A few days ago, on January 24th, Vice President Joe Biden took part in a “Fireside Hangout” through Google+ in order to answer questions about President Obama’s proposal for a $500 million plan. Proposed to Congress on January 16th, this plan’s focus is on suppressing gun violence. It intends to do just that through several means that include mandatory universal background checks, resource officers for schools that request them, and the downgrade of magazines for military-style assault weapons to 10 rounds. An additional $10 million would be used for the Center of Disease Control, as well as other agencies, in order to research any causes of gun violence, specifically stating research into effects violent video games may have on children.
During the Hangout, Biden stated that, “There is no hard data as to whether or not these excessively violent video games in fact cause people to engage in behavior that is antisocial, including using guns.” He also mentions a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study concluded that children who watched three to six hours of video games could lead them to behave aggressively. However, the study did not go so far as to say that there was a direct link between violent video games and aggressive behavior.
Biden went on to say that he “recommended to the President that we do significant research. Let CDC, let the National Institute of Health, let these people go out and look at the pathology that’s behind this, if there is a pathology related to gun violence. We shouldn’t be afraid of the facts.”
Finding a direct link may prove to be extremely difficult. Objectively, studies have found correlational relationships, for both sides of the argument, but correlation does not equal causation. If this will help find some form of direct link between violent video games and aggressive behavior, then I’m all for it.
Source: The White House Blog