Vice President Joseph Biden, appearing today at a Google+ 'hangout" on gun violence, said that there was a need for more comprehensive research on the impact of violent videogames.
President Obama's set of gun policy proposals unveiled last week focused primarily on firearms, but it also made mention of media violence, including a $10-million study of videogames and, more generally, "media images."
Biden compared the potential benefit of such research to that of highway safety, including studies that showed the need to for seat restraints to prevent drivers from being impaled by the steering column.
"There is part of the interest group population out there that are afraid of facts," Biden said. "Let the facts lead where they will, and let the research be done, and that is one of the things that the president and I believe very strongly. Let the facts work, including with regards to the entertainment industry."
He added, "There is no hard data as to whether these excessively violent videogames in fact cause people to engage in behavior that is antisocial, including using guns. There is one study done --- the American Academy of Pediatrics --- they said if you watch three to six hours of videogames, a lot of kids do that, can lead to aggressive behavior. They didn’t make the next connection, that leads to violent behavior, but there’s no studies done. So I recommended to the president that we do siginificant research. Let the [Centers for Disease Control], let the National Institutes of Heatlh. Let these people go out and look at the pathology that behind this, if there is a pathology related to gun violence. We shouldn t be afraid of the facts."