This Week In Geek: Are violent video games to blame?
by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star
Dec 23, 2012 | 4800 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At least one legislator says he wants the federal government to examine violent video games in the wake of the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., introduced a bill in the Senate last week asking the National Academy of Sciences to study the effect violence portrayed in video games and the media has on children.

Rockefeller expressed disagreement with prevailing opinions on video games and aggressive behavior in children, specifically a Supreme Court decision last year to overturn a California ban on the sale of violent video games to minors.

“They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons,” Rockefeller said. “Parents, pediatricians and psychologists know better.”

While his proposal stops short of taking any specific action on video games, Rockefeller said last week that Congress would “take a more aggressive role” if the entertainment industry doesn’t move away from marketing violent content to children.

Early reports into the life of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza say he often played video games including “Call of Duty,” a war combat game, and “Starcraft,” a military science-fiction title.

This isn’t the first time video games have come under scrutiny after a school shooting.

“Doom,” a first-person shooter video game popularized in the mid-1990s, faced controversy after it was discovered that teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold frequently played the game prior to killing 13 people and themselves at Columbine High School in 1999.

Users revolt against Instagram

The popular photo-sharing service Instagram came under fire last week from its members after the company changed its terms of use policies.

The changes, which were announced Monday, told Instagram users that advertisers could “pay us to display your username, likeness, photos … in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

The company said in the text of its terms that the changes applied to all users, including minors, and the only way out was to delete one’s account.

Many users revolted online by firing off negative comments about Instagram on other social media websites. Others deleted their accounts altogether.

Due to the backlash, the company announced on Tuesday that it would modify its agreement.

“It is not our intention to sell your photos,” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said in a statement.

Instagram was founded in 2010 as a social network for photo sharing. It was purchased by Facebook in April for $1 billion.

Flexible screens to debut at electronics show

It’s something that happens to almost everyone who carries a smartphone.

You drop your phone, it lands face-down. You pick it up, hoping to find an unblemished display that looks the same as the day you bought it. But alas, there’s a scratch — or worse, the display is shattered.

Several tech manufacturers want to put an end to those days altogether by creating flexible screens, which are likely to premiere at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Samsung will unveil two bendable screens, according to tech news website CNET, including a 5.5-inch screen for smartphones and a 55-incher for televisions.

While the screens themselves have been created, Samsung says there’s still considerable work to be done before the company can put them into phones and other electronic devices.

Samsung, LG and Nokia have all been developing pliable screens in recent months, so it seems clear that more durable, flexible devices are on the horizon.
Comments must be made through Facebook
No personal attacks
No name-calling
No offensive language
Comments must stay on topic
No infringement of copyrighted material


Friends to Follow


Most Recommended

This Week In Geek: Are violent video games to blame? by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star

Today's Events

event calendar

post a new event

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Marketplace