Democratic Congressman Joe Baca -- that's his smiling mug to the right -- would like to introduce a health warning label to video games. He introduced the "Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011," that would mandates that "all video games with an Electronics Software Ratings Board rating of Teen or higher" must be sold with a health warning label that reads: "WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior."
If you're a Republican who's firing up your comment finger to post something like: "See? Demo-RATS want to take ur gamez!!", don't bother. The bill is being co-signed by Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican, who says...
"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," 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."
...proving that dumb-osity is on all sides of the political spectrum.
I've been working on TheFeed for well over 56 years, so I've posted this response to any number of stories about politicians making laws to ban/limit-the-sale of video games very often, but, hey, here we go again:
- There are already very clear, easily understandable content ratings on all commercially released console video games, and just about all PC games. If you, as a parent (or grandparent) don't understand how the ESRB's ratings work, the problem is YOU. You are too dumb. Please stop being too dumb in the future.
- Smoking cigarettes is demonstrably, scientifically certain to cause health problems in some people, where studies on links between video game violence and actual violence are, at best, inconclusive. Determining what causes real-world behaviors in people is so complicated, it's impossible, for all serious intents. "What causes violence?" is a philosophical question as opposed to a scientific or political one. The most we're ever likely to prove is correlation, which we should all know by now doesn't equal causation.
- Barring the discovery of a definite link between "harm" and game-playing, the government should just stay out of the warning/censorship business.
- Most importantly: There are actual real-world problems that could use solutions, Congressmen. Please use our tax dollars to arrive at these solutions as opposed to spending your time solving imaginary problems that place among cartoon characters in the fake world of video games.
- In the real world, violent crime is at its lowest rate since the early 1970s. In the early 1970s, there were no violent video games. Now there are at least a bajillion. The rise of the most violent games correlates perfectly to the fall of actual crime rates. Therefore, video games prevent violence as opposed to cause it. (yeah, I know that's a stupid argument, but it has a chart! Look!)
Source: Game Politics