Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation this week echoing what President Obama asked for earlier in the month: extensive research on the effects of violent video games and other media on children. The study would be overseen by the National Academy of Sciences. Rockefeller introduced the bill before the end of the last Congress's term but ran out of time to get a floor vote. Now it seems that his bill has a lot more support from both parties.
Senators throwing their support behind the bill already include Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). Rockefeller, who is the chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said that his bill would lay the groundwork for Congress to consider new regulations of violent entertainment content.
"We need comprehensive policies to fully protect our communities. This study is an important element of this approach," Rockefeller said
Rockefeller added that he is working closely with the Senate leadership to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.
"This bill is a step in the right direction towards better understanding the effects of violence on children, and I look forward to the recommendations that result from this report,” Sen. Heller said.
Sen. Johanns said that in order to have an "honest discussion" about violence, "we need to examine the underlying causes of these actions."
On a slightly related note, the ESA and other member of the video game industry are set to meet with Vice-President Joe Biden today as part of his efforts related to gun violence. Perhaps instead of meeting with the Administration, the ESA should start preparing for another court case similar to Brown v. EMA if lawmakers decide to pass a bill like Rockefeller's because, as he indicated in his comments, it is the first step towards legislation regulating video games.
Source: The Hill