Ralph Nader, outspoken political activist and former presidential candidate, has slammed the gaming industry. Speaking to Politico yesterday, he criticized President Barack Obama's new plan to reduce gun violence in the United States. He said it does not go far enough in regulating game creators and publishers, which he described as "electronic child molesters."
“We are in the peak of [violence in entertainment]. Television program violence? Unbelievable. Video game violence? Unprecedented,” Nader said. “I’m not saying he wants to censor this, I think he should sensitize people that they should protect their children family by family from these kinds of electronic child molesters.”
Obama's $500 million, 23-point plan directs the Centers for Disease Control to conduct further research into the relationship between virtual violence and real-world violence. Separately, Utah representative Jim Matheson has introduced a bill to Congress that would make Entertainment Software Ratings Board ratings legally enforceable.
Nader's comments come a month after the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. that left 20 children and six adults dead. As GameSpot sister site CNET points out, this is not the first time Nader has used the phrase "electronic child molesters" to describe the gaming industry.
Following the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colo. where two students killed 12 classmates and one teacher, Nader said corporations like game companies were partially to blame.
"All this is fine with the companies; these boys and girls spent more than $25 billion last year, and what they got in return is violent, addictive, and tawdry sensuality," Nader blogged at the time. "These electronic child molesters have little sense of restraint or boundaries. Their odious fare is becoming more coarse, more violent, and more interactive to seduce these youngsters into an addiction of direct video game involvement in the mayhem."