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Obama calls for research between violent video games and real world violence


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Initial post: Jan 16, 2013 11:01:52 AM PST
http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/16/3882728/obama-calls-for-research-into-link-between-video-games-and-violence

President Barack Obama today called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct further research into the relationship between video games, media images and violence.

That Presidential Memorandum was among 23 gun violence reduction executive actions laid out this morning during a nationally televised address. Those actions, all of which are being initiated today, include proposing bans on "military-style" assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, increasing mental health services, making schools safer and improving background checks.

Addressing a packed room filled with the press, victims of previous shootings and children who have written to the White House about the shootings, President Obama acknowledged that the road ahead would be difficult.

"If there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to try it," he said. "I will put everything I've got into this, and so will Joe, but I tell you the only way we can change is if the American people demand it."

Video game industry officials, researchers and executives were among the last of the groups Biden met with. In that meeting, those present told Polygon, Biden stressed that he wasn't singling out the video game industry and that he came to the meeting with "no judgment." On Monday, Biden passed on his recommendations to President Obama and 48 hours later the President presented them to the country.The broad measures come in the wake of the Dec. 14 mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School which left twenty children and six adult staff dead. Following the shooting, President Obama asked Vice President Joe Biden to form a task force to examine how to decrease violence in America. That process included 22 different meetings with 220 different organizations, senior White House administrative officials tell Polygon.

For years, the CDC and other federally funded scientific agencies have been barred by Congress from using funds to "advocate or promote gun control." Some have argued that that ban prevented the organizations from conducting research into the causes of gun violence. Today's Presidential Memorandum on the topic looks to discount that argument.

In the memorandum, the President is directing the CDC and scientific agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. The memo, according to White House officials, is based on new legal analysis that found that such research would not be barred. It calls for the CDC to immediately start assessing existing strategies for preventing gun violence and identifying the most pressing research questions. President Obama is also calling for Congress to provide $10 million for the CDC to conduct new research, including investigating the relationship between video games, "media images" and violence.

"Congress will fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds," President Obama said.

Entertainment Software Association officials have not yet responded to request for comment.

The White House didn't clarify whether media images refers to movies and television or something else or how that research would be conducted, though senior officials did note the research would likely start in 2014.

Obama's $500 million anti-gun violence package fell into four broad categories: closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands, banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and taking other "common-sense steps" to reduce gun violence, making schools safer and increasing access to mental health services.

Ending the freeze on gun violence research, which includes new research into any link between video games and gun violence, falls under the "common-sense steps," according to White House officials.

Other research suggested includes a call to invest more money into the existing National Violent Death Reporting System. The system currently collects anonymous data when a firearm is used in homicides or suicides.

"Along with our freedom to live our lives as we will comes an obligation to allow others to do the same," President Obama said. "We don't live in isolation. We live in a society, a government of, by and for the people. WE are responsible for each other.

"When it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. Let's do the right thing. Let's do the right thing for them and for this country that we love so much."

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 11:04:51 AM PST
GUEST!! says:
*sigh* Such incredible bullishtt. Well, if the CDC is doing the study hopefully it will be something resembling scientific and accurate.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 11:05:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 11:06:34 AM PST
Keller says:
I like this idea. I personally, as a parent, would love to see some long term research on the effects of violent video games. This is a good move, IMHO. Yes I love videogames, but I am also a concerned parent. Gathering scientific information isn't a bad idea. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:06:49 AM PST
GarionOrb says:
There have been countless studies done that show there is no correlation between violent video games and real-life violence. I think the President is just making sure he covers all bases with all special interest groups.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:08:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 11:11:21 AM PST
I'm all for studies since those usually tend to result in "nope, games/movies/tv don't create violence."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:08:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 11:11:10 AM PST
Keller says:
Most of those studies have been poorly executed, IMHO. Most were based on older video games that aren't half as photo realistic as today's games and/or were short term studies. This study needs to be long term. I dont' think videogames has an affect from 2 hours of play, but I am curious what happens over a span of 10 years. Acute vs chronic, major difference. :)

Banning assault rifles that look like military seems silly, though magazine capacity limits seem reasonable. I dont' think a civilian needs to be able to fire 100+ rounds. Proceed with the downvotes.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 11:10:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 11:10:43 AM PST
Kin-foot says:
I'm a parent. I rather see this money go to getting our economy out of the toilet so my kids can have a good future than support this mess.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:11:41 AM PST
GUEST!! says:
I'm all for well handled studies, but the reason the myth of violence and videogames has been perpetuted for so long is because of the large number of BS independent studies on the subject which often concluded "Kids get an adrenaline spike when they play violent video games! They're going to go shoot up a liquor store!"

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:13:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 11:14:23 AM PST
Keller says:
The study is budgeted at 10 million, our yearly spending is 1.25 trillion. This study is 0.0008% of total spending. I am not sure that would be enough to fix the economy, especially when the problem is out sourcing of labor combined with wages being stagnant (except for those on top, their salaries are booming). Our economy at the moment is a pyramid scheme, that is the problem. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:13:13 AM PST
So than it's good that we will have a well handled study to shut those dumb ones down.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:14:02 AM PST
Kin-foot says:
Spending 10 million more doesn't help it either.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 11:14:22 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
Can we broadcast, live around the world, Jack Thompson's head exploding when the CDC can't find a correlation? I mean if they can't connect the dots between 40 years of chain smoking and a death by cancer, what chance do they have to prove that video games cause violent behavior?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:14:51 AM PST
GUEST!! says:
Like I said in my original post, I've got more faith in the study since the CDC will be conducting it. I'm just ohfking sick and tired of this retread.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:15:58 AM PST
Meth Panther says:
Unfortunately the government regularly ignores studies that don't align with its interest or the interest of its benefactors.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:16:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 11:18:01 AM PST
Keller says:
Doesn't hurt it either. 10 million is nothing. We have to put it in perspective. Not too mention that 10 million will go to hiring a few scientists and buying new equipment, which means the money is going back into the economy anyway. Any money given to the scientific community has to be spent within a specific time frame or the money goes back to the government. I have been part of government funded science projects in the past. I find them to be a very good thing overall. Instead of people guessing at the answer, we will actually know for sure. The CDC in particular has good people working there. I expect some good results. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:20:10 AM PST
So than it could actually help it...

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 11:20:18 AM PST
long term play? I imagine a kid becomes more socially awkward aka a hermit. Dwells in his own mind all day. Becomes crazy and depressed. he/she then may or may not kill people.

Of course it's my opinion but it comes down to parenting and friends. You just shouldn't let your kids watch TV and play video games all day, every day.... especially alone locked up in their room.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 11:21:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 11:23:05 AM PST
K Archer says:
No matter what research is done, no matter what this "study" finds, all he wants is it to say that yes, there is a MAJOR link between video games and violence.

He will not take anything less as an answer, and there will be "encouragement" to get that answer to appear.

After this "study" shows a link, you can bet there will be bannings "in the name of our 'protection', because we're 'too stupid' to think for ourselves." (paraphrased, of course, no politician would ever say that; they'll use honey'd words that mean it, though)

EDIT: If they want to actually do something, start getting people involved in looking for the people who are crazy, who would hurt others without a thought. There are so many warning signs out there...but no, we can't say anything, because then we're "hurting their feelings" or "alienating" them. So, they don't get treatment and go on to hurt others.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:22:32 AM PST
So than the cause would be social isolation.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 11:23:12 AM PST
Obama hates good video games.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:23:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 11:26:29 AM PST
Keller says:
Any government contract money we got went directly into equipment, aka into the private sector. Sales people made commission, paid more taxes plus sales tax, job creation, etc. :)
Feltersnatch, lol. Yeah, that is true. If parents were actually good parents, there would be little to no problems in the world.

I suppose where I am unique (prepares to be attacked), I am not convinced photo realistic violent video games over the span of years doesn't mess with a child's head. I am on the fence at the moment. My kids won't have access to my adult games till they are older. Same goes with my movies.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 11:23:52 AM PST
klopas says:
To be honest, I think video games can bring the worst out of me - especially competitive multiplayer games. I rage from the comfort of my home quite a bit until I catch myself being ridiculous. It's embarrassing to admit, but I get really competitive when it's unnecessary. I'm working on it!

However, outside of the video games, I'm a mild-mannered dude who gets along with most everybody I'm around, no anger issues/history of violence, no road rage. I'd be interested in seeing relevant accredited research on video game violence and whether or not there is truly a connection to real world violence.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:24:12 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
How do you know that Obama isn't trying to clear video games as the easy scapegoat to focus the people's attention on the real issue behind mass gun violence?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:24:51 AM PST
GarionOrb says:
I don't think it's quite so extreme. And an independent, well-respected organization such as the CDC will not report findings that are not accurate.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 11:25:01 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
How do you know that you're supposed to be that mild mannered person? Maybe you're supposed to be the rager; maybe games help you unlock who you are meant to be.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  49
Total posts:  245
Initial post:  Jan 16, 2013
Latest post:  Jan 23, 2013

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