Activision have employed a lobbying group advocate one way or another on a current bill in the US Senate that seeks to research the effects of violent video games on children. Unfortunately Activision’s registration of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld doesn’t include the specifics of which way the group is supposed to advocate, but given Activision makes a lot of money from Call of Duty, I think we can make an educated guess.
The bill seeks to commission a study from the National Academy of Sciences that look at the impact of both violent video games and violent television programming on children and try to determine yet again if there’s a demonstrable link to aggressive behavior in children. The bill singles out video games for their “interactive nature” and the “extraordinarily personal and vivid way violence” can be portrayed in them.
While obviously any medium can express violence in an “extraordinarily personal and vivid way”, it perhaps doesn’t sound as ridiculous to imagine that line in a review for The Last of Us as a positive as it perhaps should.
The bill, named S. 134: Violent Content Research Act has been submitted to the Senate for more than a month now but has yet to be acted upon. It is the same legislation the Entertainment Consumers Association denounced a month ago.