The Senate Commerce Committee this week approved a bill to establish a formal study of media violence, particularly its effect on children. When Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the Violent Content Research Act in January, he stated, “I’m reintroducing my bill to study the effect that violence in media and video games has on our children’s well-being because Congress should do everything we can to address gun violence. We need comprehensive policies to fully protect our communities.” Similarly, Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE), a co-sponsor of the bill, added, “Our kids are routinely exposed to movies, television and video games that glorify violence and allow them to simulate violent acts. This legislation will allow us to study what, if any, impact this exposure has on our youth, and if it encourages or desensitizes our children to the real-life consequences of violence.” Notably, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the Motion Picture Association of America issued statements prior to the committee vote in support of such research. The bipartisan legislation now proceeds to the Senate Floor for further consideration.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: August 2, 2013