Twisted Metal's David Jaffe Responds to CNN Coverage of Violent Video Games
Games and their audiences have a long history of not being covered very well by traditional media, which is one thing I thought I could do a bit more effectively than some of my peers in the realm of broadcasting. Traditionally, politicians seem to be the ones who've made themselves look foolish when they attempt to comment on the medium, but the newest face to take on such a role is CNN anchor Erin Burnett.
Burnett rubbed audiences the wrong way, gamers and industry insiders in particular, when, during an on-air interview with psychologist, Dr. William Pollack, she continues to assert video games as a root cause of violence, despite Dr. Pollack's admission that this is simply not the case. The clip can be seen below, and begins at the 3:03 mark.
Various sites covered the story, provided studies that refute Burnett's opinions, and admitted their disappointment in not only the network, but the industry as a whole. However, none seemed to have put it so succinctly as Twisted Metal director, David Jaffe. Jaffe took to Twit Longer earlier this week to voice his own opinions on Burnett's coverage.
Having to maintain a calm and complex demeanor as a gamer to disprove the repeated allegations that press outlets and politicians seem to constantly spew day after day is difficult, and frustrating. Jaffe's known for being, well, "blunt," and he definitely displays this trait in his response. It's honest, to the point, and to be honest, is delicious. Read his response below.
"Dear @ErinBurnett : you, ma'am, are at best an idiot that @cnn should be ashamed to have as an anchor. At worst, you are the worst kind of American: one who has allowed the healthy desire for success to morph into a capitalistic cancer that makes it ok to ignore the facts in order to make your product more appealing, regardless of the consequences. To make matters worse, your own views about video games- which you seem to have no problem sharing with your hundreds of thousands of viewers- clearly have not been formed by any actual research or real life experience with the medium.
I am sure you will think yourself quick and insightful when you tell me- a video game director/designer accusing someone from another industry of making products for profit regardless of consequence- that I am the pot and you are the black kettle. However, if you actually listened to your guests and read the studies (aka if you actually did some....some....hmmm, what's that word you journalists have for it? Oh right: RESEARCH!) you would see you are wrong; you would see there remains- after years of studies- zero evidence of video games with violent subject matter causing real life violence.
On the flip side- you know: YOUR side- there is very real evidence that our society suffers greatly when our news media fails to properly inform the public.
The fact that you think a guy who 'trains'* on a shooting video game would be granted the skill to horrifically, tragically kill those CHILDREN in Norway only serves to show how little research you do before you open your mouth in front of your world wide audience under the guise of delivering news. I'm not sure what makes your argument look more ignorant: the fact that you don't back up your idiotic statement by showing a correlation to the current health of America's agriculture sector with the popularity of Farmville OR the fact that the sick, deranged evil loser who killed those poor kids in Norway had picked such a poor 'training' tool that after 700 hours of play, he was only capable of hitting little kids with his bullets versus the well armed pretend terrorists and highly skilled virtual soldiers that he was battling in the game.
Shame on you. But more importantly: shame on your profession. It deserves so much better.**
*'Train' is such a stupid, irresponsible verb that you- without a shred of guilt- chew into with relish and repeat over and over because you know it helps sell your false story.
** I know journalism deserves better than you because I really love Sorkin's The Newsroom plus I saw Broadcast News back in high school at least 5 times (I had a crush on Holly Hunter- so sue me!) which means- in your world- I must have the equivalent of a journalism degree from Columbia plus a few years experience working for The Washington Post (back in the 70's, I mean, when it was really something special). So because of that, I know you will trust me when I tell you that you are not right for your current job and that you should quit and go try to be on something like The View or try to act in a movie or some such."
Well put Mr. Jaffe, well put.