New US bill proposes health labels regarding video game violence for game cases

Posted on March 23, 2012 - 8:00pm by Ferret75

Politics and video game share an interesting relationship. There are company lawsuits; there are cases about censorship... In fact, a United States Supreme Court case (Brown vs. EMA) involving video game violence and sale restrictions based on age was held less than a year ago. The case was ruled in the favor of video games, and during the cases, points illustrating the lack of causative evidence of a link between video game violence and aggressive behavior were shown. Recent studies have also shown this, such as with these two examples.

Despite this, a few politicians continue to believe otherwise. While there was previously an attempt by an Oklahoma State Representative to introduce a bill that would tax games rated teen or higher, this more recent one does something more visually noticeable.

Titled the The Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, this bill was collaboratively proposed by Virginia Representative Frank Wolf and California Representative Joe Baca. Should it be passed, it would require large health warnings to be posted on the cases of video games. Not only would this apply to mature rated games, but it would even apply to video games with an E for everyone content rating, including titles that feature no noticeable violence at all. The required game case warning would be as follows:

"'WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.''

Frank Wolf, one of the involved representatives, provided his reasoning for introducing the bill, which he explained as follows:

"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."

Rich Taylor, the senior vice president of the Entertainment Software Association (which was involved with the recent Supreme Course case), had this sophisticated statement to give in response:

"Numerous medical experts, research authorities, and courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, exhaustively reviewed the research Representative Baca uses to base his bill and found it lacking and unpersuasive. Independent scientific researchers found no causal connection between video games and real life violence."

But who knows, maybe the passing of this bill would be a good thing. Parents need to know about the mentally destructive nature of harmful games like Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. Joking aside, of course it's important for parents to be aware of what types of mediums their child is observing or interacting with in their lives, but is a scientifically inaccurate bill like this the way to do it?

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