TAMIU Profs’ Expertise Featured in Brief for SCOTUS Decision on Video Games
Posted: 6/30/11

TAMIU Profs’ Expertise Featured in Brief
for Supreme Court Decision on Video Games

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California ban on selling or renting violent video games to minors and ruled violent video games are protected under the First Amendment. This decision came after a spirited debate last fall about whether or not violent video games harm minors.

Four Texas A&M International University professors and experts weighed in during the debate stating violent video games do not harm minors.

“I think it would be reasonable to suggest our amicus brief, which discussed the research on violent video games, was one factor in the Supreme Court’s decision,” said Dr. Christopher Ferguson, associate professor of psychology and expert on the effects of video games on minors.

The other three professors who signed the amicus brief were Dr. John Kilburn, professor of sociology, Dr. Claudia E. San Miguel, director, criminal justice program, and Dr. Frances P. Bernat, chair, behavioral sciences.

“Our brief sought to inform the Supreme Court more honestly of the research available in relation to video games,” Ferguson said.

The 7 – 2 decision noted that the California law “cannot show a direct causal link between violent video games and harm to minors.”

Ferguson stated that the research presented by the state mostly relied on a set of flawed research which included studies funded by anti-media “watchdog” groups. He said that the state ignored research that conflicted with their views.

The Court agreed.

For more information, please contact Ferguson at 326.2636, e-mail cferguson@tamiu.edu or visit offices in Dr. F.M. Canseco Hall, room 302C.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday – Thursday and from 8 a.m. – noon on Fridays.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu