After the Sandy Hook shootings, at presidential behest, $10 million was allocated to to explore links between gun violence and video games. A year later, Mike Rose reports that nothing seems to be happening.
It's been more than a year since the meeting with Biden, and more than a year since Obama called for $10 million to be set aside for research into whether new media, such as violent video games, influence root causes of gun violence. In that time, you probably haven't heard much about that research. That's because it never actually happened, nor did any funding change hands. As discovered in my various talks with individuals and researchers close to discussions, any potential research efforts from Congress broke down fairly rapidly following the meeting with Biden, and hardly anything has been said since.
An unsuprising P.S. to this round of the game scapegoating scarehouse: despite screaming tabloid suggestions that he was inspired to kill by Call of Duty, it turned out that Adam Lanza wasn't a hardcore gamer at all. He liked innocuous kid-friendly fare such as Dance Dance Revolution and Super Mario. The report into his rampage focused on the fact that he was a) mentally ill and b) had easy access to guns and ammunition.
Here's what we know in a nutshell: The best research into the field has found very little evidence of a link between violence in games and real-life violence, and past research suggests that video game violence has even less impact that other media, like television for example. There is absolutely no consensus amongst researchers -- and even when a group does claim to find that link, they are quickly rebutted by numerous others.