Congressman Pushing for Warning Labels on Video Games

Congressman Joe Baca is pushing for health and safety warnings on video games, similar to that found on cigarettes. The bill is titled “The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011” and will require video games rated teen or higher to have the phrase, “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior,” printed on the cover.

Just as we warn smokers of the health consequences of tobacco, we should warn parents – and children — about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behavior,” said the Congressman.  He says the video game industry hasn’t taken proper action to take responsibility.

Honestly, most of the time I hear back and forth of these studies, some saying it does and say it doesn’t. Unless something flew under my radar, I don’t believe that there is an unique link between video game violence and real violence. Either way, the law would only impose a label on the product itself. So more than likely, nothing would really change. It is more of the fact that video games would be the only form of media to get this labeling, despite the label even saying “and other violent media.”

(Source: Game Politics)

17 thoughts on “Congressman Pushing for Warning Labels on Video Games”

  1. Three things:
    1: Anyone under 17 can’t buy M rated games, so if they don’t have common sense by that point, or parents don’t pay attention to what they are buying their kids, then it’s their fault.
    2: Why just put it on video games if media like movies and music have been around much longer? Not to say that people haven’t known about the video game industry for decades though, but if you need a label for what I think some people see video games as still an emerging medium, then why aren’t they focused on other forms of entertainment more?
    3: THERE ARE WARNINGS AND LABELS ON VIDEO GAMES, THE ESRB AND OTHER GAME RATING BOARDS ALREADY LIST GAME CONTENT ON THE BOX THAT CAN BE SUGGESTIVE AND OFFENSIVE AND HAVE DONE FOR YEARS. LOOK AT SOME GAME BOXES.

  2. -A bit of a rant-

    as Scruff said in points 1 & 3, there are already warning labels. all this would be is a big waiste of money on something not necessary in the slightest. also, if parents didnt care as to pay attention to the ratings in the first place, they would care about this add on, only further supporting the point that it is a waste of money.

    I have no problem with the idea for its reasons, just its effects. none are positive and all are negative. even if it were just about 5 cents per label for each and every single game, that would still add up to be more than necessary. What government needs to stop doing is waisting its money on stupid things like this….so annoying and dissapointing…

    1. So true. It’s amazing the amount of violence that people will let slide in movies, but let it be a video game and everyone is up in arms about it. It’s like they don’t realize that video games aren’t JUST for kids, just like movies aren’t.

  3. Btw, HEALTH WARNINGS?!?! SRSLY?!?! Video games aren’t in the same category as cigarettes. They don’t contain nicotine, they don’t cause caner, and they don’t kill people. What’s this world coming too?

    1. If they want to put a health warning they should point out that games are a sedentary hobby and you might get fat. But we’d need those labels on fast food too.

      In fact, while we’re labeling things, I want a label on ballots that says “Warning: There is strong evidence that the guy you just voted for probably lied to you during his/her campaign and is also a douche.”

  4. Back when the FDA was formed, both cocaine and marijuana were deemed illegal because of fake news stories about black men getting high on the drugs and raping white women; so essentially racism caused their ban.

    I’m not saying that this will happen with video games, but history repeats itself in interesting ways.

  5. I gotta say there is strong evidence that when kids view violent events (Anywhere, not just in video games or other media, but in real life too) that they reenact them, and become more aggressive in general. There is ton of research on it. So yes it is valid, but still if they are going to do it to videos then why not, movies, or the news even?

  6. Oh look another BS video game “apocalypse” that will blow over in a week.

    This guy is a complete idiot. Unlike smoking, there is no proven physical change in those who play video games. And you can point to desensitization case studies, but until extensive and specific test have been conducted in this field no amount of them will ever hold up in a court of law.

    I would challenge anyone to find a credible study related to video game violence that leads to everyday violence that would warrant adding this label. I’ll bet you find it in the same cabinet that host a non-existent case study proving video game addiction.

  7. This is ludicrous, CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION!
    There is absolutely NO scientific evidence proving that video games can cause violent behavior.

    Everyone should read a book titled: “Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Video Games and What Parents Can Do”. It’s a book about a study that was conducted on middle schoolers about what they thought about video games, and it goes into detail how video games do NOT cause violence.

    The media loves to link violence to video games anytime something happens, like the Columbine High Shooting or the V Tech Shooting. In both of those cases it’s commonly believed that because the shooters played video games, they became violent and it drove them to kill people. HOWEVER, in both of those instances it was PROVED that the shooters had pre-existing mental illnesses, and that video games DID NOT cause violent behavior.
    Those are only two examples of how video games are being held to an unfair standard.

    To touch on the unfair standard subject, I’d like to say that I’ve seen worse things in an R-rated movie than I ever have in any video games. In fact, I see parents bringing their children to see extremely violent and sexual movies, and then the same parents being abhorred when they see their child getting a lap dance in GTA. I say that the PARENTS, not the video games, are to blame for the child’s behavior. In fact, every day a parent buys a video game for a child not even caring about what it is, then being shocked at the content it has when they see their child play it! What do they do? THEY BLAME THE GAME! It is the parent who should take the blame here if they don’t like the content in these video games.

    Bottom line: Video Games do not cause violent behavior; correlation is NOT causation. And parents have the ultimate control over what their children do; if they don’t want a child playing a video game, then they shouldn’t buy it.

    I’m a policy debater in high school, and any debater can tell you that there’s just not enough evidence for significance backing up this bill, and as such, the bill will fix nothing. It’s completely stupid and it should not pass.

    Peace out.

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