Congressman Joe Baca wants Warning Labels on Games

Joe Baca Congressmen - Video Games Bill

Congressmen Joe Baca wants Warning Labels on Games

Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto, CA.) introduced a bill that calls for “all video games with an Electronics Software Ratings Board rating of Teen or higher” must include a health warning label stating:

“WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.”

This new bill co-signed by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) called “The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011” and would create a new rule within the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

“The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families, and to consumers – to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products… They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility. Meanwhile research continues to show a proven link between playing violent games and increased aggression in young people. American families deserve to know the truth about these potentially dangerous products.”

Parents Must be Warned of Potential Harm!

“We must hold the video game industry accountable and do everything in our power to ensure parents are aware of the detrimental effects that violent games can have before making decisions on which games are appropriate for their children to play… I am proud to introduce the Video Game Health Labeling Act, and am hopeful this legislation can work to stop the growing influence of violent media on America’s children and youth.”

– Congressman Joe Baca

Representative Baca cites several scientific studies from the Pediatrics Journal, University of Indiana, University of Missouri, and Michigan State University that showed a “neurological link between playing violent video games and aggressive behavior in children and teenagers.”

“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,” co-signer Rep Wolf said. “As a parent and grandparent, I think it is important people know everything they can about the extremely violent nature of some of these games.”

First Take

My take? It may pass, it may not, but it won’t do much in terms of raising awareness among the masses. People in the blogosphere, especially gamers will make rant at it, but ultimately it won’t get much attention or affect sales.

In terms of violent games affect on people: my opinion is YES it does have an effect. I am not saying playing violent games will lead people to commit massive murder or kill their parents (though that does happen…), but it does affect our sensitivity towards violence, changing our standards in terms of how we view different levels of violence. Don’t tell me a child who grows up never watching violent movies, playing games that has to do with shooting people, or games that glorify stealing cars and robbing people will have the same perception of violence as someone who grows up not viewing such things. Perhaps they may not be inclined to do those things, but when such pressures or occasions come, perhaps out of their control, how we grew up and what we are exposed to definitely has an impact in the worldview we have towards such things.

Feel free to agree or disagree, but that is my first take.

What are your thoughts?

  • What do you think?
  • Will it be helpful? Will it not work?
  • Is this too much? or the right idea?
  • Do you believe violent games may influence and encourage bad behavior?

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