U.S. Senator Seeks New Study of Violent Videogames

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U.S. Senator Seeks New Study of Violent Videogames

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U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller is calling for a National Academy of Sciences study on the effect of violent media on children.

In the wake of last week's devastating attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller has introduced a bill calling for new research into the impact of violent videogames and other media on children.

"At times like this, we need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe. I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day," Rockefeller said in a statement. "As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I have introduced legislation to direct the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the impact of violent videogames and other content on children's well-being."

Rockefeller's bill would see the National Academy of Sciences conduct a comprehensive study into the harmful effects of violent games and videos on children, specifically whether they "cause kids to act aggressively or otherwise hurt their wellbeing, and whether that effect is distinguishable from other types of media." The NAS would have 18 months to complete its investigation and submit its report to Congress, the FTC and the FCC.

"Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it. They believe that violent videogames are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons," Rockefeller said, presumably reference the United States Supreme Court decision confirming that videogames deserves the same First Amendment protections as other media. "Parents, pediatricians, and psychologists know better. These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue."

In a "Minute With Jay" video posted today on YouTube, the senator also called for a ban on "military-grade assault weapons" and a renewed "national dialog on improving mental health services."

Source: rockefeller.senate.gov

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well that's slightly better than the usual finger pointing. At least he's looking for a study rather than the usual video game scape goating we get after things like this happen.

On one hand, this guy is clearly biased against games.
On the other hand, at least he has the decency to ask for a proper study instead of immediately trying to ban stuff, which is more than I can say for most politicians.

Sweet, I'd apply for that money! We already know the answer is "no", so free money!

Oh how he will cherry pick the results

This article could be renamed "U.S. Senator gives a textbook example at how to kill a career" and it would be no less accurate.

Nothing to see here, folks, just another politician looking to say he's 'looking out for our children' by making video games into a scapegoat.....

The usual "video games cause violence" BS.

Sorry, but I play violent video games, and I've never shot an entire classroom of 6 year old children.

When are we gonna stop blaming video games and other stuff (like how it was the fact that the shooter had Asperger's), and put the blame where it belongs: on the shooter themselves?

Yay more wasting money on stupid shit. I can't believe Democrats like this one continue to get reelected. I know Republicans aren't any better but jesus, third parties people.

I'm less and less worried about these moves.

Let's say that he actually goes through with new legislation against violent games.

In the cases when a violent game has any importance as a culturally relevant piece of art, (Spec Ops, Dishonored) it's already being supported by hardcores who heard about it online anyways, so further limit on sales to children, or on store sales, wouldn't cause much if any harm to them, it might even encourage bringing other genres forward. Advnture games, strategy games, etc.

If EA and Activision would make less money from pandering to millions of teenagers with their gun-glorifying "realistic miliatry shooters", so be it. For all I know, it might even really help the USA's fucked up cultural mentality about guns and shootings.

First legislation to be proposed. This man gets zero points from me. ZERO. YOU FAIL. No matter how eloquently he managed to put it, he still proposed THIS first instead of anything related to guns.

So now that the media circus has had its fun, the political vultures have come in to pick at the bones. People like Sen. Rockefeller should be fucking ashamed of themselves. They aren't, of course, put they damned well should be.

Ronack:
First legislation to be proposed. This man gets zero points from me. ZERO. YOU FAIL. No matter how eloquently he managed to put it, he still proposed THIS first instead of anything related to guns.

Reacting to this with gun legislation is no different than what he really wants to do. Limit liberty by putting up unneeded safeguards. Just like after 9-11 with airport security. We learn to live with less liberty for an illusion of more security. Reactionary politics are wrong no matter your political beliefs.

I use to believe there was nothing to the video game and violence link until I read "On Combat" (see link below). OK, Here we go. I did not want to do this, I fear yall. But the truth needs saying...

Video Games will not make you into a murder, they take a person (predisposed to murder) and make them a MASS murder.

You see, it is the same technique the Military uses to train soldiers, except they program in a "safety switch". Treating all controllers as real weapons, drilling in Laws of War, Shoot/No-Shoot scenarios, These are safety switches to teach the soldier to Stop Firing when the enemy is neutralized.

In Video Games, You shoot everything and if you want to just start over.

In the Army, You get one chance at the Shoot/No-Shoot and Law of War trainers. If you fail, you are disciplined (usually by having a long boring class).

In Video Games, You rarely have "Noncombatants". In the Army, Most of the scenarios have noncombatants, again you are punished for shooting.

http://www.amazon.com/Combat-Psychology-Physiology-Deadly-Conflict/dp/0964920549/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355960395&sr=1-1&keywords=on+combat

PS: Remember Civility.

EDIT: That book might have been his other work "On Killing" http://www.amazon.com/On-Killing-Psychological-Learning-Society/dp/0316040932/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356047205&sr=8-1&keywords=on+killing

jetriot:
Reacting to this with gun legislation is no different than what he really wants to do.

Gun bans work. Scapegoating videogames doesn't.

A gunman without videogames still shoots people.
A gamer without guns doesn't.
A deranged lunatic without guns doesn't either.

jetriot:
Limit liberty by putting up unneeded safeguards

30.000 people die every year in the US due to firearms, and its murder rate is comparable to that of the average third world warzone. Come again with that 'unneeded' bit?

jetriot:

Ronack:
First legislation to be proposed. This man gets zero points from me. ZERO. YOU FAIL. No matter how eloquently he managed to put it, he still proposed THIS first instead of anything related to guns.

Reacting to this with gun legislation is no different than what he really wants to do. Limit liberty by putting up unneeded safeguards. Just like after 9-11 with airport security. We learn to live with less liberty for an illusion of more security. Reactionary politics are wrong no matter your political beliefs.

Here's the rule of the world: In order for something to be fixed, first something needs to go wrong.

If it doesn't happen because of reactionary politics, it's never going to happen. Just like the NRA wants, really.

jetriot:

Ronack:
First legislation to be proposed. This man gets zero points from me. ZERO. YOU FAIL. No matter how eloquently he managed to put it, he still proposed THIS first instead of anything related to guns.

Reacting to this with gun legislation is no different than what he really wants to do. Limit liberty by putting up unneeded safeguards. Just like after 9-11 with airport security. We learn to live with less liberty for an illusion of more security. Reactionary politics are wrong no matter your political beliefs.

Amen

Also, who is talking about limiting video game YET. He is just proposing a study, The study will be denounce by the Pro-Game side if it shows a link. It will also be denounced by the "anti-game" side if it does not show a link. I feel bad for those researchers.

jetriot:

Ronack:
First legislation to be proposed. This man gets zero points from me. ZERO. YOU FAIL. No matter how eloquently he managed to put it, he still proposed THIS first instead of anything related to guns.

Reacting to this with gun legislation is no different than what he really wants to do. Limit liberty by putting up unneeded safeguards. Just like after 9-11 with airport security. We learn to live with less liberty for an illusion of more security. Reactionary politics are wrong no matter your political beliefs.

We have a winner! The best thing we can possibly hope for here is that the usual divisive nature of our government will prevent any of this shit from going through. I'm not too worried since there is no strong bribery lobbying incentive to push it through. This is mostly assholes playing for tragedy votes.

ritchards:
Sweet, I'd apply for that money! We already know the answer is "no", so free money!

No, we already know the answer is yes.
There are hundreds of studies that show that violent media of all kinds has significant effect on developing minds and not a single one that shows no effect.

Quite frankly, any good parent knows it too, as that's the whole point of childhood, taking in things you experiences and being affected by them. What the hell would the point of being a child be if you weren't affected by things?

A lot of gamers are very quick to dismiss this studies out of hand (and, for some reason, the simple concept of being a child) but, last time I checked, that doesn't make the studies untrue.

Gilhelmi:

jetriot:

Ronack:
First legislation to be proposed. This man gets zero points from me. ZERO. YOU FAIL. No matter how eloquently he managed to put it, he still proposed THIS first instead of anything related to guns.

Reacting to this with gun legislation is no different than what he really wants to do. Limit liberty by putting up unneeded safeguards. Just like after 9-11 with airport security. We learn to live with less liberty for an illusion of more security. Reactionary politics are wrong no matter your political beliefs.

Amen

Also, who is talking about limiting video game YET. He is just proposing a study, The study will be denounce by the Pro-Game side if it shows a link. It will also be denounced by the "anti-game" side if it does not show a link. I feel bad for those researchers.

I don't. They'll be getting paid good money to rehash the same tired arguments that have been made time and again, ultimately taking the side of whoever is holding the purse strings. I guess it might suck if they wanted to do anything significant with their education, but I'm guessing most of these guys already have PRO and ANTI templates ready to go so that they can have more time to play Minecraft or beer pong or whatever it is that researchers do when the government asks them to research bullshit and spit out politically convenient responses.

Maze1125:

ritchards:
Sweet, I'd apply for that money! We already know the answer is "no", so free money!

No, we already know the answer is yes.
There are hundreds of studies that show that violent media of all kinds has significant effect on developing minds and not a single one that shows no effect.

Quite frankly, any good parent knows it too, as that's the whole point of childhood, taking in things you experiences and being affected by them. What the hell would the point of being a child be if you weren't affected by things?

A lot of gamers are very quick to dismiss this studies out of hand (and, for some reason, the simple concept of being a child) but, last time I checked, that doesn't make the studies untrue.

Nor does it make this any of the government's business. I believe the phrase is "it takes a village," not "it takes an uncaring pack of federally funded, pandering idiots." Federal government should stick to the federal level of governing and stay the fuck out of people's homes.

Stuff like this really gets me angry, I am very passionate about my hobby and I automatically become defensive against anything that looks to somehow interfere with what I love. But then I take a deep breath, slowly and rationally realize that something like this will have no effect on what I enjoy doing, and even if someone tries to put limitations or something like that on video games themselves, then the game industries billions of dollars will most likely have something to say about that.

So ya, nothing to see here people, move along....just another ignorant old fool who doesn't know what he is talking about it.

Scars Unseen:
Federal government should stick to the federal level of governing and stay the fuck out of people's homes.

But how far are you willing to take that principle?

If a father is raping his daughter every night, should legislation stay out of that?
If parents are too self absorbed to feed their children, should legislation stay out of that?
If parents are too self absorbed to notice that their children are playing games harmful to their mental health, should legislation stay out of that?

Well, you've already answered the last one, and I'm going to assume you're fine with the government intervening in the case of the first two.
So what makes the difference? Is it that you like games and so are automatically more lenient to their effects? Or is because you consider mental health to be less important than physical health?

Scars Unseen:

Nor does it make this any of the government's business. I believe the phrase is "it takes a village," not "it takes an uncaring pack of federally funded, pandering idiots." Federal government should stick to the federal level of governing and stay the fuck out of people's homes.

If we know that smoking is unhealthy, then government might "stay the fuck out of people's homes", but at least they are expected to control advertisements that would glorify smoking, or selling cigarettes to children in shops.

It's the same with video games. IF there is reasonable proof that violent video games increase agression in children, that can be a pretty good reason to stop advertising violent games on mainstream TV, or limiting where they can be sold.

Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room, mental health issues, violet games, assault weapons - all of it is just incidental as long as any guns are easy to obtain. Take the guns away and these nutters will not have the ability go on these shooting sprees.

But it will never happen, politicians will spew rhetoric and look for scapegoats, the idiotic question of "how could this happen?" will be asked and in few months or years it will happen again and another group of parents get to bury their children.

senobit:
Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room, mental health issues, violet games, assault weapons - all of it is just incidental as long as any guns are easy to obtain. Take the guns away and these nutters will not have the ability go on these shooting sprees.

Blablahb:

jetriot:
Reacting to this with gun legislation is no different than what he really wants to do.

Gun bans work. Scapegoating videogames doesn't.

A gunman without videogames still shoots people.
A gamer without guns doesn't.
A deranged lunatic without guns doesn't either.

Gun bans can only happen when the people see that they are necessary. There is a reason why the US has 10.000 gun-related deaths EVERY YEAR, as much as a third world country has during a civil war.

And it's not that some occasional "deranged lunatic" got a gun and shot two dozen kids, but that HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF AVERAGE AMERICANS, are perfectly fine with the idea of everyone owning guns, so every year, several thousands of petty thieves, jealous lovers, angsty teenagers, and overexcited neighbours end up shooting each other, where in a sane country, they wouldn't.

America as a country is OBSESSED with guns. They are actively looking for excuses so they don't have to give up their wonderful murder-tools. And that's a problem that can only be solved with direct cultural redoctrination of a next generation, by stopping the glorification of gun violance, and by not giving the next generation of children action movies and shooter games.

Maze1125:

Scars Unseen:
Federal government should stick to the federal level of governing and stay the fuck out of people's homes.

But how far are you willing to take that principle?
If a father is raping his daughter every night, should legislation stay out of that?
If parents are too self absorbed to feed their children, should legislation stay out of that?
If parents are too self absorbed to notice that their children are playing games harmful to their mental health, should legislation stay out of that?

Well, you've already answered the last one, and I'm going to assume you're fine with the government intervening in the case of the first two.
So what makes the difference? Is it that you like games and so are automatically more lenient to their effects? Or is because you consider mental health to be less important than physical health?

Yes to all on the federal level. In the first two cases you mentioned, it would be the state that prosecutes, not the federal justice system. Not to mention that first one you listed is irrelevant because rape is already a crime without adding "in your own home" to the sentence. The last one is also bullshit because that isn't a crime any more than letting your kid watch a scary movie or read a book about Apartheid is.

There is a difference between bad parenting and mental abuse. If bad parenting was a crime we would need to triple the number of prisons and orphanages in the US(and that's a conservative estimate).

senobit:
Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room, mental health issues, violet games, assault weapons - all of it is just incidental as long as any guns are easy to obtain. Take the guns away and these nutters will not have the ability go on these shooting sprees.

The mental health issues aren't incidental. It's tragic how little compassion much of the American system has for such cases.

What I find odd is how many people are trying to make out that's is a dichotomy "It's not guns, it the mental health problems!" "It's not the mental health problems, it's the guns!"

No, it's both, America has fucked up completely on both issues for far too long, and if you want to make any real headway you have to fix both of them.

Maze1125:

ritchards:
Sweet, I'd apply for that money! We already know the answer is "no", so free money!

No, we already know the answer is yes.
There are hundreds of studies that show that violent media of all kinds has significant effect on developing minds and not a single one that shows no effect.

Quite frankly, any good parent knows it too, as that's the whole point of childhood, taking in things you experiences and being affected by them. What the hell would the point of being a child be if you weren't affected by things?

A lot of gamers are very quick to dismiss this studies out of hand (and, for some reason, the simple concept of being a child) but, last time I checked, that doesn't make the studies untrue.

Any parent who is willing to let their 360 babysit/raise their child has bigger problems than violent video games. You can put them in front of Hello Kitty Island Adventure and it still won't make up for the lack of attention/guidance from the parent's absence that causes them to lash out like this.

Or the bigger issue here: You can STOP trying to find a scapegoat everytime there's a shooting/bombing/whatever, and just blame the individual for once.

This man was not a child. the evil Mass Effect 3 vidja games didn't warp his mind from childhood, so any findings from any study are moot in the context of the reason behind conducting the study in the first place.

Entitled:

Scars Unseen:

Nor does it make this any of the government's business. I believe the phrase is "it takes a village," not "it takes an uncaring pack of federally funded, pandering idiots." Federal government should stick to the federal level of governing and stay the fuck out of people's homes.

If we know that smoking is unhealthy, then government might "stay the fuck out of people's homes", but at least they are expected to control advertisements that would glorify smoking, or selling cigarettes to children in shops.

It's the same with video games. IF there is reasonable proof that violent video games increase agression in children, that can be a pretty good reason to stop advertising violent games on mainstream TV, or limiting where they can be sold.

Point of contention: there is no amendment of the US constitution guaranteeing your right to use drugs. There is an amendment guaranteeing your right to free speech(it's pretty early in the list). The federal government's own framework forbids it to create any restricting legislation in this matter(and as we saw earlier in the year, prevents the states from doing anything about it as well).

Aeonknight:
Or the bigger issue here: You can STOP trying to find a scapegoat everytime there's a shooting/bombing/whatever, and just blame the individual for once.

That's rather a narrow view.
Yes, blame the individual, but that doesn't mean that people shouldn't also be trying to find the events that occurred in his life that caused him to become that individual and so help prevent other people from becoming individuals like him in the first place.

maybe instead of wasting money and time on scape goats they could maybe study the effects of a crappy almost non existent healthcare system with a focus on mental health and how that effects children

I like how the 1 sentence at the end turned this into a firearms debate. All you anti gun people are just afraid of them. Anyway, I'm not sure why yet ANOTHER piece of legislation is going forward about videogames causing violence...

Or, you know, we could also criticize the media for sensationalizing massacres and bloodshed and giving crazy people a platform upon which to go out in a blaze of glory.

Yes, let's have studies done. But let's do it because we're being objective and are open to the results of effects of video games across the spectrum. Argghgh.

Knee jerk reactions are killing me.

Scars Unseen:

Point of contention: there is no amendment of the US constitution guaranteeing your right to use drugs. There is an amendment guaranteeing your right to free speech(it's pretty early in the list). The federal government's own framework forbids it to create any restricting legislation in this matter(and as we saw earlier in the year, prevents the states from doing anything about it as well).

Rights are contradicting each other all the time, neither of them are absolute. Your right to life and freedom can be limited if you violate laws, your right to bear arms can be limited from certain types of arms, Your right to free seech can be limited by copyright laws, slander laws, hate speech laws, etc.

To look at only one Right as if it would be absolute, always leads to extremism. If you want to say that a publisher's right to sell copies of a game to children under any condition, originates from "free speech", that's so indirect, that you could as well explain that you have an inherent right to own any drugs as your property, or otherwise your "right to property" is violated.

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