Honestly, there are so many things to object to in the piece that I'm unsure of exactly where to start.
I suppose I may as well start at the top. Now, my journalism's a little rusty, it having been several years since I had any kind of formal education in the trade, but I seem to remember something about how headlines are supposed to be verifiably true statements of fact, and not simple statements of opinion. A headline of "24 Car Pileup on I-90 Results In Deaths, Injuries" would be correct, but a headline of "Violent video games are training children to kill" would not. Even adding the words "Asserts Local Father" would have done the trick. If the article had been posted as an Op/Ed piece, it would have been permissable, but as a news feature, it's simply bad journalism. Perhaps, just perhaps, the title would have succeeded had it cited an influential and unquestionable research study, but it doesn't do that either.
As a matter of fact, as I scan the article, it appears to be so fact-free that it's a wonder anyone allowed it to be published in the first place.
It cites absolutely no specific games, using the laughable excuse "because I won't advertise them", as if the vulnerable, impressionable children Mr France purports to care about may read his article and get the idea to go out and buy the videogames in question. Unfortunately this robs the article of any kind of journalistic integrity or quality; without a bibliography, Mr France appears to be quoting from second- or third-hand accounts of video games, without reliable sources and without experiencing the games himself.
The article speciously conjures the specter of Gary Ridgeway in a muddled, ill-conceived attempt to draw a correlation between the worst serial killer America has ever had and playing video games, even though there is no logical or semantic connection between the two phenomenons other than the fact that they both feature violence. Somehow, Gary Ridgeway is supposed to serve as some sort of cautionary tale: "If your kids play violent video games, they might end up like this guy!" But no evidence of this claim is offered.
Then, it goes on to say that Janice Ellis and Bruce Eklund are "dismayed with game-based human behavior that transcends mere violence." This, like so many other statements in the article, appears to be a throwaway statement, because this "game-based human behavior," whatever that is, is never defined. How it "transcends mere violence" is never explained.
Somehow, the dehumanization that Ridgeway and other serial killers inflict on their victims is translated into video games: a neat semantic trick, but not an assertion that holds water. France's statement "...this is largely what... video games do. Make victims into something much less than human..." is designed to shame those who enjoy playing games; somehow, if you play a game that contains killing of imaginary entities who don't exist, in a context entirely disconnected from reality, you are no better than Ridgeway himself. There seems to be a disconnect here, a basic inability to distinguish fact from fiction, reality from fantasy.
The games are presented as being dangerous because of the "simulation techniques" they employ. One of my favorite quotes in this section is "The youngsters who hold the joysticks and sit at the keyboards hold the guns and axes. Young players practice cutting heads off. They rehears shooting police officers and urinating on them."
It's worth noting here that Mr France, with a completely straight face, is asserting that holding a joystick or sitting at a keyboard actually somehow imparts the muscle memory, precision, reflexes, accuracy, and strength necessary to fire a handgun or a rifle, to swing an axe (something that we all know is a huge problem in modern society, axe murders are certainly on the rise), to decapitate a human being, to shoot a police officer, to urinate on a dead body. These statements belie a profound misunderstanding on Mr France's part of exactly how simulation works.
Mr France also states that "video games are expected to reach $20 billion in sales this year. That is a sizable piece of the growing economy everybody is hoping for, and it works directly against what most parents want for their children." The claim here is that the size of the video game industry somehow works directly against what most parents want for their children.
There are two incorrect direct or implied assumtions here: that most parents don't want their children playing games, and that the bulk of the sales of the video game industry is of violent games. The statement is inherently conflicting. The size of the industry is a direct reflection of the fact that most parents are just fine with their kids playing games, and in fact many parents today grew up playing games themselves.
Additionally, the simple expedient of even glancing at the sales charts from the last few years would demonstrate the point that the bulk of videogame sales are not of the M-rated games that Mr France is McCarthying against; rather, they are of far less potentially controversial products, like The Sims, its attendant add-on packages, and the adventure gaming classic Myst.
One of the most disturbing statements in the entire article, the statement that truly belies the fascist nature of the article and its author, is this: "So parents have to first protect and nurture their own children, but it helps when they also help protect and nurture other children." The idea that my neighbor would help protect and nurture my children, rather than allowing me to set my own boundaries and levels of acceptability for my own children, reminds one of the rallying cries made by terrorists, religious extremists, Crusaders, and all others who would force their way of life upon others.
In the end, Mr France recommends direct involvement with one's children, and supervision of their gaming habits. With this, I could not agree more. But Mr France would do well to mind his own children, and let me worry about mine. He would also do well to concentrate on facts rather than on elaborately constructed fantasies and "common wisdom" of his own manufacture.