Rockefeller reintroduces violence bill

PARKERSBURG – A bill instructing the National Academy of Sciences to study the impact of violent content, including video games and video programming, on children has been reintroduced by U.S. Sen. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“Fully examining how violence in the media and video games affects our children’s well-being, as this bill would do, will help make sure Congress is doing everything it can to address violence in our communities,” Rockefeller said Tuesday.

The bill should be part of any plan to improve protections against gun violence, he said.

“I’ve been working closely with my colleagues to see to it that research like this is a priority and I’m glad that the president’s plan includes additional research into the link between violent content and children’s behavior,” Rockefeller said.

The Violent Content Research Act of 2013 would require the academy to study the connection between violent video games and violent video programming and harmful effects on children.

The academy would examine whether violent video games and programming cause kids to act aggressively or have other 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, the agency must look at whether existing or emerging aspects of games, like their interactive nature and the personal and vivid way violence is portrayed, have a unique impact on kids.