Violent content in video games is being blamed yet again for the mass shootings inflicting the states, specifically the recent December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown.
During the past week the multiple bills have challenged the video game world on their violence content, with Barack Obama now calling for the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to research the link between videogame violence and violent behaviour. Just this week Comics and Gaming Magazine’s reported on Rep. Diana Franklin sponsoring an act that would give a one per cent charge to violent games rated Teen, Mature or Adult only.
Now, only a day before Obama called for research on Jan.16, House bill H.R. 287 sponsored by Democrat representative Jim Matheson called for the prohibitation the sale of adult or mature games to minors on Tuesday.
The Entertainment Software Association or ESA, told Comics and Gaming Magazine over email that though they share Matheson’s goal of ensuring parents maintain control over their children’s entertainment, they believe that Matheson is taking a flawed approach.
“That is why we work with retailers and stakeholders to raise awareness about the proven Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) system, the parental controls available on every video game console, and the importance of parents monitoring what games their children play.”
“However, this type of legislation was already ruled unconstitutional and is a flawed approach. Empowering parents, not enacting unconstitutional legislation, is the best way to control the games children play.”
For those who don’t know how the ESRB ratings work, mature games are meant for gamers 17+, and may contain intense violence, blood and gore, language or sexual content. An 18+ adult rated game means prolonged intense violence, graphic sexual content or gambling with currency.
What Matheson is suggesting to do to video games has not been done to any other media format, including TV and movies.
Matherson’s bill is being closely compared to democrat representative Joe Baca’s 2012 bill to have warning labels placed on games with ‘exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behaviour’ on the packaging.