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Californian Senator Links Games to Violence

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California, spoke to an audience of about 500 people on Wednesday, saying that Congress may need to move forward to censor violent video games if the industry does not self-regulate its depictions of guns and violence.

Feinstein said that video games play, "a very negative role for young people, and the industry ought to take note of that...if Sandy Hook doesn't do it ... then maybe we have to proceed, but that is in the future."

U.S. politicians have voiced their concern on video game violence since mass shootings in the last year captured media attention, leading to questions about violent media's role in the crimes. James Holmes opened fire in a crowded movie theater screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado on July 20. Another shooting occurred in the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Oregon on December 11, followed by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, and the Taft High School shooting in California in January.

A congressional hearing took place on January 30 where politicians and experts expressed testimony to the Judiciary Committee on what action, if any, would take place. Tennessee Republican senator Lamar Alexander linked video games and violence in an interview with MSNBC, stating "I think video games is [sic] a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people. But the First Amendment limits what we can do about video games, and the Second Amendment to the Constitution limits what we can do about guns."

Congress has looked to pass a number of bills to combat the perceived link between violence and video games. Democratic congressperson Jim Matheson introduced Bill H.R.287 to house in January in hopes of making ESRB ratings legally binding and President Barack Obama has called for a scientific study investigating the proposed link leading to open letters from the video game industry asking for no censorship.

Senator Feinstein previously backed the 2010 Anti-Piracy Bill and is the writer of the current assault weapons ban legislation.

Sources: Venture Beat, The Huffington Post via Slashdot

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