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US politicians renew calls for violent games investigation following Lanza “score” headlines

Wednesday, 20th March 2013 22:29 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Following a report suggesting the perpetrator of last year’s Sandy Hook massacre was trying to get some sort of ‘high score’, a pair of US politicians have renewed their campaigns against violent games.

“In today’s world, where kids can access content across a variety of devices often without parental supervision, it is unrealistic to assume that overworked and stressed parents can prevent their kids from viewing inappropriate content,” West Virginian Democrat senator Jay Rockefeller said this week, according to a Daily News report.

“The only real solution is for the entertainment industry to reduce the often obscene levels of violence in the products they sell,”

Three days after the Sandy Hook tragedy, Rockefeller introduced a bill for a National Academy of Sciences study into the effects of “violent video games and other content” on children. The bill failed to raise sufficient interest, but Rockefeller has since re-introduced it.

Meanwhile, Iowan Republican senator Chuck Grassley, has also raised questions about the impact of violent games on children.

“There are too many video games that celebrate the mass killing of innocent people — games that despite attempts at industry self-regulation find their way into the hands of children,” he said.

No peer-reviewed study has ever demonstrated a causative link between violence in video games and real world violence. In response to the events at Sandy Hook, US media went into hysterics over video games, but vice president Joe Biden met with video game industry representatives and later proposed a series of gun law reforms instead of industry regulation unequal to that imposed on film and literature.

Thanks, Polygon.

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13 Comments

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  1. TMRNetShark

    Small government conservatives demanding more federal control yet we don’t have a preventative healthcare system when it comes to mental health issues.

    Seems legit.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Merta

    The fact that Chuck Grassley sees so many video games as detailing killing unarmed good guys, um can I also ask what the children has to do with a 20 year old shooter?

    I am just going by the idea that these people have hardly played any video games. Oh and the spreadsheet? Why wasn’t that given before? There was a movie called Copycat, about a serial killer who was fascinated with the famous ones and their notoriety so he copies their techniques and tactics only to be stopped at the very end. This is very much like that except the individual was fascinated with mass shooters and wanted to outdo them by picking the right weapon, the right location and the right time.

    If he hadn’t heard that he was going to an insane asylum and he hadn’t been stopped by a waiting period, along with the student playing dead and the teacher locking up a bunch of them in the room than it would’ve happened a lot later and happened much worse.

    The only reason why people like Chuck Grassley are even up in arms is because of the feeling that there has to be some counterpoint to blaming guns and regulating them. It is putting guns and video games on trial for murder that not only angers me, it upsets me.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. DSB

    Makes about as much sense as blaming football for physical assault.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Merta

    This is why limiting regulatory power is great for the mind and the soul. For all we know Adam could’ve started playing these kinds of games 2 years ago, when he was 18. Unless he was 16 on December the 14th, than this whole thing about the ESRB, and the bill and everything is just irrelevant.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. POOP CRUSTY

    What exactly can come out of this? Tighter ESERB ratings? Big bold letter on cover arts stating “Not for kids”?
    If they think that they are going to stop games from being made they’re being delusional.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Rafa_L

    As a gamer, talk about censorship always gets me worried, but I question limits about violence and the likes in games.

    I don’t undersand my own limits, I already played mortal kombat with a 6 years old, and as Skarlet showered in blood, I thought it was ok for him to see that. The violence in God of War is also acceptable to me. I think it doesn’t bother me in fantasy worlds, as long as it doesn’t get too realistic or it doesn’t include women and children. But, depending on the setting, I worry, and not just about children, but for us all.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. nollie4545

    Video gamers VS NRA lobbyists….FIGHT!

    BTW, video games aren’t for kids. They have age ratings. Same with films. You know, those rules were put in place for a reason, a very good reason. It wasn’t just to piss little kids off so they can’t play the latest games. Its the same reason I wouldn’t let my nephew watch WWE, because if I did, the very next day the silly sod would end up rupturing his friends spleen or something after attempting to pile drive him or something. Monkey see monkey do.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Richenbaum

    Probably won’t go anywhere. There are already hundreds of these “effects of violent video games on children” studies out there, most with the same vague results of “children showed vague levels of temporary aggression for a short time after playing a game that was rated above their age level in the first place”. They have never been able to come up with a stronger connection than that…but you never know.

    Congress were the ones that forced the ESRB rating system into place in the first place because of kids getting their hands on violent games, yet the Supreme Court has ruled that trying to actually legally enforce the damn rating system so that kids don’t get their hands on violent games is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Why would they start making sense now?

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    “Congress were the ones that forced the ESRB rating system into place in the first place because of kids getting their hands on violent games, yet the Supreme Court has ruled that trying to actually legally enforce the damn rating system so that kids don’t get their hands on violent games is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.”

    You are obviously not from America that or you don’t know what the ESRB is(or both).

    “Congress were the ones that forced the ESRB rating system”

    Wrong, Congress didn’t force anything. Videogames back in the 90′s wasn’t part of the freedom of the press so the video game industry had created its own rating system just like the film industry did in the 60′s(in the fear of being censored by the government). After the ESRB was implemented and worked, video games were included so yes the supreme court would be absolutely right in it being unconstitutional.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. zinc

    More pin the tail on the scapegoat :(

    #10 1 year ago
  11. yeoung

    ” it is unrealistic to assume that overworked and stressed parents can prevent their kids from viewing inappropriate content ”

    God forbid they’d have to do some parenting..

    “The only real solution is for the entertainment industry to reduce the often obscene levels of violence in the products they sell,”

    When politicians throw these kind of biased and unfounded assertions there really isn’t any constructive dialogue to be had, but ignoring it would result in censorship and goverment meddling. Remember, remember the 5th of November

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Richenbaum

    @#9 What a ridiculously ignorant thing to say. Look, not only am I American, but I’m an American that just so happens to be in the middle of extensive research on this very subject.

    In 1993, Congress convened to discuss violence in video games, brought about by the attention surrounding the violence in Mortal Kombat. Again, they did not want to place any legally binding restrictions that could be defined as unconstitutional, but they still went ahead and told game developers flat out that if they didn’t come up with some kind of rating system within a year they would be forced to intervene and take their own measures to deal with it. 1994 comes around and lo and behold the ESRB suddenly formed. Did congress literally step in and make the ratings personally? No, but then I never said they did in the first place. I said they forced it, as in forced the issue, and that’s exactly what they did. I could throw numerous citations of sources at you to support these facts, but the easiest thing for you to do would be to go watch the hearing itself, still archived in it’s entirety on the C-Span Video Library. I mean, if you think you’re AMERICAN enough to handle something like that, champ.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    @12

    ESRB is self regulated. COngress can threaten all they like just like they are threatening right now but they can’t do didley everytime a senate or governor has put in motion for some type of ban of Mature games supreme court has shut them down because it is unconsitiutional especially since videos games are under same protection as books and films.

    You were coming off saying that the congress has made it a law for games to have protection, there isn’t. SO please tell me where the forcing is or was happening. No one put anything in motion the game media just followed what the movie industry did because at the time video games weren’t covered by freedom of press. Now they are and now video games have won every time some type of movement has come against it because of freedom of press not to mention studies by credible sources have shown no link between violent video games makes violent people.

    “I’m an American that just so happens to be in the middle of extensive research on this very subject.”

    As I have as well for a college paper.

    #13 1 year ago