New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning Labels to Video Games

January 12, 2009 -

A California Congressman with a long history of targeting video games for legislation is at it again.

Last week Rep. Joe Baca (D) introduced H.R. 231, a bill which would require that warning labels be placed on any game rated T (13 and older) or higher by the ESRB. Baca's bill is titled "The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009."

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) co-sponsored the measure which would apply to both packaged and digitally distributed games. The bill has been referred to the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

As reported by the San Bernardino Sun:

[The bill] creates a new rule within the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which forces games with a Teen rating or higher to be sold with a simple warning label, reading: "WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior."

While Baca has proposed several video game-oriented bills in Congress over the years, none have passed. Lately, he seems to have focused his attention on the ESRB rating process.

In 2007 Baca introduced a bill which would have required the Federal Trade Commission to report on the ESRB's effectiveness.

UPDATE: Rep. Baca's office has issued a press release on H.R. 231, including these comments from the Congressman:

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.  Meanwhile research continues to show a proven link between playing violent games and increased aggression in young people.  American families deserve to know the truth about these potentially dangerous products.

We must hold the video game industry accountable and do everything in our power to ensure parents are aware of the detrimental effects that violent games can have before making decisions on which games are appropriate for their children to play. I am proud to introduce the Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009, and am hopeful my legislation can work to stop the growing influence of violent media on America’s children and youth.


Comments

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Wasn't Joe Baca the one to say that fighting game Dead or Alive 2 had an option to change the breast size of the more "well-endowed" fighters?

GameSnooper

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

The first thing I thought after reading that:

"BULLSHIT!"

It really was.

--------------------------------- Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

First thing I thought of was thank you for smoking, for some reason.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Right now the bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. If any of you have a Congressman in the committee let them know:

http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&i...

http://www.house.gov/

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Note that several idiots that have either authored unconstitutional legislation or criticized the industry in recent years just so happen to be on that committee:

Jim Matheson(Utah), Lee Terry(Nebraska), Fred Upton(Michigan), Cliff Stearns(Florida), Marsha Blackburn(Tennessee)

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

I knew I recognized a few names on there. Just didn't make the connection. Looks like this bill is guaranteed to make it to a congressional vote.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

And my state (MN) has no representatives in this committee.  (Edit: Amy Klobuchar's in the senate. *self-facepalm*)  Screw that . . .

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

More epic failure from the politicans, more epic failure thats, well, bound to fail.  Oh, and *facepalm*

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

"Oh, and *facepalm*"

*snort* Cue deoVIRUS calling you "emo" and a "Shadow wannabe" in 3... 2... 1...

(Quite seriously, he had better not show his mug, or I might copy my post from that thread about a six-year-old driving a car.)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

 Oh look, birds of a feather do flock together.

AE: Keep it classy.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Just gonna tell you now and get it over with. You're not really respected around here, even if Sage stalks you or Keddren joins you. I don't claim to have much respect myself, either. Truth is, I don't give a shit if I do or not. I started commenting here to voice my opinions on topics that catch my attention, which, before you say that, is not every topic here. I don't claim to know why you're here, and I honestly don't give a rat's ass, but it's looking more and more like you're here to crown yourself so high of an authority of GamePolitics that even Dennis can't even do his job without your say-so. Unfortunately for you, that's not gonna happen. Not on Dennis' watch, not on EZK's watch, not on Andrew's watch, not even on my watch. And I dare you to try. Go for it, why don't you?

You've been scolded by one mod and argued with another. I honestly can't wait to see you debate Dennis on other users' behavior, be it my allged "emo" FacePalm, or Alevan stating that she would slap a kid if they acted like Jack Thompson, or people like DavCube, who just disagreed with you.
 
Twenty bucks says your high-and-mighty ass gets the Big Bad BanHammer for your shit. In fact, I'm surprised you have NOT been banned already. I wonder what Dennis is waiting for.
 
NovaBlack said it best. "Grow up." Indeed, grow up. You are a disrespectful embarrassment to us all here at GamePolitics. In fact, you always get butthurt when someone pwns your ass.
 
*takes a deep breath*
 
I'd say more, but then I'd be no better than you.
 
(Hmph, I told you I would do it. All I had to do was make some edits for it to fit in here. Mods, please do not edit this. I don't care if you edit his replies or not, just not this one, since he definitely has been Trolling around here, and we're all fed up with his shit.)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

"Just gonna tell you now and get it over with. You're not really respected around here, even if Sage stalks you or Keddren joins you."

 Because respect from complete strangers on the internet is something worth coveting? Ha. 

"I don't claim to have much respect myself, either. Truth is, I don't give a shit if I do or not. I started commenting here to voice my opinions on topics that catch my attention, which, before you say that, is not every topic here."

 What is this? Fucking Oprah? Why do I care what your feelings are?

"I don't claim to know why you're here, and I honestly don't give a rat's ass, but it's looking more and more like you're here to crown yourself so high of an authority of GamePolitics that even Dennis can't even do his job without your say-so."

 Its Dennis's site, he can do as he pleases. The rest of you people are fair game.

"Unfortunately for you, that's not gonna happen. Not on Dennis' watch, not on EZK's watch, not on Andrew's watch, not even on my watch. And I dare you to try. Go for it, why don't you?"

 I'm slightly confused; what have I been doing for the last little while? Oh yeah, just that. Confusion abaited.

"You've been scolded by one mod and argued with another. I honestly can't wait to see you debate Dennis on other users' behavior, be it my allged "emo" FacePalm, or Alevan stating that she would slap a kid if they acted like Jack Thompson, or people like DavCube, who just disagreed with you."

 Who the hell is DavCube? And EZK reaps what he sows, if he took his mod duties seriously, he'd have one account/alias to adjust ToS violations and another to present his opinion. When he combines both into one, he is as viable a target as anyone else on here for being challenged. Same goes for Andrew.

"Twenty bucks says your high-and-mighty ass gets the Big Bad BanHammer for your shit. In fact, I'm surprised you have NOT been banned already. I wonder what Dennis is waiting for."

 Oh, so you are the whiny little twat who got that going [AE: Actually, it was another reader]. Thanks for being so upfront about it, not I'm sure you'll be even more popular. As someone said before, whining to the higher up makes you look like a fucking joke. Time to climb down from the monkey bars kid, the playgrounds closed.

"NovaBlack said it best. "Grow up." Indeed, grow up. You are a disrespectful embarrassment to us all here at GamePolitics. In fact, you always get butthurt when someone pwns your ass."

 Ahahaha, I do love it when people make such wonderful hypocrites of themselves for all to see. I barely lift a finger and you plant that foot of yours so snugly in your mouth.

"I'd say more, but then I'd be no better than you."

 Little late kiddo.

"(Hmph, I told you I would do it. All I had to do was make some edits for it to fit in here. Mods, please do not edit this. I don't care if you edit his replies or not, just not this one, since he definitely has been Trolling around here, and we're all fed up with his shit.)"

 Oh, so the rules apply to everyone else but you huh? Do you shoot magic pixie dust out your ass at the snap of your fingers to? Do tell.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

"AE: Actually, it was another reader"

 Reply like a normal person. Don't use your mod. edit rights to add information here, there and everywhere. You have one job, and one job alone; to censor. So unless this is a censor, act like any other user and hit the reply button.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

You accused Shadow of something he didn't do.  I felt that was something that merited an instant correction.  Yes, I could have put it in a reply but because the single comment I was referring to is buried in the center of a rather lengthy post, I decided a quick insert was more appropriate.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

"You accused Shadow"

  Egads, using my super magnificant brain and some reasoning powers I've come up with an ingenius method for replying to sections for a post. I think I'll call it... Control C. Yes, that sounds good. Almost sexy.

  In the future, remember where the mod ends and the user begins. If you can't tell, how can the rest of us?

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

mod ends when the blue text ends Devo my dear friend.

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

What on Earth are you on about?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

"You accused Shadow of something he didn't do.  I felt that was something that merited an instant correction.  Yes, I could have put it in a reply but because the single comment I was referring to is buried in the center of a rather lengthy post, I decided a quick insert was more appropriate."

 I certain hope you don't decide on how to administer the rules, they are immutable, or atleast they better be, otherwise this is nothing more than an oligarchy. You are allowed to edit replies that are in violation of the ToS of this site. I seriously doubt that you are allowed to edit replies to correct them.

 Remove it.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

If don't feel that what I've done is out of line.  If you disagree, contact GP.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

 Contact GP? Wow, this place sure has turned into tattle tale central. I gave you the chance to save face, you failed to take advantage of it. I guess I have to remove it myself.

 EDIT: Well I guess we're beyond that point aren't we? Disappointing. Thanks for showing your true character AE. I hope you change my (and other peoples) posts in the future and weaken peoples "faith" in GP as a place for sharing their opinions.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

My true character, huh?  Well if doing what I feel is right and standing by my convictions is representative of my true character, then I guess I don't have to worry too much about saving face.

Anyway, if you think I'm abusing my power and somehow weakening people's faith in GP as a place for sharing their opinions then contacting the editor is the appropriate thing to do.  There's no shame in that.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

 I'm sure Stalin thought the same thing as he pured everyone he thought was against him. You walk a very thin line, short of the fact that you change the colour of the text you edit, there is no outward sign that you're tampered with posts.

 If I were to whine to Dennis, not unlike Shadow did in regards to me and the proposed ban, I would be no better than him. Or you for that matter. Unlike you two, I take mine on the chin and ask for more. So, Andrew, do you have more or are you just wasting my time? Surely you could snip your response into this post as well. It does seem to be the emerge trend, yes?

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

"...short of the fact that you change the colour of the text you edit, there is no outward sign that you're tampered with posts."

 

Blue ink and an "AE:" are what I use to identify any edits I make to someone else's post.

"If I were to whine to Dennis, not unlike Shadow did..."

Again, as far as I know, Shadow didn't contact Dennis.  The email you received from EZK was prompted by another reader.

"I would be no better than him. Or you for that matter. Unlike you two, I take mine on the chin and ask for more. So, Andrew, do you have more or are you just wasting my time?"

What are you talking about?  More what?  And yes, I could edit my response into your post but why would I?

Okay, that's enough for this thread.  I've created a forum topic for further discussion if anyone's so inclined.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

"Blue ink and an "AE:" are what I use to identify any edits I make to someone else's post."

 Which you set manually; all we have to go on is your word that those are the only lines of text you added/removed. Hardly impartial, wouldn't you agree?

AE: I'm leaving your reply because I did ask you questions in my last post.  I'm also inserting my comments for compression's sake.  A reply might make my post unreadable.

Yep, all you have is my word and I've done nothing to make you or anyone else doubt it.  And no, I absolutely do not agree that simply having the ability to edit posts would call my impartiality into question.

"Again, as far as I know, Shadow didn't contact Dennis.  The email you received from EZK was prompted by another reader."

 I was unaware that you're in a position to talk about matters better me, EZK and Dennis. Funny, really, that you are trying to correct me about whats going on, seeing as you're not in the email loop. You should really not be speculating at this point, mod.

I'm not speculating.  Ever hear of a blind carbon copy?  Dennis, EZK, and I all discussed how to proceed before EZK sent you an email.  We decided that you have many valuable viewpoints to contribute to GamePolitics.  You just need to lighten up the tone a bit to make the experience more palatable for everyone.

"What are you talking about?  More what?  And yes, I could edit my response into your post but why would I?"

 I was stating, rather clearly, that you and Shadow are cut from the same cloth. Disappointing that there has to be a mod like that fool in here.

Well that doesn't answer my question at all.

"Okay, that's enough for this thread.  I've created a forum topic for further discussion if anyone's so inclined."

 Good for you? This discussion is staying here, seeing as I have no access to your forums nor will I be applying for them.

AE: Suit yourself.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

I think you are missing the point, Dero. Your behavior is exceeding far below being mature and civil. Take it back by a notch, and stop trying to pick fights. You dislike Shadow and Andrew, we get it. However quit the emo trip and maybe post something constructive? No need to drag this into an all out flame war.

Ah well, take offense to the message or not...peace man. Hope this doesn't continue on :\

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Wow, my annoyance at deoVIRUS boils to a crisp and afterwards, this comes up. I confess I wasn't expecting it.

Speaking of Dennis, it's becoming clear the mods aren't going to be enough. We might need Dennis himself out here looking at this, and deciding once and for all what is going to happen.

-----------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Dennis is aware of the issue a few readers have with Derovius.

Derovius has added many interesting viewpoints to several different discussions and his opinion is welcome and valued here.  Being a bit unpleasant and contrary is not in violation of the TOS but having said that, he has been at times abusive and has been asked to adjust his comments and tone accordingly.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

From here it is an imperceptibly small step to the following warning label:

WARNING: Excessive exposure to this book has been linked to aggressive behavior.

And that is already known and accepted to be an avenue right-thinking societies do not go down.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

One could argue that the most aggressive and judgemental people on the planet are those in positions of influence, only when they are aggressive, they call it 'being forthright'. America aggressively pursued Terrorists, Thompson aggressively pursues Video Game legislation, they are all acts of aggression, someone using their own 'strength' to compel another person to do something, in fact, it would almost be coercion were there not mechanisms to prevent it. Politicians and other Media-Sensitive figures will twist the meaning of the word 'agression' to suit their own tastes.

The truth is, people like this Politician don't actually know what they want, they seem to think that their entire agressive stance with regards to a great many topics somehow has no effect on younger generations who are watching, but that playing Video games, which are played across the world with wildly varying effects, do.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

You know what else has been linked to aggressive behaviour? The presence of a gun.

Why is there no warning label on handguns? You know... things that actually KILL PEOPLE.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

My father owns quite a collection of guns, most inherited from his father before him. Both men are/were some of the most non-violent men I know. They were trained (as I was) to respect the weapons, not treat them like some piece of metal that makes you look cool. If you do this, then the gun will not get up out of it's safe, walk across the room, and discharge itself in the presence of people. I'm afraid someone with malicious intent, or someone who's being an all around dumbass are the only people that can accomplish that feat. Why don't we go around putting warning labels on wrenches? I'm sure many people have been killed with a wrench in the time since wrenches were invented, that must surely make them dangerous, people killing weapons...

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

This wasn't meant to be serious. Yes, studies have shown the same apparent relationship, I was just pointing out how ludicrous it is to want a cigarette-like warning on games. I'm not saying anyone who sees a gun will go out and shoot and/or kill people.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

more flawed assumptions, show me a study that proves where simple ownership of guns = violent person...  lets not become these politicians ourselves...

------------------------------------

I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

------------------------------------ I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Guns are only as bad as the people that use them for violence.

If hammers were in a large amount of killing sprees, everyone would scream that hammers are evil and should be banned.

Blaming guns and video games for death and violence is like blaming a writing stylus for spelling errors!


Praetorian

"I've been told I'm the resident skeptic, but I wouldn't believe that."

ECA Seattle Chapter

www.myspace.com/pree_tawr_ee_uhn



Praetorian

"If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy floating by."

http://www.myspace.com/pree_tawr_ee_uhn

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

I fancy my chances of out running a hammer more than a bullet.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Didn't realise it was that close to the end of the tax year to be honest.

Gotta get rid of all that money, else they can't justify asking for more next year.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Not unless they add the same messaging to TV, Movies, DVD's, Blu-Ray's, Sports events and RELIGION. Oh and sex.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Except for religion, I do believe they all have that already.

Why not a law that requires people to read the f***ing thing before they make their purchase?

Would probably be more useful than another label that just gets ignored, don't you think?

300 Episodes and counting: http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/

400 Episodes, TEN YEARS and counting: http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/ | Voice of Geeks Network - http://www.vognetwork.com

If everything had a label that wasn't true...

WARNING: Supporting HR 231 has been linked higher blood pressure, the urge to join mariachi bands and High School Musical 3.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Because in an economic crisis it makes perfect sense to waste money so politicians feel better about themselves XP

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

They tried this before it failed.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Just stick a wanring lable on all fiction(includeing the bible) Warning:Works of fiction may make you think, wish and or act "diffrently".


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes
of transportation of story and thought, to take them from
society and you create a society of children and nannys.


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Don't worry folks it says may, we're not 100% sure yet, but let's waste time and energy warning people of things we're not too sure about. I'm sure our credibility will be fine if it turns out we were wrong.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

OMG!  You, my friend, win the interwebs!

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

 Difference being that people kill in the name of religion; people don't kill in the name of Jack Ryan.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Darn you I was going to edit it out after realizing the line calling it fiction may incite pointless bickering over religion.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

 Welcome to the club; that no-change policy has just fucked over one of my posts as well.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Have any proof for that?

I cannot seem to find any credible source.

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

That's the beauty of the words "may," "might," and "maybe."  Neither is a definitive "yes," more of a "we think so, but we're not 100% sure," so if/when it's proven wrong, you have an out.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: New Bill in Congress Would Add Cigarette-like Warning

Depends on what you mean by change of thought or deed, when consumeing storys people may or may not change thier life to avoid the down sides that might apper in a story.

"May change","May effect" is vauge, as is the effects cused by the consumption of media, I think it is more how we rise the next generation to be wittless media grazers and apethic citzens is far more  damning than the commen wealth of all media put togather.


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes
of transportation of story and thought, to take them from
society and you create a society of children and nannys.


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

 
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