Is your Gaming Healthy? HR 4204 Says “No”
Written by Rebecca “Bonks” Rothschild
Some of you should be familiar with the Video Game Health Labeling Act, because elected officials had attempted to pass the bill back in 2009. The bill was a failure alongside a huge push back from the public. I recently got word from the ECA that Representatives Joe Baca and Frank Wolf have formed a bipartisan bromance to reintroduce the bill.
The bill would require all games that are not rated ‘EC” (Early Childhood) to have large warning labels for parents stating the following:
“WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.”
Before I go forward with why I cannot support this legislation I want to make one thing clear. I by no means want children to play violent video games. I do not think it is appropriate or good for children to play violent video games. I can support a movement to keep children from playing mature games, but not by these methods.
My problem with this legislation is that per the EMA vs. Brown Supreme Court decision, there is no CONCLUSIVE evidence that violent video games lead to violent behavior so the proposed label is not accurate. My other problem is that video games are being treated differently from violent movies or music and I have to question why. I also don’t understand the use of this label for a game that may not necessarily be violent, my concern is that it would negatively effect publishers trying to reach a certain audience with a label warning of violence that isn’t there.
My final beef is that the ESRB has been a comprehensive rating system for years that parents can easily utilize to filter what their children are playing.
Overall I find the bill to be over-zealous and unrealistic. If you would like to support the movement to strike down this bill you can do so through the ECA’s CALL TO ACTION PAGE or you can check in with the Video Game Voters Network or your local VGVN campus ambassadors.
Rebecca "Bonks" Rothschild
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