Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), Chair of the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee held a meeting on the National Science Foundation report: “Youth Violence: What We Need To Know” on March 19 that correlated video games with violence. No video game proponents were called to witness, and the video game industry is calling foul.
“Unfortunately Chairman Wolf is trying to make this hearing as one -sided as he possibly can. The hearing will have two panels and two witnesses – both who will present evidence that violent media has some sort of connection to real-world violent acts. Wolf is handling this hearing the way other lawmakers tried to handle SOPA and PIPA; by presenting only one perspective. Clearly there’s mountains of research that disputes Bushman’s claim that video games and other media are a bad influence on America’s youth.”
Wolf’s press release on the NSF report states that (emphasis mine):
“The research described in the NSF report supports Wolf’s belief that rampage shootings are a result of multiple factors, including access to firearms, mental health issues, and exposure to violent media, including violent video games.”
Congressman Wolf could have called the authors of Grand Theft Childhood, Drs. Cheryl K. Olson and Lawrence Kutner who have been studying the issue since 2004 after winning a $1.5M grant from George W. Bush’s Justice Department. Their research exposes many of the myths that the Wolf-funded report perpetuates.
If you have kids, ask them if they know the difference between real world tragedy, and video game violence. I bet they do.