Saturday, March 24th 2012

Tobacco-Style Warning on Video Games Proposed by US Bill

Shacknews is reporting that once again, video games are being used for a spot of political grandstanding, and in a familiar way. Not for the first time, a bipartisan pair of US congressmen have introduced a bill that would require almost every video game box to bear a warning label reading, "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior." Should the the Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, H. R. 4204, somehow pass, it'd require the warning be placed "in a clear and conspicuous location on the packaging" of every game rated by the ESRB, except for those rated EC (Early Childhood). It makes no distinction for a game's actual content, so the warning would be slapped on Mortal Kombat and Imagine: Party Babyz alike. "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," chief sponsor Joe Baca (D-CA) said, reported by The Hill. "They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility." Co-sponsor Frank Wolf (R-VA) chimed in, "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."

Of course, no causal relationship has ever been proven.

The Entertainment Software Association responded, in a statement provided to Gamasutra, "Representative Baca's facially unconstitutional bill - which has been introduced to no avail in each of six successive Congressional sessions, beginning in 2002 - needlessly concerns parents with flawed research and junk science." Given that such bills have failed to pass before, it's fair to predict that this one will die too, after wasting a fair bit of time and money. It's an established routine--when lawmakers try to single out video games, all they get is a costly bill.Source: Shacknews
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80 Comments on Tobacco-Style Warning on Video Games Proposed by US Bill

#1
Super XP
Complete nonsense. The bubble wrapped idiots that came up with this nonsense need to grow thick skin.
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#2
bear jesus
I have been playing violent video games since i was 10 and i am almost 26.... now i want to cuddle furry creatures, be nice to others and just want everyone to get along and be happy.

See what a horrific effect these games have on people, we must ban violent games now!
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#3
MilkyWay
If games require a warning then they should put warnings on all media.
How many times do people have to be told, parental advisory and parental discretion.

Isn't this why they have age ratings on games?
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#4
Super XP
This is called the nanny state because we as individuals can't take care of ourselves which is why ”They” keep intervening in our life. Hell they also want to take parents rights away from parenting our children. Nothing but ridiculous nonesense.

This is but one more step toward ripping our rights away from us, just in time for the ushering in of the one world government.
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#6
DannibusX
It'll get shot down by the SCOTUS just like Cali's attempt.

Waste more money, fools.
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#7
Aceman.au
Warning: Prolonged play time on World of Warcraft may have crack addict like side effects.
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#8
random
Sigh... so let's use the actions of some damaged individuals as an excuse to create boundaries for everyone who plays video games, typical Government.
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#9
Yellow&Nerdy?
Oh you silly US politicians. Putting warning labels on video games because it encourages violance, while pretty much anyone can buy a gun without a problem. The irony speaks for itself. Plus the video games aren't the issue, it's the parents who blatantly ignore the ESRB/Pegi ratings on games and buy GTA IV and Fear 3 for their 9-year old.

With this logic they'd have to put a warning label on all alcoholic beverages too. "Warning, drinking excessively might give you the urge to fight the US army with a butter-knife."
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#10
bear jesus
Yellow&Nerdy? said:
With this logic they'd have to put a warning label on all alcoholic beverages too. "Warning, drinking excessively might give you the urge to fight the US army with a butter-knife."
Wait a second, that warning is not on the bottle yet? :p

Here many alcohol containers here have this image on them.


I do not expect the extent and scope of warnings on products to end soon.
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#11
Completely Bonkers
I'm ok with box labelling. FAR BETTER than creating directives and law that prohibits what games can or cannot be developed. In Europe, many games are censored to some extent. I prefer labelling than censorship. And a label has never spoiled my enjoyment of the product in the box. Does it affect your enjoyment? If it does... then indeed, images DO INDEED affect the psyche.
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#12
Fourstaff
I wonder how they are going put these labels on Steam ...
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#13
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Fourstaff said:
I wonder how they are going put these labels on Steam ...
they could impose a system that blocks games that are rated above your age range so you, you might be able to see the game for sale if youre logged out, but once you login to purchase the game, it disapears.

Obviously that would be pretty ambitious for steam as there are some major gripes with steam going back as far as 2006 that still havent been fixed....

shit like not being able to chat to your friends while you are verifying gamecache integrity and the the other problem that you cant disable 'popup's that interrupt anything you might have running on full screen when the groups you are part of announces that their whatever event has started and they spam it 2 or 3 times to make sure everyone see's it.

I find it annoying and the moment they start doing that I leave the group.

the system needs an overhaul but steam is just too big of a system to be shut down for a day or two while they implement the new system but they just wont do it because as far as they are concerned, their shit works and theres no need to do anything
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#14
Prima.Vera
What?? Did the serial killers, rapists, drive byes, highschool shootings and stuff appeared because of violent videogames?? Think again. If you ask me, the percentage dropped in the last 10-15 years...
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#15
ChaoticAtmosphere
How Ironic. A country with the one of the largest military gears in world warning parents about video games that simulate their govenrment's own mandated behaviour?

(Where's my Duck Hunt game!!!! I'm angry!!!)
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#16
Saidrex
Playing Mario makes me go out and start jumping on peoples heads and crush brick walls with my head.
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#17
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Saidrex said:
Playing Mario makes me go out and start jumping on peoples heads
If you can really jump that high - you should either be in a circus or an athlete in the olympics.
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#19
TurdFergasun
i got not problem with this, as long as they put labels on the outside of church and religious texts too. except they have to add "mindless", and " self-deceptive rationalizations" to the warnings of aggressive behavior.
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#20
KainXS
so they think . . . . . that people smoke because of games but in most movies you see people smoking but I never see a sign that says (DON"T SMOKE) and most people smoke because of what they see in movies. The old men in congress are nothing but cowards that are afraid to attack the real problem because those lobbyists are still sticking money in their pockets

god damn

God Bless America
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#21
_Zod_
I think this is going over peoples heads. The game industry wants this. Why? Liability reasons. Now with warnings you have a harder time winning suit against a game publisher for some little sociopath going on a copycat murder spree he played in some game.
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#22
Mindweaver
Moderato®™
I think it's a great idea.. So, I know to buy it!... because I want my game to match my aggressive behavior... [/sarcasm] hehehe
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#23
ChaoticAtmosphere
_Zod_ said:
I think this is going over peoples heads. The game industry wants this. Why? Liability reasons. Now with warnings you have a harder time winning suit against a game publisher for some little sociopath going on a copycat murder spree he played in some game.
Yes, but why does congress want it?
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#24
TC-man
Oh my gosh, some politicians have really too much time on their hand. Firstly, more and more games are distributed digitally online, so their idea to put these warning on game boxes is already outdated, this really shows that these politicians/congressmen are dinosaurs who know nothing about computer technology and related stuff. Then for the scientific evidence that violent video games are causing violence, come on, so are violent movies and books, ban and burn them too? What are they thinking? And there are other scientists who are saying otherwise, video games are in no way causing violence, even the most violent ones. Furthermore, then why not put these warning on their beloved guns and pistols or even ban them, especially there are cases where children wounded or even killed themselves because they found one in the closet or dad didn't put it in the safe etc..; guns are more deadlier than these Call of Duty and Battlefield games.
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#25
v12dock
"Warning you're a crappy parent if you are buying your 8 year old Grand Theft Auto"
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