The gaming industry has often come under fire when it comes to legislation. As petty much any media before them, the industry has been the target of censorship due to its content pretty much since its inception. It’s hard to believe that long before the high tech graphics that we take for granted today, many players found that one of their favorite past times were considered by many to be a threat to the national well-being in the United States. Now with the recent and tragic mass shootings this idea is being dragged back to center stage as once again, the level of violence in video games is being questioned.
“We need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe. I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day,” Senator Jay Rockefeller said in response to the tragedies once again dragging the industry down into the muck.
However, the Entertainment Consumers Association isn’t going to stand for it. The gaming advocacy group has drafted a letter to congress in which they outline why this is a waste of taxpayer’s time and money
“The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has recently recommended S. 134 be sent to the floor of the Senate to be voted on. This legislation would instruct 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.’ This comes in the wake of numerous mass shootings across the United States. The ECA has numerous concerns about this and feels that this is a distraction to finding the real cause of these events.”
“With all due respect Senator, the highest court of the land has reviewed the scientific research and concluded that video games do not cause violence. The non-scientific personal opinion of the Senator should not get to overturn the Supreme Court ruling.”
This is a major step in the fight against censorship in gaming. The violence in gaming combined with the more realistic graphics have caused some groups to turn to the medium as a source of violence in not only children but adults who have played games for the majority of their lives. The idea is that they violence contained in the fantasy world desensitizes them to real life violence but in the studies already conducted, this has not been shown to be the case.
“Our industry has forged a longstanding partnership with parents by providing them the best information and tools available in order to make informed decisions about what games their children play. Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission this year again recognized the ESRB rating system as the best in the entertainment sector. We are building on this leadership with a renewed ratings and parental control awareness and usage campaign, and by continuing to expand the ESRB system to apps and mobile platforms,” the ECA goes on to say pointing out all the strides that the industry has made to ensure that games are only played by those age groups that are able to handle the content and not younger impressionable minds.