John Davison Rockefeller IV, aka Jay, a United States Senator hailing from West Virginia, is proposing a bill that would see the National Academy of Sciences receive an official mandate to study the impact that violent video games and other types of violent media have on the minds of youngsters.
The official website of the Senator states, “Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children. They have a responsibility to protect our children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role.”
If the bill passes, the National Academy of Sciences, in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, would have to issue a report in 18 months and allow Congress to decide on the matter.
John Davison Rockefeller IV adds, “With respect to violent video games, NAS must look at whether current or emerging aspects of games, like their interactive nature and the personal and vivid way violence is portrayed, have a unique impact on kids.”
The bill was introduced as a reaction to the shooting incident at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Reports have suggested that violent video games might have influenced the action of the gunman, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Dynasty Warriors cited.
The fact that the National Academy of Sciences is involved means that the resulting study will carry a lot of weight and might then be used to justify regulations that would see some types of games restricted or banned from sale.
It’s unclear whether the bill from John Davison Rockefeller IV has any chance of getting out of committee and onto the floor for a vote, especially considering that at the moment the legislative body is focused on avoiding the coming fiscal cliff.