ECA Action Alert: Say No to Massachusetts Video Game Research Bill

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has put out a special call for action specific to residents of Massachusetts, where a state senator has proposed that violent video games and video games in general should be studied by a panel (put together by the Senate) to determine if they cause real-world violence.

The bill is called S 168 and is the brainchild (we use the term loosely in this case) of State Senator William Brownsberger (D).

The ECA's alert can be found below in its entirety, but you can read about the particulars of the bill and the senator's reasoning for pushing it here.

Tell Your State Senator to NOT Support S 168!

Though study after study has shown no causal link between video games and real world violence, Massachusetts State Senator William Brownsberger has proposed S 168, which would create a special commission to investigate the influence of violent video games and to try to discover a link with real world violence.

We don’t need a commission or a study prodded on by inflammatory language that peppers this legislation. Numerous studies have already taken place, which find no such causal link.

Here are some facts:

– The FTC has said the video game industry has doing a great job in self-regulating sales of mature games to underage children.

– Federal studies have already shown that there is no link between video games and real world violence.

– A former FBI profiler has come out to say that there is no connection. The FBI and Secret Service have published reports that say the same.

– While video game sales have increased, according to the FBI’s own statistics, violent crime has been steadily decreasing. In 2011, violent crimes nationwide decreased 3.8% from 2010. Since 2002, it’s decreased 15.5%. This is all during the time when games like Call of Duty and Halo have dominated sales. We’re at some of the lowest levels of violence since the 1960s.

– Federal courts – including the Supreme Court – have routinely held that government regulation of media, including video games, is unconstitutional.

– Recent tragedies and incidents have involved people of varying age, including 40 and 60 year olds, who are not video game players.

– Other nations consume more video games per capita, but see nowhere near the level of violence the United States does.

If you are a resident in the state of Massachusetts, you can use this form to send your state representative a letter telling them that you do not approve of this bill and that it will ultimately be a waste of tax payer money.

[Full disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]

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