Consulting, Research and Speaking on Health and Media Issues

Why video games are not like cigarettes…

A recent series of opinion pieces in the New York Times resurrected the debate on whether media violence causes actual crime or violence. One article dredged up a discredited claim that the link between media violence and actual violent behavior is "on par with the correlation of exposure to secondhand smoke and the risk of lung cancer" (the original claim involved "first hand" ... [Continue Reading]

New book: Sports Videogames

If your household includes a preschooler, teenager or young adult, there's a good chance you already own a potentially powerful weapon against couch-potatodom: sports videogames. I say this because of a surprising finding from my Harvard video game surveys and focus groups. Our survey of middle-school youth found that boys who play realistic sports games (e.g., soccer, ... [Continue Reading]

Piers Morgan Live on CNN – Video games and violence

Today's Piers Morgan Live (CNN) features an interview with Joshua Cooke--from prison. Cooke killed his parents with a shotgun ten years ago. At the time, news headlines called this The Matrix case, because Cooke admitted watching that film over and over. He also played violent video games, including Grand Theft Auto, BloodRayne, Resident Evil and Doom. (See this Washington Post ... [Continue Reading]

Hidden benefits of videogames

As parents, we often focus more on potential dangers than potential benefits. This is especially true for video games, with news stories linking gaming to everything from too much sitting to anti-social behavior. Certainly, not all video games are right for children; that’s why we have game ratings. But there are many video games that (played in moderation) could boost your ... [Continue Reading]

After the Sandy Hook Tragedy

Because of the government-funded research I led at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School on middle-schoolers and violent video games, I received many emails and phone calls after the horrific murders at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. I also had the privilege of meeting Vice President Biden and talking with him about my research and its implications ... [Continue Reading]

Op-ed in New York Times

I was invited to submit an op-ed on the Supreme Court’s ruling on violent video games, which appeared in the June 27, 2011 issue of the New York Times. It’s been an interesting and enlightening experience conducting research and giving media interviews on such a controversial topic! An excerpt: Many people assume that video game violence is consistently and unspeakably ... [Continue Reading]