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Congressman Introduces Video Game Warning Label Legislation

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the esrb-not-good-enough-for-you dept.

Government 208

Gamasutra reports that Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) has introduced legislation that would require video games with a rating of T or higher to have a warning label that alerts buyers to the dangers of simulated violence. The warning would read: "Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior." Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), who introduced similar legislation in 2009, co-sponsored the bill, and said, "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. 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.”"

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208 comments

Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35005784)

When will some people learn?

I give up on you, America. Do something about these people, will you?

Hypocrite? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35005796)

How about the useless wars that are shown on TV? Daily base? Maybe add a "extremely unhealthy" tag as well? (Esp if you're the one fighting it....)

Citation Needed (5, Insightful)

drmacinyasha (1717962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35005798)

Can we get some citation on the whole "linked to aggressive behavior" bit? Last I heard... The opposite was shown.

Re:Citation Needed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35005858)

It's been linked over and over again. By idiots.

Re:Citation Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35005984)

The problem here is that those politicians mix everything up.
Violent media/games have not been shown to cause aggressive behavior in adults. However, they have been shown to cause aggressive behavior in children and young teens (who are still learning what is socially acceptable behavior).

Re:Citation Needed (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006236)

However, they have been shown to cause aggressive behavior in children and young teens (who are still learning what is socially acceptable behavior).

Even a child's mind is not that fragile (let alone a teenager's). Given the number of children and teenagers that play violent video games, the amount of them that are violent and possess minds that are that fragile appears to be abysmally small and not worth worrying about.

Re:Citation Needed (3, Insightful)

myurr (468709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35005864)

Especially as this is going to be the thin end of the wedge. By putting a warning label on it and getting the population to accept that, it then legitimises their complaints and fears about computer games leading to restrictions and bans in the future.

Re:Citation Needed (1)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006590)

I can also see them doing what they do to cigarettes and tobacco... putting a sin tax on video games. I wonder what else they will put on the warning labels. Warning playing violent video games will teach you that if you ever decide to play a hero with an armed gunman, you will probably be shot. Or, WARNING: You will aquire excellent hand-eye coordination from playing this game! Warning: Crazy people might do crazy things after they play a video game and/or buy a gun. Keep blaming the video games folks, don't stop to think that maybe, crazy people do crazy things no matter if they watch V for Vendetta, play Call of Duty, or Hello Kitty's Island Adventure. Violence has been in this world long before video games, and will be around long after.

Re:Citation Needed (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006776)

Well if tobacco warnings are anything to go on, I would also expect to see "Warning: Video games can make you blind" and "Warning: Video games can make you impotent"
I would also like to see warning labels on politicians. I can prove direct links between a number of politicians and real world violence. In fact the number of people killed by crazy video gamers is insignificant next to the number of people killed by the actions and policies of political leaders in the US, UK, China, Russia, and much of Asia and Africa. Don't even get me started on cars, alcohol, consumer food products (dioxin anyone?) etc. If video games is the standard for how dangerous something has to be to get a label, then we need to label everything.

WARNING: REPEATEDLY SMASHING YOUR HEAD AGAINST THIS BRICK WALL CAN CAUSE HEADACHES, BRAIN HAEMORRHAGE'S AND DEATH.

Re:Citation Needed (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007840)

Well if tobacco warnings are anything to go on, I would also expect to see "Warning: Video games can make you blind"

You're thinking of porn, not video games.

Re:Citation Needed (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006760)

Did you know that knives have been linked to murder? Next time you have a steak, you should perhaps just let your kids eat with their hands.

Re:Citation Needed (4, Informative)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006830)

A quick [google.com] search [nih.gov] shows many articles on the subject. While I didn't read all of the, a quick look showed that many are observational, prompting the famous "causation != correlation" argument, but some are intervetional and show a causative link between video games and aggressive behavior.
On /. there have been a few articles on the subject, many [slashdot.org] showing [slashdot.org] positive [slashdot.org] correlation, but some [slashdot.org] didn't show a connection. As someone wrote [slashdot.org] before me, given so much evidence, can we still cry vehemently against the "weak science" regarding video games and violence? Aren't we better than other groups that do not let evidence stand in the way of a good argument?

Re:Citation Needed (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007556)

What you'd need to show is that a "peaceful" population, when subject to "violent" video games, has a higher rate of people switching from "peaceful" to "violent" than a population that is not subject to "violent" video games.

Any reasonable study would need to eliminate the fact that people with violent tendencies already would probably choose to play a "violent" video game.

I personally fall into the camp that sees video games and other media not as a cause of violent behavior, but merely a catalyst: media is likely to take already existing tendencies and magnify them. If those tendencies don't exist, the games (or movies or television shows or music or books) will do nothing.

Re:Citation Needed (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007946)

I agree.

I'm think it's more likely that violent people are more inclined to play violent games, rather than violent games making peaceful people violent.

relationship between violent video games and... (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35005800)

nope.

Re:relationship between violent video games and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006076)

So? If I owned a video game company, I'd welcome these ratings and make sure that all may games would get one of the most constraining ratings (for lots of violence or whatever). If I were 15 and saw a game that was advertised as being for 18+ or 21+, I'd do everything in my power to get my hands on it!

Re:relationship between violent video games and... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006586)

Pretty much.

I often wonder whether those "parental advisory" stickers are a warning or an ad.

Re:relationship between violent video games and... (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007670)

Its an Ad.

I can't remember who started it, but some enterprising rap artist I think it was started slapping those on his records, and not because he was forced to. Guess what? Kids couldn't get enough. Probably was also good music, but I'm certain that the sticker helped. I've seen kids whose CD collections barely have anything without that sticker on it.

Re:relationship between violent video games and... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006818)

An M rating is basically the commercial death sentence for games. Walmart refuses to carry them, as do most other major retailers, online and off. It doesn't matter how good your game is if you can't actually get it in stores.

Re:relationship between violent video games and... (1)

WhirlwindMonk (1975382) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006898)

Assuming you're talking about the US, you mean "AO." M is carried basically everywhere. AO is the one everyone refuses to stock. And to get an AO rating you need to have basically downright pornographic content in your game, so it's really not that hard to avoid. If you're referring to another country's system, though, then I have no idea how it works.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35005818)

Whats it like having violent games?

Sincerely Australian

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006070)

Get a VPN from another country and buy from download stores.

Sincerely German

Let's broaden that scope a little. (0, Troll)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35005872)

How about a warning label for television and movies warning that prolonged exposure to violent acts desensitizes a person to violence behavior and makes it socially acceptable. I'd trust a gamer over a person who is desensitized to their own violent and antisocial behavior from too much violent media consumption. Hell T.V. and movies glamorize violence as much if not more than video games do.

Re:Let's broaden that scope a little. (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35005908)

Hell T.V. and movies glamorize violence as much if not more than video games do.

But Heaven T.V. is so boring!

Re:Let's broaden that scope a little. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006082)

Just non stop Little House on the Prarie.

Re:Let's broaden that scope a little. (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007482)

Yep...like that nice, non-violent episode where the family is chased through the field by a pack of wolves...

Re:Let's broaden that scope a little. (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007248)

In MY heaven, there's porn & violence on TV all day. Plus, they give free samples.

Re:Let's broaden that scope a little. (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006002)

yea lets put warning on everything, on an apple, "warning this could contain poison"

Re:Let's broaden that scope a little. (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006118)

YOU have been watching too much Walt Disney! I wished there was a label on the "Snow White" DVDs "WARNING : This movie could make your kids avoid healthy food!".

Re:Let's broaden that scope a little. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006474)

Just think of all the labels that would be required for religious texts. Especially since they ARE actually linked to violence and terrorism of all sorts. Not to mention delusional behavior. When was the last time someone chopped off their daughters limbs or chained their child to a tree and beat them because "GTA told me to"?

Anyway, I'm all for randomly assigning bullshit blame to various things and then putting warning labels on them. Lets put some on butter knives. And stereos. And books. And shovels. And clothing. OOH, that's it! Let's put a RAPE-WARNING on all clothing deemed to be even remotely suggestive. After all, the connection between rape and revealing clothes is about the same as that between videogames and violence.

Priorities (4, Interesting)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35005892)

Huge unemployment, wars still raging in Iraq/Afghanistan, debt at crippling levels, and people losing their homes at huge levels, great to see the important stuff like video games is being addressed.

But...

Every time a politician brings this up, it just shows how out of touch (old?) they are. Hopefully this won't be too much of a problem in not too many years as people who grew up gaming end up in positions of power and see that it's just a pastime. Golfing/Tennis/few rounds at the bar. It's just so not worth spending any time over, and shows they probably shouldn't be holding any positions where their opinions matter if this is the best they can come up with on something todo.

Re:Priorities (4, Insightful)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006048)

For real. It'll be a golden age once my generation takes power. At least until the generation after mine shows up with all the things I don't like.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006242)

It'll be a golden age once my generation takes power

Have a read of Tim Leary's Neuropolitique. One of the sections, entitled "The Seeds of the Sixties" discusses what will happen when the flower children of 196x grow to positions of power and influence. Since this hasn't changed the socio-political position as much as Leary hoped, I wouldn't stake any particular hope in any generation having a major change in the way the world operates.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006900)

For real. It'll be a golden age once my generation takes power. At least until the generation after mine shows up with all the things I don't like.
Signed - Every Generation Ever

FTFY

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35007266)

I hate to burst your bubble, but when your generation gets into power,there will still be individuals and corporations with a vested interest in protecting their vast wealth, against who you will be pitted, and will in all likelihood capitulate to in order to survive.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35007632)

For real. It'll be a golden age once my generation takes power. At least until the generation after mine shows up with all the things I don't like.

Well, you can just put warning labels on all of those annoying things! Problem solved forever!

Re:Priorities (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006106)

I definitely agree....with so many other things that are important....including economic/social issues...this should be the least of everyone's worries.

wonder if this "joe" fella is influenced by /.'s most despised character...Jack Thompson.

funny and ironic that his last name is phonetically similar to the Japanese word "" ("baka") which means stupid/idiot.....

Re:Priorities (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006602)

I'm pretty sure in some native american dialect "Thompson" means "funny man in funny dress acts like a moron".

Re:Priorities (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006552)

Good luck with that.

The group of people that think video games are not just for children or that geeks are cool is a very limited one and the impression that it is a generally accepted feeling is an inaccuracy merely reinforced by our own ranks. Kind of like if you spend all your time swinging, you might start to think that swinging is something far more accepted by society than it really is, because -- of course -- you're around a subset that is into it all the time.

I remember a very specific incident with a girl who is a good friend of mine. In response to some ridiculously geeky tangent I went on, I snickered that "I'm such a geek . . ." and her response was to sincerely try and convince me that I wasn't a geek the same way a friend might respond to you if you had called yourself a loser or an asshole.

Then you have video games. While most gamers are adults and the average age of gamers is around 35 years old, most adults are not gamers. If you're an adult - especially once you're out of your 20s, you are bordering on being a pathetic curiosity to the rest of the grown-ups around you, who see you as less responsible and less mature merely for what you spend your recreational time doing.

One might suggest that it merely indicates the age of such prejudice, misunderstanding, and judgement is a lot younger than the "old folks" we would associate the attitude with, but if you are an adult and have been playing games online any time, recently, you've probably experienced comments from very young people, too. I was astonished when I was playing Black Ops with a couple buddies a few weeks ago and when some teenagers asked us how old we were (between 30 and 40), they couldn't believe it. They thought we must be a bunch of losers, because they couldn't imagine that anyone would sit around playing video games when they're an adult. I actually heard that repeated from kids to older players (not just ourselves) too many times to count over a period of about a month that we got together and played regularly.

It was mirrored by a conversation/poll/discussion I saw more than once online . . . in video game websites. Places you would expect the attitude to be more rational. Instead, I've seen questions and forum discussions by what are clearly younger people asking "How old do you think you will be when you stop playing video games?". Probably more than half of the responses are typically things like "as soon as I turn eighteen and get out of the house" or "probably when I have a kid" or "when I get married" or "when I'm thirty". Kind of absurd that there seems to be a huge population of young people who love video games, but only see it as something children do and not something they'll keep doing. Imagine if you spent your childhood reading a lot of great books or maybe hiking and you said "I'll probably stop reading books and going on hikes when I'm 23". What the fuck?

Anyway, the attitude may change. It's not going to be in our life time.

Re:Priorities (1)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006722)

That sounds about right because kids know alot about life with all that real world experiance of living on their own, paying their own bills, taking care of their kids. They know adults don't desserve a little bit of "me" time when the kids are in bed after a long day of running around. They know that the world belongs to the kids for the fun stuff, and the adults just get to have the right to earn all the money they blow on the childs 60 dollar games, a car, and college, or whatever else they need. Adults are just there to buy their games and drive them all over town, after that they can go shine their shoes and relax in bed with the wall street journal, dreaming they were as cool as their smart children. So what if it was mom and dad's generation that gave them video games or computers from mom and dad's investment in them through out the years. That we watched the evolution from Pong to Crysis, that we might have even coded our own games on a computer that was as powerful as their calculators (or even on calculators). We are creepy if we keep the same hobby for thirty years. Hell, I still play some of my old atari carts from time to time in the very few limited times I get a break from kids or work, and if my kid told me I was too old to play my atari, I would tell him he's too young to understand the feeling of nostalgia. When I was a kid, I thought it was cool to see someone that had refurbed a pinball machine, and would play it in his garage almost every other night. If it makes him happy, leave him the hell alone.

Re:Priorities (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006802)

Hmm, good points.
But even so, even if not gamers now, it's still been experienced far more than it used to be? People who used to play games when younger and then got bored, moved onto other stuff, didn't kill/maim anyone, isn't that also a valid argument that his type of stuff is pure bunk?

But I'd even argue that the amount of 'gamers' is bigger than people think. Maybe even themselves. Ok, they may not sit around and play WoW/CoD for 16 hours straight, but they might have a few sessions of Angry Birds/some other phone game.

Alot of this resistance is surely just anti-technology sentiments. People who've not grown up with Atari VCS/Intellivisions/NES/SNES/Megadrives/C64's/......./....../Gameboys/...../Playstations/Xbox/Wii/iPods/SmartPhones/flash games on the web theyplay for 10 mins drinking that first cup of coffee at the desk.

I still think this sort of behavior will be self-correcting in a few more years.

Re:Priorities (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007464)

The Wii and iPhone games has already changed this. It is a matter of statistical fact that there are more female gamers now than male, and both sexes more games over 30 than under. It is only because the industri is so slow at adapting that you still see most games marketed at the old stereotypes.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35007336)

"We want less Homer Simpsons and more money for public schools."

Saying there are bigger problems they should be dealing with is a very weak political argument. Usually it's one of the last arguments you go to after you've already lost the debate. In this case, it's not necessary. The link between video game violence and violent behaviour has not be proved anything like as strongly as the link between smoking and, well, just about every illness under the sun, so the precedent is invalid.

Re:Priorities (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007738)

Hopefully this won't be too much of a problem in not too many years as people who grew up gaming end up in positions of power and see that it's just a pastime.

We used to say this about pot in the '70's.

Good luck.

Wake up call to Congressmen (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35005906)

We have one those already on video games, ITS CALLED E.S.R.B. RATING!

Re:Wake up call to Congressmen (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006574)

No, the ESRB:

+ Is not legally enforceable. Neither are motion picture ratings. It would be a first amendment issue, if they were. Many politicians and busy-body groups would like this, though and are pushing for it. ESRB and MPAA ratings are entirely voluntary as is their enforcement in retail by the retail stores themselves. If you work at a game store and sell an M rated game to a child, your boss might fire you, but neither you nor your boss nor the company have committed any crime. If that were to ever change, you'd have to also start seeing special library cards so that librarians could not check books out to children that were beyond their designated category. (I probably wouldn't have been allowed to read Tommyknockers or The Stand, when I was ten, I guess).

+ The ESRB rating indicates that there may be violence, mild violence, comic violence, language, drugs, sex within a game. It does not have a giant warning label telling you that if you play Call of Duty you are more likely to start committing murders and engaging in wonton acts of violence as a result of it.

+ There is, of course, absolutely no correlation between violent movies, music, games, books, art and actual acts of violence, which makes the legislation even more idiotic.

Re:Wake up call to Congressmen (1)

WhirlwindMonk (1975382) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007000)

+ There is, of course, absolutely no correlation between violent movies, music, games, books, art and actual acts of violence, which makes the legislation even more idiotic.

Actually, there is. I did a pretty extensive research report on it in college. There is a correlation. There even has been shown pretty conclusively that people who play the games tend to feel more aggressive (I can't recall if it was in general or just for a period of time afterward). The key was, though, that it wasn't enough. It was the equivalent of screwing up an exam you thought you did well on, or having your parents tell you to go to your room because you didn't finish your broccoli. Sure, you're "angrier" or "more aggressive" from those things, but it isn't enough to cause extreme behavioral changes. Something else has to be present first. Combine violent video games with years of bullying and an abusive parent and you might end up with a reaction, but video games by themselves are not enough, nor are violent movies, violent music, anything like that. As long as you game responsibly (meaning, not playing 16 hours a day, or whatever), there are no dangerous effects. And the real key is, the people in the situations where violent video games might push them over the edge aren't going to be swayed by the ratings or warnings.

Plus, there's always the fact that violent people are going to be drawn to violent games.

And for those of you who instantly think "CITATION!!!!!" I wish I could, but I'm not even sure I have the paper anymore, let alone access to it from work.

I propose another warning (5, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35005930)

I propose we put a warning before every comment on the news (print, online, or televised)by a politician that says "Warning: Being a politician has been linked to severe defects in reasoning ability and to rampant paranoia of all things invented after 1950. All statements should be assumed false until verified by independent sources".

baka lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35005956)

oh it is baca

Eye problems (1)

grim-one (1312413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006022)

I'd rather see a warning label that warns about over use leading to eye problems (e.g. myopia). Although maybe that should go on the TV / monitor instead. At least that link is reasonably consistent. You could also label books and magazines!

I think you should run for congress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006378)

as there are no reputable studies that show myopia, or any serious eye problem, is caused by TVs.

Shares? (3, Interesting)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006046)

Does he have shares in a games company? Having warning labels will only increase sales.

Re:Shares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006104)

It's Comics Code: the Next Generation

Growing Evidence?? (2)

ultral0rd (1595449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006068)

Could someone please supply this "growing" evidence.. From my understanding and following of this specific discussion there seems to be less and less evidence that Violent Games are in any way linked to aggressive behavior. Except that aggressive people play video games.. But then again, so do normal placid people.. This is like saying Murders driver cars, thus we need to put a warning labels on all cars informing people that driving a car might cause you to become a murdered.. The pre-disposition was already there, it had nothing to do with the car or the game. The problem is the person >

Re:Growing Evidence?? (0)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006600)

This is American politics. You don't need evidence for anything. The overwhelming majority of the country believes in religion, alien abductions, psychics, ghosts, and that Iraq had WMDs with which we were sure to be struck any moment. Make an assertion frequently enough and people will accept it as truth. People still believe the bullshit that more women are victims of domestic violence on Superbowl Sunday than any other day of the year. [snopes.com]

Re:Growing Evidence?? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006604)

Also, is it just me or does the "new slashdot" make it nearly impossible to detect that text is hyperlinked in a post?

Re:Growing Evidence?? (1)

e3m4n (947977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007180)

Aggressive behavior does not immediately imply full-on rage. The term is misused too much I fear. Remember those old office 'jokes' that used to go around in the days of sneaker-net? Like:

Stress: The confusion caused when ones mind overrides the body’s natural desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole that desperately needs it.

It was humorous because we've all felt the urge to smack, punch, bitch-slap, do _something_ to someone but never acted on it. Yelling, acting out, back talking, telling someone off... these are all 'aggressive behaviors'. So if while playing a video game (any video game) elevates your pulse rate, breathing rate, and increases your adrenaline levels putting you in a predisposed position to be more alert, and on the defensive then technically its liked to 'aggressive behavior'. That does not mean to imply that anyone experiencing aggression is suddenly going to go commit a Columbine. They're word games and politicians love to play word games.

Re:Growing Evidence?? (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007498)

They're word games and politicians love to play word games. I bet they can't beat me in Scrabble...

I've discovered the link! (1)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006080)

The link between violence and video games lies between the congressmen who don't know what video games are, and want to waste everybody's time and money so that they appear to be thinking of the children, and the people who have had enough of this.

meh, flamebait here (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006120)

Honestly, politicians can introduce legislation all they want, doesn't mean it'll go anywhere. This guy's just flamebait. I'd be more concerned if the bill had like 20 or more co-sponsors. I'm not sure of the hurdles one has to jump through to get legislation to the floor but I doubt it's that many.

Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006132)

How about a warning label on guns. You know, the things that actually ENABLE people to kill others.

Then again this is the US, that would be crazy talk.

Re:Guns (1)

addsalt (985163) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006268)

that would be like putting a "flamable" sticker on a lighter. I don't think many gun owners are unaware that guns "may cause serious injury or death"

Re:Guns (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007310)

WARNING!: Flammable gas under pressure. Keep away from heat above 49C(120F). Keep away from face when lighting. Do not keep lit continuously for more than 30 seconds. Be sure flame is out after each use. KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN.

Aggressive behavior? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006152)

A large majority of the population at large, even people who would usually be considered 'normal', must be aggressive, then. There's few people that don't view violent material. But, then again, they're not aggressive or violent. Most of them are just 'normal' people, with very few who aren't. The average persons' mind is likely not so fragile as to be altered by mere entertainment, violent or not. If the average mind truly was that weak, society would likely have destroyed itself by now (well, there would be far more violent people, at least). Looking at the statistics, I really don't see how you could come to this conclusion.

Violence & aggression are natural (1)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006896)

Many aspects of society are built around violence and aggression - especially sports. Sports is basically the main outlet that most people had up until recently to get this natural aggression out of their system. Knute Rockne (who won "one for the gipper") recognized this in the 20's as the Notre Dame football coach when people wanted to crack down on football and violent sports. I saw the film Knute Rockne, All American recently and was struck by this point in the film and its similarity to today's attitude of certain people against video games.

Now, video games fill the same role for many people - and much better, because you can play video games a lot more often than you can play aggressive sports. It's just harder for older people to see the connection, and that the positive aspects of sports (building teamwork and leadership and whatever) come from video games as well. Of course, you don't get the exercise benefit, but that's a different story.

As a disclaimer, I'm not into sports in the slightest and I play(ed) lots of video games.

Re:Aggressive behavior? (1)

e3m4n (947977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007028)

if by 'normal' you mean the statistical average then I would agree that the 'normal' sampling of people are becoming more and more aggressive every year. The economy sucks, lots of people are either unemployed or underemployed. Those with jobs have probably not had raises in a few years, meanwhile damn near everything is going up 20% per year around them (insurance premiums alone have gone up more than 20% every year for last several years). Gasoline has increased by nearly a factor of x4 since 2001 while every quarter the oil cartels boast record profits over the previous quarter all the while being given enormous tax breaks by our government. Our businesses pay the highest tax rate of any other country (35%) all the while our biggest corporations shuffle their numbers around to cheat you and I out of 20 BILLION in tax dollars (ie General Electric paying 0 dollars in the USA last year but paid 10 billion in taxes to Ireland at their 12.5% rate) leaving the rest of us to make up for that in new taxes. This doesn't even begin to list all the things that the average person deals with or reads about on a nearly daily basis. Hell just typing all of that got my blood boiling LOL

If the situations themselves weren't bad enough you had politicians throwing gasoline on this fire since year 2001 using the most extreme metaphors and analogies possible. War criminal, Hitler, Nazi's, Communist, Manchurian candidate, impeach, assassinate, execute, kill kill kill, etc etc. Society has been on a steady incline in terms of average levels of aggression since the 50s.

I think the biggest confusion is the word aggression itself. It doesn't have to imply full-on rage of institutionalizing proportions. Any time you experience an emotionally charged feeling that gets under your skin and pisses you off.. you're experiencing aggression. Ever get pissed off and flip someone off while driving or use some colorful metaphors? The very fact we have to schedule down time to 'unwind' this 'tension' in the hectic lifestyles we now live gives plenty of evidence that aggression is on the rise, and that it affects so many people that it has crossed over into 'normal'.

Re:Aggressive behavior? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007280)

Yeah, but I was mainly talking about violence. The number of people who play a video game and then go out and murder someone is very, very small indeed. Aggression has always been common.

Really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006160)

I think they should just legislate that broccoli tastes grate and cures global warming. I mean, might as well since they are making stuff up as they go along.

Like Denis Leary said about cigarettes... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006206)

This guy’s goin’ from country to country to try and make the warnings on the packs BIGGA!! He wants to make the whole front of the pack the warning. It doesn’t matter how big the warnings are. You could have cigarettes CALLED warnings, we’d still buy ‘em. You could have a black pack with a skull and crossbones, called TUMORS and smokers would be lined up around the block to buy ‘em.

Fine. Put a warning on the games. It lets me know which ones are the good shit.

(Yeah, I know, Leary is a ripoff of Bill Hicks, blah, blah, blah. History is written by the living.)

Rites (1)

Seato (1935712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006218)

Let's not be negligent and forget about violent books, articles depicting grotesque situations, television shows, etc! If you're going to impose labels then you might as well be thorough about it [/sarcasm]. It feels like video games are a new type of literature that beckons for the rite of passage of controversy that every other media has been subjected to.

critical thinking (0)

Canadian Window C'er (1772648) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006244)

I see there is a lot of critical thinking going on here.

For discussion/perspective:
Proverbs 11:5 [watchtower.org] Jehovah himself examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one, And anyone loving violence His soul certainly hates.

Note an important difference between what I see many others argue and this: It's not just whether doing what Jehovah God desires is obviously beneficial or otherwise. Nor is it doing so out of duty. Rather, most important and easiest to do when you are 'of that persuasion', is doing so out of love for God and a desire to please him.

That's my perspective.

Re:critical thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006742)

In that case jehovah probably hates himself as he seems to be all about violence.

Violent video games labels (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006266)

Excessive exposure to violent video games labels and other violent media labels has been linked to aggressive behaviour like impulsive buying of violent video games and other media.

Absolutely wrong (1)

dexi (1983604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006334)

* I apologize that this websites formatting squishes all my writing together and does not allow paragraphing.* I'd like to call everyones attention to this article: http://www.gamerevolution.com/features/violence_and_videogames [gamerevolution.com] In the article, the author explains that the current time we live in, the early years of this century and now, has seen a DECREASE in violence among youth, in fact there was a sharp rise in violence after the release of the NES, and a decrease in violence after the release of the Playstation, which was home to misinformed mothers' favorite scapegoat, Grand Theft Auto. So if we take violence in correlation with video games, what we need to do is get Mario off our children's game consoles. In 1985 violence among people aged 18-24 years began to rise significantly. What happened in 1985? - May 15 – An explosive device sent by the Unabomber injures John Hauser at UC Berkeley.July 10 - The Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland harbour by French DGSE agents. in 1991 violence among people aged 18-24 was at it's highest. What happened in 1991? - Video games in their current form -DO NOT EXIST- - March 3 – An amateur video captures the beating of motorist Rodney King by Los Angeles, California police officers. - Jully 22 – Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested after the remains of 11 men and boys are found in his Milwaukee, Wisconsin, apartment. - August 17 – Strathfield Massacre: In Sydney, Australia, taxi driver Wade Frankum shoots 7 people and injures 6 others before turning the gun on himself. - August 23 – The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (or "Super Nintendo") is released in the United States. The most popular games on this console include various Mario titles. If we call Mario violent, we should keep children far away from Tom & Jerry! In 1994 violence among people aged 18-24 years began to decrease. What happened in 1994? *- December – The Playstation video game console was released. - January 14 – U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign the Kremlin Accords, which stop the preprogrammed aiming of nuclear missiles toward each country's targets. - September 19 – American troops stage a bloodless invasion of Haiti in order to restore the legitimate elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to power. In 1997 violence among people aged 18-24 continued to decrease. What happened in 1997? !!!*** GRAND THEFT AUTO WAS RELEASED! -- 1994 theft of automobiles in California - 308,205 -- 1997 theft of automobiles in California - 228,722 -- 1998 theft of automobiles in California - 195,517 - A similar decrease in those numbers were seen in New York, Illinois, and Texas. Despite the name, the game also features gun violence. -- 1994 murder and aggravated assault in California - 3,703/191,548 -- 1997 murder and aggravated assault in California - 2,579/81,468 -- 1998 murder and aggravated assault in California - 2,171/68,782 - A similar decrease in those numbers were seen in New York, Illinois, and Texas. Documents as of 2009 shows that we are seeing continually decreasing numbers of violent crimes including murder and aggravated assault. The lowest we have seen since 1967! Now obviously, these numbers have gone up along with the population, the era of violent video games has caused us to break this correlation, and despite the increasing population, we are decreasing violence. (http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/cacrime.htm) These numbers explain how, if any correlation exists, video games actually cause our people to be LESS violent. Let's put a warning label on video games that says this: "PARENTS: Allowing your child to play video games may cause them to take out their aggression via the game instead of in the real world."

Re:Absolutely wrong (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006472)

Of course there is no real data linking video games to violence but your post suggests there is for decrease in violence which is equally bad data usage.

The only real data correlation that MIGHT explain the decrease in violence after a steep increase(not) in the time period is roe vs wade, As abortions became legal Just about the time for the kids coming of age that would have grown up in terrible homes with unstable uneducated mothers were starting to be born.

Still, everyone needs to remember http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation [wikipedia.org]

Re:Absolutely wrong (1)

Feinu (1956378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006538)

I apologize that this websites formatting squishes all my writing together and does not allow paragraphing

Try using HTML markup, so encapsulate paragraphs in <p> and </p>. You can also use <br> for line breaks

Fox News? (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006494)

I saw a study recently that showed Fox News viewers held significantly more incorrect beliefs about recent news than viewers of other channels, and that this effect scaled with the amount of viewing. Very neatly showed a causal effect. If it had been about a food additive and brain damage, we'd already have people screaming about a ban. Perhaps there should be a mandate that Fox carry a disclaimer at every ad break: "Studies show that watching Fox News results in you believing things that aren't true." The research is just as solid and incontrovertable as the research on violent video games.

Re:Fox News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006730)

Perhaps there should be a mandate that Fox carry a disclaimer at every ad break

I can already hear them screaming: You cannot regulate TV! Free speech! That's socialism! And communism! Rah! Rah! Rah!

We have to deal with it: video games are last century's TV, previous centuries' music, cinema, books and so on. It's human nature, old farts oppose new things they know nothing about. All they see are those damn kids who won't get off their lawns and - out of ignorance - they blame the first best thing. These politicians have to die out before video games will get accepted.

In a few generations the next old geezers will rail against direct brain interfaces or whatever the next big entertainment technology is going to be. Humans are stupid and illogical by nature.

Re: Causality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006996)

... viewers held significantly more incorrect beliefs about recent news than viewers of other channels, and that this effect scaled with the amount of viewing. Very neatly showed a causal effect.

You've neatly described correlation, not causation. Still missing a couple of elements to causation.

Piracy (1)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006514)

Add warning labels and ignorant laws, add DRM, add ANY sort of difficulty for a consumer to get what he/she wants and would *normally* be entitled to, and guess what will happen.. Unexpected, you say?

So, parents, give your weak kids violent games? (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006752)

I can see it now, you have the kids that are non-agressive and withdrawn suddenly being encouraged to play violent video games in the hopes their increased agression will be better than having them be withdrawn. Considering how poorly many children are raised, I can see this being done by parents who hear about this and want more outgoing children.

Reality is probably the opposite (1)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35006938)

I think violent/aggressive games are an outlet for the natural violent/aggressive behavior that everyone has (some more than others of course). In other words, if you give a kid who is violent and aggressive toward others in real life violent video games, by taking out their aggression in the game perhaps they'll show less of it in real life. Kind of like how football players fit a certain stereotype - they're outgoing and aggressive both on and off the field.

I don't have any studies to back it up, but it seems a lot more plausible than what they're claiming here.

Self-righteous douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006766)

The Bible: Rated M for mature: "Excessive exposure to the Bible and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior."

Just because you THINK you have the moral high ground doesn't mean that it's true.

10 years out of date headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006848)

Apparently he stopped paying attention to the evidence, what is it, 5, 10 years ago? The only thing to positively identify video games as causing violence are headlines... which I guess, is where he gets his 10 years out of date news from.

Comics in 1954, video games in 2011 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35006926)

Gamasutra reports that Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) has introduced legislation that would require video games with a rating of T or higher to have a warning label that alerts buyers to the dangers of simulated violence. The warning would read: "Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.

Why am I reminded of this [wikipedia.org] ?

Seduction of the Innocent cited overt or covert depictions of violence, sex, drug use, and other adult fare within "crime comics" — a term Wertham used to describe not only the popular gangster/murder-oriented titles of the time, but superhero and horror comics as well. The book asserted, largely based on undocumented anecdotes, that reading this material encouraged similar behavior in children.

In 1954, it was comics; now it's video games.

Military recruiter warninng labels? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007292)

I'd agree that video games oftentimes are linked to agressive/violent behavior. I work with games, I play games, and indeed i see that happen. I don't agree games are alone in that situation, we live in a very violent society and there are dozens or hundreds of things leading to increased violence. Indeed reducing violence in society is one of the most noble activities, all kinds of specialties are concerned with it. So let's label everything that leads to violence, yes, I agree. Are military recruiters and training posts going to be required to use the same label? Police signup stations too? Law schools? Post offices? Managerial posts? Salesmen? Prisons? Government posts? Customer service rep positions? Many, many professional activities, hobbies, books, toys, social environments, in society "have been linked to" aggressive and violent behavior, some very correctly, the abuse from customers some positions are required to politely tolerate is just completely insane and utterly wrong, the customer is *not* "always right", and neither are the companies, nobody is always right. Many people get incredibly arrogant and rude. But the bottom line is, *everything* should have a "warning label", saying something like "you are responsible for your actions, mental, and emotional state. You are a member of your own society, if you see or experience violent or abusive behavior, you are *legally required* to take action to call attention to it and stop it, or be liable for social negligence charges".

Revisit the 80's (1)

Jarza (1622325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007384)

Welcome to the extended argument from the 80's that tried to blame violence in kids to video games. Just proves nothing ever really goes away.

Frankly... (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35007624)

Frankly, I see nothing wrong with rating systems for games like they have for movies and I would even support warning labels too... IF there is actually corroborating evidence of what the label claims. Show us multiple independent peer reviewed and verified studies and then, yeah, label to your heart's content.

In the meantime, focus on your country's astronomical debt/deficit and maybe think about ending those useless wars of yours (drugs, terrorism, etc).

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