NAB Ready to Cooperate With Congress on Violence Study
Trade group says determining impact will be tough, but it is willing to support effort
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/19/2012 7:24:28 PM
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) Wednesday introduced a bill that would mandate a scientific study of the impact of violent video games and programming on children, with the results going to Congress, the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission.
In a statement Wednesday, NAB signaled it would support that effort, though it suggested the study was a tall order.
"Despite the inherent difficulties in scientifically ascertaining the impact of video violence on real-life violence," said NAB in an e-mailed statement, "we stand ready to work with Senator Rockefeller and the National Academy of Sciences to learn whatever we can that can help our country avoid anything like what we have seen in recent days."
Various legislators and the White House have signaled that there needs to be a national conversation about stemming gun violence that includes access to weapons, mental health issues, parenting and cultural influences. Video games appear to be the focus of that last category, but violent video programming more generally has also been invoked, including by Senator Rockefeller.
As a broadcaster and a resident of Newtown CT, I applaud the NAB for its part in supporting Sen. Rockefeller. The unspeakable violence that occurred in my town and in other towns recently does not have just one root cause. The issues surrounding the culture of violence in our country is complex. Surely violent video games and TV programs, if nothing else, desensitize us as a whole and certainly can influence the susceptible few in our communities to act out on what they view.
Terry Stoller - 12/20/2012 2:55:40 PM EST
Come on! Before anyone gets credit for calling for studies on the impact of violent video content on human beings, they should know that mass communications researchers have spent more time examining the effects of viewing violent content than almost any other topic. Before we spend millions more launching new studies, we should take a close look at the work already done. The result of previous media effects studies? Yes, heavy viewing of violent content (TV shows, films, video games) can produce increased aggressive or even violent behavior in some people. I agree that we urgently need to address the rise in senseless violence in our society, but when it comes to violent media content, we don't need to reinvent the wheel. Let's move on to talking about intervening variables--like parental mediation of children's viewing--and save lives.
Mark Keley, Ph.D - 12/20/2012 8:59:22 AM EST
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