Activision Blizzard hires major lobby firm to prepare for video game legislation

activision blizzard hires major lobby firm to prepare for video game legislation pod  habitat backroad

Following the Sandy Hook shootings in December of last year, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) was quick to introduce the bill S.134: The Violent Content Research Act of 2013. The bill seeks “To arrange for the National Academy of Sciences to study the impact of violent video games and violent video programming on children.” As the proposed legislature moves closer towards a Senate vote, Activision Blizzard has hired one of the largest lobby groups in Washington D.C. to represent its interests, according to the Washington Post.

The lobby group, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, is an international firm with more than 800 employees, including 69 registered lobbyists. Last year alone, it spent over $30 million to lobby Congress on a variety of causes, and worked with companies involved in fields ranging from energy, to real estate, to technology, and more

The bill has already been approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (which Sen. Rockefeller also chairs), and was then presented to the Senate on July 30. It now awaits a full vote, but it’s unknown when exactly that might occur.

The bill itself, also known as the “Violent Content Research Act of 2013,” would task the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services to work with the National Academy of Sciences “to conduct a comprehensive study and investigation” of the effects of both violent video games and violent programming on children, specifically the potential harmful effects.

Under the section specifically regarding violent video games, the research would investigate whether exposure to violent games caused children to act aggressively or harm others, and to see if it is “disproportionately harmful on children already prone to aggressive behavior” towards other children. It also seeks to study if violent games are more detrimental than other forms of violent media. The provisions regarding violent programming would be roughly the same, but the two would be studied separately under the bill.

The bill would also “identify gaps in the current state of research” that could help to provide any casual connection between violent games or programming and behavior. The groups involved would then submit a report no later than 15 months after the study began.

Neither Activision Blizzard nor the lobby group has stated what their position will be regarding the bill, and a rep for Activision Blizzard declined to comment. But while S.134 is the most current piece of legislature involving video games, that doesn’t mean Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld will focus on it alone. Video games have become a political football for both local and federal governments. In 2011, the issue of video game sales made its way to the Supreme Court, and it may not be the last time the Justices hear arguments involving the video game industry. As the video game industry grows, so to will the eyes on it.

This marks the second time in the last few months that Activision Blizzard moved to become more involved in legislature involving video games. In July, Activision rejoined the Electronic Software Association after a five year absence. The ESA, itself a partial lobby organization, spent nearly $4 million in lobbying alone in 2012.

Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (October 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Gaming

Open-world video games are getting too big for their own good

As technology has progressed, open-world video games have grown increasingly bigger. What seems like a universal positive has shown problems preventing the genre from truly moving forward, however.
Gaming

Epic Games sues ‘Fortnite’ YouTuber creators over cheating software

Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against two YouTube users for their role in promoting cheating and hacking tools for Fortnite via a YouTube channel and personal website. As of now, the channel is still live.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Gaming

Terrifying clowns try to kill you in this teaser for ‘PUBG’ Halloween event

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds seems to be getting a frightening Halloween event. In a brief teaser, we get a glimpse of two masked assailants, creepy nurses, and an utterly terrifying clown that looks something like Pennywise.
Gaming

Huawei thinks its Mate 20 X is better than the Nintendo Switch

Huawei positioned its Mate 20 X, a gaming-centric smartphone, as a Nintendo Switch killer, calling it "the best portable gaming machine." The Mate 20 X has better design specs than the Switch, but it also comes with a steep price.
Gaming

Eat your way to a limited-edition Xbox One X in new Taco Bell contest

If you like the idea of a limited-edition Xbox One X that makes Taco Bell's famous "bong" sound every time it starts up, then you need to enter a new contest launched by the fast-food chain and Microsoft without delay.
Gaming

You can preload ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ soon, and you definitely should

Red Dead Redemption 2's launch is quickly approaching. If you're planning on buying a digital version, you should keep in mind that the file size is roughly 90GB. Thankfully, you can preload the game starting October 19
Gaming

These guns will literally blow away the competition in Black Ops 4's Blackout

Finding a good weapon in Black Ops 4's Blackout mode is hard, especially when there are so many options. Whether you like to get up close or keep some distance between you and your enemies, here are the best guns in Blackout.
Gaming

Wings on the bus: ‘Fortnite’ Battle Bus now sends you to your death even faster

A new update for Fortnite: Battle Royale has made the starting Battle Bus significantly faster, meaning you can get killed by a better player even faster than you could up until now.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Dinner is cancelled! How to keep Call of Duty's zombies from eating your brain

New to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Zombies mode and don't know how to succeed? We've got the tips you need to blast away at the undead and keep yourself alive for longer, even without other players helping.