The United States Senate has passed the The Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, which includes an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into video game and other electronic media use.
The CAMRA Act, which is sponsored by by known video game critics Joseph Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and Dick Durbin, as well as Republicans Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback, would direct the CDC to contract with the National Academy of Science to review and report on research regarding the role and effects, both positive and negative, that electronic media, including television, movies, video games, and the internet, have on the lives of children. The CDC would then provide grants for research focusing on the impact of factors like the format, length of exposure, age of viewers, nature of parental involvement, and venue in which media is viewed.
First introduced by Lieberman in 2003
, the CAMRA Act has won support from organizations such as the National Institute on Media and the Family, the Center for Media and Child Health and the American Psychological Association. However advocacy group Citizens Against Government Waste have claimed that the study is redundant since similar research is already underway by non-governmental groups.
“We do not know enough about the effects of electronic media on the development of children,” commented Brownback, one of the Act's sponsors. “Children today are exposed to more media than ever before. Given the saturation of television, video games, and the Internet in the lives of young children, we ought to have a better sense of how electronic media affects children as they grow and mature.”