ECA Action Alert: Help Fight The ‘Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012’

The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued an action alert, a call to arms for gamers everywhere to let their elected officials know that The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012 wasn't acceptable in 2009 and is not acceptable now. Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43) has teamed up with Rep. Frank Wolf (R VA-10) to reintroduce a bill that is very familiar to gamers. If passed, the bill would require that ALL Video Games except those rated "Early Childhood" (EC) be labeled with a dramatic warning for parents:

"WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

While the congressmen cite "growing evidence" that shows causation, anyone that followed the Supreme Court case Brown v. EMA knows that not even the highest court in the land saw conclusive proof that video games cause violent or aggressive behavior. In fact, the scientific community seems to be completely divided on the good and ill that video games can cause.

So what can you do about it as a gamer, consumer, and citizen? You can send your elected representative a strong statement expressing opposition to this bill. Here's what the ECA's action alert page says about it:

Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43), along with Rep. Frank Wolf (R VA-10) as co-sponsor, thinks its 2009 again and have introduced H.R. 4204, “The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012.” This bill, if passed, would require a warning label be affixed to all games rated E (for Everyone) or up by the ESRB, regardless of the content descriptors. The warning would read: `WARNING: Exposure to violent video games 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 has cited “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 E 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 2012” 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.

[Full disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]

Source: ECA

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Slipperman says:

    Over on Facebook, there was a lot of negative criticism against Baca's video game bill over on his FB fan page. I had put a comment on one of his statuses talking about it, saying the bill was "stupid" and a "waste of money" that would be better off helping the economy, autism awareness, etc.; and that Baca himself was "no better than the Tea Party scum" that work with him in Congress for trying to push this bill.

    Baca's (or his PR/FB team's?) response: He had my comment removed, and closed off the ability to post comments by anyone who hasn't "liked" his page.

    Generally Baca is stooping down to Tea Party tactics himself (even though he's a Dem, he happens to be a "Blue Dog" Dem which is basically their equivalent to the Tea Partiers of the GOP), by suppressing the criticisms of people who disagree with him.

    There are several other criticisms against Baca over this bill on Facebook that haven't been wiped yet (although I don't know how much longer that will last). Meanwhile I've tweeted links to this GP article over on my Twitter, with the hashtag "#StopBACA". I'm not sure #StopBACA will be as big as #StopSOPA (Another anti-Tech bill that Baca backed) or #StopKONY, but I figured it'd be worth a try…

  2. 0
    GrimCW says:

    is there a point in this? as i said before, they've labeled an uncountable amount of items with "may lead to cancer" labels despite the similar situation in lacking any evidence whatsoever…

    hell, i wouldn't be surprised if they soon "link" games to brain cancer or something.

    its purely a feel good initiative for these lousy politicians to work with since they can't fully prove they're already obscure agenda's, thus allowing for future legislation when people start actually believing these labels tell the truth.. again, despite having NO evidence presented EVER thats beyond circumstantial, or biased…

  3. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    Do we really need to go through this again? Why must we continuously go through the same pieces of useless legislation over and over again and continue to waste tax dollars over and over? It's an election year too? Sounds to me like the residents whom these persons represent need to replace these guys with congressional candidates who won't frivolously waste money on useless legislation that's bound to be struck down in Court (again) as is on constitutional grounds.

Leave a Reply