Published in Foreign Policy on Games for Peace


Can Your PlayStation Stop a War?

Video games are being used for everything from helping find cures for HIV to losing weight. It’s time to start using them to make peace.

The question of whether violent video games cause violence in the real world has been around pretty much since they were introduced. It’s a controversial issue and one that has prompted at least six reports by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and was the subject of a 2011 Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban on selling them to kids without parental supervision. From policymakers to parents, people are investing resources into investigating how interactive media shapes audiences both psychologically and behaviorally. As it turns out, although most of the worst fears about games creating a more violent society are overblown, they do, like all media, have an impact on the people who use them. In the past decade, designers have begun to harness that impact capability to achieve positive social impact, on the idea that games could inspire a new wave of good.

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