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Here we go again: Obama calls for government-funded game violence research

January 16, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

In a speech on Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama asked Congress to fund research into determining a link between video game violence and real life violence.

"Congress should fund research on the effects violent video games have on young minds," he said.

"We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science."

The research would come as a part a $500 million program to curb gun violence in the United States, most of it aimed at gun control and research.

As we reported yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden hinted that more research was likely to occur when he met with representatives of the video game industry on Friday.

According to Reuters, Obama is expected to ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use $10 million in Congress money to study the root causes of gun violence, including whether violent video games and other media have an effect.

Update: The ESA issued the following statement:

ESA appreciates President Obama's and Vice President Biden's leadership and the thoughtful, comprehensive process of the White House Gun Violence Commission. We concur with President Obama's call today for all Americans to do their part, and agree with the report's conclusion that the entertainment and video game industries have a responsibility to give parents tools and choices about the movies and programs their children watch and the games their children play," said the organization in its statement.

The same entertainment is enjoyed across all cultures and nations, but tragic levels of gun violence remain unique to our country. Scientific research and international and domestic crime data all point toward the same conclusion: entertainment does not cause violent behavior in the real world.

We will embrace a constructive role in the important national dialogue around gun violence in the United States, and continue to collaborate with the Administration and Congress as they examine the facts that inform meaningful solutions.

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