By Jennifer Martinez - 12/20/12 03:47 PM EST
The Entertainment Software Association has issued a statement saying any study that examines the effect of violent video games on children needs to consider past research that shows no connection between entertainment content and real-world violence.
After 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 26 people, including 20 children, in a mass shooting last week, lawmakers have called for Congress to take a deeper look into whether violent video games spur aggressive behavior. Lanza reportedly liked to spend hours playing violent video games in his home.
In its statement, ESA said it offers its "heartfelt prayers and condolences" to the families in Newtown, Conn., but added that efforts to prevent future violence need to "consider the broad range of actual factors that may have contributed" to last week's shooting.
“The Entertainment Software Association, and the entire industry it represents, mourns the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones, and to the entire community of Newtown," ESA said in the statement, which was released late Wednesday.
“The search for meaningful solutions must consider the broad range of actual factors that may have contributed to this tragedy. Any such study needs to include the years of extensive research that has shown no connection between entertainment and real-life violence.”
Their comments come after Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would direct the National Academy of Sciences to study the effect violent video games and other content have on children.
“Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children,” Rockefeller said in a statement. “They have a responsibility to protect our children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role.”
The video game lobby's members include Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Nintendo, among others.