A proposed bill currently sitting in front of France’s Parliament seeks government assistance in promoting the risks that the overuse of videogames might have on that country’s youth.
GP Reader Soldat_Louis pointed us towards the possible legislation (translated) and also broke down for us exactly how the bill made it from the country’s “Children’s Parliament” all the way to the real one:
… in France, there is a program called the "Children’s Parliament", that’s been running since 1994. In short, 5th grade schoolers from several elementary schools are asked to draft bills and choose a "junior representative" for each school. Then, all junior representatives go to the French Parliament, and vote for the best bill.
This year, among all the bills submitted to the Children’s Parliament, a specific one dealing with video game addiction got a high number of votes and caught the attention of some adult representatives. In fact, they were so impressed that they decided to make it a real bill, proposed to the "real" Parliament.
The “real” proposed bill would have (within three months of the bill passing) France’s Ministers of Education and Health develop an education program that would put forth the dangers that overuse of videogames might have on elementary school students.
If the bill is enacted, within a year of its approval, the Minister of Health would also have to develop an “action plan” to train professionals in the “addiction problems of excessive use of videogames” and how to work with students and their families in order to prevent such overuse.
The bill, as it’s now written, would also have the Minister of Health prepare a “code of ethics” for the videogame industry itself. This “code” would have game makers promote responsible gaming, including shorter play sessions and mandatory breaks.
It was further proposed that the measures of the proposed bill be funded by an additional tax on tobacco.