Violent game studies are one part of a 23 step plan.
In a live speech, President Barack Obama outlined 23 executive orders aimed at reducing gun violence, including a statement on violent videogames. After explaining that members of congress historically opposed research into the causes of gun violence President Obama said “I will direct the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce [gun violence]. And congress should fund research into the effects that violent videogames have on young minds.” This marks the first time since the renewed conversation in the U.S. on violent games that the president has made a statement. President Obama’s order on game violence was the only reference to videogames at all in his speech, the rest of which focused on gun control measures.
President Obama’s remarks today reflect the outcome of Vice President Joe Biden’s task force on gun violence. In his address to game industry representatives, Vice President Biden said that “We know there’s no single answer and quite frankly we don’t even know if some of the things people think impact on this actually impact on this or not … you have not been singled out for help.” During his speech today, President Obama followed up his request for CDC research on violent media by saying “We don’t benefit from ignorance. We don’t benefit from not knowing the science on this epidemic of violence.” Between the two remarks, it seems that neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden are prepared to move forward on any legislation or executive action regarding violent videogames without further research.
The comments on game violence formed a minute section of the speech with the majority focusing on executive orders that President Obama would also sign. Beyond his executive orders, President Obama outlined other actions he hoped members of congress would undertake, including implementation of universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.