Brett Molina, USA TODAY
As part of a broader gun control plan, President Obama is pushing Congress to fund research into the impact of violent video games.
The plan features 23 executive orders focused on gun violence, including "universal background checks" and limits on ammunition magazines.
Obama also calls for the Centers for Disease Control to "research the causes and prevention of gun violence."
"I will direct the Centers for Disease Control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it -- and Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds," said Obama during a speech detailing the plan. "We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence."
In a statement released after Obama's speech, industry trade group The Entertainment Software Association welcomed the discussion. "We will embrace a constructive role in the important national dialogue around gun violence in the United States, and continue to collaborate with the Administration and Congress as they examine the facts that inform meaningful solutions," reads a portion of the ESA's statement.
The debate over violent video games resurfaced following a school shooting last month in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed.
Several local and federal lawmakers have urged legislation related to video games, from a bill by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) to examine their impact to kids, to arecently introduced bill in Missouri calling for a sales tax on video games rated Teen or above by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.
Studies exploring the impact of violent video games have been mixed. In an interview with USA TODAY last month, Chris Ferguson, associate professor of psychology and communication at Texas A&M University, says research into video games have found little to no effect on violence or aggression. "During the past 20 years as video games became more popular, youth violence plummeted to 40-year lows, the lowest since the 1960s," he says.
However, Douglas Gentile, a media violence commission member and associate professor at Iowa State University, says there are signs games can influence aggression. "We do really need to have a serious conversation about what all the serious risk factors are," he says.
Contributing: Mike Snider