On Monday, March 1 at 4pm EST, Chris Ferguson, HxA member and professor of psychology at Stetson University, led a session on violent video games and availability cascades.

For decades, scholars, policy makers and the public have debated whether violent video games are harmful. After nearly forty years, preregistered open science data has clarified that violent games do not appear involved with causing violent crime or aggressive behavior. Nonetheless, the belief persists in some quarters.

This discussion considered the theory of availability cascade: how secondary sources can make false beliefs impenetrable to good data. Understanding what happened in video game research can help us identify and work to correct current and future availability cascades more quickly.