Ban Violent Videogames

US House Bill Attempts to Ban Sale of Violent Videogames

Once again, violent videogames are taking the flack for America’s problems. A representative out of Chicago, Illinois has put forward an amendment to a bill from 2012. It would change the law so that not only can minors not buy certain games, but adults can’t either. Grand Theft Auto in particular has come under another round of criticism from the proposal.

HB3531

The view that violent videogames encourage bad behaviour goes back as far as videogames themselves. They are placed under much heavier scrutiny than literature or film and have faced regular controversy. Rockstar are pretty used to taking the criticism in their stride by now, but other games may have a harder time.

Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. has submitted an amendment to the bill which “restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors to prohibit the sale of all violent video games.” He also wishes to change the definition of violent videogames to include any game where you are “encouraged to perpetuate human-on-human violence in which the player kills or otherwise causes serious physical or psychological harm to another human or an animal.” Finally, they want to increase what is categorised as serious physical harm.

Evans commented to Comic Book, “the bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we’re suffering from in our communities.” 

In recent months, Chicago has seen a rise in carjackings. This has led to the creation of Operation Safe Pump whose founder, Early Walker, supports the bill change. “I feel like [GTA V] has become a huge issue in this spectrum. When you compare the two, you see harsh similarities as it relates to these carjackings,” Walker stated. The offence is included in serious physical harm under the proposed amendments.

Science Says Otherwise

But for all politicians’ blustering, there is no evidence violent videogames lead to lawbreaking. A re-examination of 28 studies which used a sample of 21 000 people globally, proved that there is a tiny “positive correlation between violence and video-game use in around a quarter of them and no overall conclusion in most of the rest”. One study even proved the opposite. You can get GTA V for $16 here (affiliate link).

That’s all from me today. What do you think about the violent videogames bill? Are you as bored as I am by their complaints? Let us know in the comments. 

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