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New U.S. Game Labeling Bill

GamePolitics reports on H.R. 4204, or Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, new legislation being proposed in the U.S. by Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.). This follows up on Blanca's plan for such a bill first mentioned over a year ago to label video games with the following warning: "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior." Baca failed at attempts to pass such bills in in 2003 and in 2009, and presumably thinks the third time will be the charm. Here's the text of bill:

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.

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57 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 3.
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17. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 22:00 AnointedSword
 
There is more than game bills we have to worry about.  
If you were right, I would be agreeing with you.
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16. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:54 jdreyer
 
Actually, butter and salt are pretty bad for you (and eggs to a lesser extent). The difference is that butter and salt packaging don't require a warning label.  
Avatar 22024
 
"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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15. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:50 TurdFergasun
 
someone needs to submit a non sarcastic "modest proposal" but for old people. they do nothing but soak up resources, cling too long to the good jobs, and stimey progressive social behavior with their auto-dogmatic ignorance. once you turn 65 it's into the ol soylent green trough to feed the poor. i'm not saying to violently end them, but a simple, gentle liquification process would suffice, and nobody would tell the difference at mcdonalds anyway. who's up for some all white meat mcnuggets to go with their violent video games?

This comment was edited on Mar 20, 2012, 21:57.
 
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14. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:50 jdreyer
 
I'd just like to point out that "Baca" in Japanese means "stupid." (I realize it's spelled differently)  
Avatar 22024
 
"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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13. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:43 Rigs
 
In which case you suddenly find that the violent crime rate in Japan is mighty low.

That's because they're too busy sniffing teenagers panties and faping to scat porn to care...something I don't think Americans will take to any time soon... *looks around*...well, most of us, anyway...

Well you may have noticed that they aren't doing anything else with their time...

*ZING!*

=-Rigs-=
 
Avatar 14292
 
'Who am I?...I am the right hand of vengeance and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart! I am death incarnate, and the last living thing that you are EVER going to see. GOD sent me.'
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12. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:43 TheEmissary
 
I really don't understand the current witch hunt or scare tactics used to vilify video games. The wording choice for the label is pretty shady if you ask me considering there hasn't been one conclusive study to back up the claim. Most violent games already have M ratings and stores aren't technically supposed to sell them to minors.

If a kid is playing a Mature game I bet 9 times out of 10 it is because a parent bought it for them. They then complain after they buy the game completely ignoring the existing ratings and failing to research about the game. Its far too easy to blame video games than accept responsibility that you failed as a parent.

Do they require mandatory labeling based on inconclusive studies for films? They allow the film industry to self regulate. The software industry already has voluntary ratings system so what makes it any different.
 
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11. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:35 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 21:33:
Since the 1930's we've had ultra-violent cartoons in mainstream society. Have you or your (grand) parents ever had trouble distinguishing between fictional and real violence? Is there a history of you and your ancestors dropping anvils on people or trying to blow them up with explosives? If so video games may not be for you. If not, odds are you're going to be just fine.
Nah. No real thing today as violent cartoons, there haven't been for the last 20ish years. Unless you're watching anime, and all that. In which case you suddenly find that the violent crime rate in Japan is mighty low.

 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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10. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:33 Mikus_Aurelius
 
[VG]Reagle wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 21:02:
We are 17 trillion in debt and we have time and money to DO THIS???


Well you may have noticed that they aren't doing anything else with their time...
 
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9. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:33 Cutter
 
Since the 1930's we've had ultra-violent cartoons in mainstream society. Have you or your (grand) parents ever had trouble distinguishing between fictional and real violence? Is there a history of you and your ancestors dropping anvils on people or trying to blow them up with explosives? If so video games may not be for you. If not, odds are you're going to be just fine.
 
Avatar 25394
 
"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's dead… Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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8. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:30 Sepharo
 
So this idiotic bill is tied to ESRB ratings...
What's next a bill tied to Metacritic scores?

Also are they trying to say everything but Early Childhood (EC) gets the warning label? Or is the "applicable" in (b) undefined? If so who gets to decide which are applicable?
 
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7. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:27 LittleMe
 
Narf2029 wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 21:11:
I'm still waiting for actual definitive evidence that proves this link.

This is politics, not science. It's about passing laws that sound wonderful with good intentions and promising a utopian society. The truth is they deliver the opposite because they don't solve the real problems but act as if they do while institutionalizing their own violent solutions. The power of government is ultimately based on violence. We should put warning labels on all government buildings saying that they obtain their money through threatened or actual violence and that they are the ones with the global violent military empire.

 
Avatar 23321
 
Perpetual debt is slavery.
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6. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:26 bozu
 
There's no legal requirement to have your software rated by ESRB, yet this regulation targets only the software that voluntarily uses the ESRB system. How weird.

I thought the whole point of self-regulation in the industry was to avoid having government regulations.

I doubt this will go anywhere.
 
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5. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:22 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Meh. Done by the same idiots who said eggs and butter are bad for you, along with salt.  
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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4. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:11 Narf2029
 
I'm still waiting for actual definitive evidence that proves this link. They said the same thing about rock music. Let's reform our legislative process and make the writer of a bill financially responsible for the court costs incurred in finding a bill to be unconstitutional or otherwise illegal. If violent video games make a person violent, why do they let me carry a gun at work?  
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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3. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 21:02 [VG]Reagle
 
We are 17 trillion in debt and we have time and money to DO THIS???

 
Avatar 8515
 
I am MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH better now.
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2. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 20:59 Dev
 
Why? There's already a labeling system in place. Stupid mfers should look at the FTC stats where they send in kid mystery shoppers in to buy R rated stuff or M rated stuff. They frequently get away with buying R rated DVDs, R rated movie tickets, music cds with explicit lyrics, etc. But most of the time they can't get M rated games without an adult's permission.

The kids who are playing M rated games are mostly doing so with their parents knowing, even if they just say "get whatever you want I don't care" they still can see the label on it..
 
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1. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 20:55 PHJF
 
If I didn't play so many video games I might be taken to violence with these congressmen.  
Avatar 17251
 
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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