"Daily Show" Does Gaming Debate Justice

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Legal

Daily_2While the mainstream media continues to provide clueless coverage of the on-going violent videogame debate, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" has done a stellar job of mocking the entire violent videogame congressional hearings. The show did a liveshot with reporter Samantha Bee from San Andreas, complete with videogame violence blasting in the background. While this short segment was hilarious, it was just part of a show that focused on videogame violence by taking short video bites of politicians talking about videogames. It was these short clips that showed the true colors of politicians, who clearly have no idea what a videogame is today or what the age demographic of gamers actually are.

With new violent videogame bills being passed in states like Louisiana and Oklahoma, this issue isn't going to go away. But it's also never going to be covered objectively by members of the mainstream media. Whether the reporting is coming from the Republican-owned Fox Newschannel or the more liberal MSNBC, or somewhere in the middle, the reporters don't actually know anything about videogames outside of the clips they've seen of violence. The politicians grandstanding about how bad games are speak from these same clips. It's not like anyone is actually playing these games.

I've been working with NBC's Liz Crenshaw for the past seven years on a regular series of videogame segments that air each summer and every Thanksgiving. Liz is up-front about the fact that she doesn't know videogames, which is why she brings me up to Washington, D.C. as the "expert" to talk about new games. She's a pleasure to work with and she's seen the positive side of the majority of non-violent games that are out there.

You won't find this kind of honesty when it comes to most mainstream reporters. After all, they often know everything, whether it's videogame violence or weapons of mass destruction. (I spent seven years working in D.C. as a video editor with most of the major networks, including Fox Newschannel.)

So it was refreshing to see Jon Stewart take these reporters and politicians to task with his show. It's obvious from the writing that the producers of that show understand videogames. And that allowed them to create humor around what is a ridiculous situation.

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