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U.S. Rep Joe Baca Reintroduces Game Labeling Bill
U.S. Rep Joe Baca Reintroduces Game Labeling Bill
January 25, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

January 25, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC

U.S. Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) has introduced a new version of the Video Game Health Labeling Act, a bill seeking to require a warning label on all games rated T or higher by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

House Resolution 400 would mandate a label reading “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior" on games rated T, M or AO by the ESRB (which is misidentified in the bill's original text as the Electronics Software Rating Board).

Such games make up roughly 30 percent of the titles currently available in the U.S., including many of the industry's top sellers.

The bill echoes Baca's Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009, which wasn't even taken up by the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection after being introduced just over two years ago.

But the new bill faces a new Congress with significantly more Republican members. Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf was a co-sponsor of the 2009 incarnation of the bill, and also joined with Baca to support the bill's reintroduction this week.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

A recent review of available scientific studies by the Australian government found no clear link between video game violence and real world aggression.

The reintroduced bill currently awaits action by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, chaired by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who has not made the bill a public priority.

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Ronildson Palermo
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So, people have gotten to the point of taking measures which undoubtly parallel video games to legal drugs? It seems what we really need is better parenting, not less violent video games.

Justin Hernandez
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Well spoken sir! What a concept to actually parent their children instead of having video games and television do it for them. Considering Harvard has done studies proving that Video Games are NOT linked to violence in children or adults. I think this is just the politicians way of actually doing something even if it is stupid.

Christian Allen
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WARNING: Excessive exposure to politics and government service has been linked to corruption, graft, and criminal behavior.

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Eric Geer
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Paopao Saul
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Why don't we have warnings for this on 'other violent media' then?

'...growing scientific evidence...' - I think there is growing scientific evidence both for and AGAINST this supposed link.

The ESRB stickers already show what parents can expect from the games they buy, like violence, nudity, profanity etc.

Brian Tsukerman
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Unfortunately the label would imply that there is a causal relationship between games and aggression, and would encourage the same labeling to be placed upon movies and books of similar nature.

WARNING: Excessive exposure to life has been linked with wrinkles, crotchetiness, a longing for "the good old days", erectile dysfunction, all known diseases, pregnancy, breathing, and dying.

Alan Rimkeit
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Warning: Running and getting elected to government office can make one's self completely full of crap.

But really, when will this current trend of blaming video games for societies social ills end? I guess when the next big thing that the people can blame comes along. What ever that may be I have no idea.

Sean Currie
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I was hoping that whole Furby thing would save us all, but no dice.

Dan Eckert
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What about the library? "WARNING!: Over-analysis of literary material has caused a loss of social skills and may make you a complete and utter recluse!"

What about the Catholic Church? "WARNING!: In the past the Church has used Christianity as a excuse to start wars razing hundreds of thousands of lives over land, money, and power!"

Or Coffee? "WARNING!: Caffeine is proven to be worse for your body than Nicotine!"


You could come up with a label like that for literally anything that exists; anything used improperly (in the case of video games when the player isn't mature enough to handle its content) can cause harm and can even be used as an instrument of murder.

Educate the masses, don't brainwash them with propaganda.

Mike Siciliano
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"Baka" means stupid in Japanese. Just thought I'd drop that tidbit of information here.

Joe McGinn
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Politician is a moron. News at eleven!

In related news, Jazz, Rock n' Roll, and comic books have been banned for their subversive influence on youth.

Eric Geer
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WARNING: Politicians seek to fullfill their own beliefs and self-righteous goals without public concensus or evidence...and they use your money to do it.