American Congressman pushes for warning labels on games

Matt Purslow at

American Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto, CA.) has put forward a bill that demands that "all video games with an Electronics Software Ratings Board rating of Teen or higher" must be sold with a health warning label. Read on for the details of the "The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011".

Under the act, games would have to be clearly labelled with the words: "WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior."

Talking of his plans, Baca said: "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. 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."

He references "scientific studies from the Pediatrics Journal, University of Indiana, University of Missouri, and Michigan State University" that point to a "neurological link between playing violent video games and aggressive behavior in children and teenagers."

The idea of video games instilling violent behaviour into children has been debated for years, with findings pointing to both positive and negative results. The UK's own Byron Report suggested that there was no evidence that playing games directly caused violent behaviour in 2008.

"I am proud to introduce the Video Game Health Labeling Act, and am hopeful this legislation can work to stop the growing influence of violent media on America’s children and youth" concludes Baca.

[via Game Politics]