The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has issued a call to action this morning calling on the gaming community and its members to email their representatives in Congress and the President of the United States to let them know that blaming video games for the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is wrong-headed, and that there is no research to suggest that there is a correlation between gun violence in America and playing video games.
By submitting your zip code here, you can send the following letter to your elected representative in Washington:
As a constituent and active video game player, I’m asking you to support my right to access and buy the games I want and not to blame media, including video games, for the recent tragedies that have befallen our nation. In a script we’ve seen played out before, video games are being blamed for the violence, but we know that that’s not the case. Christopher J. Ferguson, the chair of the Texas A&M International University's department of psychology and communication, among others including federally funded studies, have shown there’s no link between violent video games and real world violence like mass shooting, bullying or youth aggression.
Past research has been mixed, at best, and often weakened by substantial methodological flaws. While video game sales have increased, according to the FBI’s own statistics, violent crime has been steadily decreasing. In 2011, violent crimes nationwide decreased 3.8% from 2010. Since 2002, it’s decreased 15.5%. This is all during the time when games like Call of Duty and Halo have dominated sales.
At the same time, federal courts - including the Supreme Court - have routinely held that government regulation of media, including video games, is unconstitutional. Funding more studies - or passing laws that then get fought out in courts - costs taxpayers like me millions of dollars. It is in your power to guide this conversation responsibly and not blame entertainment. I ask that you represent me, your constituent, by doing so. If you have any questions on this or other similar issues please contact Jennifer Mercurio, the Entertainment Consumers Association’s Vice President and General Counsel, at email@example.com.
Thank you for your time and consideration
You can get started right here.
[Full Disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA Publication.]