Obama calls for research into violent games

U.S. President Barack Obama today called for government research into the effects violent video games may have on children. Obama's moves for tighter gun control regulations and renewed research were informed by Vice President Joe Biden's task force, which spoke with several game industry executives last week.

"Congress will fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds," President Obama said as part of his address, Polygon reports.

Obama asked Congress to allocate $10 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this and other research into the relationship between "media images" and gun violence. The president also outlined other proposals, including a ban on "military style" assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and required background checks for all firearms purchases--including those made privately and at gun shows.

"If there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try," Obama said.

Obama hopes to overturn Congressional measures that prohibit the CDC from using its funding "to advocate or promote gun control," which have persisted since the mid-1990s.


  • Cwf2008 - January 17, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    Well this oughta be interesting, seeing as past studies have found no correlation. But I guess when you're the US government, 10 million dollars is a drop in the bucket. Why not put that towards improving the mental health system in the country rather than waste time and money looking into games? Or at least give the ATF more power and agents
  • winner2 - January 17, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    Google "us debt clock". Don't do it on a phone though, it'll work better on a real pc.
  • tehtimeisnow - January 17, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    voilent videoganes is makeing poeple turn into kilers i hope obama do the rite thing and ban them.well just dont ban call of duty cuz those ganes is amazeing
  • renegade2013 - January 26, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    Call of duty is a violent game and would be banned(if they but a ban on violent video games), violent video games don't turn people into killers most of the time people just have mental issues and go crazy, Games are inanimate objects and the character in the game doesn't turn around and tell you to go kill people, it's the people not the games and you call yourself a gamer!? If the government banned violent videos games a lot of people would lose their jobs, because most video games companies have games that are focused on violence ( Halo, Call of duty, Grand theft auto, mass effect, etc.). Obama would just make unemployment higher or we would be stuck with games without violence(World of Warcraft would become World of Happy Kittens lol) and i think people also may start rioting and create a national uproar. It's more likely that North Korea will start a war than a ban would be put on violent video games. p.s. WHERE THE HELL DID YOU LEARN TO SPELL!? ARE YOU STILL IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?
  • SilentDark - January 17, 2013 6:10 a.m.

    Nice to see in these tough economic times the US can waste $10 million on a study which, like just about every other study into this will end up inconclusive. People who believe there is a link won't be pursuaded by any evidence that disproves their claim, violent crime has been with us since the dawn of humanity, so how video games have anything to do with it I can't see it. This is just a pointless waste opf taxpayer money that could be used on, you know, protecting people from lunatics with guns. I've played Doom, Grand Theft Auto, Mad World and a variety of others, I have no criminal record, no history of violent behaviour, I haven't had so much as a parking ticket. I am not in the minority here.
  • KA87 - January 17, 2013 5:48 a.m.

    Just remeber, this is a "government" study. That means it will take 20+ year to complete.
  • BaraChat - January 16, 2013 8:12 p.m.

    It can't hurt to have a scientific and/or psychological analysis on the matter, instead of simply calling out the whole industry as being "shadowy corrupt" organization like those assholes in the NRA did. If some intelligence is put into the research, it could actually help the public have a better and more reasonable understanding of games and gamers. Not some idiotic bullshit fed to the people via FOX, CNN or whatever shitty media people listen to.
  • angelusdlion - January 16, 2013 7:46 p.m.

    I like him... but I gotta say, that's a political move... I'm not too worried.
  • ObliqueZombie - January 16, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    So we're putting money into it... when there's already a plethora of research done since the original Mortal Kombat? Okay.
  • 7-D - January 16, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    I actually think solid up-to-date research into violent video-games on children would be quite interesting from a psychological and scientific standpoint. However the caveat has to be that it is completely objective, unbiased with no special interest involvement. You never know, we might actually find out that controlled outlets for our natural hard-wired aggressive instincts are healthy? Who knows? In an age where i've lost count of the amount of vile comments i've read on threads underneath tragic incidents I do tend to wonder if i'm surrounded by psychopaths? Or assholes? Or if respect for the beauty of human life is becoming old fashioned, in favour of something more reptilian? Have these people always been there but without a voice? Are they a recent (re)development? Perhaps it's always been. And - what part do games actually play in this big mish-mash of nonsense, hate and growing casual attitude towards death and murder? I can't say I haven't wondered.
  • michael-j-alexander - January 17, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    WELL SAID. All to often gamers are far too quick to take objective, open inquiry as personal attack.
  • Balaska - January 17, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    I agree with everything you have said. However, I would like to point out something. 70+ million xboxes sold. 70+ million PS3s sold. Millions of gaming PCs. Admittedly some, like me, will have all 3. This still leaves tens, if not hunderds of millions of games players. The likelyhood is that a few of these games players are going to be loons. I would like to see what the ratio of psycho to normals is compared to the general population. There is also the fact, that as you point out violence has been around a long time. However our "news" reporting organisations have gotten more and more trashy and tabloid. The levels of violence in our society have dropped, despite our increased population, but never before has violence been sensationlised so much by the media. Violence isn't on the increase, it is just force fed to us each day by our Daily Mails and Fox News.
  • ventanger - January 17, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    Ok, but shouldn't it be privately funded instead of funded by taxpayers?
  • joshin69 - January 16, 2013 2:50 p.m.

    to abuse a GLC quote "Guns dont kill people, games do!, I saw it on a documentary on BBC2!"
  • garnsr - January 16, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    I'd like to see money go into researching the effects guns have on young minds. I grew up playing with toy guns, and have never known anyone who killed anyone with a gun, and have rarely known anyone who owned a gun. What are the effects of growing up with actual guns all around? Then throw in depictions of people using those every day items to kill in games or movies, are the kids who grew up with guns more likely to be unable to differentiate between what they should do?
  • Moondoggie1157 - January 16, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    I grew up in a family of hunters, so it wasn't uncommon for my grandpa, dad, or uncles to be cleaning guns in the open. I have fired them many times growing up, but I have never been unable to differentiate between real and fake firearms. Mind you, I had gun safety and education drilled into me head that whole time. I think the use of firearms for recreation is an old tradition, and a big part of me thinks it's a tradition that should end. I understand it's the right of the people to own guns, but it doesn't mean they are necessary. I dunno, I'm really all over the place with gun laws, i try to stay clear of that stuff...
  • neohunter1884 - January 16, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    Video games were mentioned in the speech, just as they were after Columbine. All games in the US are rated and very strict rules are applied to retailers when dealing with M rated games being sold to minors. Having worked for Gamestop for about 7 months I asked anyone and everyone for an Id when selling M rated games. Also I made sure that parents knew what kind of content was in the game before selling it to them. Kids getting a hold of M rated games happens because of their parents. The old argument that well they go over to their friends and play these games is nothing short of bad parenting as well. Parents should be held responsible for their children playing video games that are above their levels. When parents are to lazy to monitor what their children do or are exposed to they are failing their children and society as a whole. There are many things out their that a parent, who will get off their asses and utilize, can use to protect their kids. Yes I know parents have to work and all that other bullshit that parents use as a reason to not do their jobs but both of my parents worked when I was a kid and they still made sure to at the very least go over to my friends houses and meet with their parents and find out what kind of people I was hanging out with. Going after video games is just easier than going after books and other forms of media which can be just as influential. The government is just using this as a stepping stone to go after our freedoms as Americans. Do we want to end up like Australia and having our art censored.
  • rob-smith - January 16, 2013 7:34 p.m.

    Neohunter, I must say that I agree with you all the way. I have listened to all the hype around gun control laws and limiting violence in video games and movies but I have yet to hear how anything about the parents. I parents that buy these M rated games for their kids are the ones that are making the biggest push to get violence in games banned. If they would do more parenting this would not even be an issue. They buy these games as an easy way to babysit their kids but at the time are not concerned about the content of the game. Our seven year old has a friend down the street who has parents like this and his parents let him play call of duty black ops and military style games all the time. When I found this out my son was not allowed to play at his house nor is the kid allowed to come to mine. It is parents like this that is trying to ruin it for the rest of us that are old enough to play these games like myself. I have a lot of these games for the pc but my kids are not allowed to play them nor are they allowed to watch me play them. They have a Wii and the DS which they know that they are only allowed to buy games that are rated "E" so when we go pick out games they know which ones they are allowed to pick from. I have trained them well.
  • jduanej - January 16, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    Who the hell needs an assault rifle? Ban them from personal ownership. If people want to have the thrill of shooting them, then allow shooting ranges to have them.
  • ventanger - January 17, 2013 2:23 p.m.

    Who the hell needs a Ferrari? Ban Ferrari's, nobody needs to go that fast. Freedom sucks I hate it!

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