The lights are on
The topic of gun violence and its relationship with video games continues to be a pressing topic as the United States government works to grapple with daily tragedies. Following the unthinkable events in Newtown, Connecticut last December, the issue of gun control and violent media has been in the spotlight. Numerous studies have been unable to determine correlation between video games and violent tendencies, but one senator is prepared to throw the weight of Congress against the gaming industry.
Earlier this week, California’s Dianne Feinstein spoke to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on a number of topics, including gun control. The senator is known for her firm stance against firearms, but in this latest appearance, she had some strong words for the video game industry.
Video games provide “a very negative role for young people, and the industry ought to take note of that,” Feinstein said. She also shared her desire to see the industry produce products that aren’t focused on large firearms. She warned that Congress might decide to take measures of its own.
While Feinstein is correct that many titles do feature big guns, her statements ignore the wealth of far less violent games available. Especially with the popularity of Lego titles, Angry Birds, and the upcoming Disney Infinity, young people have options that are free from gun violence. Journey, which received a number of Game of the Year awards, is the antithesis of the type of game Feinstein described. Those experiences are out there, and their prevalence is growing.
More troubling than the uninformed approach taken by the senator is the implication for free speech. Per a United States Supreme Court ruling in 2011, video games are afforded protections under the first amendment. Were Feinstein successful in rallying Congress to pursue the gaming industry, she might have a difficult time enacting legislation that could stand an appearance before the nine justices.
[Source: CBS 5 KPIX via Examiner]
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
Gah, this lady needs to retire, shes clueless. Her AWB2013 bill will more than likely crash and burn, now shes on the attack again. This is new her second attack on our constitution.. Gamers need to voice their opinions against her crap and flood her email, twitter, facebook, snall mail and phone.
Here is all of her office phone numbers and addresses
Oh that's funny. Please try.
Will this include magic summoned guns? What about magic projectiles? What about blurred out guns? What about using guns as bludgeoning instruments or as air guitars?
This is crazy outrageous! I mean Mike Futter does make a good point saying that people do have an option to play non violent video games.
I Don't understand how EVERY discussion regarding this topic seems to forget the RATING SYSTEM!!! If you wouldn't let your kid watch an 18+ Movie, don't let them play an 18+ game, or listen to 18+ music, or look at 18+ pictures. That Generation still seems to think Games are for "Kids".
i hate how people are attacking video games cause it is the youngest form of entertainment.... it isn't just video games that are violent. it is movies, TV shows, and books too.
Couldn't take away the real guns so now she's going after the purely imaginary firearms? What about Nerf? I think we skipped a step here.
Games, just like movies, is art. And to ban them from video games is a knock on freedom of speech.
Jeez I didn't know the assault weapon ban applied to the entertainment industry. You know while you're at it Feinstein, there isn't enough tampons in games. Less guns! More tampons!
That's like saying that "Glee" makes people gay.
I will vehemently oppose any such measures.
This is stupid. I'm probably one of the youngest people on this site, I've been playing M rated games since I was three, starting with Halo, and I've never had any violent thoughts... I do think it could cause things in kids who can't tell the difference between fiction and reality but then again, why do they have access to games in the first place?