GAMING BLEND

Warning: Exposure To Violent Video Games Has Been Linked To Aggressive Behavior

By William Usher 2012-03-21 14:14:26 discussion comments
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The headline is part of a new warning label that Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) proposed in a bill for video games to carry, similar to the warning label on cigarettes by the Surgeon General.

This interesting bit of news comes from Games Politics, where they detail that the bill is part of the H.R. 4204 act, or Violence in Video Games Labeling Act. This proposed bill comes on the heels of numerous back and forth studies about the effect that violent video games has on those who play them. Some studies actually support that video games can increase aggressive behavior in those who play them, while other studies support that video games can actually relieve stress and increase creativity.

Nevertheless, studies that specifically prove there is a link between violent games and aggressive behavior, such as the one conducted by the University of Missouri is just one of the many cases used to help fuel the flames that violent games can increase aggressive behavior in those who play them.

Congressman Joe Baca shared a few sentiments about the bill, saying...
"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."...

Frank Wolf wasn't going to let Baca steal the spotlight with a quotable phrase, so he also chimed in, adding the following...
"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."

In some regards I can see their point and I kind of agree. A lot of parents are idiots. I'm not saying that to be mean, I'm saying it because it's true. Whenever I see a parent buying a game like Modern Warfare or Grand Theft Auto and they have a kid around them you instantly begin to question in your mind who they are buying the game for: themselves or the kid?

While a warning label plastered on a video game box seems like it's sticking a sign in a dead horse that says "Dead horse here, careful...it's really dead." maybe it is a pointlessly necessary step to further warn parents of the dangers that come with some violent video games. Because, as we established in the previous paragraph, a lot of parents are idiots.

The only problem is that the bill itself would apply to every video game save for those rated "EC" for Early Childhood, which seems a bit extreme. I tend to doubt playing a game like Sly Cooper would cause your kid to go on a murdering spree after playing it for any extended amount of time.

Anyways, you can check out the entire article, the details of the bill and the bill itself over at Game Politics.
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