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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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30. Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill Mar 20, 2012, 23:23 WarpCrow
 
Rossafur wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 23:04:
There was a time that this would have really upset me (probably in the "I will effing KILL YOU for saying that violent video games make people violent!!!" variety). That time ended when I turned 18, and none of it would apply to me anymore. And now that I'm 28, I really *really* don't care, because the fewer annoying little brats in my online games, the better, imho... Haha

Sure it's nice to avoid the kiddies, but there are unintended consequences to these things. Already certain retail outlets refuse to carry games above a certain rating, and this causes some devs to self-censor in order to get a lower one. How might this get worse under stricter regulations? Consider Germany. Games rated 18+ are only available censored on Steam, not because the uncensored game is banned, but because the ratings system in Germany is more strict and in order to sell the game uncensored, Steam would have to verify customer age. They could do it (Origin even does it, which earns them brownie points with me), but they don't want to go through the trouble of putting the system in place. So get your games elsewhere. Fine, but how many more devs would feel muzzled if this sort of thing spreads to the States?
 
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>> 30. Mar 20, 23:23  Re: New U.S. Game Labeling Bill WarpCrow
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