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Obama orders CDC to investigate video game violence

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President Obama signing gun control order (Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama, as part of a wide ranging proposal to reduce gun violence, has ordered the Centers for Disease Control to launch a study into the correlation between violence in video games and the real world.

The order, which does not require Congressional approval, was part of a Presidential Memorandum that laid out 23 actions designed to curb violence.

"If there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to try it," he said. "I will put everything I've got into this, and so will [Vice President] Joe [Biden], but I tell you the only way we can change is if the American people demand it."

While the CDC study itself does not have to be cleared by Congress, the Obama administration is asking lawmakers to earmark $10 million for the research, which will also examine the impact, if any, of other forms of media.

"Congress will fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds," President Obama said. "We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science."

The Obama administration met last week with video game industry officials, including ESA CEO Michael D. Gallagher, EA CEO John Riccitiello and others.

At the meeting, Biden told industry leaders there were no assumptions being made on the part of the government.

“We know this is a complex problem," he said. "We know there's no single answer, and quite frankly we don't even know whether some of the things people think impact on this impact on it or not. So I want you to know you have not been 'singled out' for help. … I come to this meeting with no judgment. You all know the judgments other people have made."

The ESA, in a statement released after the meeting, said industry leaders had told Biden that "independent, scientific research conducted to date has found no causal connection between video games and real-life violence."

Now the CDC will look into the issue itself, though the timing of the study still needs to be determined.

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