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All Video Games Cause Aggressive Behavior, Say Two US Congressmen 483

Fluffeh writes with news that U.S. Congressmen Baca (D-CA) and Wolf (R-VA) have proposed a bill that would require most video games to have a warning label decrying their "potential damaging" long-term effects on children. "Under the one-page Violence in Video Games Labeling Act (PDF), packaging for all video games except those rated 'EC' for Early Childhood would be required to prominently display a message reading: 'WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.' The proposed label would be required even if the video game in question is not violent."
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All Video Games Cause Aggressive Behavior, Say Two US Congressmen

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  • Like War (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:43PM (#39420353)

    War causes violent behaviour too, but no congressman as ever putting a bill against, have they?

    • Re:Like War (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Samalie ( 1016193 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:46PM (#39420411)

      I was thinking something close to this at least...more along the lines of "morons that hold public office has been linked to aggressive behavior"

      Seriously, when you consider just how outrageously fucked up the USA & world are right now...this is the dumbest shit to be wasting time on I can almost think of. Hopefully the voters in their districts see it the same way. Not fucking likely, but I could hope.

      Of course this is bipartisan douchebaggery too. Morons.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by syrinx ( 106469 )

        More time spent on this pointlessness means less time available for their normal job of ruining things. Yeah the USA is "outrageously fucked up", but Congress can pretty much only make it worse, so the more they get out of the way, the better.

        Wolf's my congressman btw. If someone better wants to run I'd be all for it, but the ones who actually run against him are much worse.

        • Re:Like War (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:52PM (#39421059)

          Well, someone has to step up to the moron plate now that what's-his-nuts has been disbarred and Joe LIEberman is retiring...

        • Re:Like War (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:01PM (#39421805) Homepage

          "Wolf's my congressman btw. If someone better wants to run I'd be all for it, but the ones who actually run against him are much worse."

          And that's kind of the problem, isn't it? Are the people running for office the best ones that this country has to offer? I mean, what if that were true, that that's really the best we can do. That's something to tell your kids if you want them to have nightmares for the rest of their lives.

          • Re:Like War (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:16PM (#39422405)

            I would run, but I'm a college-educated atheist who doesn't come from a blue-collar background, don't think that giving up fundamental freedoms is the right way to fight terrorism or child porn, I like single-payer/universal health care, I don't support ridiculously long sentences for literally victimless crimes like marijuana possession, and I'm all for gay marriage.

            In other words: I'm godless and therefore lack a moral compass; I'm an intellectual elitist who is out of touch with the working class; I don't Think of the Children; I'm soft on crime; I'm weak on terrorism; I'm a radical socialist; I support the gay agenda and want to take away our religious freedoms

            • If I had but one mod point to give, I would give it to you.

            • Consider this: Since all other candidates are exactly the opposite of you, you'd get all the votes from the ones that don't share this opinion.

              No matter whether you look dem or gop, you get exactly the same trash. And when my only other options are burgers and tacos, even a halfway decent sushi bar becomes a feast.

            • If I could reply to both of you I would...

              Run -- if only to fail.

              To try, and then lose, is far better than not trying.

              But if you both win, you will be doing your country a service - you'll get a great pension - and you'll make a difference. Hopefully a positive one.

              It's not that hard either.

              To be a State Representative:
              -must be 25 years of age at the time of the election
              -reside in the state that you represent
              -citizen for 7 years
              -win election

              To be a Senator

              -must be 30 years or older at time of election

            • From an outsider's point of view, the emphasis on religion in US politics seems extraordinary. In no other civilised Western country do people twat on about religion so much.

              The only comparable countries are places like Iran. Oh, the irony.
      • Re:Like War (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:01PM (#39420561)
        Ah more nanny-state bullshit from the Baby Boomers. Before they die, they are fucking determiend to make sure the younger generations have no wealth, resources, or freedoms to inherit. It is their personal obsession. Baby Boomers if they was honest would say "I have not died yet so the whole world owes me something. Lots of something."

        What's the difference between a two-year-old and a Baby Boomer? The two-year-old might outgrow his sense of entitlement.
      • Re:Like War (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:24PM (#39420785)

        "Holding public office have been linked to irresponsible behavior, bad judgement, and wasteful expenditures"

      • Re:Like War (Score:5, Funny)

        by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:41PM (#39420941)

        THIS is an issue?

        MY HOUSE is worth EIGHT DOLLARS.

      • Re:Like War (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:39PM (#39422131) Journal

        Are you kidding? One of the R candidates for president has tied his entire campaign to....drumroll....keeping adults from watching porn! Yep, because with American boys dying for corps in hellholes and our country bleeding jobs and having a dead economy THAT is the issue, worrying about whether or not joe and jane public can see a blowjob.

        Let's face it folks, if you are vote you are just wasting your time as the whole thing is now nothing more than a puppet show. anybody who gets a chance at national office has been bought and paid for by the corps so all they are gonna do is pander until they get elected and then kiss the ring of the multinationals. As the late great Bill Hicks said so many years ago "I believe the puppet on the left shares MY beliefs, well I believe the puppet on the right has my interests at heart...hey wait a minute, there is one guy controlling BOTH puppets!" and that is all we get, like pro wrestling, its just a puppet show to make the masses feel they have a say which of course they don't. When you have a former congressman like Chris Dodd go on national TV and OPENLY BRAG about serious crimes like bribery? and nothing gets done and the POTUS even ignores the will of the people and refuses to prosecute? give it up, the game is over, just grab as much as you can before the whole thing falls down.

    • Re:Like War (Score:5, Insightful)

      by similar_name ( 1164087 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:07PM (#39420633)
      I think they are conflating aggression with competition. Competition makes kids more aggressive. Let kids play any game where they are competing against each other and they will become more aggressive regardless of the violence content (I've seen kids fight over Go-Fish). EC games probably don't show 'aggression' because they generally aren't that competitive.
      • Re:Like War (Score:5, Informative)

        by Silentknyght ( 1042778 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:00PM (#39421139)

        Piggybacking on this comment, the two senators obviously didn't read the recent WSJ (or was it NYT) article specifically on the benefits of videogames. They had found that gamers--ESPECIALLY gamers who play violent video games--are significantly (like 25%) faster to arrive at the correct decision to a given problem compared with their non-gamer collueagues. Basically, the whole article was a giant middle finger to everyone who's ever said gaming is good for nothing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        After playing Super Mario Brothers, I can't even see a mushroom without stomping on it. I can't go to the supermarket, restaurants, it's hell!

    • Re:Like War (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:11PM (#39420675) Homepage

      I play plenty of violent video games but you know....

      NOTHING makes me so violently angry as listening to politicians and their machinations. Can't we outlaw them?

      Doesn't matter which ones it is.... Democrats, Republicans.... they all piss me off to no end...pretty much anytime they open their mouths.

      • by TheLink ( 130905 )

        NOTHING makes me so violently angry as listening to politicians and their machinations. Can't we outlaw them?

        Sure, Dictators would be happy to outlaw politicians. So just install one.

        Warning: Dictator uninstallation might be much harder than installation.

    • Re:Like War (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:34PM (#39420869)

      No kidding! Cause we ALL know that video games caused all the atrocities of World War I and World War II, right? ... OH WAIT. SOME people are inherently violent -- the "medium" they use to express that is irrelevant !

      Don't you love how every generation just has to blame X for what it doesn't understand?
      '40 Dancing
      '50 Soul Music
      '60 Rock N Roll
      '70 Drugs
      '80 DnD
      '90 Video Games
      '00 Guns / Homosexuality
      Obviously the list isn't 100 accurate, but you get the point.

      What a bunch of fuck tards.

      • by Lotana ( 842533 )

        I wonder what we will blame when we turn old and conservative.

      • SOME people are inherently violent

        While I agree that videogames don't really cause violence, other stuff does. Like, for example, violence from others, sexual abuse, etc. It's not necessarily something "inherent" to the person.

      • Actually, you left one decade out:

        '80 DnD
        '90 Video games
        '00 Guns / Homosexuality
        '10 The '00 decade

        These days we blame the world's problems on the decade that preceded this one, and our inability to understand what the hell we were collectively thinking for most of those years.
    • Re:Like War (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:37PM (#39420899)
      These two bozos are Congressmen, which means they stand for election this year just like every other Congressman. But instead of standing up for a real issue, they're playing it safe and grandstanding for the voters. Do they really believe this bullshit? Probably not. Do they really care? Not about this, they don't. If it goes through, they get to stand up and say 'Hey, I DID something on The Hill besides taking campaign contributions from *AA! I made a DIFFERENCE!' If this bill tanks, they get to stand up and say 'Hey, I TRIED, but those damned politicians voted me down. Vote for me again this year so I can go back to The Hill and try again. Think of the children! Think of my paycheck!! I don't wanna get a real job!!'
      • by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgak AT speakeasy DOT net> on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:34PM (#39421527) Homepage
        He was first elected in 1982, promising to retire from the Congress after 6 terms. That would have been 1994. He's still there, 18 years, and 9 terms after he'd pledged to retire. So much for his word. His OTHER interests are Tibet, Stopping Internet Gambling, and pork (in the form of road construction funding for his district). How do I know this ? I'm a citizen of Virginia's Tenth Congressional District. Somebody: Dems, Greens, Libertarians, Tea Party: PLEASE run someone to replace this clown...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      All Congressman cause violent behavior, says 2 video game players.

      ---Fixed it

    • Re:Like War (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Thangodin ( 177516 ) <> on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:10PM (#39421277) Homepage

      And let's not forget sports. When are one of these clowns going to ask for a ban on high school football? College football? Never? Of course not, despite the towering mass of evidence that demonstrates that this is a major source of violence in our society. This is not about violence, this is about being a demagogue, which means pounding upon minorities for the benefit of majorities. And who gives a fuck about nerds, right? Jocks rule the world, still, so football gets a pass.

      This is all bullshit.

    • Re:Like War (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Gideon Wells ( 1412675 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:39PM (#39421577)

      I see you are angry. Have you been playing too much Tetris? Maybe Bejeweled?

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:44PM (#39420357)

    Thank FSM someone is finally thinking of the children!

  • by mmcxii ( 1707574 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:44PM (#39420359)
    I'm glad to see the parties finally getting together on a public ground in the best interests of the public. This is just the kind of cooperation that we need to see so people can move on from partisan bickering. Very progressive.

    Oh, wait...
  • WARNING (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:45PM (#39420373)

    Exposure to politicians has been linked to aggressive behaviour.

    • Exposure to political decisions have been linked to aggressive behaviour.

      Being exposed to politicians makes my mind numb. Their stupid rubs off on me like some form of infection.

    • Exposure to politicians has been linked to aggressive behaviour.

      I thought it made adults curl up and suck their thumbs.

  • TV? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:45PM (#39420381)

    Shouldn't TV come with the same warning then?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:45PM (#39420391)

    That means they can't possibly be wrong, right?? Are they still worried about the effects of Doom on the kids of today? I hear Bart Simpson is a really bad influence as well, and those Teletubbies...straight from Satan himself, there to make your toddler catch Gay.

    • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:24PM (#39420795)

      Doom? Try Mario. Yes, under this bill, every Mario game would get a big scary "CAUSES VIOLENCE" sticker on it. Same for Sonic, or Tetris, or Oregon Trail, or Pong. Same for such nightmarish gore-fests as "Junior Classic Games" (a compilation of checkers, backgammon, etc.), "Nicktoons MLB 3D" (a Nickelodeon-themed basketball game), "Imagine Babyz" (a child-care simulator), "Microsoft Flight" (a flight sim), and "Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster " (a Sesame Street game - need I say more?).

      The "E" rating means "Everyone". To quote the ESRB, "Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language."

      Apparently they need to amend that to "suitable for ages 6 and older who are not elected officials or otherwise mentally handicapped".

  • Speaking of Labels (Score:5, Informative)

    by microbee ( 682094 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:46PM (#39420399)

    How about "Congress has been linked with corruption and abuse of power" for any campaign Ads?

  • by baudilus ( 665036 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:49PM (#39420431)
    Violent video games may cause aggressive behavior in a subset of individuals, likely already predisposed to said aggressive behavior.

    The same argument was made about violent movies and the now more prevalent incidences of school shootings. I content that the movies didn't make the kids violent; they were already that way and probably should have had help beforehand.
    • Violent video games may cause aggressive behavior in a subset of individuals, likely already predisposed to said aggressive behavior.

      As another poster pointed out, the APA statement about this was retracted. This bill is completely unsubstantiated.

      There needs to be an easy way to strike down laws that are contradicted by facts. For example, both marijuana and LSD have medical uses, yet both are Schedule 1 (no medical use) drugs. The facts here are not in dispute. Don't we want laws to match reality?

      • The facts here are not in dispute. Don't we want laws to match reality?

        *We* might, but unfortunately a lot of people simply don't.

        And a lot of politicians have figured out that it's a winning strategy to cater to voters who want to use law (and consequently, men with guns) to forbid any behavior that they don't approve.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      It's a generational issue. Many here may be too young to remember (and it was before my time, too), but practically all the claims that are made about the evils of computer games today used to be made about Rock'n'Roll music back in the days when that was new.

      Please, everyone, let us be smarter and wiser when we grow old and face whatever the new thing is going to be then.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Then our elected officials should cease playing video games. We might actually stop bombing half the planet when we don't get our way :|

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:49PM (#39420437)

    [citation needed]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:49PM (#39420439)

    No matter how many sings you put up, the general public WILL NOT READ THEM. You have "No Solicitor" signs, yet you still get people trying to sell you stuff. You put up "No Outside Food Or Drink", yet you still get people bringing it in. You put health warnings on Cigarettes yet people still buy them (because they don't care). These signs won't do anything that the ESRB labeling system hasn't done already. These Congressmen are trying to score political points by doing nothing.

    • You put up "No Outside Food Or Drink", yet you still get people bringing it in.

      From what I've seen, these notices on the door of a movie theater is there to make it easier to enforce alcohol bans. If movie theaters enforced such notices strictly, they'd get lawsuits from some diabetes advocacy group.

      • If movie theaters enforced such notices strictly, they'd get lawsuits from some diabetes advocacy group.

        I'm quite sure that the theaters sell plenty of things that can treat hypoglycemia.

      • If movie theaters enforced such notices strictly, they'd get lawsuits from some diabetes advocacy group.

        Neither insulin nor the sugar candies some diabetics carry to counter hypoglycemia would count as "outside food or drink".

        If a theater is worried that a diabetic would have to bring in a sugar-free drink to stay hydrated during the marathon exhibition of some blockbuster trilogy, then they ought to be selling diet and sugar free drinks to start with. Might I suggest, water? That's even free from the fountain.

        But yes, in the modern "everyone is a victim of something" world, it is likely that some diabet

  • I'm fine with this, (Score:3, Informative)

    by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:50PM (#39420441) Homepage
    They can have their unsubstantiated warning sticker when all politicians are forced to wear a tiepin that says 'Power Corrupts'.
    • You, sir, are a rather nice guy. Me? I'd make 'em get a tattoo on their big lying faces that reads:
      WARNING: Politics as a profession has been linked to ignorance, corruption, and sociopathy

      So that every time they speak into a camera, we will all be reminded that nothing they say is to be trusted.

  • Or do these Congressmen support Big Hollywood peddling their ultra-violence directly into our CHILDREN's homes????

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Make sure if you go after the Pong recreation competition to get your warning!

  • And there is at least as much evidence that all political office causes dishonesty.
  • by yakumo.unr ( 833476 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:57PM (#39420521) Homepage

    WARNING: Exposure to X has been linked to aggressive behavior.'

    x ==

    religious texts

  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @06:57PM (#39420523)
    I played violent video games throughout my childhood, and I turned out fine! And anyone who says any different is asking for a beat down!
  • Warning: Video Games are Known to Cause...

    • aggression
    • homicidal tendencies
    • infanticide
    • necrophilia
    • pedophilia
    • cancer

    Go ahead, put it on the boxes. You know that kids will still be buying them anyway (same way that 9-year-olds are buying games rated for 13+ right now), and that mommy and daddy will buy them for their kids for Christmas just as well.
    The impact from the warning on those boxes (that you keep at home and rarely see - and doesn't even apply to e.g. Steam downloads) is even less than the warnings on ci

  • The other day I was driving to return a DVD and I crashed my car into a lamp post because the cops were chasing me. I quickly jumped out and ran to the nearest car and pulled the guy out of it. After beating him to death with a club and stealing his money I returned my DVD to the store. Without video games I may have never had the inspiration I needed in order to avoid a costly late fee on my DVD.
  • by ewg ( 158266 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:04PM (#39420599)

    --some of those slide tackles are pretty nasty.

  • I propose that all legislators be forced to wear a 'Hit Me' decal on their forehead.

  • WARNING: Politicians have been linked to the creation of useless, pointless, and harmful laws.
  • It's false, but it obviously will not change consumer behavior. Hell it might even help shield the games industry from litigation from Jack Thompson 2.0 or the like.

    Cigarette warning labels (displayed on an actually harmful product) are not effective. Experts think it is because they make cognative statements, rather than emotional ones... Personally I think you could require cigarette to be packaged directly in cancerous lungs, and require smokers to recite a complicated emotional sonnet declaring that
  • I think it's been conclusively proven since the congressman questioned the Secretary of the Navy about the danger of capsizing Guam that US Congressmen are really the stupidest creatures on the planet.

    And, as Senator Dodd pointed out, they don't even have the sense of a reliable whore to stay bought when they've been purchased.

    Seriously, they bring each other up on ethics charges, as if our opinion of them could get any lower?

  • With the way they're going about this, it looks like they're trying to create their own self-fulfilling issue. Make a bill so pants-on-head retarded that it's going to cause justifiable outrage among the people who enjoy video games. Then they can point to said outrage, claim it's aggressive behavior, and say, "See!!! We told you so! Games make people violent!!!! Won't you think of the children????????"

    My guess is that it's a fluff measure. When it comes up for a vote, they'll try to attach some truly hei
  • News? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by funkatron ( 912521 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:11PM (#39420673)
    Two liars lied. Big fucking deal.
    • The problem is that these two liars are acting in an influential and trusted position in our society and can possibly change laws..

      If someone in a position of such trust is found to be untrustworthy ... then shouldn't they be removed from office?

  • There are three arguments:

    1. They're right, and labels should be added.
    2. They're wrong, and labels shouldn't be added.
    3. It's not their jurisdiction.

    The most distressing part of news items like this is that the third argument is so frequently overlooked.

  • translation (Score:4, Informative)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:14PM (#39420709)

    "The videogame industry should spend more money bribing congressmen, like the other entertainment industries. Then we'll start sucking up to them instead of picking on them."

    Never play on or around congressmen*

    *unless you want to be covered in bullshit.

  • Do congressmen never realize that it is bullying, and not violent games, that is the primary cause of school shootings because congressmen have a natural tendency to never listen to people?
  • pacman (Score:3, Funny)

    by theeddie55 ( 982783 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:29PM (#39420829)
    This is ridiculous, if we acted like computer game characters we'd all have spent the 80's running around in darkened rooms, popping pills and listening to repetitive music.
  • by Dr. Hok ( 702268 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:54PM (#39421085)

    My sons (7 and 9) have been exposed to video games for a good year now, mainly Wii and Nintendo DS ("The Tendo").

    My tentative summary: All is fine as long as they play short duration games, like Sports or Mario Kart, where a games lasts only a few minutes.

    But it's different when they play games with a story that swallows them, like Zelda or Lego Star Wars. I'm convinced that these games do mess with their minds. Sometimes it takes them the rest of the day to get back out of the game. They don't respond any more. OK, this is probably normal between kids and their parents, but there's more: After a game they are overexcited and hyperactive, they can't focus on a single thought, they have headaches, they scream and shout, they tell us that they hate us and they look as if they mean it. Sometimes I can almost see fangs grow on them.

    I guess it's because we take away their super powers when we tell them it's time to switch off. And the worst part is they realize how they are (namely aggressive) and they're obviously not happy about it. But of course they want to play again ASAP. This is highly unsettling form a parent's pov.

    You can argue whether this is really as bad as it looks from my perspective, but IMHO these are clear symptoms of addiction and negative side-effects. I have come to believe that video games are unhealthy (to some extent) at a young age and would have liked to keep them away from gaming for a bit longer, and feed them football, hide-and-seek and some healthy mud-digging instead. The kids appear much more sane (and happy, and human) after some real-world activity. But of course you can't help them gaming if daddy owns a Wii, and everybody else in school boasts with their elder brother's gadgets.

    In order to mitigate the symptoms we have agreed never to play longer than 30 minutes per day in our family. This has helped a bit, but only quantitatively. The outbursts of aggression have become rarer but not less harsh.

  • by brennz ( 715237 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:07PM (#39421233)
    Baca aka Baka, and we all know what that means. []
  • Linked by whom? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chrismcb ( 983081 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:30PM (#39421493) Homepage
    Link to violence? By whom? Some quack? Can anyone go around linking cause and effect? As far as I know, no study has conclusively linked violence to video games. And a few have shown the exact opposite, in that violent video games give people an outlet to vent.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller