Clinton, Lieberman propose CDC investigate games

Democratic Senators from New York and Connecticut are asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate "impact of electronic media use."


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A handful of US senators who are longtime foes of the video game industry took a first step Wednesday toward a future government crackdown.

Democrats Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Hillary Clinton of New York, and Dick Durbin of Illinois persuaded a Senate committee to approve a sweeping study of the "impact of electronic media use" to be organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.

Even though the legislation--called the Children and Media Research Advancement Act--does not include restrictions, it appears to be intended as a way to justify them. That's because a string of court decisions have been striking down antigaming laws because of a lack of hard evidence that minors are harmed by violence in video games.

This "is a big step toward helping parents get the information they need about the effect of media on their children," Lieberman said after the vote by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Lieberman's two Republican cosponsors of the bill are senators Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Sam Brownback of Kansas.

The original version of the bill earmarked $90 million for the study, but Lieberman press secretary Rob Sawicki said that the committee had approved the measure without any dollar figure and that such a figure would be added later during the appropriations process.

Lieberman boasts on his Web site that he "held the first hearings on the threat posed to children by video game violence" and strong-armed the industry into developing a ratings system under threat of government action. He and Clinton introduced legislation late last year that would ban the sale or rental of any "mature" or "ratings pending" video game to a minor, and Lieberman has singled out Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto for particular criticism.

If the CDC eventually produces a study claiming a link between violent video games and harm to minors, the future of state and federal laws targeting such games could be radically different. So far, those laws have been ruled unconstitutional because judges have not found that kind of link to exist.

"Down the road when--if there is some sort of finding that there is harm in this--then we're going to see calls to regulate speech because of the potential harm," said Marv Johnson, legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union. "That's where there's going to be a problem."

Missouri's St. Louis County had enacted a law prohibiting anyone from selling, renting or making available "graphically violent" video games to minors without a parent's or guardian's consent. But the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that "before the county may constitutionally restrict the speech at issue here, the county must come forward with empirical support for its belief that 'violent' video games cause psychological harm to minors."

In 2004, a federal district judge in Washington state tossed out a law penalizing the distribution of games to minors in which harm may come to a "public law enforcement officer." The "state of the research" does not justify the ban, US District Judge Robert Lasnik ruled.

Lieberman's bill, called CAMRA, would provide funding to investigate the cognitive, physical, and sociobehavioral impact of electronic media on child and adolescent development--everything from physical coordination, diet, and sleeping habits to attention span, peer relationships, and aggression levels. Television, motion pictures, DVDs, interactive video games, the Internet, and cell phones would all be fair game.

But not all reception has been positive. The advocacy group Citizens Against Government Waste deemed Lieberman its "porker of the month" shortly after the measure was first introduced, criticizing him for spending taxpayer money on "redundant studies" already undertaken by groups like the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

It was not immediately clear how much the original bill was amended beyond the funding component or when it would receive a full Senate vote. A similar bill introduced by Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, has not yet been considered by the US House of Representatives.

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Avatar image for Jerian

Nice to know how are money is being spent, how about spending the 90mil on something that actually helps society like education or healthcare & even if our country did not need it ( Which it does) what do you think 90mil could do to combat aids or breast cancer. Lieberman was already a joke but Hillary just hit a new low in my book. What a waist of money!

Avatar image for Cloud737

Oh yeah, give a research institution some bribe to "study" on the effect of games, regardless of other independent institutions studying the same thing at the same time. What a great action. That money would be better spent on studying the impact of my fist hitting Lieberman's face.

Avatar image for Wyndia_Highwind


Avatar image for SonicTH

Hmph...well, at least Jack Thompson isn't wetting himself at the prospect of such a study. If he were in on this, I fear that is when the state of the gaming union would be radically influenced.

Avatar image for zoned_out14

I'm getting sick of this

Avatar image for zoned_out14

I'm getting sick of this crap

Avatar image for comthitnuong

nobody likes hilary clinton

Avatar image for raven98030

I am getting sick of her

Avatar image for TheKokopelli

Wow, amazing... and the Democrats wonder why they're referred to as the party of Socialists by the right. What we need in that bunch, is Ted Kennedy - then, we have a circus of a**clowns. Of course, this study will completely overlook the stupidity on prime time telivision and ignore the root of the problem.

Avatar image for rctyke

If you said that video games can cause disease, you must just hate video games. you're not helping us by spending 90 Million dollars on proving some hoax info that the easily brainwash can follow. And if you think video games can ruin people's lives, look at other things (TV, tobbacco, drugs, alcolohol, rape, and so many other things) and try to compare that to games

Avatar image for spr4yp4int

YES, Video games can influence violence. So can: Bullying TV Movies Music Well, WHATEVER

Avatar image for megamanzero32

Canada you guys have it great out there us U.S crap

Avatar image for DeltaSpirit

Hopefully after this they can blow another $90 million dollars to study about the effects of cigarettes

Avatar image for vitaly12

Gosh why would you whant to destroy the video games, it one of the best thing we have created. AND there is nothing bad we play them I love video games, and all those reasershes are not usseless cause video games is all like ather stuff we use it a part of our life needs. IN VIDEO GAMES WE CAN EXPRESS OUR SELVE LIKE WE CANT IN REAL WORLD, REAL GAMES I WOULD EVEN SAY THEY SOLVE LOT OF PROBLEMS. cause they help people to worck there imagination. I LOVE VIDEO GAMES IF YOU GOT SOMETHING AGAINST IT WELL 5 TIME SUCKA

Avatar image for Pharoah6

Personally I think Hilary and company have more important things to worry about than what we load on our platforms. I find it amusing that the issue that both Democrats and Republicans can get along on is censorship. I envy other countries who have several parties from which to choose a leader. American politics is just a sick cruel and twisted joke. When I show up on election day Hilary wont be able to count on me, and the republicans can forget it too. Though its a moot point I'm voting 3rd party.

Avatar image for moozeditty

I'm a liberal and an independent voter and this news is very depressing to me. It won't make me vote for some bible-thumping warhawk, of course, but Lieberman and Clinton are seeming to offer only a mild improvement over the people of our current administration. Is it so much to ask for a presidential candidate that doesn't make us fear for the future??

Avatar image for Kratos_Aurion56

In 4 years I'll be able to move to Canada. Hopefully I wont be drafted by then. Lucky Canadians!!!

Avatar image for FPSSteve

These Senators are so stupid. They're always blaming GTA and other M rated games for all this violence. But little do they realize that it's actually the parents' faults for not watching what their kids are playing. Besides, who has time to imitate stuff from GTA anyway? It's just stupid. That's why the parents have to actually TALK to their kids because if GTA gets to the kids before the parents, bad things WILL happen.

Avatar image for soulitier

there just mad because they dont have control over it thats all they dont care about anyone but themselfs. i hate these crosswaveing nazis like hillary,jack,lieberman,arnold. i think we should lead some sort of march i see pepole out there doing the best they to keep morons like jack tomphson at bay or a miniamim. and these parent groups are idiots now there kid was messed up before they shot up the school. pepole need to be better parents. and plus you think they got better thing to worry about than this

Avatar image for skzip888

The only reason they've pesued video games is to try and attract more conservative voters. Ever notice all the Millitary ad's on here? Gamer's tend to be young men and boys, are a demographic that does not vote much; if you can geat some more support from the pro-censorship right, why not villanize a few of us?

Avatar image for tuddy_666

Come and join the british. Our government does not try to blame everything on videogames, they blame everything on the racial minorities instead.

Avatar image for TombRaider90

Doesn anyone think they'll just bribe the pants off of those researchers? $90 is a good downpayment for a hush-up. Why do these idiots hate video games so much? WHY!?!?!?

Avatar image for rokkuman09

wow idiots they make me mad

Avatar image for blackjack4124

................ And if the finding comes adverse to their opinion - go shopping for another one. And another one. I recommend they investigate the following too - violent TV shows (eg. Lost, Supernatural); violent movies (like say Star Wars?); graphically violent novels (can't leave them out); and rock music (because that's always associated with violence). Then after we tackle obesity and drug use, we should be able to reinstitute child labor, and the subservience of state to the Catholic Church, who are clearly better at this governing thing then parliaments and presidents. [Note: Post is intended to be heavily sarcastic. I've learnt to add this note whenever I do this]

Avatar image for espme

this is was the cdc that were going to help the aliens carry out their plan so you know this is the beginning of the end for m-rated videogames.all democrats too

Avatar image for Myugenjin

Lol sSubzero, to many damn parents do spoil there kids. Some psychologist in the 1800's perdicted parents would get like this and claimed that by 1920 American Bull shmit will be at an all time high. Traditionally the CDC doesn't handle these cases unless they are biologically induced, my great uncle's a gentic engineer there and they're main priority are things like terroism, hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg), and the bird flu. They'll probally take the money and do a half assed study. It would make more since for the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology to handle a study like this.

Avatar image for Iron-Dragon

Wow. 2 Democrats just threw out any chance of getting gamer votes.

Avatar image for Sundart

Typical Democrats, always focusing on things that don't matter. Video games causing problems? If they are, who cares? There are a lot more things they should be worried about like kids smoking/drinking, drugs, gang violence, and education. Once they fix these problems and there is still something wrong, well maybe it's games. But probably not. Seriously, what causes the biggest problems in schools and the workplace today? It's drugs, alchol, and the like. These are the real problems. i wish these stupid Dems would realize this and focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to fix everything in the world that doesn't need fixing.

Avatar image for aransom

Why can't we have the CDC working on stuff that would be truly beneficial to our society. Billions of taxpayer dollars go into all sorts of screw-ball research projects. I think we should stop giving scientists public funds until they invent things we really need. Here's my top four, in no certain order: 1) the diet pill that makes it so you can eat all you want and never excersise, 2) a way to keep puppies and kittens from growing up so that they always stay cute, 3) the "Captian Kirk" gun with a stun setting so that law enforcement can go back to shooting people who run away from them, 4) flying cars.

Avatar image for Deathridge

Somebody is looking to the future for a new goverment post. I guess they'll use anything to have something to talk about that will create a stir among conservative right.

Avatar image for deactivated-59d151f079814

I blame this on the baby boomers syndrom... George Carlin said Baby boomers are by far the biggest lot of whimps who give their child "everything" thinking they are special.. Well guess what people not every child is special, smart or good looking.. There are dumb ones and ugly ones out there and I think this is the problem.. Parents need to stop sucking up to their children and giving them everything they want, its pathetic and its part of the problem.

Avatar image for Just_Desert

Great another reason for other countries to laugh at mine....yay.

Avatar image for JediJon04

Wow...I know this isn't gonna affect anything because everyone acts different towards violent games, so there can't be a real outcome for the study, and I'm 19 so I shouldn't care about not getting a game I want, but why don't these people go after the parents for not watching what their kids play? Nobody ever does a study if their kids get caught with a porno, but they blame everyone but themselves if their kid plays a violent game? It's just a bunch of bull that parents get their panties in a bunch because they're not aware enough of their own children to notice if they've bought or borrowed a violent game. Hilary Clinton needs to just shut her mouth and get back in the kitchen because she's never played GTA for herself. 'Nuff said.

Avatar image for toesterctoe

Stupid US. Doesn't wanna face its own racial and violent problems. They just find whatever's easy to blame. But hey, let them go ahead and 'research' on the effects games have. Probably won't find much anyways. Waste of money too. But I guess it'll give them an opportunity to fabricate data.

Avatar image for papichuloazul

I'm deaf person democrat from nyc, I understand what you guys talk about? video game is not real the world. just idea storyline like movie/comic/porn/Internet. you were the people nonsense. cuz Hillary Clinton says; she want to put create adult video game by law. That's mean all children can't buy to adult video game in the store then all the video game store could obey the law, too bad for children who's child crying, complain want to adult video game? that's ridiculous indeed! I suggest for parent could take seriously responsibility for children lowest rating video game without adult ok?. But If it's parent doesn't responsibility cuz all bad the parent won't obey the law. they parent will fined to cost thousand dollar. And bad parent could abuse to children it's happened again. human to human... video game is thing don't kill human it's human can kill human it's happened again. If i were you I could strict older gamer obey the law than children. I don't care about children I don't give damn what children want. I'd rather buy rating +8, +10, +T, +F (family) lowest video game then good for children. however I am concern a behavior the children's problem. Don't you understand? Now If good parent could can responsibility buy to adult video game b/c adult parent could play adult video game. child stay away from adult game. what do parent teach lesson make for children understand. that's all well hillary clinton could suspect to against all bad parent or crime/stranger/scam could sell to children that's why crime/stranger/hater/scam could harm to children...that's what I think make clear your mind "understanding"...sorry long speak mind. thank

Avatar image for Hellisunreal

Politicians are liars & thieves who pillage the nation

Avatar image for kainenable

... Idiots. Running studies to test the effects of video game violence on kids, sure... not a bad idea. It has been done before though. But 90 million dollars and wasting the Centre for Desease control's time?? Are these politicians retarded? Take resources away from avian flu, something that has a very real possibility of of becoming an epidemic and earmark it for studying video games? I am liberal (well canadian liberal) and I think this is a waste of time and resources.

Avatar image for link15000

(1)read the f-ing rating on the box parents. (2)joe is wasting taxpayer money tring to prove that video games r bad,when he could be using it on more inprotant things like schools,and the police froce,or homeland securaty,and the work froce,stuff like that. (3)most people now adays now the differnce between a imagenary world where you can stab someone in the eye,or shoot a rocket luancher at someone who is looking at you funney,and the real world where you can't

Avatar image for ArGus88

This topic has always gone on in some form throughout the ages. People have claimed that books, plays, dancing, radio, movies, tv, and now video games are corrupting the youth. Seriously, I really wouldn't take much notice on the results. Clinton's the one who has been striking out against video games. If she supports this bill, I'm guessing the results will favor her opinion. Sorry if I sound pessimistic. Wow though, Clinton's been milking this for all it's worth.

Avatar image for 399M4N

Democrats Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Hillary Clinton of New York, and Dick Durbin of Illinois, these are people not to vote for. Thank God I am registered voter, if we don't all start voting republican the whole country is going to go belly up and I don't say that only because of my gaming preferences.... I'm going to stop here or this is going to turn in to a rant.... Dang Yankees

Avatar image for Mada_Nniuq

As a citizen of Connecticut, I am going to write a letter to Lieberman telling him he has my full un-support. Videogames are the #2 source of the US's economy, so I guess democrats don't like money.

Avatar image for Darth_Revan_666

yeah! like blackmage said , come to Canada (or even better Quebec!;) ) we are worrying about true problems .Too, I feel sad for all the americans thinking that George W. Bush is a fool and they can't do anything cuz stupid Texans vote for him.

Avatar image for andrewtyen

i'm going to canada

Avatar image for Mindphaser

LIBERAL IDIOTS! Their voting base are the young, the people who play these games, and yet they constantly backstab them with junk like this. Vote PAT BUCHANAN!

Avatar image for nascarnetboggy

Once kids realize that they can blame anything on video games and get away with it, society is screwed... Maybe it will be like on of those crazy games wherer people in biohazzard suits come and confiscate all of our video games for no reason......

Avatar image for kaito2

WeeWeeJumbo, yes, but as a good Democrat, Hilary should have accepted the "will of the people"

Avatar image for drfusion

I dont remember Hitler playing doom? Anyone? Or Osama playing Castle Wolfenstien. Theres just going to be bad people. Clinton needs to deal with that. If there kids are acting like a bunch of violent retards its the damn parents fault. If im stuck playing some gay ass game .. or watching 7th heaven and other crap like that ill go nuts and kill someone! and damn 90 million just to see if theres a possible link to voilent acts from video games..... comon.! Im sure they can make a badd ass Sim game with that money...Sim Politics....Filibustering. Would make a bigger difference. And why is the CDC using there man power for this bull sh... They have enough crap in there hands. AIDS CANCER BIRD FLU We can go on. Way to go ! That could have been 90 million to be placed more on study for a cure to cancer..

Avatar image for WeeWeeJumbo

I'm a registered Democrat and all I can say is this: I can't blame her cynicism--after all that she and her husband endured during the 90s, only to watch clowns take the reins and burn our country to the ground, I guess I sympathize with Mrs. Clinton's ruthlessness and disdain for the intellect of American people. Still, she doesn't inspire me; and I don't think she inspires too many other Americans either. What is so wrong with the Party, that this is our candidate? This is our crusade now? Video game violence? There aren't enough real issues breaking down our American values and killing our American soul? Of course there are, and of course Mrs. Clinton knows it. But she also knows that rational arguments and, you know, facts didn't win the last two elections. Appealing to peoples' fears and ignorance won them. This next election will be one of the worst in decades, because this time both sides (and why the are there only two sides? How does that work, in a country with nearly 300 million people, you're expected to choose one of TWO sides?) are well aware how little good it does to be honest and sincere. Deceit wins. Welcome to your New America.

Avatar image for carbogo

Instead of focusing on Hot Coffee and GTA/Take 2, they should focus on America's Army and teh Department of Defense, maybe the government will sue itself for simulated violence and free distribution to anyone (at any age) that has internet access and a computer. They'll be in deadlock for years fighting between themselves... I can't believe that the Democrats are using this again after Gore/Lieberman lost in 2000. The used to just attack hollywood, they can't fight hollywood, so they are picking on games now...

Avatar image for advent6

Hillary Clinton - Why don't you stick your little nose into a subject that you know something about? Hillary Clinton has probably never played a console game in her life, but she still manages to tell others what should or should not be happening to the videogame industry. Just because you don't approve of some games Hillary doesn't mean that everyone in the US feels that way too. Stupid politicians stick their nose into everything. Why don't you focus on something worthwhile Hillary, like pollution, homeless people, the Iraqi troop number issue, taxes, and other more important issues?