U.S. wants to spend $10 million investigating possible gun violence causes, including games

T.J. Hafer

In the wake of tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting, the U.S. government is taking a closer look at, among other things, the causes of violent behavior. Vice President Joe Biden recently met with game developers to discuss the issue of a potential link between violent games and antisocial or criminal behavior. Today, Reuters reports that the Obama administration is looking to set aside $10 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to "study the root causes of gun violence, including any relationship to video games and media images."

Support for this initiative exists in both government and the industry. The International Game Developers Association expressed their affirmation of this in an open letter to Vice President Biden, available in its entirety on their own site . "Unlike some industry groups, the IGDA does not seek to impede more scientific study about our members' products," it reads. "We welcome more evidence-based research into the effects of our work to add to the large body of existing scientific literature that clearly shows no causal link between video game violence and real violence."

The CDCP, best known for combating the threat of pathogen-based pandemics (and the tongue-in-cheek literature they put out a while back about the zombie plague), is also involved with research on psychological illnesses. We'll go out on a limb and predict that, if the $10 million grant goes through, the research will add more weight to the claim that games are not a root cause of armed violence. To the hindrance, perhaps, of certain officials in Missouri .

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