Senate Bill On Violence Leads Activision To Hire Lobbyist
The United States Senate is considering a bill that could lead to a study on the impact of violent video games on children if approved. S.134, The Violent Content Research Act of 2013 would task the National Academy of Sciences to investigate a correlation between exposure to violent video games and behavior in youth.
In response, Activision has engaged the firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld according to a lobbying disclosure firm. The document doesn't state Activision's position on the bill.
The bill was introduced in January and sent to full Senate by the Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee at the end of June. A vote is not yet scheduled. Activision decline to comment.
Without knowing Activision's position on the bill, it's impossible to interpret the publisher's actions. It's possible that engaging a lobbyist is less about the study and more about being prepared for any potential fallout that could come from it. Getting in the game early would enable Activision to be ready should a study lead to potentially debilitating legislation.
Activision's filing related to hiring the firm wisely lists their work as "art." This potentially sets up a first amendment conversation should the situation arise in which the US government tries to legislate video game content.