Ignoring all reputable qualitative and quantitative research on the subject, two American politicians have put forward a bill to the House of Representatives that would require video games to have tobacco style labeling warning of the risks to players’ mental health.
The bill has bipartisan support from Democrat Joe Baca, and Republican Frank Wolf.
“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 Representative Baca in a press release. “They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility. American families deserve to know the truth about these potentially dangerous products.”
Co-sponsor Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, stated in a release “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.”
Representative Baca first proposed such a bill in 2009 but it failed to pass.
If passed, H.R 4204, The Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, would seek to add a large tobacco style warning label to all games – from Grand Theft Auto V to Noah’s Ark 3D – except those given the “EC: Early Childhood” rating.
The 2009 iteration of the bill only required that games with a “T” rating and higher carry such warning.
The Entertainment Software Association released a statement in response to the proposed bill stating “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.”