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Watching Violence

Watching Violence 12/23/2012 7:00 PM Eastern

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) made these remarks in introducing a bill to study the impact of violent video games and programming on children.

This week, we are all focused on protecting our children. At times like this, we need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe. I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day.

As chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I have introduced legislation to direct the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the impact of violent video games and other content on children’s well-being.

Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it. They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, pediatricians and psychologists know better. These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue. This report will be a critical resource in this process. I call on my colleagues to join to me in passing this important legislation quickly.

Separately, I will be calling on the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to expand their work in this area. The FTC has reviewed the effectiveness of the videogame ratings system. The FCC has looked at the impact of violent programming on children. Changes in technology now allow kids to access violent content online with less parental involvement. It is time for these two agencies to take a fresh look at these issues.

Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children. They have a responsibility to protect our children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role.

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