Games harmful to your health, the sticker says so!

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In yet another case of bureaucracy pointing fingers in the wrong direction, Californian congressman Joe Baca has proposed legislation that would label videogames as being bad for one’s health. All games with an ESRB rating of T (Teen) or higher would be forced to carry a label stating that “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behaviour.”

According to Baca, “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.”

Citing several studies that point to a neurological link between violent games and aggressive behaviour, Baca continues that …”research continues to show a proven link between playing violent games and increased aggression in young people.  American families deserve to know the truth about these potentially dangerous products.”

Having read a few reports from both sides of the fence, I’ve yet to come across anything that gives irrefutable proof of this link. Considering I’ve been playing video games – many of which were ridiculously violent – for over two decades and have yet to maim anything, I’m calling this link a bunch of hooey.

While I’m still convinced that it’s up to parents to do the…y’know…parenting, I’m all for this legislation if it’ll keep nutcases like Jack Thompson from suing anything with the word “game” in it.

Last Updated: January 13, 2009

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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