Philadelphia’s homicide rate is out of control. Nobody in the city disputes that. So are local politicians blaming crime, drugs, easily available guns, gangs or poverty?
Nah. Video games. The Evening Bulletin quotes Rep. Ronald Waters (D):
Philadelphia alone has seen 204 homicides so far this year. Violent video games may or may not be a contributing factor, but we will never know unless this issue is seriously studied.
Children can’t always understand the difference between the video game world and the real world, and there’s no telling what impact this exposure to violence will have on them later in life.
Waters is one of the original sponsers of H.R. 94, a resolution to study the effects of violent media on children. GamePolitics covered an amendment to the bill in a report published earlier today (see: Pennsylvania Legislature Looking Into Video Game Violence). The Bulletin report speculates that Waters and his colleagues in the Pennsylvania legislature may challenge the accuracy of the ESRB rating system.
Said Darin Broton of the National Institute on Media and the Family:
The 800-lb. gorilla in the room is how do we address graphic media violence. The Pennsylvania House is not the first state legislature to tackle this issue, and it won’t be the last. There really needs to be a national solution, like a universal ratings system.
GP: We covered Rep. Waters’ original move in this direction last September.