Senator Dianne Feinstein claims that video games can provide a training ground for murderers.
It’s been a while since the "murder simulator" argument was brought up directly in the US, but Gamespot reports the California Senator revived it on Thursday’s airing of MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
"I think the really violent video game becomes a kind of simulator to practice on," said Feinstein.
"And it enables the individual to become much more familiar with that depiction of death and blood."
"Of course it’s not the way it is in real life."
Her comments hint at claims by law enforcement officials that the gunman who killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in December was a "deranged gamer" who targeted the school because he thought it would be the best way to score the most kills.
The suggestion that a man who deliberately set out to kill children would need to be acclimatized to blood and violence through video games is a bit odd, but it’s an idea at the heart of much of the anti-games rhetoric – arguing that games can turn normal people into killers.
Several bills have been put before federal and state lawmakers in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting that seek to tax or limit the exposure of minors to violent games.
If passed, these bills would face a lengthy battle with industry trade bodies that point to a Supreme Court decision in which 2011 gave video games full first amendment protection.