Introduction || Ratings Issues || Video Games
Movies || Television || Additional Resources
"Learning happens," Harvard School of Public Health researcher Kimberly Thompson told the Boston Globe, speaking about the lessons children learn from violent video games. "I fear we are growing a society of alienated, aggressive, untrusting adults," adds media research Joanne Cantor. The article gives some details about HR 669, a bill pending in Congress which would make it illegal to sell ultra-violent video games to children. This bill, introduced by Representative Joe Baca of California , "makes good sense," writes Globe columnist Barbara Meltz. "E-mail your congressman today."
To learn about Congressman Baca's bill, go to http://thomas.loc.gov and type in HR 669. If you support this legislation, please call your Representative, and ask him or her to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill. To find contact information for your Congressman, go to http://www.house.gov/ and type in your zip code. Then make that call!
When children watch violent movies, they know that they are watching make-believe scenes-- yet their brains process the images as "real" and store those images in the same place where real-life traumatic events are stored, according to recent Senate testimony. "The brain treats entertainment violence as something significant and something real -- and it stores this violence as long-term memory," Dr. John P Murray told a Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing.
Dr. Murray's MRI imaging research showed that children store memories of violent entertainment images in the same part of the brain where veterans store severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) memories and where women store memories of rape. "These children are forming indelible memories," he said, adding that these memories are quickly recalled and can be used as guides for future behavior. "Our concern is for the long-term effects" of these violent scenes on children's behavior, Dr. Murray told the Subcommittee. (The actual research was published in the October 2001 issue of Psychiatric Times.)
The First Amendment was written in order to encourage debate -- not shut it down. So it is ironic that industry spokesmen and others now use the First Amendment as a way to close off debate about the marketing of violent "entertainment" to children. Lion & Lamb is a strong supporter of the First Amendment, and so we favor opening a vigorous debate about the relationship between the First Amendment and the use of that amendment to market violence to children.
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