… from Steven Johnson, writing via the Los Angeles Times
July 27, 2005
Dear Sen. Clinton:
I’m writing to commend you for calling for a $90-million study on the effects of video games on children, and in particular the courageous stand you have taken in recent weeks against the notorious “Grand Theft Auto” series. I’d like to draw your attention to another game whose nonstop violence and hostility has captured the attention of millions of kids — a game that instills aggressive thoughts in the minds of its players, some of whom have gone on to commit real-world acts of violence and sexual assault after playing. I’m talking, of course, about high school football. I know a congressional investigation into football won’t play so well with those crucial swing voters, but it makes about as much sense as an investigation into the pressing issue that is Xbox and PlayStation 2.
Lots more good stuff in the letter. I particularly like this passage:
Another key question: Of all the games that kids play, which ones require the most mental exertion? Parents can play this at home: Try a few rounds of Monopoly or Go Fish with your kids, and see who wins. I suspect most families will find that it’s a relatively even match. Then sit down and try to play “Halo 2” with the kids. You’ll be lucky if you survive 10 minutes.
But the irony will probably be lost on the former First Lady.