Obama commissions study into video games impact on gun crime

CDC to conduct three to five year study into the effects of violence in the media

CDC to conduct three to five year study into the effects of violence in the media

The Centers for Disease Control has been asked by US President Barack Obama to look into the impact of video games and other forms of media in acts of gun violence.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the results will be presented in three to five years time.

It adds that games are not the focus of the study; rather on the blanket causes of – and plausible deterrents to – gun violence in the US.

An introduction to the study reads: "While the vast majority of research on the effects of violence in media has focused on violence portrayed in television and movies, more recent research has expanded to include music, video games, social media, and the internet – outlets that consume more and more of young people’s days.

"However, in more than 50 years of research, no study has focused on firearm violence as a specific outcome of violence in media.

"As a result, a direct relationship between violence in media and real-life firearm violence has not been established and will require additional research," it adds.

"The public health approach involves three elements: a focus on prevention, a focus on scientific methodology to identify risk and patterns, and multidisciplinary collaboration to address the problem. This approach has seen success in reducing tobacco use, unintentional poisonings, and motor vehicle fatalities."

Most research into violence and video games has focused on whether video games and other media cause violence in general. This will be the first study to look at whether gun use in the media causes gun crime.