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Friday, January 11, 2013

Violent Video Games Under Scrutiny

This undated publicity image released by Activision shows soldiers and terrorists battling in the streets of Yemen in a scene from the video game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”  (Activision/AP)

This undated publicity image released by Activision shows soldiers and terrorists battling in the streets of Yemen in a scene from the video game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” (Activision/AP)

Will vice president Joe Biden recommend limiting violent, shoot ‘em up video games, such as Grand Theft Auto, Halo and Soldier of Fortune, as part of his recommendations on curbing gun violence?

The games have become part of the conversation about violent crimes after the Newtown, Conn. mass shooting.

Biden is meeting with leaders of the video game industry at the White House today.

“I’m not looking to have a public book burning of video games. I want people to have conversations in their home.”
– Rob Dolan, mayor, Melrose, Mass.

The vice president is expected to submit proposals on curbing gun violence to the president on Tuesday. They could include a ban on sales of assault weapons, limits on high capacity magazines and universal background checks for gun buyers.

After meeting with Biden yesterday, the National Rifle Association said the White House was attacking the second amendment.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation this week removed from rest stops nine arcade games featuring things like machine gun battles.

And Melrose, Mass. is moving forward with its call to encourage parents to get rid of violent video games and movies.

The program rewards residents with coupons to local businesses when they turn in violent video games and toys to the city yard.

Melrose Mayor Rob Dolan told Here & Now’s Robin Young that he does not take issue with those of age playing violent games, but he wants to spur public discussion about their effect on children in the community.

“I’m not looking to have a public book burning of video games,” Dolan said. “I want people to have conversations in their home.”

What do you think about the initiative in Melrose? Join the debate on our Facebook page.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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