Video Game Lobby Balks at Blame for Mass Shootings

Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 05:31 PM

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The lobbyist group for video game manufacturing companies in a statement today asked members of Congress to consider already existing research that shows players are not statistically more violent after the games before taking action against its clients.

The Entertainment Software Association said in a statement Thursday that years of extensive research shows no connection between violent video games and people who commit violent acts, reported The Hill.

Members of Congress, as well as a the media and public, have suggested that one possible influence on the shooter responsible for a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., were overly violent video games such as "Call of Duty."

“The search for meaningful solutions must consider the broad range of actual factors that may have contributed to this tragedy,” the group said. “Any such study needs to include the years of extensive research that has shown no connection between entertainment and real-life violence.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., have called for a new study to be done that looks into the effect games have on those who play them.

“The violence in the entertainment culture — particularly with the extraordinary realism to video games, movies now, et cetera — does cause vulnerable young men, particularly, to be more violent,” Lieberman said on Fox News two days after the shooting.

The ESA lobbied against the Violence in Video Games Labeling Act in March, which would have required warning labels on some games similar to those on cigarette packs that they may cause violence in players.

ESA already, through its Entertainment Software Ratings Board, assigns letter ratings to games which suggest minimum age groups they would be appropriate for.

Rockefeller said the voluntary ratings system is not enough, especially considering the popular theory that games, like violent movies and TV, influence the violent tendencies of those who consume them.

“Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children,” Rockefeller said in a statement. “They have a responsibility to protect our children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role.”

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