US Senator Jay Rockefeller has proposed a new bill to congress that – if passed- would task the National Academy of Sciences with thoroughly researching the impact of violent games and other violent media on the young minds. If passed, the bill could result in the largest study into the effects of violent games ever conducted.
On his website, Rockefeller said of the bill, “Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children. They have a responsibility to protect our children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role.”
If the bill is successful, the National Academy of Sciences will be expected to submit a report on its findings to Congress, along with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission within 18 months.
Rockefeller’s bill follows a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which has since raised new questions about the correlation between acts of violence, video games and other violent media.
The proposed research would look at the ties between exposing children to violent content, and their capacity for committing aggressive acts, damage themselves and to see if games have a different impact than say, violent movies. It aims to look at the far-reaching implications of said exposure beyond childhood and into adult life.
Rockefeller added in his statement, “With respect to violent video games, NAS must look at whether current or emerging aspects of games, like their interactive nature and the personal and vivid way violence is portrayed, have a unique impact on kids.
“Changes in technology now allow kids to access violent content online with less parental involvement. It is time for these two agencies to take a fresh look at these issues.”
What’s your take on the proposed study? VG247 offered up its own take of the events here.