and exciting" video game for half an hour. Researchers measured their brain function immediately after playing. The group that played the nonviolent game showed more activity in the prefrontal parts of the brain, which are involved in inhibition, concentration and self-control. They also showed less activity in the area involved in emotional arousal.
But if those changes have any impact on real-world behavior, researchers haven't yet detected it.
Patrick Markey, a psychology professor at Villanova University who focuses on video games, found in his research that men who commit severe acts of violence actually play violent video games less than the average male. About 20 percent were interested in violent video games, compared with 70 percent of the general population, he explained in his 2017 book "Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong."
Another study by Markey and his colleagues showed that violence tends to dip when a new violent movie or video game comes out, possibility because people are at home playing the game or in theaters watching the movie.
"Everything kind of suggests no link, or if anything, it goes in the opposite direction," Markey said in an interview.
HAS THE WHITE HOUSE TAKEN THIS UP BEFORE?
In 2013, after the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, Vice President Joe Biden held three days of wide-ranging talks on gun violence prevention including a meeting with video game industry executives. At that meeting the Entertainment Software Association gave a statement similar to the one it issued on Monday.
"Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States," the organization said Monday. "Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the U.S. has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation."
After the 2013 meetings wrapped, the White House called on research on the effect of media and video games on gun violence but nothing substantial came out of that.
ARE VIRTUAL REALITY GAMES ANY DIFFERENT?
Because virtual-reality headsets and games are relatively new, there hasn't been much research into the effects of immersion in violent virtual worlds. But experts say that such gaming hyperrealism is unlikely to make much of a difference.
"That's an area that is ongoing and needs to be explored further, but games like 'Call of Duty,' are already pretty realistic," said Benjamin Burroughs, a professor of emerging media at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. "I have a hard time thinking there's going to be a massive change in data due to the increased heightened sense of reality."
WHAT ABOUT A RATINGS SYSTEM OR OTHER REGULATIONS?
Trump has suggested rating both games and movies for violence. Such ratings already exist.
Following an outcry over violent games such as 1992's "Mortal Kombat," the Entertainment Software Ratings Board was established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association to give each game a rating based on five-categories ranging from "E'' for "Everyone" to "Adults Only" rating for those 18 and older.
The ratings suggest an age range and the type of content. The "mature" rating, for example, indicates the content is "generally suitable for ages 17 and up" and that the game "may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language."
In 2011 , the Supreme Court rejected a California law banning the sale of violent video games to children. The decision claimed that video games, like other media, are protected by the First Amendment.
Published: Friday, March 09, 2018 @ 9:54 AM
— Your kids are begging for the latest and greatest cellphones to hit the market.
They may not like a new one that’s being introduced, but you sure will like them to have it.
It can call and it can text. But it cannot use Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media.
Basically, it’s an old-fashioned flip phone without the flip phone look.
It also uses E-Ink for the display and operates on a modified version of the Android operating system, the Telegraph reported.
“Unlike a flip phone, however, to children the Light Phone is seen as ‘cool’ amongst their peers,” Joe Hollier, co--founder of Light told “Good Morning America.” “We have been working with parents on the idea of a parental app to support their child’s Light Phone 2 as well.”
Light launched it’s first phone in 2016. It could only make calls and store nine numbers, the Telegraph reported. The company sold 10,000 devices, but they were too simple for many and were not practical for some, the Telegraph reported.
Light Phone 2 are expected to ship next year and will cost about $250, the Telegraph reported.
If you want to get in on the new technology, the company launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $250,000. So far it has exceeded that amount by 335 percent and has more than $836,000 pledged from supporters.
Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018 @ 5:13 AM
— If you needed a reason not to bite your iPhone battery, here it is.
According to Taiwan News, a man entered an electronics store in China hoping to purchase a replacement battery for his iPhone.
In an attempt to test its authenticity, the customer reportedly bit into the battery and as he removed it from his mouth, the product ruptured, exploding in his face.
Luckily, no one was injured.
The episode came soon after outrage over Apple’s admittance to slowing down older iPhone models with aging batteries led to big discounts on replacement batteries around the globe, including in China.
“However,” Taiwan News reported, “Chinese electronics stores are notoriously replete with fake goods, thus the man was in his own – but obviously wrong – way trying to test its authenticity.”
Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 11:09 AM
— Soon after news emerged that Apple admitted to slowing down iPhone performance as the devices’ batteries age, multiple lawsuits have been filed against the company.
CNBC reported that Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Apple, claiming the company never asked for consent from them to alter the performance of their phones.
The lawsuit says Apple breached the implied contracts with Bogdanovich and Speas “by purposefully slowing down older iPhone models when new models come out and by failing to properly disclose that at the time that the parties entered into an agreement,” according to WCBS.
The complaint also says that the two are entitled to compensation because the slowdown of their devices cause them to suffer “economic damages and other harm.”
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple said in a statement to The Verge about performance of the devices.
“Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future,” Apple said in the statement.
Bogdanovich and Speas are trying to get the case certified to cover all U.S. owners of iPhones older than the iPhone 8, according to CNBC. Their suit is not the only one against Apple since the company released its statement about iPhone battery speed. WCBS reported that a second class-action lawsuit was filed in Illinois on Thursday night.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the suit was filed in Chicago by two people in Illinois as well as by Ohio, North Carolina and Indiana residents with iPhone models 5 through 7.
The suit says Apple “needlessly subjects consumers to purchasing newer and more expensive iPhones when a replacement battery could have allowed consumers to continue to use their older iPhones.”
Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 1:44 AM
— Twitter has released its end-of-year stats and revealed that former President Barack Obama had the most-liked tweet of 2017.
His tweet, sent in August after white nationalists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, has been liked 4.6 million times. The tweet reads, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” accompanied by a picture of him looking up at a group of children.
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..." pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” the quote, in whole, reads.
Obama’s tweet following the Charlottesville march wasn’t his only top tweet. He also took the third spot for most-liked, and the second, fifth, and eighth spots for most-retweeted tweets.
His other top tweets included his tweet to Sen. John McCain after the Arizona Republican was diagnosed with cancer; the final line of his presidential farewell address in Chicago; and his farewell after leaving the Oval Office for the last time.
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 20, 2017
Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I'm asking you to believe—not in my ability to create change, but in yours.— President Obama (@POTUS44) January 11, 2017
It's been the honor of my life to serve you. You made me a better leader and a better man.— President Obama (@POTUS44) January 20, 2017
Other top tweets included Ariana Grande’s tweet after the bombing at her Manchester, England, concert; LeBron James’s tweet when he called President Donald Trump a “bum"; a tweet promising to donate 6 pounds of dog food to Houston dogs affected by Hurricane Harvey for every retweet it received; another tweet asking for retweets to raise donations for Houston;, a photo from Linkin Park of its former frontman, Chester Bennington, after he committed suicide earlier this year; the number to the suicide hotline tweeted by social media star Seth Joseph; and finally, the most-retweeted tweet of the year came from 16-year-old Carter Wilkerson begging for retweets so he could win free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s for a year.
While Trump didn’t win a top spot for any of his own tweets, he was the most-tweeted-about world leader.