Recent accounts of mass school shootings and other violence have intensified the debate about whether pervasive violence in movies, television and video games negatively influences young people’s behavior. Over the past century, the question has led the entertainment media to voluntarily create viewing guidelines and launch public awareness campaigns to help parents and other consumers make appropriate choices. But lawmakers’ attempts to restrict or ban content have been unsuccessful because courts repeatedly have upheld the industry’s right to free speech. In the wake of a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that said a direct causal link between media violence – particularly video games – and real violence has not been proved, the Obama administration has called for more research into the question. Media and video game executives say the cause of mass shooting is multifaceted and cannot be blamed on the entertainment industry, but many researchers and lawmakers say the industry should shoulder some responsibility.
CQ Researcher, a publication of Sage Publishing, provides in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day. The 10,000-word reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Graphics, photos and short “sidebar” features round out the reports.
Written by Christina L. Lyons, copyright 2014 CQ Press, an Imprint of SAGE Publications, Inc.