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Scholars File Brief Against St. Louis Videogame Ordinance

Today the Free Expression Policy Project (FEPP) filed a brief which urged a federal appeals court to strike down a St. Louis ordinance
that restricts children from playing violent videogames. FEPP, based in New York City, is an anti-censorship advocacy group that provides empirical research and aids in policy development. The signatories of the brief include scholars from institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UCLA and London University. The ruling, made by the U.S. District Court in St. Louis last April, upheld a local ordinance which permitted the county to restrict access by minors to videogames based on game content. The FEPP brief, signed by 33 media scholars, historians, psychologists and games researchers, countered the argument that playing violent games incites violent behavior. FEPP's argument states that "most laboratory experiments and other efforts to prove adverse effects from media violence have yielded null results. Those researchers reporting 'aggressive' effects, moreover, have often manipulated the numbers, ignored negative findings, and used measures of 'aggression' that are artificial and often ridiculous (for example, popping balloons or recognizing 'aggressive' words on a computer screen)." The full text of the brief can be found here.

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