A new analysis of the signatories to briefs in the landmark Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association case
now before the Supreme Court finds those arguing for restrictions on violent games are published more often those arguing against them.
Study co-author and communication and psychology professor Brad Bushman says the "objective approach" taken by his study provides "strong support for the argument that video game violence is indeed harmful."
In other words, since supporters of violent game restrictions have more published pieces than their opposition, the argument against game violence is more credible, according the the study author.
The review, as described in a ScienceDaily summary
, looked at the research pedigrees of the 115 people who signed a brief in support of California's proposed restrictions on children's ability to purchase violent games, and 82 people who signed a brief in opposition.
Using a database of references in psychological papers, the researchers determined how many articles and books on violence and aggression experts on each side had published, and how many of those papers were published in journals that an algorithm determined had the most impact.
The results found that 60 percent of signatories to the state's brief has published at least one study on violence and aggression, compared to only 17 percent of those in opposition. Looking exclusively at studies specifically related to media violence, the gap shrinks to 37 percent of state signatories with at least one published paper and 13 percent of the opposition.
What's more, those in support of the state's brief had published 48 times as many papers in the most respected journals than those who signed the opposition's brief, the study found
The study did not appear to evaluate the specific contents of each published paper, nor the specific impact or number of citations for individual papers in the study.
The paper, which also includes authors from Iowa State University and Texas Southern University, is to be published in the May issue of the Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy.