In 2009 California congressman Joe Baca introduced legislation that would require games to display a label warning of links between violent video games and aggressive behaviour. Now Baca's back, singing the same old song with a few new lines.
Joe Baca wants to put warning labels on your video games, and he wants it bad. In 2009 he introduced the Video Game Health labelling Act of 2009, which would plaster the following warning over all video games rated Teen or higher by the Entertainment Software Review Board:
"WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behaviour."
The 2009 act failed to gain momentum, so Baca retreated into his congressional sanctum to work on a new one: The Video Game Health labelling Act of 2011.
It's essentially the same act, with the same goal of putting warning labels on games rated T and above. Congressman Baca's official press release cites the same series of study as the 2009 release did, and even includes the exact same Baca quotes, copied and pasted from the previous missive.
The only real difference this time around is that Baca has gained the support of Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf, who adds the only fresh material to the stale press release.
"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 behaviour," 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."
It's nice to know that while science continues to battle over the potential for video games to send our children's aggression into overdrive, a pair of Congressmen have it all figured out.
I expect this latest bit of proposed legislation to go the way of the first, and eagerly await the Video Game Health labelling Act of 2013.