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Lawmakers Seek To Put Warning Labels on All Video Games

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

It’s time for another chapter in the “Government vs. Video Games” war. And this time, they’re not just going after the violent ones, they’re going after ALL video games.

Two members of the House have introduced a new bill that would require all video games, regardless of their ratings, to bear a warning label. The label would read: “WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.” The lawmakers, representatives Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf, (R-Va.) say that the bill is a reaction to the belief that violent games can have a long-lasting negative 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,” Baca said. “They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility.

“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. “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.”

First of all, these guys are acting like it’s only children that play video games. Nowadays, your average video gamer is college-age or higher, and certainly old enough to know what they’re playing. A warning label on video games will have no effect on the purchase or playing of games and, quite honestly, the whole notion is a waste of time.

But what annoys me the most, however, is that these lawmakers are treating video games like some sort of health hazard. Sure, they have been studies that show a correlation between violent games and aggression, but there have been plenty of other studies that show there is no direct link between the two.

This whole bill is based off of the belief that violent games are a direct cause of violent behavior, which is not the case at all. The vast majority of gamers will not immediately run out and shoot up a neighborhood after playing a game like Call of Duty or Halo. I wish people, especially these politicians, would stop treating video games like these horrible brain-washing devices that turns kids into cold-blooded killers. And I’m hoping this bill, like the bill that tried to ban the sale of violent video games, gets voted down and thrown out of the House.

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