During a roundtable discussion with concerned parents, teachers, mental health experts, national advocacy groups and representatives from the entertainment industry, Senator Jay Rockefeller today underscored his longstanding focus on the impact of violent video games and programming on children.
"Our children are constantly bombarded with violent images on television and in movies and video games," Rockefeller said. "For busy parents, monitoring every minute of their kids' lives simply isn't possible -- so we need to arm parents and other responsible adults with the best available information about violent media. We also
need more answers about what this exposure is doing to kids' impressionable minds and emotions, and I pledge to do everything possible to get those answers."
Rockefeller is keeping that promise through a comprehensive plan that includes legislation to examine more fully than ever before the impact of violence in the media and video games on children's behavior and mental health. Rockefeller's bill, The Violent Content Research Act of 2013, instructs the National Academy of Sciences to research the link between violent media and behavior and report on its findings.
Senator Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, in January reintroduced The Violent Content Research Act of 2013. Under this bill:
*The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) would conduct a comprehensive study and investigation of the connection between violent video games and violent video programming and harmful effects on children.
*Specifically, NAS would examine whether violent video games and programming cause kids to act aggressively or have other harmful effects, and whether that effect is distinguishable from other types of media. It also would look at the direct and long-lasting impact of violent content on a child's well-being.
*With respect to violent video games, NAS must look at whether current or emerging aspects of games, like their interactive nature and the personal and vivid way violence is portrayed, have a unique impact on kids.
*NAS would be asked to recommend areas for future research and would be required to submit a report on its investigation within 15 months to Congress as well as to the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services.