A US psychologist claims an increase in rapes can be ‘attributed in large part’ to video games, adding that playing EA’s Bulletstorm could invoke ‘significant damage’.
Fox News in the US has published an article entitled ‘Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?”
In the article, Carol (actual name Carole) Lieberman, a “psychologist and book author”, makes the following astonishing claim:
“The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.”
Dr. Jerry Weichman, a clinical psychologist at the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Southern Californi, adds:
“If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm’s explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant.
“Violent video games like Bulletstorm have the potential to send the message that violence and insults with sexual innuendos are the way to handle disputes and problems.”
Later in the piece, however, Entertainment Consumers Association president Hal Halpin defends the game industry, stating: “Between a great ratings system, parental controls on the consoles and the major retailers inhibiting the sale of Mature-rated games to minors, the matter is really one for parents and adults to consider, individually.
“I respect the creative rights of game developers to make a game like Bulletstorm in the same way that I appreciate Quentin Tarantino’s right to make over-the-top movies like Kill Bill.”
Bulletstorm, rated 18, launches February 25 in the UK on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
[UPDATE: We initially attributed the claim about increased incidents of rape to Dr. Jerry Weichman. This was incorrect. In the Fox New piece it is Carole Lieberman (referred to as ‘Carol’ Lieberman in the article) who says this.]