The recent Sandy Hook shooting has once again made videogames, whether fairly or not, a target for discussions about violent influences in media. And now the discussion has made it up to even the highest levels of US government. Vice President Joe Biden has been on a fact finding mission regarding the causes of gun violence that brought him into contact with executives in the gaming industry.
Now, President Obama is advocating that congress fund research into the effects of violent videogames, specifically on the young and impressionable. “We don’t benefit from ignorance,” he says. “We don’t benefit from not knowing the science.”
This wouldn’t be the first study conducted on the effects of violent videogames on youth, nor is it likely to be any more definitive than previous studies. Past studies have been inconclusive at best and manipulative at worst. The question regarding this study becomes less about what will it reveal (most likely nothing) and more about why are they doing it (Answer: probably as a knee-jerk reaction to show that they’re doing something).