Despite the recent successful defense of unmarred videogame distribution in Brown v. EMA, Congress is at it again:
A new bill has been submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives that will require most video games to include a warning label that states: “WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.”
Introduced by Rep. Joe Baca and Rep. Frank Wolf, H.R. 4204 would require any game rated “E” (Everyone), “Everyone 10+” (Everyone 10 and older), ”T” (Teen), ”M” (Mature) or ”A” (Adult) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). That only leaves games rated with “EC” (Early Childhood) unaffected by the bill.
If passed, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) would have 180 days to make sure that the ESRB include the new labels on games – violent or not.
“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 told The Hill. “They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility.”
What’s interesting about this is a shift in tactics—previous attempts to limit the exposure and access to videogames operated on an assumption that their consumption was similar to that of pornography. This new measure makes it more akin to the heavy limitations posed on the marketing and sale of cigarrettes. That may be a hard case to make given the many health benefits videogames have recently been shown to offer.
[via CBS News]