President Obama also said today that he supports funding research on the effect violent video games, movies and other media have on kids.
In Newtown Connecticut, a gunman opens fire at an elementary school; killing innocent people and children: Fact. In the scene depicted in the video, several armed men walk into an airport and; one-by-one -- begin a killing spree of their own. The sight and sounds seem all too real; but it’s not – it’s fiction; but very realistic virtual scenes from a popular video game.
It -- along with a number of other video games -- is now targets of the controversial gun debate and a major push from the white house to find out whether or not violent video games and violent movies have any impact on human behavior.
“I will direct the Centers for Disease Control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it and Congress should fund research into the effects violent video games have on the effect of young minds,” said President Obama during a speech Wednesday afternoon.
President Obama's Speech triggered debate at the capital and right here in College Station.
“It's probably something we ought to be looking into; maybe it sets people off,” said Sarah Adams.
“I've been playing them since I don't know how old, and not once was I ever influenced to do anything crazy,” Jacob Acebo.
We asked College Station Psychologist Connie Fournier if there is a connection between violence and video games.
“The connections and having access to resources and the socialization to our kids is, I think, where it all starts,” Fournier added. “There has been research that I’ve found over the last 12 years and what they [researchers] are finding is if the study was unbiased, meaning, if it was picked up from journals, then their isn't really a strong connection between video games and violence.”
“If they're affected by violent video games then they have bigger problems,” said Acebo.
While more studies will be conceived from the CDC, Fournier says she supports the idea of more mental health studies – starting early-on with children.
“I think if we can identify kids early on and get them the kind of help we know will be helpful to them is money well spent,” said Fournier.
The estimated price tag for all of these proposals and bills is $500-million. Congress will have the final say when and how that money will be appropriated.
“I guess the trick is how you find the kids who are the most vulnerable and help them cope and learn different strategies?” questioned Fournier. “
I think investing money in mental health dollars for children is a good investment.