Obama: Violent video games should be researched carefully

Industry association welcomes 'constructive approach' in tackling gun crime

President Barack Obama staged a new challenge against America's notorious gun policies on Wednesday, proposing sweeping reform to gun laws whilst urging better research into media which glamorises gun culture.


In a meticulously prepared press conference where Obama stood between a group of schoolchildren, the President proposed America should ban automatic weapons, limit magazines to ten bullets, introduce a standardised background check all buyers and increase scrutiny of mental health patients.

With regards to video games, Obama urged congress to "fund research on the effects that violent video games have on young minds".

"We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science," he said.

"This is our first task as a society: keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged, and their voices should compel us to change."

The speech was delivered one month since the Newtown primary school massacre where 20 pupils were murdered along with six teachers. Obama said that about 900 Americans had been killed by guns since the Newtown shooting.

The president is now expected to spend $10 million to study root causes of gun violence, of which a portion of that research will go into the effects of games.

Games industry association ESA said the sector "has a responsibility to give parents tools and choices about the movies and programs their children watch and the games their children play".

It added: "We will embrace a constructive role in the important national dialogue around gun violence in the United States, and continue to collaborate with the Administration and Congress as they examine the facts that inform meaningful solutions."

The National Rifle Association has condemned Obama's response.