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
Widjaja
This is about as pointless as New Zealand NOW deciding to change the road rules.
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#3
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
_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.
They don't need a law to put a warning on their own box. I'm sure 99% of publishers already have some anti-liability bits in their the EULA anyway (far more binding than a picture on a box).

This is just mad politicians attempting to further the nanny state cause. Luckly, most politicians aren't mad to that extent.
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#4
BumbleBee
people that were born yesterday. Night Trap was the first game to hit the senate floor and is the reason the ESRB exist today.
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#5
naram-sin
Is there no end to U.S. politicians amnestying parents of all and any liability/responsibility for their children's upbringing, education and well-being?!

I'm sorry to say this, but here I automatically remembered of Greg Proops; he said that, and I only (almost) quote,: "it's no wonder all Americans are fat and stupid" (please keep in mind, I'm only quoting here). And it's no wonder; while your government forces you to quit thinking for yourself and let it think for you, all of us are in danger of actually living the Wall-E scenario, at least intellectually... or worse (...Fahrenheit 451, anyone?!)
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