With an added poor excuse for an apology.
What went wrong? To answer that question I spoke with Sarah Parkes, media and public information chief at ITU in Geneva, Switzerland. She is now ultimately responsible for the report and will be the final person to sign off on the revision.
“We got a lot of feedback on it and some of it has been very constructive,” she told me over the phone. “Some from academia have contributed research. We are very pleased that the digital environment allows this quite quick collaboration.”
“Really, the big problem was footnoting which was not up to standard and we very much regret that,” said Parkes. “That is being revised very thoroughly. We are adamant that we will have these [footnotes] all corrected.”
That’s not the only thing that needed to be corrected. Luckily Brad Glasgow also asked Parkes about the reports association of violent video games with real world violence.
I asked her about the report’s association of violent video games with real world violence. “We’ve had a professor from a university share some of the studies [related to video game violence] with us and that will be reflected in the revised research. It’s a difficult area because there are certainly studies that show no link [to real world violence]. But I think on the other side of the debate there’s still some question because there’s no longitudinal study. This is an area where it’s complicated and I think we need to rely on the psychological studies.”
How complicated is it really, though? Seems more likely it was needlessly added to fit some anti-gamer agenda, but no need to start conspiracy theories, right? After all, the report was simply made to raise awareness.
What do they want to accomplish with the report? “It is just to raise awareness,” she said. “We just wanted to stimulate debate and say this is an area of increasing concern and it needs to be discussed.”
All in all, it seems they knew the report was bad, blamed it on poor timing and the only real info in this apology that I can see is an estimated time we can expect to see this report after it’s been revised.
Parkes hopes to have the report itself fully revised within two weeks, but has no definitive time frame.
Keep an eye out for that, I know I will.