With the fervor surrounding video game violence drawing attention from both media and politicians, today a subcommittee will descend on Washington D.C. for a hearing entitled “What’s in a Game? State Regulation of Violent Video Games and the First Amendment”.
The 2:00 p.m. EST hearing will be presided over by Kansas Senator and 2008 presidential hopeful Republican Sam Brownback, along with the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, and will include witnesses from both sides of the debate surrounding violence in video games.
Brownback himself has been a vocal advocate for alternative independent ratings services for games, according to a GamePolitics.com report, and as recently as the 2005 Christmas holiday shopping season he urged groups such as Commonsense Media, Family Media Guide, and others who are part of the Coalition for Independent Ratings Services, “to provide detailed, objective information about the content of games currently on the market.”
He is also one of two co-sponsors of Senator Hillary Clinton's Children and Media Research Advancement Act (CAMRA), which proposes a significant study of the impact of electronic media use to be organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CAMRA was passed by the Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in early March.
Attendees scheduled to attend the hearing include Patricia Vance, President, ESRB, Reverend Steve Strickland, the brother of Fayette, Alabama Police Officer Arnold Strickland, whose murder by Devin Moore in 2004 was linked to Take-Two Interactive's Grand Theft Auto III
and Vice City
, and Dr. David Bickham, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Center on Media and Child Health at Harvard Medical School, among others.