Video Game Voter’s Network seems unhappy with the recent UN Women report on Cyberviolence against women, and have published an official statement of their own against some of the accusations in the said report that uses outdated analyses to spread negative aspects of videogames.
The statement slams the report for falling in the category of ‘tired strategy of using hyperbolic and outdated notions’ of videogames and videogamers, pointing out how the report itself took views of outdated anti-videogame pundits from 2000.
Here’s the main bulk of the statement:
This report cites an opinion article written in 2000 filled with outdated views from noted and debunked anti-video game pundits. As an example, the report quotes Lyndon LaRouche and his wife, Helga Zepp LaRouche, and further the U.N.’s source material cites Zepp La Rouche’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 are abusing digital entertainment. A claim that has been specifically (and repeatedly) denied by medical professionals.
It is embarrassing that the U.N. would even consider these as reliable sources for a report on video games or gamers.
The Video Game Voters Network strongly supports empowering women and minorities and creating an inclusive online environment that is welcoming of all views and perspectives. However, the U.N. does this issue serious harm by spreading stereotypes and misinformed opinions that undercut its credibility. The safety of Internet users on all platforms will not be helped by reports citing dubious sources, 15-year-old webpages and attempts to incite moral panics about games and gamers.
Medical professionals, researchers, and courts have all debunked these types of stereotypes and faulty research. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court 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.”
We should be past the point of having to defend video games’ right to exist, but as long as organizations such as the U.N. keep dredging up bad research, we’ll keep pointing out their mistakes.
It is important to note that the original UN Women report comprised of Feminist Frequency creator Anita Sarkeesian and game developer Zoe Quinn. Both of these personnel were previously involved in the GamerGate controversy.
It’s reassuring to see that VGVN has published an open statement against the narrow-minded approach towards game and the use of irrelevant information to back these hyperboles.
Video Game Voters Network itself is a project sponsored by Entertainment Software Association. It serves the purpose for American gamers to organize and defend against threats by registering to vote and let Congress no the importance of a certain issue.