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Organization says Congress is seeking to undermine games as protected speech

ECA opposes violent games research bill

The Entertainment Consumers Association is voicing its opposition to the Violent Content Research Act, which asks Congress to fund research into the effects of video game violence on children.

The bill first appeared in December following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, but was not given a vote before Congress was disbanded.

It was reintroduced to the new congress in January, and last week the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved a plan to amend the bill.

While the Entertainment Software Association and other trade bodies have remained silent on the issue of further research, the ECA has called on its members to contact their representatives to convince them to oppose the measure.

"The ECA has numerous concerns about this and feels that this is a distraction to finding the real cause of these events," reads a statement from the group.

"This is a first step by Congress to legislate entertainment content and video games. They have stated that they disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision that video games are protected speech. For that alone, this issue is too politicized and cannot proceed as is."

The Violent Content Act has bipartisan support, and was co-sponsored by three Republicans and a Democrat in addition to its original author, Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia.

The original draft tasked the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Communications Commission to coordinate with the National Academy of Sciences to study the potentially harmful effects of childhood exposure to violent games and video content.

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