Senate Focuses on Videogame Violence

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Legal

SenateWith the November elections approaching, the U.S. Senate has passed the Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, which will study the effects (both negative and positive) of electronic media on children.It was originally introduced in 2004. Videogame regulation advocates like Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) backed the new bill, which will focus on videogames as well as other media. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will spearhead this investigation, while the National Academy of Science will review the research.

Videogames are likely to be the primary target, just as the negative versus the positive effects of games will be the likely focus. If this research manages to bring the type of negative videogame statistics to light, it could pave the way for the government to allow regulation of violent videogames. Every state that has tried to censor videogames has eventually been shot down.

The Citizens Against Government Waste group is against this bill because there are already multiple research programs in place for this. So far, any research that has been done has found no direct link between videogame violence and real violence. As a result, judges have blocked all attempts to ban the sale of violent games. That could be the impetus for this bill, as these politicians, who don't bother to even play the games they want to censor, need new ammunition to win votes and ban videogames.

Once again, the government is combining children and violent videogames. If a child under the age of 18 does play a game like "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," it's because his parents either bought the game for him or allowed him to go to a friend's house whose parents bought the game for him. It's the responsibility of the parents, not the government, to dictate what children can play. Unlike free TV, games cost $50 to $60 and no child has a credit card to buy these games. Even with a credit card, every retailer in the country cards Mature-rated game rentals and purchases. So this entire thing is a moot point, except to harbor votes from parents around election time.

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