Consumer group launches campaign against game research bill

Entertainment Consumers Association says Senator Rockefeller's Violent Content Research Act is a "distraction to finding the real cause" of mass shootings.

Gamer advocacy group the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has launched a campaign against a bill that would instruct the National Academy of Sciences to study the relationship between "exposure" to violent games and "harmful effects on children."

The Violent Content Research Act was introduced in its present form in January by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) following the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn. where 20 children and six adults were killed by a reportedly "deranged gamer."

The bill has garnered bipartisan support, and earlier this week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation recommended the bill be sent to the floor of the Senate to be voted on.

The ECA said it has "numerous concerns" about the Violent Content Research Act and believes it is a "distraction to finding the real cause of these events."

"With all due respect Senator, the highest court of the land has reviewed the scientific research and concluded that video games do not cause violence," the ECA said in a statement. "The non-scientific personal opinion of the Senator should not get to overturn the Supreme Court ruling."

In a landmark 2011 decision, the Supreme Court sided with the video game industry, ruling that games are protected free speech under the first amendment.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which represents the gaming industry's interests in Washington, issued a statement on the matter to GamePolitics.

"ESA has always supported objective scientific research and appreciates the opportunity for an ongoing dialogue with Chairman Rockefeller and members of the Committee," the group said. "Video games are enjoyed by the majority of American families--parents and children alike."

"Our industry has forged a longstanding partnership with parents by providing them the best information and tools available in order to make informed decisions about what games their children play," the statement goes on. "Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission this year again recognized the ESRB rating system as the best in the entertainment sector. We are building on this leadership with a renewed ratings and parental control awareness and usage campaign, and by continuing to expand the ESRB system to apps and mobile platforms."

In January, president Barack Obama ordered more research to be done to investigate the relationship between video games and real-world violence.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

683 comments
BorgMind00
BorgMind00

Seriously, this shouldn't even be up for debate. The Supreme Court has already ruled and much like books and movies, the government can only intervene so much. The rating board exist for a reason. Parents need to do more if they feel that games are having a negative influence on their child. Stop trying to find a scapegoat, sometime, people are just messed up in the head and there is no one factor or no factor at all. What did people blame mass killings and violence on before games existed

BorgMind00
BorgMind00

You know what, I get really pissed after playing Angry Birds and Candy Crush makes me livid

kyacat
kyacat

Dear cluekess Politicians get a damn clue and realize the gunmen wasn't a deranged gamer like you buffons been claiming

cleary the shooter was messup  before he even play video game if he ever actually play them. the guy was nuts and that his mother took her unstable son to shooting ranges with her and never lock the guns she had at home were her unstable song could get them which you sleazy politicians  ignore and refuse to admit it was bad parenting that ignore their son mental state.

Us gamers aren't deranged and neither is the game indusrty time for politicains to grow up and realize us gamers and game industry aren't blame for few nutty people who decide to go on shooting spree for no reason and lookfor the solution and stop this childish blaming us gamers and the game industry when thing don't go your way.

To consumer groups who defending our hobby gaming thank you from all us gamers and the game industry

hitechgraphs
hitechgraphs

Damn politicians.All scumbags with hidden interests in background.

blupheonix
blupheonix

All mass shooters have one thing in common. They all graduated from kindergarten.. Therefore, kindergarten causes mass shootings.. =\

csward
csward

Well, the Entertainment Consumers Association are my new heros. Good luck fighting the good fight guys.

FarginIcehole
FarginIcehole

Hey Congress...here is an idea...DO THE F**KING JOB WE PAY YOU FOR SUCH AS PASSING A BUDGET!!!

isshiah
isshiah

"With all due respect Senator, the highest court of the land has reviewed the scientific research and concluded that video games do not cause violence. The non-scientific personal opinion of the Senator should not get to overturn the Supreme Court ruling."

I love this statement. The ignorant/biased should not be in charge of making decisions.

Kane04
Kane04

The cause of mass shootings are guns.

In Texas for example all you need is a valid drivers license, assault rifle? How many do you want?

There are psychos everywhere in the world, make guns readily available and they'll use them, whats tripping up these "doctors"?

NOT TO MENTION, there are TV shows that air in prime time depicting as much if not more violence than video games, and those have a much bigger visual impact because they're MUCH more believable, countless times more than any game graphics king.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

Iv played plenty of violent games, even when I was a kid. I have only ever had 2 fights in my life apart from petty feuds with my brother arguing over who's go it is on the snes lol. Point is, I turned out ok. So video games cannot be blamed for violence, they may promote the idea of violence to someone who is already violent but whether the game exists or not they are still going to find ways to be violent. The problem needs to be uprooted from the source, which is the violent people themselves who are obviously unfit to be part of society

TommeeHawk
TommeeHawk

Genocide against the native population when they didn't allow themselves to be enslaved is ok, but violent games are the real root of evil. Folks are so confused. When politicians can explain why it was ok for genocide, we all will listen to why games are worse.

kik4444
kik4444

BTW, does anyone know the meaning of insanity? No? It's doing the exact same thing over and over expecting different results. But those "investigators" wouldn't know that...

kik4444
kik4444

Ya know, politicians WILL say the truth that there's little to no connection between violence and video games.... for the right price....

Slagar
Slagar

In other news, pillows will be banned around the country today, after it was found that shooter Adam Lanza reportedly slept on a pillow.

"I think this is the right decision for all true Americans," President Barack Obama said, in a statement earlier today. "We have a long history of pillow use in this country, and it's time we put an end to it."

"This is outrageous," pillow advocate James Beard said. "How will I sleep comfortably at night? Will somebody please think of the children?"

The new law, dubbed the "No-More-Sleepless-Nights" law, will come into effect next Tuesday.

zintarr
zintarr

The 9 scariest words in the English language: "I'm from the government and here to help you."

GlaciusXL
GlaciusXL

Blame games > Research > Show that games aren't to blame > Repeat

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

"With all due respect Senator, the highest court of the land has reviewed the scientific research and concluded that video games do not cause violence,"

Case closed end of discussion *points at the US Gov.*

terrascythe
terrascythe

Nice, I see where you're coming from.  That was part of their statement of justification and addressed whether sales could be censored based on content, not if scientific studies on videogame violence violates free speech.  The actual ruling from the court specifically declared that videogames are a form of speech, speech is protected by the 1st amendment and a persons' right to speech (even a minor) cannot be violated.  I see no way how the Violent Content Research Act violates free speech.  I think the ECAs heart is in the right place, but saying that the Senate is trying to overturn the supreme court is divisive.  We're only talking about laboratory studies, and probably alot more beneficial than most other things the gov wastes money on.  I'm of the position that more information is always better, and I'd also like to know if something I consume is harmful or not. 


TripSolidBounty
TripSolidBounty

So just because Adam Lanza played video games they think that's what caused it? Get real. Everybody plays video games. The 3 things that lead to killers are bad parenting, lack of common sense, or being mentally ill.

thermalmotion
thermalmotion

What about the over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, including women, children and babies killed by a deranged president?

YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

These studies have been done over and over and yielded the same result - no link between real world violence and video games. Persistence isn't going to change this. All the "study" is going to do is waste, yet more, taxpayer dollars on another go-nowhere project.

Play-Pretend
Play-Pretend

This is the reason that I am an Anti-Federalist the government is always attacking the things I love, Guns and Games. The real problem is the lack of personal responsibility. Guns and Games are not the problem. There are always going to be people who want to do bad things, and taking things like Games and Guns away from people who have not broken any laws will not solve the problem. 

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Perhaps the legislators should study countries who have lower incidence rates of violence?

Example: Japan has a much higher incidence rate of videogame play per capita, and yet it has one of the lowest violence rates in the world.

How's that for a correlation.

Tomhill23
Tomhill23

Americans are just trigger happy

Ariost
Ariost

For the love of God, we have a rating system in place that already blocks content from people too young. It's the parents in charge of these children whose job it is to raise their children properly and get help if they are unable to, to teach them right from wrong, reality from fiction, to somewhat moniter what they see/do to make sure it's appropriate.

The government has to stop giving excuses for these parents and their lack of parenting skills. Stop parenting their kids for them and make them responsible for their own kids. 

How about we spend time/resources on bill that takes away attention from real problems/issues to have a study on how senators keep making these idiotic bills?

/End rant

moodyfoo
moodyfoo

"Video games are enjoyed by the majority of American families--parents and children alike." they forgot grand parents, they like to play too. oh and they also made another HUGE mistake: video games are enjoyed by the majority of WORLD wide people, not just self centered U.S.A

PeterMiller
PeterMiller

oh man, they should probably go after drug companies and psychos not gamer and video games.

______________________________________

BF3 Video Game

emvv
emvv

I'm dual-national and my European relatives give Americans hell all the time for the gun crimes over here, but then they're really quick to defend incidents like the shooting in Norway as “just a crazy fluke”. This current attack on videogames is no different from the 70s and 80s when conservatives were whining about comic books and violence in movies. Sure, if someone's mentally unstable playing a shooter might give them ideas, but then so will reading a book by Chuck Palahniuk

enoslives7
enoslives7

The Newtown shooter was strung out on Fanapt....hardcore ''prescription'' drug.

However, the drug companies and piece of shit corporations like Monsanto run the US government, so the truth is hidden. Meanwhile, they give the dumb peasants false reasons ,like gun control, to distract us.

If any of you want to ''take the blue pill''. Just go to the Infowars website.

Sheeple will be quick to condemn anyone who actually cares about the truth due to cognitive disodence and stupidity..

greater_bird
greater_bird

@isshiah Unfortunately people get to decide that when they choose to elect the ignorant/biased. If so many voters didn't believe violent games/films/rock music weren't the root of all evil, politicians wouldn't get away with the scapegoat act.

csward
csward

@Kane04 Um, the cause of the shootings is not guns. A gun is just a tool. All tools can be misused. It's sad deranged people want to mass murder people, but it's also sad these people didn't get the help they obviously needed.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@Kane04 Yup. No matter how twisted some rejected outcasted teen might become when playing Postal and Vice City 24/7 for 5 years, without weapons he wouldn't be able to do much damage.

Of course, there will be illegal weapons, just like there will be illegal games if they are to be strictly monitored. The best cure would be making everyone happy and accepted and loving, but what are the chances of that either?

blupheonix
blupheonix

@TommeeHawk No no no no... Explain the last 5000 years of human history, and the violence of human history. Then consider that video games are only about 40 years old... The senator is a moron, and so are those people that voted him in! Won't somebody think of the children!!!

xXl_z3r0_lXx
xXl_z3r0_lXx

@kik4444 Seeing as though they're the ones who are insane... The American government has been trying to ban video games since they started out in their earliest forms.

ROI_Joueur
ROI_Joueur

@Slagar Lol. 

Some years later... Tonight we bring you pictures of a daring government operation that took place early yesterday morning. I must warn you, this footage may not be appropriate for tired viewers. A join task force of local law enforcement and federal agents intercepted a semi-truck full of... Wow! looo[yawning]oook at that...stacked floor to ceiling, the entire trailer was pack full with nearly one hundred and fifteen pounds of pillows. Look closely at the bottom left area. You can just barely make out the spot where the truck driver illegality had been com[BEEP]fort[BEEEEP] sleeping just moment before law enforcement arrived at the scene. Authorities said the confiscated pillows will be destroyed.

After the break... what the flock duck? Foul populations soar.

valknight
valknight

@TripSolidBounty It's like saying eminem made me kidnap and kill my gf because he did it in a song...  Wish they would look at the real causes.. like removing the pledge of allegiance from school and moments of silence. If we would stop babying our kids and teach them respect this crap might not happen. 

Also Man has killed and murdered and raped since the beginning of time.. The stone-age man didn't blame video games on it.. 

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

@thermalmotion Kill a dozen people and its a tragedy, kill hundreds of thousands and its a statistic. Sad but true.

valknight
valknight

@YearoftheSnake5 Actually there are studies that link the opposite result. There is often a decrease in violence within adolescents during the release times of more popular video games. They are too busy playing games to be committing crimes. 

ggregd
ggregd

@PixelAddict It's cultural.  And in Japan, for better or worse, people with mental health issues are identified and removed from society for long periods of time.  In the US they're often ignored until they actually do something to hurt themselves or others.

greater_bird
greater_bird

@csward @Kane04 While I'm prepared to believe that most mass murderers have emotional or psychological issues (who doesn't?), the only reason most are declared to be "deranged" is that they kill people. That's a bit late for a useful diagnosis.

There will always be people who are potentially dangerous to others, but don't particularly look it. Hence why society tries to identify and remove enabling tools (access to guns, explosives, poisons) or triggers (supposedly but unprovably violent media).

Since we have lots of proof that the perpetrators of such crimes primarily use guns (hence the phrase "school shootings") that makes gun control a far saner approach than an inquiry into violent media. (I'm not claiming it would help, just that it's more likely to.)

You're right that guns don't *cause* violence, but it is their primary purpose, limiting the problems caused by reducing access to them. As opposed to, say, hammers and baseball bats, which can also be used for violence, but are much more commonly used for daily activities like hitting nails and playing games.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@ggregd What a concept... address mental health issues BEFORE they become a problem.  So these individuals have a greater chance to live safe, productive lives... and the rest of us don't have to live in fear of them.

FlawlessGoBot
FlawlessGoBot

@somatzu @emvv He is not saying it's just the Conservatives this time, he is just using previous behavior to draw a parallel between the two events.