This bill would require videogames to add “WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior” to their packages. This would apply to all games rated E and up (which means even the non-violent ones).
First is the astounding absence of good data to back up this assertion. Why are federal laws written at the fancy of some “good parent” Congressperson?
Second is the fact that these arbitrary ratings are decided by a voluntary, non-governmental ratings board. The ESRB is a completely independent body, which is doing its job just fine, thanks. It’s easy to see how the federal government would like to nationalize the ESRB to better regulate videogames, but it will be a sad day when that happens.
Third is the distribution problem. “Packaging” is almost a thing of the past. The big name games that people still buy in stores— Call of Duty, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, whatever— are generally omega-violent, and people just won’t give a shit. People who buy and play games online won’t even see the labels. So in the best case scenario, this law would be pure cruft, which will add a few million dollars in packaging costs to publishers and affect no one else.
Last is the “what the fuck?” factor. Are these people in Congress so ancient that they still think videogames are basically drugs that dropouts play?
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