United States President Barack Obama has mentioned video games in his speech outlining executive measures designed to curb the wave of gun-based violence that hit the country, asking for Congress to provide the Center for Disease Control with the resources it needs to research the potential effects of violent video games on young minds.The step was part of a wider number of measures, with Obama stating, “We don’t benefit from ignorance. We don’t benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence.”
The Center for Disease Control should receive 10 million dollars (7.52 million Euro) from Congress and the research effort will also include other media sources and their own impact.
A statement from the White House is quoted by VG247 as saying that, “The entertainment and video game industries have a responsibility to give parents tools and choices about the movies and programs their children watch and the games their children play.”
The wider package of executive orders that the President has announced also includes extended background checks for all those who seek to buy a gun and more collaboration between federal agencies to limit access for those who pose a threat to society.
The measures come after United States Vice President Joe Biden met with interest groups, including representatives from the video game industry, in order to evaluate potential future action.
A representative had previously proposed a bill to fund violent video game research via the National Academy of Arts, but it died on the floor.
Executive orders are the main way for the President of the United States to influence federal regulation, but Congress needs to work with him in order to deliver the required resources to the CDC.
The Center for Disease Control is a curious choice for violent video game research, given its core competencies.