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Boom Headshot, perpetuating the 'murder-simulator' narrative through bad science

March 17, 2017, 11:23:12 PM by kat


The recent retraction of “Boom, Headshot!”: Effect of Video Game Play and Controller Type on Firing Aim and Accuracy[1] from the Journal of Communication Research ended a protracted five year controversy over the papers findings, not because they were wrong, but as a consequence of the data necessary to refute or verify such claims essentially going missing. This is significant given the studies purpose was to inform the debate on violent FPS 'shooter' style games being "murder simulators"[2], essentially asserting violent video games are effective tools to train people to kill through "opperant conditioning" (learning through rote or repetition), a claim that's not actually debunked by virtue of the paper having been retracted.

The situation is worthy of note for a number of reasons; it speaks to longstanding concerns over an apparent 'soft science' bias in academia[3]; the 'Jerry-mandered' of Journal Publishing[4]; the veracity of the results and their meaning relative to the approach used to test the papers hypothesis/assertions. It's this latter point that's particularly interesting given the narrative if feeds in to (see above) and the fundamentally flawed approach to discovery taken; in a nut-shell participants fired an airsoft pistol at a fixed (man-shaped) target after a 'conditioning' period playing specific video games using mouse/keyboard or 'gun' shaped controllers, but were not required to do so beforehand. Individual baselines were instead established though Q&A surveys that built a psychological profile of each persons general attitude towards firearms etc., not their raw live-fire ability[5].

In other words, the participants thoughts and feelings towards firearms and related usage were the initial gauge, that when added to the conditioning period, allowed a correlation to be established; the more favorable the attitude, and the greater the conditioning exposure, the greater and accuracy predicted and measured, the follow-through then being that first-person shooters do indeed 'train' people be be killers, an extraordinary extrapolation of implied cause and affect that has greater implications for society, not for any corollary aspects towards violence per se, but rather because the paper is actually an attempt to establish a universal psychological test that can determine a persons state of being based on a series of theoretical reference points, that 8 year old Charlotte's crude "L" shaped crayon sketch of a gun predicts her to be a killer[6].

The problem with this is that the leap to conclusion is so grossly over-compensatory (for want of a better word) it can be used as a predictive measure of just about any outcome plugged in to it; a person with a favorable attitude towards bassoons, who played hours of "Bassoon & You too", is predicted to be an "accurate" Bassoon player. Replace "firearm" with "baseball", "cricket", "bow and arrow", "tiddlywinks" and the formulas prediction is the same; [positive attitude] + [increased virtual/fictional exposure] = [increasing real-world outcome], not the hours and hours of hands-on live-fire (in this instance) instruction, training[7], practice and dedication.

That "Boom Headshot['s]" failings were not spotted or commented on at inception or any other point during research and publication[8], perhaps speaks just as much to the concerns mentioned in the opening paragraph as it does to simply poor science and the propensity towards 'celebrity publication bias' to court controversy as a means of garnering corporate/business/financial interest, problems not easily solved for subjects with such low efficacy/high output rates[9].

P.S. The articles full heading/title should be "Boom Headshot! Perpetuating the "violent video games are murder simulators" narrative through bad science" but it doesn't fit.


Footnote:
[1] “Boom, Headshot!”: Effect of Video Game Play and Controller Type on Firing Aim and Accuracy [researchgate]. "Abstract: Video games are excellent training tools. Some writers have called violent video games “murder simulators.” [Jack Thompson] Can violent games “train” a person to shoot a gun? There are theoretical reasons to believe they can. Participants (N = 151) played a violent shooting game with humanoid targets that rewarded headshots, a nonviolent shooting game with bull’s-eye targets, or a nonviolent nonshooting game. Those who played a shooting game used either a pistol-shaped or a standard controller. Next, participants shot a realistic gun at a mannequin. Participants who played a violent shooting game using a pistol-shaped controller had 99% more headshots and 33% more other shots than did other participants. These results remained significant even after controlling for firearm experience, gun attitudes, habitual exposure to violent shooting games, and trait aggressiveness. Habitual exposure to violent shooting games also predicted shooting accuracy. Thus, playing violent shooting video games can improve firing accuracy and can influence players to aim for the head." (emphasis added).

[2] Although the term "murder simulators" was popularised through Jack Thompson's efforts in the late 1990's to restrict the availability of video games to minors. it originates with author David Grossman who used the phrase to describe the overall effect he asserted playing violent video games had on players (minors in particular). It has since been used variously by other critics of violent video games.

[3] The soft science bias is essential a symptom of the publication of subjective topics of research that prove difficult to properly or reliably replicate or prove one way or the other. This raises further concerns over such research being given platforms and published because it essentially falls into the realms of being subjective op-ed and non-falsifiable in nature, a position more typical of advocacy, politicised or propaganda research conducted by a stake-holders or vested interests as a means to push a supportive or favourable narrative - 'soft' subjects like political science, gender studies, the arts & humanities generally, exhibit greater propensity to towards bias than hard sciences like physics, biology etc.
Search terms "publication bias soft sciences"
 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: "US studies may overestimate effect sizes in softer research".
 - Public Library of Science: "“Positive” Results Increase Down the Hierarchy of the Sciences".
 - Department of Education, University of Chicago: "How Hard Is Hard Science, How Soft Is Soft Science? The Empirical Cumulativeness of Research".
 - International Council for Science: "Advisory Note "Bias in science publishing"".
 - et cetera, et cetera.

[4] Gerrymandering research is not so much cherry picking but selective filtering, data that supports a predefined conclusion is allowed though the filter even though it may not be fully supportive of the goal, whereas cherry-picking deals exclusive with selective bias. The difference between the two is that the former can give a greater appearance of veracity because conclusions aren't quite so easily refuted. In addition to this, journals giving voice to such 'soft-science' research are notorious for courting controversy for sake of notoriety or interest in their publications, often publishing controversial subjects that may or may not be backed by thorough research and/or exhibit preference towards fashionable political topics of discussion. In other words "Boom, Headshot...", 1) should not have been published in the first place if the data was not available at the time, and what should have been a glaring problems with their approach, and 2) was published because the subject is politically topical (as are the papers authors) which brings in interest to the Journal, not because the topic had any greater 'truth' to tell or merit than other research in the field.

[5] The determining factor using this approach is 'exposure', the prediction being essentially the greater the exposure the better the persons transferable accuracy (they are predicted to be better with the real(ish) thing). This allows for the establishment of a non-falsifiable correlation because the baseline is theoretical predictive assertion, not contextually measured objective observation - control variable (the baseline) was established by having "[p]articipants ... [complete] a number of control variables, including the Aggression Questionnaire, the Attitudes Toward Guns Scale, and the Attitudes Toward Guns and Violence Questionnaire [that were] combined to form a composite measure of attitudes toward guns. [They were also asked] whether they had received firearms training and ... their three favorite video games ... used to measure habitual exposure to shooting video games. With the exception of a deer-hunting video game, all shooting games involved killing humanoid targets and all were rated “M” (for mature players 17 and older)".

[6] An interesting throw-away from the paper reveals there to have been no difference in outcome based on the individuals sex/gender, female participants were as likely to perform as males "[t]here were no main or interactive effects involving participant sex for headshots or other shots, so the data from men and women were combined.". In addition to this, the live-fire section of the research was conducted in a way that replicated the game environment, not real-world usage, i.e., the distance between shooter and target was sufficient to allow WYAIWYH (Where You Aim Is Where You Hit), rather than demanding the shooter involve more complex motor skills to compensate for ballistics etc., "... the firing distance selected for this experiment (20 ft; 6.1 m) was determined during pretesting to be an optimal distance for most successfully landing a hit where one aimed on the target". In other words the test was designed not to fail.

[7] It's important to note "[p]articipants were instructed in the use of the pistol and wore safety goggles while shooting. A post-test-only design was employed to eliminate pistol-firing practice effects" (the compensatory factors are not disclosed). This fact should have repudiated the papers central premise, that violent video games train people to use firearm, especially without any live-fire comparative baseline.

[8] The paper does not appear to have been peer-reviewed.

[9] Perhaps a more objective way to have conducted the test might have been to have a control group that were not asked any questions, were not conditioned and only shot at targets. This could be expanding to have been done several time at fixed intervals, or interval matching the start/end of each phase other participants were involved with. For example, baseline shoot, Q&A end shoot, conditioning end shoot, final shoot. Same for the other participants, a shoot after each phase. Without any of this there is no historical comparative test to be made, which makes the research not much more than vanity publishing and one more disingenuous step towards the litany of 'pre' tests to determine potential 'pre' crime as it were.

GDC "Teaching students to make games under Fascism"

March 05, 2017, 09:22:33 PM by kat
GDC 2017 - Teaching Students to Make Games Under Fascism
[image courtesy Twitter]

Video: GDC Vault Education Soapbox (relevant section starts 0:30:00 mins). Transcript below.

The image above is from the Education Soapbox session of the Game Developers Conference annual "GDC Education Summit". The slide, "Teaching Students to Make Games Under Fascism", is part of a broader presentation, "Teaching Students to Make Socially Aware Games", arguing the case that games and game development are 'political' (small "p" although vid. [1(b)]) and in being so can be used to convey politicised messages and ideas, especially those of marginalised or under-represented groups. To address these shortfalls educators are called to task through appeals to a greater social and moral imperative[1], that they are, for all intents and purposes, obligated and duty-bound to teach greater awareness and sensitivity towards these narratives in their students, especially given the current sociopolitical environment, that Trumps America is Fascist.

It's difficult to determine whether this 'fascist' threat narrative and barely disguised anti-Trump rhetoric is sensationalised and hyperbolic for the sake of drawing attention to the authors field of study, or for other reasons. Whatever the case may be its certainly not a reflection of, or a reasonable commentary on, reality as it stands; were Trumps Administration and United States actually fascist, GDC, let along the session and its speakers, would not be quite so public and open with their dissent and advocacy for 'resistance' and 'subversion' of what would then be 'The Parties' policies, no matter how 'just' ("J" and "j") the cause or 'brave' the speaker and others thought themselves to be for "speaking out". History paints a vivid picture on this point[2].

Aside from it being de rigueur, a cause célèbre, for cohorts of such to come together in oppositional solidarité to the new Trump Administration "SUM = [because] + [reasons(n)]", these discussions are not about games or game development, or even the issues on the table, themselves often poorly constructed facades. They are instead nothing more than recruitment drives, initiatives meant to bring new blood into class-based political agitation, a facsimile of '{rich} vs. {poor}', '{black} vs. {white}', now '{arbitrary attribute} vs. {privilege}', an ostensibly unfalsifiable self-justifying dialectic[3].

To this end these political activists and agitators, those cunningly disguised as 'educators' and 'thought-leaders', are teaching students argumentative slight-of-hand tricks that perpetuate and preserve the narrative, not solve the problems they may present, techniques useful in deconstructing the workplace and crippling business through polarising categorization and division under the guise of "civil rights" instead of building cohesion around difference, a far more valuable skill in highly competitive global marketplaces[4], and arguably what students actually pay for when studying, not just game design, and what they aught to be hearing when attending premiere development confabs like GDC.

Bluntly put, what these interlopers are doing is co-opting students futures with emotionally appealing faux injustices, half-baked conspiracy theories of little tangible benefit in the workplace. An outlook that will eventually have them looking back on lives lived with significant and longstanding unpaid dept, of being openly resentful at realising they were nothing more than child-sacrifices to a different demi-god, a fabricated pseudo-religious conflict[5], their bodies thrown on the barbed wire of disingenuous confabulations so the 'Clerics' and 'Architects' could walk their backs freely to the pots of government gold at the end of the rainbow, the sole beneficiaries of "The Struggle" and very institutions they spent so much energy opposing, with nary a thought of the students used to get there.

This isn't "education". Its not "teaching", game development or any one of the associated disciplines. Its not even "critical theory". Its simply a malicious and deliberate hijacking of students enthusiasm for all things gaming and game development at a time when their intellectual defenses are least resistant to abuse, and an "abuse" it is. Its a mendacious and open theft of the young's minds and futures for the agitation of falsehoods, self-perpetuating politicking intentionally structured to be unsolvable and unending.


Footnotes:
[1] GDC 2017 - "Teaching Students to Make Socially-Aware Games"
(a) "[sic] Video Games Are Expressions of Culture, Goddamn it, and It Is Ethically Irresponsible of Us as Educators and Human Being, Especially Given the Garbage Fire That Is Politics Today, to Send Our Students out into the World without Teaching Them to Think about the Fact that the Work They Produce Exists in a Broader Social Context - Like, to Seriously Think about That and Actually Care".
(b) "[sic] VIDEO GAMES ARE POLITICAL. THE WAY WE MAKE GAMES IS POLITICAL. THE WAY THAT WE TEACH OUR STUDENTS TO MAKE GAMES IS POLITICAL".

[2] Much of the historical literature that survives actual fascist and authoritarian regimes paint poignant portraits of daily life, and none of it is the Hollywood or cinematically glamourised fiction of "vive la résistance", "che G" t-shirt revisionism, its dirty, stinks of piss and vomit, of doing anything to eat and stay alive, of being anonymous so as to go unnoticed, of slinking through shadows, talking in whispers to avoid not just official political enforcers, but the more abundant and arguably more dangerous snitches and citizen spies ready to do a 'turn' over split milk. Being an 'enemy of the state', mildly political or oppositional were never prerequisites to persecution when a person could be beaten for walking on the correct side of the road.

[3] There's a fundamental difference between the historical "{black} vs. {white}" struggle of the 1950's and 60's Civil Rights movement and said same struggle under the newer millennial "{arbitrary attribute} vs. {privilege}" paradigm. For the former a persons 'value' as an individual, and to society at large, was largely determined by their actions and deeds, their "character" as exemplified in Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech. For the latter the opposite is the case, 'character' and 'value' are affectations, subordinate consideration to whatever arbitrary attributes a person may possess or claim, like skin colour. In this way the individuals successes and failures can be blamed on 'self' (former) or 'others' (latter), making the person responsible for their own mistakes (former), or the victim of others (latter).

The NET effect of this difference now is a self-justifying "hierarchy of privilege", the "Progressive Stack" as its more commonly know, 'white' being at the top ("white, CIS-gendered Male" to be precise) with every other 'attribute' ("marginalised" grouping) below. In this inversion lower staves of the stack have greater 'value' because they are considered to be more 'marginalised' in Society, so greater effort should be expended giving voice to those individuals than anyone above them, regardless as to merits of the claim (its not a 'meritocracy').

In other words a 'white' person is 'systemically privileged' because they are 'white' rather than as a consequence of their efforts, 'good' or 'bad'. In this way being 'white' means the individual must always be taking advantage of privilege systems and the underprivileged regardless of outcome or intent. Conversely a 'black' person (anyone that's 'non-white') is always a victim of someone regardless of their efforts to be 'good' or 'bad' because they are not subject to the same systemic privileges advantaging a 'white' person.

This manifestation of "intersectionality" as this is properly called, is an inescapable self-reinforcing victimology that enslaves adherents to a hierarchy of forced outcome instead of selective opportunity, a construction of arbitrary considerations that can be flipped and changed at the turn of a D20. Its a grand illusion that tricks people into bondage to those at the very top, not the 'evil white man', but the Stacks authors, the oft' soft-spoken, self-effacing 'intellectuals' and 'social critics' who perpetuate what is nothing more than an alternative system of control, a different form of the 'systemic oppression' supposedly being fought, the success of which is solely dependent upon continued appeals to individual and societal (in)justice and outrage.

In essence its a system that continues to victimise victims of oppression by recasting the means through which victimhood manifests itself whilst its high-priestesses and priests revel in the rewards of nonfalsifiable, unchallengeable and unaccountable positions of authority (criticism justifies the systems existence, not its veracity or efficacy).

[4] Bureau of Labor Statistics "Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations"
(a) Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015
 - Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations (Major Group)
 - Software Developers, Applications
 - Computer Programmers
 - Multimedia Artists and Animators
 - Political Scientists
(b) Work for play: Careers in video game development
(c) Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
(d) American Political Science Association research and development
(e) Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering, Fall 2015
 - Table 9. Graduate students in science, engineering, and health in all institutions, by detailed field: 2010–15

[5] Student loans are often the most significant repayment obligation experienced by the individual other than a home mortgage, and depending on the type, value and severity of the repayment schedule, may cause the debtor significant stress. Poorly managed this can lead to any number of mental-health issues or increasingly risky coping behaviours including the possibility of depression or suicide. In this context being indebted for the sake of a "useless degree" is a significant co-factor to problems in later life rarely, if ever, openly contemplated or considered by 'political activists' as they chase new recruits for their cause instead of arming them with tools for success that should include their being able to repay loans taken against their education.
 - Student suicides in those aged 18 years and above, by sex and usual place of residence indicator, deaths registered in England and Wales between 2001 and 2015
 - CDC factsheet : Suicides (incl. students) facts at a glance 2015
 - Office of National Statistics - suicide rates (UK)
 - National Institute of Mental Health - suicide rates (US)
 - Royal College of Psychiatrists: CR166. The Mental health of students in higher education (pub. 2011)
(a) U.S. Department of Education, Student Loans, Forgiveness
 - National Student Loan Two-year Default Rates
 - Official Cohort Default Rates for Schools
 - - FY 2013 3-Year Official Cohort Default Rates by State/Territory-National Calculated August 6, 2016
(b) DEGREES OF DEBT: Funding and finance for undergraduates in Anglophone countries - a comparative investigation of student debt levels in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong

March 02, 2017, 09:26:06 PM by kat
[image courtesy MobyGames]

A new book set to be published this month (March 2017), "Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong" (Amzn), by psychologists Patrick M. Markey (@patmarkey) and Christopher J. Ferguson (@CJFerguson1111) sets out to dispel a number of persistent myths about video games and their relationship with real world aggression and violence, as well as providing some lesser publicised data on the benefits of gaming.

One interesting aspect of the research seeing daylight/media coverage[1] highlights a possible correlation(?) between rates of gaming and levels of societal violence; depending on the amount of time spent engaging with video games it appears that societies become/are less violent as an overall consequence. Interestingly looking at the names on the list nearly all high gaming, low violence Regions are classically Western in outlook, i.e., the USA, UK, Japan, Germany etc., for example.

For this assertion to be true however, video games would generally have to be equally available to have a deeper, dispersed effect on respective populations, which doesn't appear to be the case (even when weighted per [n] of population). Or looked at from a different perspective, the hours put into games themselves are not direct indicators of the degree to which a society may or may not be violent per se, rather its video games and gaming's broader availability.

In other words the degree to which video games, being almost universally non-essential luxury items (even in the West), are available, let alone played, more accurately indicates the degree to which individuals have the disposable income and leisure time to pursue such trivial and non-essential activities, the lack of which (disposable income/leisure time) are more succinct signals of poverty and its gross correlation with societal violence (notwithstanding the degree to which political and/or religious authoritarianism dictate conditions of oppression preventing or limiting the individuals upward mobility - its not surprising that such Regions strike low for gaming but high for violence).

In this context the prevalence of video-games, and gaming in general, are simply reflective of the Nations general socioeconomic well being, factors that have much greater influence of broader societal violence. Without reading through the book and research fully then (and going on what's presented in the media), there is a danger of misattributing causes and effect no matter how good the message or intention of the messenger(s), which in turn risks greater harm to the 'cause' than might otherwise be had.


Footnotes:
[1] press coverage is focusing on the assertion that increased video gaming equates to low societal violence. For example;
 - The Sun "CONSPIRACY OF VIOLENCE Nations where video games like Call of Duty, Halo, and Grand Theft Auto are hugely popular have FEWER murders and violent assaults"
 - Daily Mail "Countries that play more violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty have FEWER murders"

Social media experiment

February 14, 2017, 12:13:08 PM by kat
Social media is both a blessing and bane. A blessing because users are able to access multiple 'news' sources from a single location. Bane because users see just a fraction of the channels and outlets they are subscribed to being, through no fault of their own, none-the-wiser to the fact.

It doesn't matter the platform of choice, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, etc., they all do the same thing in that they actively throttle and filter feeds to reduce the amount of 'noise' users are subject to (posts service providers deem to be unwanted, spam, junk etc.), often explained as efforts to "improve the end user experience of the service".

In practice this simply means subscribers see but a fraction of the posts they subscribed to receiving (and this is notwithstanding the presumption this presents, of the service provider acting as a content filter, or content 'censor', an action that indirectly suggests users are not capable of determining what they want to see), or they're seeing older content because of the feedback loop this creates - popular posts remain popular because they're popular (constantly visible).

For content creators this creates a huge looming problem, a reality that means but a fraction of their notices are even seen; a indie game developer with a thousand followers on Twitter for example should expect 1000 page-views of a particular tweet every time one is posted - the single message goes out to, and is therefore seen by, all their subscribers.

What happens instead, with all the system wide filters in place, is a significant reduction in views and notifications to the effect that the content creator might now only achieve a 10% viewing, 100 pairs of eyeballs, leaving a colossal 90% of the audience having no idea the creator has even been posting (its own problem[1]) - an important patch to a game, a texture update, who knows, they never see the message.

The suggested solution to this is for creators to post more. But all this does is give the platform holders more content to block filter, whilst making increases to the amount of people still not seeing the content they wanted to be notified about. Its still a 10%/90% split, albeit with differing gross numbers. And this is notwithstanding the increased time and energy the creator has to spend generating content for social media rather than for project development. It's more time, effort and energy surrendered to platform holders than creator projects.

The ideal solution to this situation would be for Social media platforms to remove filters they control and instead provide users the tools they need to better manage what they want to see or not, give the individual control rather than having that material controlled, benevolently, on their behalf. Some already do this to an extent, Facebook and Twitter for example, but in doing so the feature essentially sits atop deeply entrenched service wide throttling and filtering that has the intended effect of reducing posts the user is exposed to even further.

There may be ways to bypass these filters and controls, unfortunately they're not easy to find so they can be adjusted or disabled. Even where they are available, getting the word out is neigh impossible when such messages aren't seen in the first place... because they're being filtered.


Footnotes:
[1] a typical exchange might go something like this;
- "WHY RN'T U POSTING UPDATES!!!!".
- "We are. Are you're not seeing them?".
- "IM SUB'D 2 U, I C EVRYT'G, U CENSORING ME!!!!".
- "Our messages might be getting blocked by [service provider]".
- "I DN'T BLOCK U, U CENSOR'G ME!!!".
- "Check your settings or notifications".
- "I NOT CHNG'D ANY'TG".
- "Unfortunately there's nothing we can do".
- "U FIX IT!!!!!".
- */block.

Affected by the "Muslim Ban" - plan of action

February 11, 2017, 03:16:03 PM by kat
Seeing as the ESA, GDC, IGDA et al are too busy letting everyone know how the "Muslim Ban" is terrible, doing very little to actually help those potentially caught in the middle of the controversy. Here's a few things to look into if you are, or might be, one of the unfortunate;
The following is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or otherwise formal advice. Where appropriate, consult a qualified representative for advice, support or assistance.
  • Check if the suspension actually applies to you
     - the  following Countries are (currently) subject to the Executive Order; Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Sudan.
  • Check your employment status
     - are you a Temporary Worker, a Student, Intern, on Work Placement, a Permanent Worker, or Overseas Worker; the rules differ significantly for each 'status' type so be clear about the conditions under which you are working or providing labour (Overseas Workers, that is individuals that freelance, work-for-hire, or provide otherwise short-term or project-to-project contract based labour outside the United States with no requirements for travel, are not typically subject to Visa requirements UNLESS they intend to enter the United States).
  • Contact your employer
     - if you have not yet been contacted by your employer, their HR department or legal representatives, get in touch with them. Check your employment status with the company/business/venture, especially where H-1B's are concerned ("H-1B Specialty Occupations, DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers, and Fashion Models").
  • Get informed
     - read through the appropriate section(s) of the U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services et al website to make sure you understand your duties and obligations with respect to the Visa authorising your working for a U.S. based business, i.e., "Understanding H-1B Requirements".
  • Do you need to travel to the United States
     - determine whether travel to/from the United States is a condition of employment/work; the Executive Order currently only affects travel to/from the Countries listed above, not work by itself, which is controlled by different rules and regulations (per "Check your employment status" above, 'work' as a function is not subject to the ban unless there is a requirement the provider of labour is expected to travel to the United States - providing freelance services from a Country subject to the Executive Order does not necessarily prohibit service provision based in/from those locations).
  • Contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy
    -  the U.S. Embassy services represent the United States interests in a given region and will be versed on appropriate actions available; Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Sudan.
  • Contact local Department of Employment
     - advice may also be sought from your regional 'department of employment'.
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