Kids and violent video games: One senator calls for research

Violent video games and programming affect the lives of American children, says Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Legislation introduced by Rockefeller this week will investigate their long-term effects.

Electronic Arts/AP
Violent video games and TV for kids would be investigated by the National Academy of Sciences if Rockefeller's legislation passes. Seen here: an image from the video game 'Need for Speed: Most Wanted.'

Sen. Jay Rockefeller says with all of America focused on the safety of their children, it's the perfect time to look at the role of violent TV programming and video games play in their lives.

The West Virginia Democrat says he introduced legislation on Dec. 19 that would direct the National Academy of Sciences to thoroughly investigate the impact of violent games and other content on children's long-term well-being.

He specifically wants it to study whether the interactive nature of the games and the vivid way violence is portrayed affects kids. The report would be due within 18 months.

Mr. Rockefeller says court decisions show that many people still believe violent games are no more dangerous to children than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons.

But he says parents, pediatricians and psychologists know better.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Kids and violent video games: One senator calls for research
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today