The Entertainment Consumers Association has denounced proposed US legislation enabling a study into the effects of violent video games in children.
Legislations S.134 would instruct the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the connection between the “exposure to violent video games and video programming and harmful effects on children”.
The ECA said it “feels that this is a distraction to finding the real cause of these events” and argued against recent comments from Senator Rockefeller, who has argued that games should not be protected by the right of free speech because they are “more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons”.
“The highest court of the land has reviewed the scientific research and concluded that video games do not cause violence,” the ECA said.
“The non-scientific personal opinion of the Senator should not get to overturn the Supreme Court ruling.”
Citing well-publicised statistics, the group argued that violent crime has been decreasing as game sales rise and that countries with higher video game per capita spend do not have as high rates of violent crime as the US.
“Researchers on both sides of the subject agree that you can’t study violence, only aggression. So there is no way to really come up with answers to the questions posed,” the group continued, adding several more critques of the proposed study calling into question bias, the organisations involved, and the failure to recognise past studies.
“No matter the outcome, at least one side will not agree with the conclusions drawn by the study. The debate will continue, just as it has after previous studies.”
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has recently recommended S.134 be sent to the floor of the Senate to be voted on. US residents can join the ECA’s counter-movement.