Video Games Join a Century-Long Tradition of Blaming Media Violence, Says the ACLU

As bizarre as it is to read the name Starcraft in a discussion of video games' corrupting influence, you've got to hand it to the American Civil Liberties Union for properly centering the discussion of What Must We Do following the Newtown Massacre.

"Media violence has long been a target of lawmakers seeking a cheap and politically cost-free way to address crimes committed by young people," says the ACLU. Hear, hear. It's almost a tradition to attack or demand restraint of any new medium, as the ACLU points out was the case in the 1920s, when the nation was gravely worried motion pictures might present depictions of "sex perversion" or interracial relationships. Man, I would have loved for them to play Dragon Age: Origins.

"Lots of people play video games," the ACLU offers. "Simply pointing out that some people who play video games commit violent acts is like saying that because people in prison like television, television must cause crime."

None of this is stuff we don't know—hell, I've heard some form of this in the comments beneath all the stories we've run every time some lunatic guns down a room full of bystanders and is later discovered to really enjoy first-person shooters. It's nice to hear an organization with the rectitude of the ACLU put it into words understandable to those who don't frequent these discussions, and have no idea how laughable it is that a strategy title like Starcraft could actually be blamed for a mass shooting like Newtown.

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games [ACLU.org]