You know how politicians love to trot out hyped up “evidence” that violent games can make kids into violent savages? Well, now two Congressmen want that specious claim on the back of every violent video game box.
Congressmen Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Joe Baca (D-Rialto, CA) have introduced the “Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011,” which would require any video game the Entertainment Software Ratings Board deems violent to sport the following disclaimer:
WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.
Baca has issued a press release about the bill:
“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 Rep. 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.”
Now, if you thinking you would’ve heard about the mind-blowing news story of someone actually finding a link between violent games and actual violent behavior, you’re right. You probably would have. In the press release Baca points to “recent scientific studies from the Pediatrics Journal, University of Indiana, University of Missouri, and Michigan State University” as pointing to “a neurological link between playing violent video games and aggressive behavior in children and teenagers.” But Baca and Wolf are just trotting out the same inconclusive evidence parents groups have been pointing to for years.
Besides, doesn’t he realize that adding more warning labels to video games only makes them look cooler to kids?