By: Stephen Duetzmann, editor in chief
On January 24th of this year a group of Senators presented a bill called the “Violent Content Research Act of 2013” that, if passed, would require the National Academy of Sciences to perform further research into the potential harmful effects of video games on children. This was presented as part of a comprehensive response package after the tragic events in Sandy Hook last year.
The bill looks for a comprehensive investigation to be performed to determine if “there is a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects to children.” They want to determine if the video games cause children to act aggressively or if it causes any other “measurable harm.”
The bill’s authors seem to have predicted some of the potential criticism that they might hear. They are looking to investigate whether or not violent video games have “a disproportionate effect on children who are already prone to aggressive behavior.”
My stance on this topic is well documented. I don’t believe that there is any sort of connection. I may be opposed to the use of federal funds, but I don’t have an issue with the study being performed. There have been a number of studies performed already and many of them have found no causal link between violent video games and violent behavior in children. But, I see no reason why another one would be inappropriate so long as it is not a rehash of previous experiments with different conclusions.
I’ll keep everyone posted as this moves along in the process.