The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued an alert urging members of the community to let the U.S. Senate know that you think Senator Rockefeller's bill to study violent video games is a misguided mistake. Why?
Because the Senator has publicly stated that this bill and the result of it are simply a step towards government regulation of video games. The bill, S. 134, calls for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the connection between the "exposure to violent video games and video programming and harmful effects on children."
The proposed study is a knee-jerk response in the wake of the Newtown school shooting in December 2012, but there are no clear links that the perpetrator of that horrific crime was a hard core gamer or even played violent video games (two reports from UK tabloids offered some questionable second hand accounts, but nothing that would even remotely be considered definitive). We'll let Advocacy Director Brett Schenker explain in more detail why S. 134 is a horrible bill:
Senator Rockefeller has recently introduced S. 134, legislation that calls upon the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the connection between the “exposure to violent video games and video programming and harmful effects on children.” The ECA has numerous concerns about this and feels that this is a distraction to finding the real cause of recent shootings.
Violent crime has decreased while video games sales have increased. Countries whose video game spending per capita is more than the United States do not see the level of violence – especially gun violence – that we do. Numerous studies have found that video games does not cause violence and no matter what their opinion on the subject, researchers on both sides agree that you can’t conduct this type of study.
Senator Rockefeller himself has, on the record, stated that he disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision that video games are protected free speech. We fear that this is just a first step to regulate video game content. Senator Rockefeller himself has stated this is the case. It’s a parents role to decide what media their children are exposed to, not the government. On top of that, the Federal Trade Commission has found the video game industry’s rating and labeling system is the best out of all entertainment.
This is just a first step to combating this legislation, but it’s an important one. We need you to take the 30 seconds to send an email, but when you’re done please share this with your friends and family too. Stand up now and make your voice heard.
Keep on gaming,
Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA)
[Full Disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]