ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For Games

January 27, 2011 -

The Entertainment Consumer Association issued a call to action today asking members to tell congress that we do not need additional "warning labels" on video games.

Earlier this week Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43), along with Rep. Frank Wolf introduced a bill that would put warning labels on video games similar to the kinds of warning labels found on cigarettes. Here's the entirety of the alert (which can be found on the ECA web site):

"Tell Congress That There's No Link Between Video Games and Real Life Violence

Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43), along with Rep. Frank Wolf (R VA-10) as co-sponsor, thinks its 2009 again and is introducing “The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011.” This bill, if passed, would require a warning label be affixed to all games rated T or up by the ESRB, regardless of the content descriptors. The warning would read: `WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.' The ECA needs your help to make sure this bill does not become law.

Congress is simply misinformed on this issue. While Congressman Baca cites “scientific studies,” the vast majority of studies show that there is no proven causal link between violent video games and negatively aggressive behavior. In fact, several studies suggest that playing video games can be helpful to young people, such as this study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Further, the bill requires the label on games that are not rated T or above for violence, which could confuse parents and undermine the ESRB, which according to the FTC is the most enforced media retail system.

'The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011' is an unconstitutional restraint on speech that would harm consumers and parents alike. Please join with the ECA. Let your Representatives know that you want them to let the industry and parents continue to use a system that works, and have Congress stay focused on the real problems facing our nation.

Simply read the letter below, fill in the form to the right, then click the Send This Message button and your letter will be emailed to your member of Congress."

Further, the ECA issued a statement on the new campaign against additional labels on games:

"This bill, which failed in the last Congress, is another unfortunate attempt to restrain speech," said Jennifer Mercurio, Vice President & General Counsel of the Entertainment Consumers Association. "We agree with the FTC. The ESRB does a great job of labeling video games to empower parents. Baca’s bill would confuse the public, and cost unsightly sums to taxpayers in defending an unconstitutional bill."

Comments

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

I'll fill out the form, but in all honesty I don't think we'll need to.  The wording of the bill is identical to the way it was the first time around.  If it didn't get far back then, it certainly won't now.  Not with 1) Congress now being controlled by Republicans, whose main priority right now is repealing the healthcare reform and 2) SCOTUS' immenent decison on EMA Vs. Schwarzenegger.  While it's danegerous to prognosticate at this point, I think the general consensus is they'll rule in the game industry's favor.

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

If they do put warning labels on video games, can we also put one on C-SPAN warning of the effects of prolonged exposure to politicians?

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

'The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011' is an unconstitutional restraint on speech that would harm consumers and parents alike.

I don't know why, but this rhetoric the industry keeps putting out is starting to rub me the wrong way...

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

Please explain? I think they do go a little to far in saying it would "harm" consumers and parents alike by having these warnings put on them BUT when it comes to the Freedom of Speech aspect and keeping the nanny-state out of our lives, they are right on.

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

"Harm" is a strong word but in this case it's not inappropriate.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: ECA Call to Action: Tell Congress No More Labels For ...

This is from the ECA, not the ESA but what about it is rubbing you the wrong way?

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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Will we ever get Half-Life 3?:

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NeenekoI keep forgetting we even have forums.10/02/2014 - 11:48am
ZippyDSMleeA shame we can't have good convos in the forums, seems to me its time to nuke and restart fresh on them.10/02/2014 - 11:45am
Papa MidnightOh, no problem! Just wanted to let you know that it's what we're discussing. By all means, join in!10/02/2014 - 11:36am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoA rather scary censorship. I have known too many people and small companies destroyed by such pressure, so this unnerves me at a pretty personal level.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoMy bad, I always have trouble working out what is going on in shoutbox10/02/2014 - 11:34am
Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
 

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