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Video games 'destigmatize' violence, says Connecticut governor

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At the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy criticized the entertainment industry for "destigmatizing" violence and urged his peers to focus more on handling mental health issues, Connecticut Post reports.

Malloy, former Stamford mayor for 14 years, spoke in front of hundreds of U.S. mayors on Saturday, Jan. 19, regarding issues of gun control, mental health and media violence following the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown.

"If we spent as much time and energy on destigmatizing mental health treatment as we do in the proliferation of these video games that destigmatize violence, we as a society would make great gains," Malloy said.

Malloy continued to blast media and video games in particular, claiming, "the day that Newtown happened, there were games available that actually allowed people to go into a school in the game and shoot ‘em up."

"When we're willing to destigmatize violence and willing to bring it home into your living room or your den and put it on a 50-inch screen [and play video games that award points] depending how many times you hit someone with your semiautomatic, where is the social value in that?" Malloy said. "Is this the kind of thing we want to be involved in as a nation?"

President Obama recently called for research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the relationship between video games and violence, though sources tell Polygon the actual memorandum is focused on general gun violence research.