After the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, the world has gone a little mad over violent video games. People seem to have split into two factions: those who say violent games don’t cause people to go crazy and shoot each other, and the other saying that these games cause violent tendancies and that impressionable people can take what they see to heart. It’s an understandable reaction after the death of 20 first-graders which was initially blamed on the video game Mass Effect. The latest person to step into the fray is none other than the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Obama recently revealed a slew of possible actions to stem the tide of violence and unfortunate outbursts such as this, including the use of 23 executive orders and a series of suggestions to Congress. One such suggestion was the requested allocation of $10 million to study violent media, with a portion of that going to study violent video games. “We don’t benefit from ignorance. We don’t benefit from not knowing the science” Obama said.
Games Industry association ESA said the sector “has a responsibility to give parents tools and choices about the movies and programs their children watch and the games their children play” and are collaborating with Congress to find meaningful solutions.
He has also called on the U.S. representative bodies to pass a bill that will require universal background checks on firearm purchases, a limit on assault weapons and a 10-round maximum on ammo magazines. He has made no move to ban, censor or limit video games at this time, but he is also considering research into the positive benefits of video games as well as the negative (a rather balanced set of research).
The National Rifle Association have condemned Obama’s response, and there is still a section of gamers that have taken offense to this, but for now video games are still relatively safe.
So are violent video games the reason people go on these mass-killing sprees? Or is something else to blame and games are just taking the rap? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.