Game Over: Video Games as the New Moral Panic

Posted by QED at 10:23am on October 3rd 2018
A game controller

Since the 1980s, video games have moved from bedrooms and arcades, into mainstream culture. But as gaming has risen, so it has become a convenient source of blame for all manner of societal ills.

Twenty years after Columbine, ‘violent video games’ are still a hot-button topic, despite studies failing to show any clear link between gaming and violence. And yet, the moral panic continues.

With advances in immersive new technologies like Virtual Reality, can video games do us real harm? And won’t anyone think of the children?! Our panel will be:

  • Elle Osili-Wood is a video gaming and culture presenter, with over a decade of experience in journalism. Having started her career as a political reporter for the BBC, she quickly gravitated toward her life long passion for video games, appearing on air to cover gaming for outlets including BBC Breakfast, Channel 4's Gadget Man, Sky News and The Guardian.

  • Ash Webster is a games designer with over a decade of industry experience. Previously working at studios like Travellers Tales and Sony Interactive Entertainment: today he is Game Designer at SimBin Studios UK, currently working on a revival of the popular GTR series.

  • Dr Steve Novella is an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, and the primary host and the producer of the ‘Skepticsʼs Guide to the Universe’ podcast. He authors the NeuroLogica blog, is senior editor of the group health blog, Science Based Medicine.

  • Lana Donaghy is a former games developer and professional video gamer: spending years questing through Azeroth, competing with some of the world’s top World of Warcraft players. These days Lana works in software development and is still a devoted gamer who loves esports.