US bill wants cigarette-style warnings on game cases

Ben Parfitt
US bill wants cigarette-style warnings on game cases

An astonishing new bill proposed in the US argues that video games should carry similar warning labels to those found on cigarettes.

TheHill.com reports that The Violence in Video Games Labelling Act “is a reaction to what the two members say is increasing evidence that playing violent games can have a serious, long-lasting impact on children, which should require a health warning to consumers.”

Representative Joe Baca stated: "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.

"They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility. The proposed labelling system would apply to all games, regardless of their age rating, with the exception of EC (Early Childhood) titles.

US trade body The Entertainment Software Association responded to the moves in a statement to Game Informer: “The ESA supports providing parents with complete and useful information so they can make informed purchasing decisions. The current video game rating system does so and has been lauded as the leading rating system in the entertainment industry.

“Unfortunately, Representative Baca’s facially [sic] 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.”

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Tags: video games , health , labelling , warnings , cigarettes

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