US congressman Joe Baca, a representative for the Democrats, has proposed a legislation that would see videogames carry a health warning label.

If the Videogames Health Labeling Act of 2009, co-sponsored by Frank R. Wolf were to pass all T and M rated games would have a label that would say something like: ‘Warning: Excessive exposure to violent videogames and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.’

“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. Meanwhile research continues to show a proven link between playing violent games and increased aggression in young people. American families deserve to know the truth about these potentially dangerous products.”

Baca cites studies from the Pediatrics Journal, University of Indiana, University of Missouri, and Michigan State University as proof that there is a “neurological” link between playing violent videogames and aggressive behavior in children and teenagers.

“We must hold the video game industry accountable and do everything in our power to ensure parents are aware of the detrimental effects that violent games can have before making decisions on which games are appropriate for their children to play,” said Baca.

“I am proud to introduce the Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009, and am hopeful my legislation can work to stop the growing influence of violent media on America’s children and youth.”

Sounds like a good idea.

Source: gamesindustry.biz (Thanks Aklyon for the tip!)
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  • Typical government to point the finger for violence at video games. They already have the ESRB rating on them, why do they need more? If anything put warnings on all movies with violence or gory scenes saying "Warning movie may cause nightmares, disturbed minds, and possible violence.

    It's really just the same thing.

  • Luna

    *rolls eyes*
    Ah, the whole "videogames make kids violent" issue. And the kids have NOTHING to do with it. *sarcasm*

  • Has anyone ever heard of the ESRB? Because I sure as heck haven’t…
    Go talk to the people responsible for putting warnings on games that need them, Congressman; don’t aim your guns at the wrong people.

    • why not? politicians are the best at asking/pointing guns at the wrong people.

      but i agree with you.

  • Tonchiki

    No, it is not a good idea. First of all, the statement that video games have been linked to aggression is simply untrue. It has not been proven (in fact, I think it’s been proven more unrelated than linked). Secondly, the PARENTS are the problem in the first place. What, the ESRB rating isn’t enough? I think someone else who commented on this put it best by saying it’s doing the same thing as “putting a blinking yellow light at an intersection”. It’s not going to help.

    I think this article largely sums this up.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-10141553-17.html

  • DRKO

    That’s one of the three things politicians are good at: pointing guns at wrong people, making stupid decisions, and being professional liars.

    • unofficial(secret) pro liars. otherwise who would listen to them?

  • By_Farore

    I did some research for philosophy class on video games and responsibility. Although it could’ve been better, I did find that a research did prove that video games could lead to violence.
    …When the person under influence is already subject to social instabilities such as drugs and bad parenting, amongst other things.
    -_-;

    • I agree the mind is complex and hard to understand. It not like you do this and there always happens.

  • Hoshika-Pichu

    EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT EVERY CHILD-BEHIND-THE-WHEEL INCIDENT IS CAUSED BY OVEREXPOSURE TO THE M-RATED GAME GRAND THEFT AUTO 4! WE MUST PASS A LAW SO THERE IS A WARNING THAT THE VIDEOGAME SHOULD NOT BE SOLD TO LITTLE CHILDREN, EVEN THOUGH IT SAYS SO ALREADY!

    • POLITICIANS OVERREACT! 2 COMPLETLY DIFFERENT THINGS SAYING “not for small children” WILL JUST CONFUSE MORE PEOPLE!

  • The Goron Moron

    Oh god…

    Unfortunately, families these days fail to read ESRB notices…. and it seems that holds the same for politicians too.

    • JonahTHD

      Hell, even I read the ESRB notices. and that’s saying something as I have a really bad habit of overlooking things like that.

  • sonataofstorms

    Despite the fact that violent games have actually proven time and time again to reduce aggression in people who play them, due to them, you know not actually going out and killing someone.
    Just because people who would actually physically demonstrate their aggression are likewise drawn to violent games doesn’t show any parallel.
    Just like heavy metal music doesn’t make people more violent. These studies are bogus and need to stop being cited, they are outdated and disproved time and time again.

    • Agree, video games do reduce aggression.

  • ChainofTermina

    I hate politicians.

    • i second that, multiple times.
      who doesn’t?

  • E.j.

    do you notice how the politicians never mention all of the millions and millions of children who play aggressive games and are not aggressive themselves. for every one person who is affected by the games there are many more who are not.

    • i think politicians are like some old people(the stubborn ones):
      selective (insert sense here).
      they don’t notce anything with that sense that they don’t want to.

      • They just can’t keep up with the times and blame everything on whats new.

  • Matthew

    It is a stretch to say that any bit of this research “proves” anything. A conclusion based on faulty data can also be misconstrued. Good intent maybe, but this politician should be careful when using words such as “proves” and “responsibility”.

  • Arjen

    While video games might make an influence, if it does that says a lot about the child and how it was raised. A child who has been well raised would NOT expose violent behaviour because of a game.

    Up ’til now all those criminals who blamed their behaviour on video games have all been badly parented or are insane to a threatening extent.

    The warnings on video games are sufficient for anyone with an IQ above 50. But of course, it’s one of those politicians It’s a compliment to imply that their IQ would be as high as 50.

    • I have no idea what the last thing you said means, but I agree on the first one.

  • Nictel

    *WARNING* THIS PRODUCT WILL CAUSE YOU TO GO BERSERK AND SHOOT EVERYONE YOU KNOW OR DO NOT KNOW. MAY NOT BE USED IN COMBINATION WITH WEAPON PERMIT.

  • ChainofTermina

    I Hate Politicians!

  • Noah

    Stupid gay democrats…

  • it could get worse:
    (future mario game, back of box above the other bazillion notices) WARNING, this game has a main character that is a plumber. if you dislike plumbers, plumbing,the colors ascosiated with this plumber; red/white/blue, overalls,repeatedly kidnapped princesses, or fantasy in any form, do not buy!

    (zelda box) WARNING, this game has a major amount of fighting/killing monsters, puzzles, weaponry (non-modern, may or may not have ever existed),a princesess whose name in in this game’s title, non-human sentients, normal medieval people, castles, “dungeons”,side quests you don’t truly HAVE to do,religious figures (non-existant in reality) near impossible to make only 1 timeline for the whole series-type games,complex(non-casual) games, or fantasy in any form, do not buy!

    those are waaaay to picky by today’s standards of rating, but it could happen.
    (i REALLY hope not, though!)

    • I know, people can that sort of stuff FOREVER.

      • yep. i had more, but to keep from covering a huge spot with one post, you got that post instead.

  • It’s like for a game like Brawl.

    Are they really going to put +Warning this game has fictional character violence. Please be aware that studies have shown this leads to violence in real life+

  • ChainofTermina

    I HAAAATE POOOLLLIIITIIICIOOONS

  • Aerostella

    Don’t freaking let your 2 year old play GTA and it won’t be a problem. Morons.

    By the way, I just played video games. I think I’ll go shoot someone now. 😐

  • Twilight Wolf

    And people wonder why I think America is full of mentally deficient twats.

    This is what ratings are for, but apparently parents have their heads so far up their asses that they’re in danger of choking on their own faces.

    God this country sucks.

  • This is the suck.
    Now my parents aren’t going to let me get any games.

    AUAUUUGHHH

    • I propose (to no one specific) this change:

      WARNING: this is here because you idiots don't bother to read the real rating (the big letter!). yell at the politicians 'till they get rid of this offensive warning so that this space can be re-filled with the normal back of the box stuff.

      idiot. (told ya it was offensive!)

      while that may be offensive to anyone reading it and longer,it'll get the law blasted out of the books almost instantly (if it even makes it to law), leaving more space for a more useful warning.

  • Aria

    It’s not that video games make children violent. it’s that parents don’t care anymore, they’ll buy their kids whatever and then leave them to their own devices! Parents are no longer checking ratings or spending time witht heir kids!

  • Z-MAN7

    This won’t change anything. If people ignore the Surgeon General’s warning on Cigarettes, then most people will ignore this as well.