Ithaca Dad Trying to End Violence, One Video Game at a Time

Although advocates for each side of the do-video-games-cause-violent-behavior issue can find studies to support their point of view, Ithaca resident Erik Lehmann isn’t waiting around for any further conclusive proof.

He has launched an event, Game Changers Experience, which is set to debut locally Friday evening at the Southside Community Center. From Ithaca Journal health reporter Shawnee A. Barnes:

The event encourages young people, and adults, to trade in a violent video game or movie as the price of admission and transform them into art. The workshop is co-facilitated by internationally acclaimed artist Lily Yeh and introduces participants to “real life game changers,” which Lehman defined as people who have changed their lives to work toward promoting peace.

Yeh has worked in impoverished inner cities and is known for involvement in the Rwanda Healing Project, in which she used visual art to bring peace and promote emotional healing in villages subjected to war and genocide in the 1990s.

Lehmann, a father of three, started Game Changers as a direct response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. The Ithaca Police Department is on board; if enough funds are raised, a permanent mural will be created; and local visual artist Julie Angerosa will lead tomorrow night’s workshop on how to use CDs/DVDs as artistic media.

Recently, Thom Singer blogged a post entitled “Cool Things My Friends Do: Erik Lehmann.” Hard to argue with that headline.