ECA: U.S. Lawmakers are Not Interested in Facts About Video Games

January 29, 2013 -

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) went to Washington D.C last week to talk to members of Congress and their staff about the connection between video games and violence, and their conclusion was that Congress does not have the best interests of the millions of gamers in America in mind. The ECA says that when they tried to talk to lawmakers about the connection between video games and real-world violence they came away from those meetings feeling like lawmakers were not interested in the facts and instead were relying on their own biases and preferences about the video games.

The ECA says that lawmakers are "convinced" that there is a connection between violence and video games, citing Jay Rockefeller's (D-WV) comments that the research the government is calling for is just “laying the groundwork for new regulations on video games.”

Presented with various facts, lawmakers still insisted that there was a need for government legislation to regulate video games in some way. In private conversations, many of them say that the decision in the Brown v EMA Supreme Court case was wrong.

You can read more about it in the letter the ECA sent out this morning and you can let your elected representative know that they need to make decisions about video games based on reality and facts. Check out the letter below:

On Friday, the Entertainment Consumers Association headed to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to discuss video games and recent legislation introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives. We came away convinced more than ever that we need to stand up for our rights. Vice President Biden said we “shouldn’t be afraid of the facts” when it comes to whether there is a connection between video games and violence. Well, even when presented with the facts, those we talked to ignored them, instead relying on their personal tastes.

Senators are convinced that there’s a connection between video games and violence. One has even said that a proposed study is simply “laying the groundwork for new regulations on video games.” We know that’s not true - so write to them today.

Yes, even when presented with the facts that violent crimes have decreased since 1980, while video game sales have increased, and that other nations that consume more video games than the United States don’t see the same level of violence, those we talked to pressed forward with the need to legislate video games and waste money to find a connection between games and violence we know doesn’t exist. These Senators believe that playing games leads to real world violence. They have even gone so far to say in private discussions they disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision that video games are free speech.

We’re not going to take these insults and lies. Video games don’t lead to violence and are protected free speech. That’s reality. We need gamers to speak up and tell Congress this. Write to your elected officials and then spread this action everywhere you can.

This year is going to be a rough one. No matter how many facts we present, folks seem to want to stick to their fantasy that we gamers are time bombs waiting to go off. It’s insulting to me, it’s insulting to you, it’s insulting to us and just not true. Take action now.

Keep on gaming,

Brett Schenker,
Online Advocacy Manager
Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA)

[Full disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]


Re: ECA: U.S. Lawmakers are Not Interested in Facts About ...

Of course they don't care about facts, they see a medium that can potentially convey ideas in a meaningful way, and they find that dangerous.

Re: ECA: U.S. Lawmakers are Not Interested in Facts About ...

For this headline, I think you could've stopped at the word "facts".

Re: ECA: U.S. Lawmakers are Not Interested in Facts About ...

Again I say term limits, and voting people out of office after they are 60. These people have been in office since the 70's and one is still in from the 50's!

Re: ECA: U.S. Lawmakers are Not Interested in Facts About ...

Although I acknowledge that both US and international reviews of this field have been remarkably even-handed, don't neglect the potential for these senators to rig the system.  Sen Rockefeller's proposed bill is clearly biased, and involving the FTC and FCC puts a hell of a lot of pressure on the scientific process that is not healthy.  And the CDC have funded a few very poor quality studies on video games in the past (one, Ybarra et al., 2008 which ignores their own multivariate results finding no video game effects, to STILL claim video games are harmful).  I'm guessing the Senators are smart enough to know how to weight things in their favor...

Re: ECA: U.S. Lawmakers are Not Interested in Facts About ...

This is not surprising since this has always been how it is. They never cared about the facts before nor do they now, nor will they when the results of the CDC studies prove them wrong yet again. You couldn't force the facts into their heads with a aircraft carrier full of dynamite because they simply do not care what they are and they aren't going to care no matter how many people write or how many facts are presented.

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