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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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