NJ SAFE Task Force Calls For Game Regulation, More Education
Video game regulation may be just around the corner...
The New Jersey SAFE Task Force has provided the public with an in-depth report, which ultimately asks state governor Chris Christie to regulate games sold in the state. It also asks for increased education efforts, and a review of how violent media affects those who are exposed to it, especially children.
The report points to "the interactive nature" of gaming as reason for possible regulation, and the first regulatory action they recommend is that minors must be accompanied by an adult when purchasing games with an "M" (Mature) or "AO" (Adults Only) rating. The group is also saying retailers need to request ID before they sell such games. The Task Force further asks that violent games be removed from state property, especially highway rest areas, as children could be exposed to such experiences in public areas.
They're asking that the Department of Education help educate gamers about how to make "healthy media choices" for their children, and the group recommends industry associations within the state to conduct a comprehensive public information campaign. This would be designed for the sake of further explaining the ESRB ratings. However, the group also wanted to make something else plain:
"Our recommendations are provided cognizant of the fact that violent media has received a great deal of blame for youth violence in the recent past, but most people agree that exposure to media violence alone does not cause a child to commit a violent act.
While several major public health organizations have voiced their shared conviction that exposure to violent media leads to more aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, they have also acknowledged that it is not the sole, or even the most important, factor contributing to youth aggression, anti-social attitudes, and violence."
Most of this sounds logical and reasonable and personally, I've always thought it should be a law that minors have to be accompanied by an adult when purchasing M-rated games. Got no problem with that. And at least they're acknowledging that video games don't automatically create mass murderers...which is more than most politicians have done these days.
4/16/2013 10:15:30 PM Ben Dutka