Violent video game labeling bill enters Congress

Last Wednesday, legislation was introduced in the House that would make the Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB) affix a health warning label on T-rated games that links their violent content to real-life aggression.

Called The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009 (H.R. 231), and sponsored by Congressmen Joe Baca (D - Calif.) and Frank R. Wolf (R - Va.), the legislation calls for violent video games to be labeled with a sticker that says "WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior."

Rep. Baca cites studies from The Pediatrics Journal, University of Indiana, University of Missouri, and Michigan State University that found a correlation between aggressive behavior and the consumption of violent media.

"We must hold the video game industry accountable and do everything in our power to ensure parents are aware of the detrimental effects that violent games can have before making decisions on which games are appropriate for their children to play," said Baca in a prepared statement last week.

Baca, the founder of the Sex and Violence in the Media caucus has repeatedly criticized the ESRB's ratings system. In 2006, Congressman Baca "vowed to hold the video game industry accountable...for improperly marketing violent and sexually explicit material to children."

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