Press Releases

ESA Criticizes United Nations’ Flawed Video Game Research

U.N. Utilizes Outdated and Debunked Opinions on Video Games

October 6, 2015 – Washington, D.C. – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today strongly criticized opinions and outdated research on video games in a new report from the United Nations entitled, “Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls.” Specifically, the United Nations report utilizes hyperbolic, outlandish, and outdated notions of video games and gamers. ESA is the trade association representing the U.S. video game industry.

The report cites an opinion article written in 2000, which is rife with antiquated views from noted and debunked anti-video game figures. In quoting Lyndon LaRouche and his wife, Helga Zepp LaRouche, the U.N.’s source material cites Zepp LaRouche’s work, “The Mark of the Beast: America’s Children Are in Mortal Danger,” in which she mistakenly reports that children as young as two abuse digital entertainment. Medical professionals specifically have declined repeatedly to pathologize video game use.

“This is an uninformed, misguided and unfortunate report. If the overall issue was not so serious, it would be laughable that the U.N. is citing this work. It is willful ignorance to utilize such incredibly outlandish and outdated data,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA. “ESA strongly supports empowering women and minorities and creating an inclusive digital environment that welcomes all perspectives. However, the U.N. does this important issue a great disservice and undercuts its credibility by spreading ridiculous stereotypes and false opinions.”

Numerous medical professionals, researchers, and courts all debunk the fundamental thesis of their argument. In tearing down similar faulty research, the U.S. Supreme Court specifically ruled that “psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively.”

ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global content protection program, owning and operating E3 and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, visit ESA’s website or follow us on Twitter at @RichatESA or @ESAGovAffairs.

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