ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For Games

January 27, 2011 -

The Entertainment Consumer Association issued a call to action today asking members to tell congress that we do not need additional "warning labels" on video games.

Earlier this week Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43), along with Rep. Frank Wolf introduced a bill that would put warning labels on video games similar to the kinds of warning labels found on cigarettes. Here's the entirety of the alert (which can be found on the ECA web site):

"Tell Congress That There's No Link Between Video Games and Real Life Violence

Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43), along with Rep. Frank Wolf (R VA-10) as co-sponsor, thinks its 2009 again and is introducing “The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011.” This bill, if passed, would require a warning label be affixed to all games rated T or up by the ESRB, regardless of the content descriptors. The warning would read: `WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.' The ECA needs your help to make sure this bill does not become law.

Congress is simply misinformed on this issue. While Congressman Baca cites “scientific studies,” the vast majority of studies show that there is no proven causal link between violent video games and negatively aggressive behavior. In fact, several studies suggest that playing video games can be helpful to young people, such as this study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Further, the bill requires the label on games that are not rated T or above for violence, which could confuse parents and undermine the ESRB, which according to the FTC is the most enforced media retail system.

'The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011' is an unconstitutional restraint on speech that would harm consumers and parents alike. Please join with the ECA. Let your Representatives know that you want them to let the industry and parents continue to use a system that works, and have Congress stay focused on the real problems facing our nation.

Simply read the letter below, fill in the form to the right, then click the Send This Message button and your letter will be emailed to your member of Congress."

Further, the ECA issued a statement on the new campaign against additional labels on games:

"This bill, which failed in the last Congress, is another unfortunate attempt to restrain speech," said Jennifer Mercurio, Vice President & General Counsel of the Entertainment Consumers Association. "We agree with the FTC. The ESRB does a great job of labeling video games to empower parents. Baca’s bill would confuse the public, and cost unsightly sums to taxpayers in defending an unconstitutional bill."

Comments

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

I'll fill out the form, but in all honesty I don't think we'll need to.  The wording of the bill is identical to the way it was the first time around.  If it didn't get far back then, it certainly won't now.  Not with 1) Congress now being controlled by Republicans, whose main priority right now is repealing the healthcare reform and 2) SCOTUS' immenent decison on EMA Vs. Schwarzenegger.  While it's danegerous to prognosticate at this point, I think the general consensus is they'll rule in the game industry's favor.

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

If they do put warning labels on video games, can we also put one on C-SPAN warning of the effects of prolonged exposure to politicians?

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

'The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011' is an unconstitutional restraint on speech that would harm consumers and parents alike.

I don't know why, but this rhetoric the industry keeps putting out is starting to rub me the wrong way...

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

Please explain? I think they do go a little to far in saying it would "harm" consumers and parents alike by having these warnings put on them BUT when it comes to the Freedom of Speech aspect and keeping the nanny-state out of our lives, they are right on.

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

"Harm" is a strong word but in this case it's not inappropriate.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

This is from the ECA, not the ESA but what about it is rubbing you the wrong way?

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
 

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