Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to Label All Games With Warning Labels

March 20, 2012 -

Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a bill on Monday that would require video games to carry a special warning label similar to the kind found on cigarettes. That warning would be:

"WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

The bill is H.R. 4204, or Violence in Video Games Labeling Act. The sponsors say the law is a reaction to increasing evidence that playing violent games can have a serious long-lasting impact on children that should require a health warning to consumers.

"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 said. "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," Wolf said. "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."

Their bill would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to release rules that require most games rated by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to bear the warning label within 180 days of its passage. The real kicker is that this label would have to appear on any game no matter what it was rated. The only games excluded from the list are those rated "EC," or "early childhood." You can read the entire bill below:

To require certain warning labels to be placed on video games that are given certain ratings due to violent content.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION REGULATION.

a) REGULATION.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Consumer Product Safety Commission shall promulgate regulations to require the warning label described in subsection (b) to be placed on the packaging of any video game that is rated ‘‘E’’ (Everyone), ‘‘Everyone 10+’’ (Everyone 10 and older), ‘‘T’’ (Teen), ‘‘M’’ (Mature), or ‘‘A’’ (Adult) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

(b) WARNING LABEL CONTENT.—The warning label required under a regulation issued under subsection (a) shall be placed in a clear and conspicuous location on the packaging of the applicable video game and shall state: ‘‘WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.’’.

(c) VIDEO GAME DEFINED.—As used in this Act, the term ‘‘video game’’ means any product, whether distributed electronically or through a tangible device, consisting of data, programs, routines, instructions, applications, symbolic languages, or similar electronic information (collectively referred to as ‘‘software’’) that controls the operation of a computer or telecommunication device and that enables a user to interact with a computer controlled virtual environment for entertainment purposes.

Comments

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

I'm dumfounded by this.  Surely they know this won't get anywhere; especially with SCOTUS' Brown Vs. EMA decision making it the law of the land.  The arguments applied against Yee's bill apply just as easily to this (exclusion of other media, giving voluntary ratings force of law, founded on inconclusive scientific studies, etc.)  I know it's an election year and all, but jeez.  Why not put that energy into something that they at least know has a chance of passing?

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Well, it's that time of the year again... Sounds like they're pandering for votes.

 

Or are they trying to get themselves kicked out of office?  If they really want to go that route, all they need to do is talk about how great the fuhrer really was.  That'll get them gone in a heartbeat.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Only if we gamers can start posting warnings on churches (of whatever religion) that say something like "Warning, exposure to religion has been linked to causing MASS MURDER and potentially GENOCIDE!"

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Politicians really should get performance penalties of some kind. The end effect being that if you introduce too many bills that are shot down for being unconstitutional, you should get kicked out.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Agreed. One big problem is that these idiots are set for life, but until they get thrown out they do "feel good" crap like this to try and load their gravy train as full as they can get it.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

If you can't scientifically prove something...
...why not just legislate it into truth.

 

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

I think It's time to vote Joe Baca and Frank Wolf out, This is all about the Fact that Politicians who support frivolous laws like that Want Fines and taxes on media they don't like so They can Get fatter paychecks Because they want to "Save the Children"(by Regulating media so they pay them via fines or a sin tax so they can Get rich off of the Video game industry) I'm very much against Govt corruption(in addition to wasteful spending) and this bill is no exception

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

The thing is that these will never stop, and its not really even important if they pass or not. 

While the initial efforts in this space decades ago may or may not have actually had some relation to concerns over "damaging children" we are way beyond that.

The real purpose behind these current efforts has nothing to do with any real impact videogames have on anything.  It's about perception.  Games are bad and anyone who attempts to pass a bill restricting their sale, appending warning labels, tweaking ratings etc is "good." Therefore they are worth re-electing.  The fact that this youth corrupting media is protected is merely another indication of how corrupt and vile American popular culture is and how heroic our representatives are for fighting these losing battles.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

and this is another reason why i think the concept of "career politician" should be done away with.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

(wonders when congressmen are going to start coming with labels - perhaps: "Warning: individual maybe be paranoid, ignorant, and a bit of a mental-midget"

MMPR

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

a) REGULATION.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Consumer Product Safety Commission shall promulgate regulations to require the warning label described in subsection (b) to be placed on the packaging of any video game that is rated ‘‘E’’ (Everyone), ‘‘Everyone 10+’’ (Everyone 10 and older), ‘‘T’’ (Teen), ‘‘M’’ (Mature), or ‘‘A’’ (Adult) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

Unconstitutional. Gives a private organisation the power and weight of law.

Next?

----
Papa Midnight

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

I wonder if they even realize that the ESRB is an industry group and not a government organization

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Unconstitutional.

Baca and Wolf are retards.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

"(c) VIDEO GAME DEFINED.—As used in this Act, the term ‘‘video game’’ means any product, whether distributed electronically or through a tangible device, consisting of data, programs, routines, instructions, applications, symbolic languages, or similar electronic information (collectively referred to as ‘‘software’’) that controls the operation of a computer or telecommunication device and that enables a user to interact with a computer controlled virtual environment for entertainment purposes." I say this requires Congress to clarify "computer", or I believe consoles to be exempt. Good day, sir. In other news, this bill will fail. Stay tuned.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

the PS2 wouldn't be exempt, since Sony calls it a "Computer Entertainment System" and not a console

 

yea I know, kinda a moot point

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

they really are nuts, not even puzzle games like Tetris are exempt

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

And this doesn't apply to movies or music, why?

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Because they don't want to upset their Hollywood pals. Got to have their money and votes.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Well... after the Supreme Court ruled that games are free speech, it's not like they can do much else...

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

oe Baca IS cancer, can we put a warning label on him?

-------

"WARNING GUARANTEE: This post contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress."

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

I know resorting to ad hominem attacks is kind of pathetic and all, but honestly!  With a name like Baca, he really has it coming.  ;)

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

I see what you did there.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Stop stealing my unoriginal posts!

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Come on now, we're all thinking it.  There's got to be at least a couple hundred weeaboos that frequent this site.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Again the Congressman proves he's Baca by name, Baka by nature.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Goodness gracious, you two!  Again?  Yes, I'm sure this will be just as successful as it was the last few times.

"...about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behavior," Wolf said.

It's still at zero, numbnuts.  Nice to see Baca continues to live up to his name.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

I see what you did there...

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Aggressive is not Violent, anyone ever seen a passive Politician achieve anything?

Yes, people might be slightly more confrontational after a computer game, but then, they would be equally more confrontational after watching a movie, I knew several kids back in the 80's and early 90's who used to try martial arts after watching an action movie, often with amusing results.

The question as to whether that aggression, be it from a game, a movie or any other media, would be translated into physical violence is down to the person watching or playing, not the media itself, and, as Frank Zappa said all those years ago, if someone is crazy, then it could also be something completely unrelated to violence that sets them off.

Even putting aside the fact similar bills have been repeatedly knocked back down, the fact that even after all this time and money politicians still have not done their homework regarding this is kind of depressing evidence that they genuinely don't care about how they waste our money.

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Do we even need to reply to this?

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

Warning: Congressmen have been known to dismiss dissenting scientific opinion to defer to their 'gut feeling' and personal agendas.

Have there even been any new studies on the 'aggression' nonsense in the last few years? Some sort of scientific evidence or consensus for this nonsense?

Is anyone else enraged by how irrelevant 'facts' and 'proof' actually are in politics?

Re: Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to ...

kinda, i mean, the evidence linking cancer to.. well.. anything, is vague at best as well. yet they seem to be able to lable things randomly regardless of that.

so tbh i wouldn't be surprised if it happens :/

 
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