Sen. Jay Rockefeller has re-introduced a bill to Congress that looks to further study the effects of violent games on children.
The bill was first introduced before the end of the last Congress' term, but Congress closed before a floor vote was held.
The bill is essentially what President Obama asked for earlier this month: extensive research on the effects of violent video games and other media on children.
It would task the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to examine whether violent video games cause kids to act aggressively or otherwise hurt their wellbeing, and whether that effect is distinguishable from that of other types of media.
It also would look at the direct and long-lasting impact of violent content on a child’s well-being.
Should the bill be successful, the NAS will be expected to submit a report on its findings to Congress within 18 months.
The bill already has the support of several other senators.
"We need comprehensive policies to fully protect our communities. This study is an important element of this approach," said Rockefeller.
Meanwhile, Senator Christopher Murphy has claimed that videogames put the Sandy Hook shooter in the frame of mind that allowed him to go out and kill 26 people last December.
"I think there’s a question as to whether he would have driven in his mother’s car in the first place if he didn’t have access to a weapon that he saw in video games that gave him a false sense of courage about what he could do that day," he said.
Murphy hasn’t been the only Senator speaking out against gaming. Last week California state senator Leland Yee claimed that gamers couldn’t participate in the violence debate due to a conflict of interest.
"Gamers have got to just quiet down," Yee told The San Francisco Gate.
"Gamers have no credibility in this argument. This is all about their lust for violence and the industry's lust for money. This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about their self-interest."
On Friday, he offered something resembling an apology via Twitter, admitting he didn’t “use best words”.
“I have a lot of respect for many gamers – many are on my staff and in my family,” he continued.
“But the industry has profited at the expense of children.”
On the other side of the debate, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen has questioned whether the Sandy Hook shooter should be called a gamer at all, and has claimed that reports of his gaming were taken at face value from those bastions of quality journalism, UK tabloids.
In a piece that is simultaneously amusing and depressing, Eisen claims that a good deal of the current videogame violence talk stemmed from an interview with a plumber who had visited the shooter’s home prior to the massacre.
“It was a beautiful house but he lived in the basement,” said the man in question.
“I always thought that was strange. But he had a proper set up down there – computers, a bathroom, bed and desk and a TV. There were no windows.
“[The shooter] moved down there [after his brother had moved out]. The boys were fans of the military. They had posters all over the wall in the basement.
“They had one poster of every piece of military equipment the US ever made. It was a huge poster with every tank every made. The kids could tell you about guns they had never seen from the 40s, 50s and 60s.
“The kids who play these games know all about them. I’m not blaming the games for what happened. But they see a picture of a historical gun and say ‘I’ve used that on Call of Duty’.”
Finally, Kotaku is reporting that the German press are blaming videogames for the Munich murder of a 31 year-old woman.
According to the German media, the culprit this time around is apparently Final Fantasy as the killer used to cosplay as one of its characters. Accompanying photos actually show him cosplaying as Neku Sakuraba from ARPG The World Ends with You.