US bill proposes investigation of violent games

US bill proposes investigation of violent games
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

December 21st 2012 at 9:06AM

National Academy of Sciences would be tasked to study effects of violence in games and other media

A West Virginia Senator has introduced a bill to Congress that would task the National Academy of Sciences with studying the effects of violent games on children.

The bill comes in the aftermath of the mass shooting that lead to the death of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

The events have left the country wondering what might have been done to prevent the deaths, and what can be done to stop it from happening again.

Senator Jay Rockafeller believes he may have part of the answer, and has introduced the bill in an attempt to get concrete data showing the link between games and violence.

"As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I have introduced legislation to direct the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the impact of violent video games and other content on children’s well-being," reads a statement on the Senator's website.

While the bill does not flatly state there is a link between violent games and violent actions, Sen. Rockefeller claims it to be common knowledge.

“Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it," he said, hinting at the recent Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment case.

"They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, pediatricians, and psychologists know better."

Rockefeller believes this means bypassing the courts, and the first step in that is getting data that supports legislation.

"These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue. This report will be a critical resource in this process. I call on my colleagues to join to me in passing this important legislation quickly."

The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are also being called on to determine how changes in technology have changed the ability of children to access violent media.

“Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children," concluded Rockefeller.

"They have a responsibility to protect our  children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role.”