House members reintroduce Violence in Video Games Labeling Act

Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:10 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

On March 19, US Representatives Joe Baca (D-CA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) once again introduced a bill that would require games to bear a health warning label stating: “WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.”

Baca tried to get the bill passed in 2009, and made a second attempt back in January.

The introduction of the Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, H.R. 4204, is due to what the pair cite as increased evidence that playing violent games can have a long-lasting and serious impact on children.

“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,” said Baca. “They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility.”

If passed the bill would require gaming labels regardless of whether violent or not rated “E” for everyone, “E10+” for everyone 10 and older, “T” for teen, “M” for mature or “A” for adult. The Consumer Product Safety Commission would have 180 days to release rules requiring most games rated by the ESRB to bear the warning label. The only game excluded would be those rated “EC” for Early Childhood for kids ages 3 and up.

“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,” added Frank Wolf.

“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.”

So there you go. Violent games are as dangerous as smoking, kids.