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

Wednesday, 20 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

  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 2 years 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 2 years ago
  3. DSB

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

    #3 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago
  10. zinc

    More pin the tail on the scapegoat :(

    #10 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Here’s a video for Bloodborne players showing a quick way to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam. It also provides a look at things you may have missed in Central Yharnam and The Sewers, courtesy of VaatiVidya. Don’t forget, we have guides posted for the game with more updates coming soon. Bloodborne released in […]

  • Bloodborne issue prevents summons at Vicar Amelia fight

    A Bloodborne bug has prevented players calling on help to take on one of the nasty early bosses. Bloodborne bosses are significantly easier to take down in co-op. Unfortunately, at least one of them is proving difficult to find help for – and not just because not many players have obtained the Small Resonant Bell […]

  • Mass Effect 3 on sale on EU PSN, but not free

    Mass Effect 3 is discounted on the European PSN, but it’s not free. Update 2: The option to add to cart now lets you choose between the free trial or full version. The full version is on sale for £6.49 or £5.84 for PlayStation Plus members. The free trial is of course is still available, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Race to Elite winners announced, one player makes £10,000

    The winners of Elite: Dangerous’ Race To Elite competition have been announced, with one player receiving the grand prize of £10,000. Back when Elite: Dangerous launched, developer Frontier announced a competition that would award players to first reach Elite rank in trading, exploration, or combat, a prize of £1,000 each. The grand prize – £10,000 […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: How to make the most money with Special Bonuses and Elite Challenges

    You’re not hitting heists for the good of your health. Here’s how to max cash rewards. Money. GTA Online players love it. Greenbacks are the core of the entire experience, allowing you to buy the best weapons, vehicles and stupid haircuts. Heists, as promised, gives more opportunities than ever to earn serious cash, but once […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 coming tomorrow

    PlayStation 4 firmware 2.50, codenamed Yukimura, is due for release tomorrow, March 26. Firmware update 2.50 for PlayStation 4 will be launching tomorrow, March 26, Sony has announced. Codenamed Yukimura, the system update is promised to bring suspend/resume feature, trophy sync improvements, accessibility options, and much more. 2.50 has been in beta testing a while […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges and more

    Heists aren’t the only addition in GTA Online’s latest DLC – there’s a lot of content that can earn you big RP and cash payouts. GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges While heists are the talking point and big payoff after more than a year of waiting, there’s a […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: what’s the best Police sniper rifle?

    What’s the best bolt-action, Police sniper rifle for the Professional class in Battlefield Hardline? Let us help you answer that question. As you’re probably aware, Battlefield Hardline weapons are class specific and faction specific. This makes deciding on a good weapon and loadout much harder than it was in Battlefield 4. Which is where Westie […]

  • Evolve 1.3 patch nerfs Wraith, adjusts Kraken

    Evolve is receiving a new patch that aims to put an end to the Wraith’s dominance. Evolve developer Turtle Rock outlined a few of the changes coming in patch 1.3. The patch brings balance changes to the monsters – mainly the Wraith – as well as other various changes to Hunters’ tools based on player […]

  • Bloodborne: watch the opening 40 minutes

    The opening minutes of Bloodborne really do set the stage for what’s to come. They’ll also help you decide if this game is for you. Arekkz Gaming has captured the first 40 minutes of Bloodborne. Complete with the opening cutscene, and the first few obstacles you’ll face. The video is commentary free, so wear headphones […]

  • YouTube will relaunch livestreaming service with focus on eSports and gaming – report

    According to industry sources, Google is preparing to relaunch YouTube’s livestreaming service with a focus on eSports and gaming. According to anonymous sources speaking to TheDailyDot, Google is planning to bring back YouTube’s livestreaming service. The company is said to have started recruiting around 50 engineers with experience in the field, “a pretty big statement […]

  • I think I’m too old for Final Fantasy 15

    Final Fantasy 15 was nine years in the making – and counting. Are we the same people we were in 2006? Final Fantasy 15: Episode Duscae A demo available for PS4 and Xbox One. Offers a couple of hours of gameplay. More if you jump over the borders. Bundled with Final Fantasy 15 Type-0 and […]

  • New multiplayer mode for Splatoon announced

    Nintendo has sent over three screenshots for Splatoon along with information on the Wii U another of the title’s multiplayer modes. Called Ranked Battle, it keeps track of each player’s online ranking. Splat Zones is one of the additional ways to play online in this mode. It differs from Turf War, which is the main […]

  • 2015 WoW Arena World Championship has a $250,000 prize pool

    Blizzard has announced the WoW Arena World Championship will culminate at BlizzCon 2015. World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for spot at the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship and for a share in the $250,000 prize pool. Online qualifiers will be held for North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New […]

  • The Crew two-hour demo now available in US, tomorrow in the UK

    Ubisoft has announced a free trial of its driving MMO The Crew will be available tomorrow, March 25 in the UK. It’s live today in North America. For current players, the Vintage Car Pack and Vintage Live Update, including a new PvP mode, are now available. The Vintage Car Pack included the Chevrolet Corvette C2 […]

  • Minecraft Mass Effect Mash-Up and Pattern Texture Pack out from today

    A Mass Effect Mash-up pack and the Pattern Texture Pack will release on PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita today in North America and tomorrow in Europe. The Pattern Texture Pack is also available for Xbox consoles today. The Mass Effect Mash-Up pack contains the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 plus textures and craftable items […]

  • The Talos Principle expansion pack Road to Gehenna announced

    An expansion for The Talos Principle has been announced titled Road to Gehenna. The expansion follows the narrative of Uriel, Elohim’s messenger, as he explores a “strange, hidden part of the simulation” on a mission of “mercy and redemption.” Uriel is attempting to free the souls of the damned “at all costs.” Road to Gehenna […]

  • Twitch Plays Pokemon finally catches ‘em all – even the rare Mewtwo

    Twitch Plays Pokemon players have captured all 151 original Pokemon which were included in a modified version of Pokemon Red, and this includes the rare Mewtwo. It took 39 days for Twitch players to catch ‘em all. Have a look at the impressive feat for yourself below. Thanks, Polygon.

  • GameStop will have limited units of Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL back in stock

    Those who missed out on the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL will have another opportunity to purchase it outside of eBay. Tomorrow only, GameStop stores in the United States will have four units in stock, according to and internal memo sent to Kotaku. This is every store in the country, and again, only […]

  • Second phase of Fortnite closed Alpha launches today

    Fortnite’s second closed Alpha test will go live this afternoon, according to the official website. Those currently participating will have until April 14 to test the online aspects for 12 hours per day (noon -12am EDT). All progress from the previous Alpha test will be wiped, and other changes are listed in the patch notes. […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon out now on PC, Xbox One

    As promised yesterday, the single-player DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jaws of Hakkon, is now available on PC and Xbox One. It will run you or £11.99 or your regional equivalent. The new content expands the land of Thedas with mountainous regions and forests, and it is full of “vicious enemies.” Players will also be […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer shows Ascendance gameplay

    Activision has released a new gamepay trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to support the Ascendance DLC which releases next week. Ascendance, will release first on Xbox consoles March 31 and includes the next chapter of the Exo Zombies Saga, Infected, along with four new multiplayer maps: Perplex, Site 244, Climate and Chop Shop. […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight will be a digital only release on PC – report

    It appears Batman: Arkham Knight will not see a physical release on PC, according to ShopTo. The retailer was told by its buyer the Rocksteady game will only be released on PC in digital form. ShopTo is currently double checking the information. If accurate, it is unknown if this will be case in North America […]

  • Bloodborne patch focusing on load times, performance optimizations in the works

    A patch for Bloodborne which will address load times is in the works, Sony has said The load times were one of the issues noted in Digital Foundry’s report on the From Software title. Sony told Eurogamer the patch would also explore other issues as well. “The development team is currently exploring another patch for […]

  • Gearbox would “love” to have entire Borderlands collection on current-gen

    An Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of the original Borderlands game is something Gearbox Software is interested in, according to studio boss Randy Pitchford. Speaking in the latest Major Nelson podcast, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said should Borderlands: The Handsome Collection prove successful, 2K Games might consider a current-gen version. “The fact that The […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork shows the catacombs, dock, more

    Over the weekend we posted Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork along with news of a retail release in Europe. Today, we have better quality images of said artwork to share with you. Enjoy. The standalone prequel will be released digitally on May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in North America, and digitally on […]

  • Slender: The Arrival terrorizes PS4 and Xbox One this week

    In case you forgot, what with Bloodborne out today and other high profile releases of late, Slender: The Arrival is out today on PlayStation 4 in North America. The scary game will arrive on Xbox One tomorrow, March 25, and in Europe on PS4. Slender: The Arrival is an expansion on the original Slender game […]

  • World of Warcraft’s WoW Token rollout slated after launch of patch 6.1.2

    Blizzard has announced it will start rollout its WoW Token option in the weeks following the launch of patch 6.1.2 on March 24. WoW Token allows players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard will release WoW Token first in realms serving North America, Oceania, and Latin America and will expand […]