US consumer advocate organisation denounces violent video game legislation

Jay Rockefeller

By on August 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, a number of people who don’t really understand video games decided that it was somehow video games’ fault, and decided the best approach was to fire up some legislation to look into the matter. One of them was Senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia, who proposed that the National Academy of Sciences be asked to do a study on violent games.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has just sent the bill, the Violent Content Research Act, to the floor of the Senate for voting on. Now, consumer advocate group the ECA is demanding that the Senate see sense and not waste time on the bill.

“The ECA has numerous concerns about this and feels that this is a distraction to finding the real cause of these events,” claims the group. “Senator Rockefeller himself, who has championed this legislation, has, on the record, stated that he disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision that video games are protected free speech.”

Senator Rockerfeller is quoted as saying: “Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it. They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons.”

“With all due respect Senator,” continues the ECA, “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.”

It’s interesting stuff — take a read.

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30 comments (Leave your own)
 

HAHA Silly Americans!
/Looks at own country across the whole Saints Row fiasco lately.
Oh, right.

I guess ‘ people in parlimentry power‘ are just generally clueless about video games regardless.

 

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stoibs,

Someone open an Australian office for ECA.

 

Maybe real guns are the problem here, and not pixel ones.

 

shaftbrah,

A gun is a tool, how that tool is used is the problem psychology is the issue here.
And you know considering games apparently desensitize us all to sexism. Makeing us sexist as proved by research papers Tim linked the last time we had a sexism in games discussion. I don’t have too much of an issue believing they could be desensitizing us to violence.

I mean at the very least it seems plausible, if your go to solution to a problem in your digital fantasies is murder why wouldn’t that have an impact of you ?

 
Ralph Wiggum

America, while you’re looking at video games, why not also examine the accessibility of guns, your entrenched bullying culture and segregation in schools, gun control, the breakup of the family unit due to your shithouse economy, gun control, your foreign policy which shows your citizens that problems can only be solved through the barrel of a gun, the increasing gap between rich and poor, gun control, lack of social services especially in mental health and did I mention guns?

Because FFS it’s not all about the video games you know.

 
shavedwookie

God bless Merica.

 

spooler:

A gun is a tool, how that tool is used is the problem psychology is the issue here.
And you know considering games apparently desensitize us all to sexism. Makeing us sexist as proved by research papers Tim linked the last time we had a sexism in games discussion. I don’t have too much of an issue believing they could be desensitizing us to violence.

The research doesnt show games desensitise us to anything external to the games themselves. Playing sexist games desensitises us to to sexism in games, playing violent games to violence in games etc.

The keyword is also DESENSITISE – ie not pay attention to anymore.

Desensitise != now actively do. At the very worst, we become indifferent. There has never been any study where people become violent or sexist solely due to games. At the very worst it can only remove some inhibitions which might be stopping a naturally violent or sexist person – it isnt the root cause of any anti-social behavior.

 

spooler:

A gun is a tool, how that tool is used is the problem psychology is the issue here.

Problem in America is the large number of guns available to anyone. Kids getting their first gun at 4 years of age, and those same kids are probably not allowed to play video games yet.

5-year-old boy accidentally killed his 2-year-old sister earlier this week, shooting her with a Crickett .22-caliber single-shot rifle. The boy and his family apparently didn’t realize that a shell had been left in the gun. “Just one of those crazy accidents,” said Gary White, the coroner for Kentucky’s Cumberland County.

The fact that this 5-year-old boy had a rifle wasn’t an accident, though—it had been given to him as a gift the previous year.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/05/03/crickett_keystone_sporting_arms_watch_an_ad_for_my_first_rifle_the_gun_a.html

Check out some of the pictures on this site to see how guns are marketed for and to kids. They even have pink coloured guns for girls.
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/crickett-rifle-marketing-kids

IMO the very powerful US gun lobby pulls out the video games are bad card every time there is a shooting.

 

How about a study into the mental health and social integration of young people?

 

Silly people, America is fiiiiiiiiine. It’s not America’s fault after all, it’s the rest of the world’s!

 

gun =/= tool
gun = weapon

although would be funny seeing an army go to war with hammers and spades… donkey kong anyone? :D

edit: oooo i just noticed this new website format has f&$#ed up my avatar… sad panda :(

 

submariner: Kids getting their first gun at 4 years of age,

sure bad parents exists a child that young should never have had a rifle and anyone under the age of 18 should always be supervised with any fire arm.

Bad parenting does not mean guns are evil no 5 year old can go in an buy a gun in any state of america i’m aware of you need to be over 18. Parents should be more responsible.

 

retaxis: although would be funny seeing an army go to war with hammers and spades

How do you think trenches were built :S

And a gun is a tool for hunting they’re great, I’d argue not as good as a bow/crossbow but still a very useful and simple way to hunt both for food and to keep pest populations down.
You have alot better access to these tools in america than you do here which for hunters/farmers is a good thing.

 

spooler: sure bad parents exists

That is pretty much the point of everything. Parents stuffing up their kids, with too much of anything – video games, food, guns or worse. How does anyone only blame video games for shooting people? There is no one reason and these pointless political investigations never go anywhere near the truth.

BTW Keystone Sporting Arms, that one US company I mentioned in my previous post, sold 60,000 guns last year for children. That is a lot of bad parents. It would be even more interesting to know the total number of guns for children in the US.

In the video below, an 8 year old boy died (not shown) on this family day out to shoot guns. He accidentally killed himself while firing an Uzi submachine gun. This was an organised event for adults and kids to shoot machine guns, fully automatic weapons. A lot of weapons were seen at one point, piled on a table that everyone had access to, even the kids.

Westfield Machine Gun shoot, uzi, AK, AR, Thompson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KOgOEvhrbw

 

spooler,

I do believe that when you have access to military style automatic weapons, that may have clips of 30 rounds or so, thus capable of killing 30 people before reloading, that you cannot say that such weapons are for hunting. Or any innocent purpose, especially when these weapons can often penetrate body armour.
I’m just saying, that these weapons are widely available in the U.S, and their people will waste lots of effort to defend their right to buy and use such weapons, when it clearly puts a lot of people in danger. Video games only endanger the fitness level of the gamer, and perhaps their social skills, and yet they still get blamed and demonised over there. And to a lesser extent, here too, but less so, partly because we don’t have so much violent crime, largely because we have some level of gun control!

 

submariner,

ok so lets break this argument down.

So if the potential for abuse thru negligence exists it should be banned ? I’m sure that’s not your argument but it is what it sounds like.

If these games impact how we perceive women why not how we perceive violence surely there’s some negativity to be found maybe more research is needed.

assume each one of those 60,000 guns is a child that doesn’t already have parents with guns in the home and that each parent just hand their kid the gun and lets them do what they want with it unlikely but still lets assume that.Now assume a U.S population of 300 million assume 150 million families we get like .0004% of american families are this negligent. that’s a pretty small percentage.

Not everyone of those parents would be bad if used correctly in a safe restricted environment there’s nothing wrong with an 8+ year old handling a fire arm.
Again there’s a ton of stuff that can potentially kill your child you just have to make sure they understand the dangers and only use these things under strict supervision.

As for the event you linked I don’t know anything about it I can’t speak to safety restrictions in place that we did/did not see but again if you take your kids to something like this you should at all times ensure they’re being safe.

 

redshirt,

Why can’t I say that ? I have been to america I have used an anti material rifle to hunt rabbits, do you need it ? god no but you know what every now and then it’s fun to go a little over the top.

redshirt: I do believe that when you have access to military style automatic weapons, that may have clips of 30 rounds or so, thus capable of killing 30 people before reloading

If I mass death was my aim I’d use explosives even in Australia you can get all the things you need to bring down a building ordered to your house online assuming basic assembly knowledge if you wanted to cause mass death it would certainly be the simplest method of doing so.

redshirt: Or any innocent purpose, especially when these weapons can often penetrate body armour.

now If I wanted to kill you personally or a specific person/persons I in Australia have a compound bow for that. A bow with the appropriate broad-head will also have no issue puncturing Kevlar.

Something needs to be done about the culture of violence but it’s not unique to america or guns. The number of stabbings in England i believe exceeds the number of deaths by gun shots in the U.S

 

I think the following 3 clips from The Daily Show investigating gun control in Australia sum things up nicely. Clip 1.Clip 2.Clip 3. It is actually really friggen hilarious so it is worth you 15 minutes. Some of the logic is simply baffling.

ralphwiggum:
America, while you’re looking at video games, why not also examine the accessibility of guns, your entrenched bullying culture and segregation in schools, gun control,the breakup of the family unit due to your shithouse economy, gun control, your foreign policy which shows your citizens that problems can only be solved through the barrel of a gun, the increasing gap between rich and poor, gun control, lack of social services especially in mental health and did I mention guns?

This! There are so many other issues that lead to violence that ‘emulated’ violence in video games is a drop in the ocean. Back when video games didn’t exists, there was still violence. A hundred thousand years ago, there was still violence. And what was this violence the result of? Resources (mostly). Poverty and criminality have a strong relationship, whether it is due to obtaining resources, or having limited potential stunted by lack of resources (can’t afford a decent education? join a gang! What? The gang initiation is to kill someone? Okay!).

All those people that ‘shoot up schools’ don’t do it because they ‘did it in a video game and thought it looked like fun’, they do it because they’ve been picked on relentlessly for the last 3 years and have had enough (No doubt with other factors). Notice how it isn’t uncommon for the shooters to kill themselves as well? That definitely isn’t in any video game that I know of, and certainly isn’t what any ‘normal’ person would perceive as ‘fun’.

And if you’re going to sit back and deny that having access to a gun versus having no access to a gun makes no difference in the likelihood that someone would act violently and ‘kill’ someone you’re deluding yourself. What is the more likely scenario? Someone gets angry, has a pistol on them and shoots someone dead, or, someone gets angry, has no weapon on them, and takes their fists to them? My example may be a bad one, however with a pistol you shoot (possibly unexpectedly), they’re dead and there is no chance they’ll avoid it, or harm will come to you (at that time). If you have to take your fists to someone, they have a chance to defend themselves, you might end up worse then they do, and there is a good chance they’ll live while you’ll end up spending time in prison. It’s really a risk/’reward’ thing, and there is very little ‘imminent’ risk when guns are in play.

In saying that, did you hear we had a gun fueled massacre in Australia recently? Wait… no maybe that was… oh, 18 years (or so) ago. When was the last massacre in the US? Even with your crossbow/compound bow example, you’re theoretically only able to get one shot off before people react, possibly taking out one person. There really is a huge difference between say 9 shots in 2 seconds at a few targets, ‘spraying’ 30 shots through a room in just as many, possibly wounding/killing a dozen or more, and 1 shot in 8-15 seconds, maybe taking one out before you’re overpowered, Do note that I’m not actually sure on the exact times for emptying a clip or reloading, but I think the point stands, and even with ‘accurate’ numbers, you’ll still get more shots out with more potential damage with an automated rifle or handgun than a crossbow/compound bow.

spooler:

I have been to america I have used an anti material rifle to hunt rabbits, do you need it ? god no but you know what every now and then it’s fun to go a little over the top.

I think this statement really hurts your stance, especially as you found it ‘fun’ to ‘massacre’, not just maim, a rabbit in such an over the top way. Again, I think there is a difference between hunting a rabbit/deer/whatever with a 2shot rifle or bow, and filling a 4kg rabbit up with 30 bullets from an automated rifle, especially with the mindset of ‘this is fun’.

 
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