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CT senator proposes bill to ban minors using fake guns in arcades


Connecticut State Senator Toni Harp proposed a bill in January that would ban anyone younger than 18 from playing "violent point-and-shoot" video games in arcades or other public establishments. The bill defined "violent point-and-shoot" games as any entertainment device that used the "facsimile of a firearm as an essential component of play," which would include games such as House of the Dead, Area 51 and Duck Hunt.

The bill also called for research into the effects of violent video games on young minds, through a committee called the Violent Video Game Task Force within the Department of Children and Families. The task force would advise the Governor and General assembly on state programs that "may reduce the effects of violent video games on youth behavior," suggesting before the research was done that violent video games have an effect on children's actions.

The bill's Statement of Purpose offered a clear position on violent video games' impact on young minds, again presented before any research began: "To prevent minors from using violent point-and-shoot video games in public arcades and to create a task force to study the effects of violent video games on youth behavior."

This bill joined an influx of attention on video games in relation to real-world gun violence, following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Senator Harp's suggestions mimicked and magnified President Obama's proposal to research violent video games and enact other forms of potential gun-violence prevention.

[Thanks, Seth.]

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