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Violent Content Research Act draws ECA ire

Consumer group paints measure as a first step toward legislating game content, tells members to contact lawmakers

The Entertainment Software Association has been quiet when it comes to proposals to research ties between violence and video games in the wake of last year's Newtown, CT school shooting, but the Entertainment Consumers Association is speaking out against the idea.

With West Virginia Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller's Violent Content Research Act still making progress (the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation last week approved a plan to amend the bill), the ECA this week launched a campaign calling on members to convince their legislators to oppose the measure.

"The ECA has numerous concerns about this and feels that this is a distraction to finding the real cause of these events," the group said in its statement, adding, "This is a first step by Congress to legislate entertainment content and video games. They have stated that they disagree with the Supreme Court's decision that video games are protected speech. For that alone, this issue is too politicized and cannot proceed as is."

Rockefeller introduced the Violent Content Research Act in January and found bipartisan support, with three Republicans and one other Democrat co-sponsoring the measure. As originally drafted, the measure called on the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications commission, and Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the National Academy of Sciences on a study of the connections between exposure to violent games or other video content and harmful effects on children.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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