So soon after Rep. Fourkiller’s (unsuccessful) call for a video game surtax in Oklahoma, video games once again find themselves in the legislative spotlight, this time in the U.S. House of Representatives. House Resolution 4204 (or the Violence in Video Game Labeling Act), a joint venture between Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) and Joe Baca (D-California), would require warning labels to placed on all video game material (from “E for Everyone” and up) that does not meet unspecified decency requirements by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The bill would require the label “WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior” be placed conspicuously on all game boxes sold at retail.
“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 explained to The Hill. “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. 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,” added Rep. Wolf.
Rich Taylor, the Senior Vice President of Communications and Industry Affairs at the Entertainment Software Association, responded on the bill to Gamasutra, saying, “Representative Baca’s facially unconstitutional bill – which has been introduced to no avail in each of six successive Congressional sessions, beginning in 2002 – needlessly concerns parents with flawed research and junk science…Numerous medical experts, research authorities, and courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, exhaustively reviewed the research Representative Baca uses to base his bill and found it lacking and unpersuasive. Independent scientific researchers found no causal connection between video games and real life violence.”
Do you agree with Rep. Baca’s opinion, that the video game industry has not done a good enough job about content advertisements? What is the EG opinion on the bill at large? Comment below!