Videogames under fire, Hollywood lays low after school shooting

Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:57pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The multi-billion-dollar videogame industry came under scrutiny on Wednesday after Hollywood canceled, postponed or played down a slew of movies and TV shows with violent content in the wake of last week's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

In Washington, Senator John Rockefeller called for a national study of the impact of violent videogames on children and a review of the rating system.

Although investigators in Newtown, Connecticut, have given no motive for Friday's shooting rampage, some U.S. media have reported that the 20-year-old gunman played popular videogame "Call of Duty" - in which players conduct simulated warfare missions - in the basement of his home.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, killed himself at the scene after gunning down 20 young children, six school employees and his mother.

Rockefeller said he had long been concerned about the impact of violent games and videos on children.

"Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children. They have a responsibility to protect our children," Rockefeller said in a statement.

The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the $78 billion U.S. videogame industry, on Wednesday offered its "heartfelt prayers and condolences" to the Newtown families.

But it said in a statement that "the search for meaningful solutions must consider the broad range of actual factors that may have contributed to this tragedy.   Continued...