Washington and the video game industry have spent the past month reaching out to one another in the wake of the Newtown shootings. Vice President Joe Biden met with a number of figures from the video game industry this month, and now Senate Bill 134, the Violent Content Research Act of 2013, is gaining support in the United States Senate from both Republicans and Democrats. Key figures in the video game industry are showing equal enthusiasm for the effort to pay closer attention to violent content. Disney CEO Bob Iger swore his company would keep an eye on its own video games’ violent content.
“Fortunately at Disney there’s very little [violent content], but I still want to make sure we’re asking ourselves the right questions in terms of that standard,” Iger told attendees at an HRTS Newsmakers Luncheon with Brian Grazer, “ [I want to ensure] we’re willing to be a part of a dialogue in today’s world that I think is pretty necessary in terms of what our role is and what our role should be.”
He also said that Disney would “take stock in everything we’ve got that can considered near the line or over the line.”
Iger’s statement that Disney doesn’t have much violent content in its stable isn’t quite true, depending on your perspective. Disney’s core brands, from Pixar films like The Incredibles to movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, are incredibly violent as are the works of its subsidiaries Marvel and Lucasfilm. The majority of parents may consider The Avengers and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith to be films that are appropriate for young children, but it doesn’t change the fact that these are movies that have graphic depictions of murder.
It is vitally important that people take stock of our entertainment industry. We do live in a culture that glorifies violence at every turn, whether it’s our worship of our own military, the preponderance of gun-centric television, movies, and video games, or even just our predilection for football. Disney’s willingness to cast on eye on itself is respectable, even if its objectivity is questionable. People need to ever be on guard against censorship and restriction, though.