How many of you have played “violent video games” since you were a wee pup? I certainly have, and you don’t see me stealing cars or robbing banks, do you? Exactly. The most violent I get is when I boo the TV when stupid Manchester United improbably comes back against the most entertaining team in England, Blackpool. I bring this up because a congressman from California has proposed a new warning label for video games rated Teen or higher that would say: “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.” Sure it has.
It’s all part of the “Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011,” the goal of which is to inform American families about “the truth about these potentially dangerous products.”
Other potentially dangerous things include hammers, thumb tacks, pointy boots, and eating too many cookies in one sitting.
The congressmen, Joe Baca, a Democrat from Rialto, California, points us in the direction of several studies from various universities that point to a “neurological link” between violent video games and violent behavior. Again, my silly friends and I played all the violent hits if the 1990s and early 2000s and none of us, to my knowledge, have attempted to re-enact scenes from Grand Theft Auto. Maybe we’re just great like that.
Then again, you can just as easily point to other studies that say there’s no link between violent video games and violent behavior.
Knowing nothing about this congressman, my assumption is that his heart is in the right place, but perhaps he recognizes that it’s easy to get heat (“brownie points”) railing against the destructive effects of violent video games.
Don’t let this ruin your day.