In June 1999, following the school shootings at Columbine High School and suggestions that the shooters had been influenced by violent movies, video games, and music, the President and Congress requested that the FTC conduct a study of whether and how these products were marketed to children. The “Violence Team” spent 15 months conducting the study and drafting the report. As we neared completion, pressure on the team intensified as public and political interest in the report mounted, with multiple congressional briefings. In September 2000, the FTC issued the report, which described how the movie, music, and video game industries deliberately marketed to children violent products that the industries themselves had rated as unsuitable or inappropriate for children. The report’s explosive findings landed like a bombshell and resulted in Senate hearings led by Sen. John McCain. It was a presidential election year, and the most amazing moments were when questions about the report were posed to the candidates in each of the presidential and vice-presidential debates that fall.

—Mary Engle