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Government Games

Congressman Introduces Video Game Warning Label Legislation 208

Gamasutra reports that Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) has introduced legislation that would require video games with a rating of T or higher to have a warning label that alerts buyers to the dangers of simulated violence. The warning would read: "Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior." Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), who introduced similar legislation in 2009, co-sponsored the bill, and said, "Just as we warn smokers of the health consequences of tobacco, we should warn parents — and children — about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behavior. As a parent and grandparent, I think it is important people know everything they can about the extremely violent nature of some of these games.”"
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Congressman Introduces Video Game Warning Label Legislation

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  • Re:Citation Needed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kilrah_il ( 1692978 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @07:41AM (#35006830)

    A quick [google.com] search [nih.gov] shows many articles on the subject. While I didn't read all of the, a quick look showed that many are observational, prompting the famous "causation != correlation" argument, but some are intervetional and show a causative link between video games and aggressive behavior.
    On /. there have been a few articles on the subject, many [slashdot.org] showing [slashdot.org] positive [slashdot.org] correlation, but some [slashdot.org] didn't show a connection. As someone wrote [slashdot.org] before me, given so much evidence, can we still cry vehemently against the "weak science" regarding video games and violence? Aren't we better than other groups that do not let evidence stand in the way of a good argument?

  • Re:Citation Needed (Score:4, Informative)

    by dogmatixpsych ( 786818 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @10:33AM (#35008362) Journal
    There has not been an "opposite" shown. That would mean that video games decrease violent behavior. A recent meta-analysis of literature showed that there was not a link between video games and aggressive behavior (Ferguson. The good, the bad and the ugly: A meta-analytic review of positive and negative effects of violent video games. Psychiatric Quarterly (2007)) - that does not mean that video games lead to a decrease in aggression. I have to add though that this study has some questionable methodology - I'm not saying it is bad necessarily, there were just some corrections done by the researcher that are worth questioning; i.e., studies show a link between violent video games and aggression until "bias" is corrected for.

    If we go back a bit, there was one study that showed a decrease in aggression following viewing violent media (Feshbach, S., & Singer, R.D. (1971). Television and Aggression, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco) but I haven't seen any replications of that experiment and one study will not counteract the findings of so many other studies. If we have 50 studies that show a link and 1 that shows the opposite, I'd give more weight to the 50 than the 1 (although the 1 could be correct).

    If you want to look at some other studies we find there is a link between aggressive attitudes (but maybe not behaviors) and video games: Wei. Effects of playing violent videogames on Chinese adolescents' pro-violence attitudes, attitudes toward others, and aggressive behavior. CyberPsychology & Behavior (2007)

    However, this is the most important thing. It has been reliably demonstrated (e.g., Cantor. Media violence. Journal of adolescent health (2000)) for a lot of years that exposure to media violence is associated with increases in "antisocial behavior, ranging from the trivial (imitative violence directed against toys) to the serious (criminal violence), with many consequential outcomes in between (acceptance of violence as a solution to problems, increased feelings of hostility, and the apparent delivery of painful stimulation to another person)." (Cantor, 2000). This goes above and beyond what is explained by kids who are inherently more aggressive seeking out more aggressive entertainment ("there is strong evidence that the relationship between violence viewing and antisocial behavior is bidirectional"). This type of research has been going on for 40 years now (it really started with Albert Bandura's Bobo doll experiment). While none of these studies are perfect, there is much more evidence to suggest that exposure to violence via media (t.v., movies, and even games) can lead to an increase in aggressive thoughts and behaviors in children.

    Is it worth putting a warning label on games? No, but just because the whole video game violence and aggression thing isn't popular on Slashdot, doesn't make it untrue. Anyway, as a whole there is more evidence suggesting a link between increased aggression and viewing real or simulated violence than there is against it.

I've got a bad feeling about this.