back to article US lawmaker wants health warnings on video games

A California congressman has proposed legislation that would require cigarette-like health warning labels be placed on video games made for mature audiences. Exposure to this picture may cause aggression As Reg Hardware reported earlier today, Democrat Congressman Joe Baca introduced "The Video Game Health Labeling Act of …


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  1. Lee Stacey
    Thumb Down

    What's next?

    Warnings on porn?

    Will cause stiffness and possible blindness.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    May cause Tiredness and unfit people to punch you - exercice

    May cause sleepless nights, itching and iritation - relationships

    May cause death - falling off a cliff

    May contain milk - a carton of milk

    May contain humour - anything not American :D

  3. Seán

    the children

    Those little bastards are constantly messing with our lives, why not ban them from everything and leave us adults the fuck alone.

  4. JT2008

    What a load.

    This is like saying that the more you watch NASCAR, the more likely you are to drive over the speed limit.

    I really hate moronic tripe wrapped in the shroud of "protecting your kids".

    I can protect my kids just fine, thanks.

  5. Devil's Advocate

    Police State?

    What ever happened to a PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY in any of these matters?

    What about AGE OF CONSENT? Are we supposed to accept that factors like these are somehow, suddenly "insufficient"??

    The more stuff like this I hear, the more I believe the whole frikkin' world is headed for a Police State.


    Governments mandate "warnings" on things like cigarettes, but continue to collect tax revenue from these "hazardous products". That's FUCKED! If they were really sincere in conveying the message that smoking is a confirmed health hazard, they would move to ban the substance and forget the tax revenue. (As if...!)

  6. Andy
    Paris Hilton


    What about the proven link between violence and eating bread? Most violent people eat bread, not all people who eat bread are violent but there is definately a link there somewhere.

    Paris because she has a better grasp on reality than these idiots.

  7. Steve Roper

    The problem with this

    is that these "Hazard" warnings on products tend to be taken as gospel truth, regardless of what research (or the absence of) has gone into determining the so-called hazard. So once these warnings become mandatory, it opens the door for the PC crowd to call for banning of all violent video games on these grounds, because "it says so on the packaging so it MUST be true!"

    Mark me here. This is Step 1 in banning all video games that are any more violent than the virtual doll's house The Sims and its ilk. Once this "Surgeon-General" warning has taken root in the minds of the populace, Step 2 - banning these "non-Sims" games in any place visible to the public, then Step 3 - banning them outright.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lake, jump

    Tell him to go jump...I've been playing computer games for 30 years, never did me any harm.

    Apart from a few blisters from the hand control knob playing Defender down at the arcade on the sea front.

    I'll concede that a warning should be placed in the instruction leaflet warning about repetitive strain and the need to take breaks to rest the eyes - but some already do that.

    It doesn't need to go on the outside of the packaging..these are not boxes of cigarettes!

    To link the two is rediculous.

  9. Martin Lyne

    Exposure to this picture may cause aggression

    "Exposure to this picture may cause aggression"

    Funny that, after seeing this I did want to tear things off some people.

    Do they have warnings on guns?

    We shoudl reject the phrase "Politically Correct" as it is factually incorrect. "Politically Afraid" would be a better term.

    "Do X incase Lobbyists Y accuse us of letting mororns/children perfom Z/use Z without us protecting them"

    Just let Darwinism run it's course people. "Billy kept asking for the game where you hack people up, and after we bought him it he killed the dog. I blame the game!" Logic fail.

  10. Andy

    Chicken or Egg or just crap?

    I LOVE being violent and destructive - so I play violent and destructive computer games.

    I'm not violent and destructive, but I find the violent and destructive games fun!

    I want to learn how to shoot people, so I'm going to buy a gun and practice. Oh I can't :( so I'll get a video game instead for now!

    I don't want to learn how to shoot people, but that Call of Duty sure is fun!


  11. michael
    Thumb Down


    "The 2005 University of Missouri study showed that when exposed to real-life violent images, subjects who frequently played violent games showed a diminished reaction to the pictures in brain scans."

    that seames to me to be a "yer seen that before" anything pepol are constantly exposed to gets them desentisives you would probley get the same reaction form a surgon or anyboady who works in ER

    "When the same participants were given an opportunity to "punish" a nonexistent opponent in the form of a loud blast of sound in a competitive game"

    that is hardley violant

    did they know it was a nonexistent person is witch case the action is conucnce free and there for not a test

    and a loud blast of sound for even a real person is hardley violent I have seen worse acts of agression at primary school playgrounds commited by 6 year old girls

    "Finally, the Michigan State University research found that 13 male participants displayed brain activity patterns that are "considered as characteristic for aggressive cognitions and affects," when scanned while playing a violent first person shooter."

    yes they where engaged in a simulated voliance at the time all competive games of any sort are simulations of competive you would probley get the same thing if you scandded them when playing football or tag or somthing else seaming healthy

    and all that dose not go into the "do pepol become voliont form games or do violent pepol play games more" argument

  12. Simon

    Passive gaming?

    Everyone knows that smokers ignore the health warming on packs, so they have used warnings on them which tells everyone near you that *You* are also damaging *Their* health. Its then hoped the peer pressure nagging will make you stop.

    Sorry, can't give you examples of the health warning they use these days, they are written in a foreign language on the ciggies I buy these days *Grin*

    So yeah,

    "Gaming can also cause your little sister to get an axe wound to the head" etc.

  13. Jason


    That is all

  14. Richard

    Bloody pansies

    This world has turned into a planent of over sensitive pansytards who have seriously lost their grip on reality. I am an adult I know whats good for me, I know video games are FICTIONAL enjoyment I am not going to let a bunch of pixels dictate my personality, period! Children, however might not have this understanding, therefore it is the parents job to decide on their behalf, not some quango in government who thinks he is on a righteous crusade for the good of all people.

    Will someone please take to me a planet where everyone is not a 'think of the children', OMG i'm offended, nanny/police state pansytard

    *Pansytard - copyright by me!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Biggest hazard is the Wii

    Man am I sore the day after a marathon sess of trying to beat the g/f at boxing. AND she keeps winning. ARGH!

    Other than are rated - parents should enforce the rating or face the consequences.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    another dumbass merkin thinking of the children....

    I agree with all of the above comments, I'll try to reiterate as little as possible, but this guy has pissed me off so that might not be possible. Sorry in advance - the following may be violent in nature, disjointed, not very clear and may also harm children / american parents if they have delicate sensibillities. Not to be taken with Ibuprofen. Not to be read by childrens under the age of 18. OK to be read by childs over the age of 18. Terms and conditions apply.

    Obviously this guy has played UT3 and been crap at it and got pwnt constantly and so feels the need to hit back at the big bad violent gamers who are making his children more aggressive.


    Quite apart from this, I really think this kind of "legislation" is a bit of a mis-fire, and definitely misdirected. I mean, has he watched SAW!? America has got to be the sickest, most violent country in terms of media on the planet. If labels like these are going to apply to videogames, then they will sure as fuck apply to books, music, films, posters, art, infact any kind of audio / video media that there is, full stop.

    Thinking of this, the "18" part of the rating and the front cover / pictures of violent monsters on the back of DeadSpace gave me a brilliant idea of what children-harming violence would be inside. I didn't need a big white label saying "America says this game will harm our children" on it to figure that out.

    I'm not giving it to America's children. Its mine. All mine.

    There are alot of films out there that are older than the videogame industry, and alot sicker than any game I've ever played.

    Plus, the research he is "fingering" is correct. When you play a FIRST PERSON game you put yourself in the shoes of the person you are playing, so when you shoot other players in the face you are going to be feeling violent, I daresay. It's not like your doing it by accident. There is a long word, beginning with "photo" which means what I'm trying to describe here, i.e watching something happen (film or tv or game, even book) and feeling what the person on screen (or page) is feeling.

    Point is, he is saying "look at the research" and then drawing his own results from it, rather than looking at what the research actually says.


    Any news on a first person shooter where we can shoot american congressmen in the head? repeatedly?

    Mine's the one with the pixelated SPAS-12 and ammo belt

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior."

    Lies. It's like saying being a muslim has been linked to terrorism. Being Nigerian is has been linked to being an email scammer. Which is bollocks

    All the problems would most likely be fixed with a half decent upbringing but it isn't like teens killing, beating, and robbing people is a new thing, it's just 70 years ago we had good wars to get the bloodlust out of them. Also before then you got to send all the poor ones and troublesome ones off to the colonies to fight imperial conflicts. And in general you were a bit to busy trying to survive or being stuck up a chimney to cause to much trouble way back when.

  18. Nick Davey

    This winds me up

    I was talking to my wife about just this sort of thing last night. Apparently we are not supposed to be able to take responsiblity for our choices, our actions or any other part of our lives. Responsilbility needs to be palmed off to any Tom, Dick or Harry that we can claim made the bad man do bad things.

    I agree with the comment about watching more NASCAR means you'll drive faster. I bet if they redid the same study about violent beahviour being linked to violent video games I bet they could also accurately state that sitting in a chair causes violent beahviour, after all, they tykes would be suitably seated to play wouldn't they? This kind of drivel needs to stop. Humanity is doomed to even greater levels of fail if this theme of diminished personal responsibility continues.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    " The 2005 University of Missouri study showed that when exposed to real-life violent images, subjects who frequently played violent games showed a diminished reaction to the pictures in brain scans. "

    Thank God these subjects showed diminshed reaction, it proves they are human beings, they've seen it before, their brains will remember the reaction the last time they saw it. Suppose you saw somebody suffering some sort of violence and you got so scared you froze. Now, on the next time maybe you won´t freeze, you will either fight or run, or hide, whatever. Remember Sarah Connor on Terminator 2, the mental institute's (aka nuthouse) elevator scene? Big cyborg shows up, she falls on floor and starts to crawl backwards, trying to run, her son shows up to snap her out of it... Or remember the first time you saw Alien? Now it isn´t so scary, is it?

    "Finally, the Michigan State University research found that 13 male participants displayed brain activity patterns that are "considered as characteristic for aggressive cognitions and affects," when scanned while playing a violent first person shooter."

    That is pretty obvious, right? They were playing a violent game, weren´t they? They were fighting against somebody / monster, weren´t they? It requires a bit of aggresiveness to do it, otherwise they would be running for cover in the game... If you were driving a car simulator, you would be displaying the brain activity patterns that are considered characteristic for motor-cognition skills between hands, feet and eyes, wouldn´t you? Doh....

  20. kain preacher

    Warning BS

    : Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.

    Really I like to see the proof

  21. Andy Bright

    Wouldn't worry about it

    Most crazy people bills don't see the light of day, this is just another of those. There's no way Congress is going to pass a law based on the frenzied mutterings of one representative. Remember the furor over nekkid cartoons in video games? That one had all kinds of high profile politicians jumping on the bandwagon including Hilary Clinton, and not a single bill made it past the insane scratchings on a piece of paper stage of legislation.

    If you were to delve into the bills created by nutzos from the South in particular, you'd find all kinds of entertaining reading. Most of it is just to cover themselves for the next election. They have all kinds of inbred constituents that lap up the rabid comments of right wing radio hosts, so they're forced to pull out the crazy book every now and then and pretend the wacked out bills they're creating actually stand a chance of making it. Funny part is most of them would be horrified if these bills actually did become law.

    So I wouldn't worry about it too much. Some other shiny object will come along soon, and a bill that bans dogs from the homes of children or one that demands all cell phones rat out text bullies will be announced and then forgotten about too.

  22. Bob Moir

    Really tired of this

    Frankly, the statement, "few would argue that young children should be readily exposed to violent material", annoys me almost as much as this congressman. Why shouldn't children be exposed to fictional violence? I always understood that the purpose of play, i.e. imagined scenarios in a safe environment, was to teach children of any species how to act and understand said scenarios when they encounter them.

    According to this article, the University of Missouri study describes participants being given the opportunity to "punish" a *nonexistent* opponent. It seems to me that the only legitimate study would require the "punishment" of a real human being, otherwise the context remains the same as the violent video game and, therefore, the punishment still counts as play - hence it is irrelevant.

  23. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Has been linked...

    "WARNING: Excessive exposure to stupid political headline grabbing and other bullshit has been linked to people wanting to punch politicians lights out!"

  24. Wade Burchette
    Paris Hilton

    Better idea

    Why not get parents to be *gasp* parents. I know, how dare I suggest parents raise their kids. Until I was 16, everything I had I depended on my parents. Why is it kids as young as 6 playing video games meant for 18+ year olds?

    Parents get royally pissed if you say something bad about their child. Yet they rather watch paint dry than spend 5 minutes trying to raise them. If parents would care more about their child then their big house or big SUV instead of acting like they care in public, then we wouldn't need such stupid laws. Where will it end? I swear, one day some senator will propose a law defining how we should pee.

  25. Mark Simon

    Useless warnings

    Clearly there must be a link between any activity which promotes or glorifies violence and violent or aggressive behaviour.

    The link between brain dead adults and moronic behaviour, both in themselves and in their unfortunate offspring must be stronger.

    What about all of those notices on cigarette packets that warn of a horrible death, or a life of misery? All they do is desensitize the user into ignoring any warning as a waste of space.

  26. James Condron


    I'll kick the shit out of anyone who says my playing games has made me any more violent than the alter-serving, chorister of the year, little angel I was. Violent? I'll show them f*cking violence!

    mines the cassock

  27. Dave

    Pictures Causing Violence

    OK, I admit it. I looked at the picture in the article and realised that the person wanting to censor what I can watch/see/do/read needs a good thump.

  28. Edward Clarke

    Sports too? Religion? News?

    American and Australian Football, Socker ( rest of world Football), Hockey - all televised programs should be shown after 9PM so the children won't be exposed to the terrible violence. We won't even mention Rugby.

    While we're at it, there shouldn't be any news programs viewable before 9PM. Might see violence or some horrible accident and inflict emotional trauma on "the children". Christian religious programming is unsuitable for prime time. Can't get much more violent than crucifying someone.

    Most of these "for the children" rules are total crap.

  29. P. Lee

    re: what a load

    It would be an interesting study to see if those who watch motorsports speed more than those who don't. However, since the player is participating and is the "main-mover" in a video game, it might be more accurate to compare driving behaviour after go-carting. Actually, that's a poor example too since driving is legal in most places.

    However, I suspect most people would agree that behaviour and belief systems reinforce each other. I think my psych 101 class called it "cognitive dissonance" when your behaviour and beliefs are out of sync. e.g. if you recycle most of your rubbish, you'll probably become more sensitive to waste-management issues, which in turn may move you to recycle more.

    You may not have a grenade launcher with which to wreak havoc, but if you rehearse aggression often enough it becomes more natural or perhaps become more tolerant of aggressive behaviour.

    Can you blame specific behaviour on video games? Not normally. Is this legislation grandstanding, pointless and perhaps even detrimental? Yes. Should the government take over parental responsibility? No.

    But lack of proof is not the same as being vindicated. I'd suggest using the film-rating guidelines, which would put control back firmly in parents hands.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what if...?

    Just wondering...what if there WAS scientific proof that violent games increased violence in people (including adults)?

    How many people commenting here wouldn't give a shit and still want them made and sold?

  31. Chris C

    Why only video games?

    If this individual thinks violence in "media" is such a bad thing, then why is he singling out video games? Why not place these same warnings on movies and music (posters, tickets, advertisements, CDs, DVDs, etc)? Oh, sorry, I forgot -- that violence is "good", but video game violence is "bad". But while we're on the topic, perhaps he would like to enlighten us on his definition of "violence".

    Which of these two sentences sounds more plausible -- 1) Violent video games cause people to become aggressive and violent, or 2) Aggressive and violent people specifically look for violent video games?

    And why does no one on that side of the fence ever mention the real-world scenarios which purposely and willingly cause aggression -- sports (particularly high-school and college sports, [American] football in particular). Nobody gives it a thought when a high-school football coach yells at the players to tear the other guy's head off, to run the other team into the ground, etc. But they're all afraid of a kid playing Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM, or their modern-day equivalents.

    And let's not forget that alcohol is good and needs no warnings of any kind. We'll just overlook the fact that alcohol has been proven to cause aggression, to directly cause death, and to cause people to perform random acts of violence, including murder. But you're right, we've got to get rid of those video games before it's too late.

  32. Steven Swenson


    "The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families and to consumers--"

    Never mind the parents who have a responsibility to raise their children competently and shouldn't need these kinds of warnings in the first place.

  33. Nick Askew
    Gates Halo

    Hello Halo

    This comes around the same time as the conviction of some American 17 year old for killing his mother and attempting to kill his father (by shooting) for depriving him of his Microsoft fix. Perhaps the warning is aimed at the adults that purchase the game and not the kids.

    But then I grew up around guns and it never did me any harm. Baaaaaaah Wibble Wibble

  34. JP Sistenich


    And why don't we get similar warnings on films? I'm sure a kid that watches lots of violent movies is also likely to have "diminished reactions" to real-life violence.

    GFY, Baca.

    Pirates, because they have diminished reactions to violence.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    warning not spaying or neutering your political rep can be hazardous to everyones health!

    the twit should be gagged tied and drowned like unwanted pair of shoes that is 2 sizes to small

    all in all its called responsibility something that twit does not want to take since he has slaves errr i mean hired minimum wage under the table workers watching over his hellish spawn so he can tell every one else how to run their lives.

    i honestly wonder why and how these twits get elected in first place? i personally blame the veggie tales gang!

    paris because even she knows when to use basball bat to de-nut someone!

  36. Tim Bates

    Proven? Where?

    If they are going to have stickers saying things, they'd damn well want to make sure they are true.

    I've never seen any proof of violent behaviour being linked to video games.

    2 facts:

    * I know MANY people who grew up playing some of the most violent games available during their teens, and none have any violent tendencies.

    * Violent people existed well before computer games were even thought of... Or was Ghengis Khan a time traveller?

  37. Andy Worth

    Some more health warnings

    On Microwaves - May cause injury to pets if you put them inside and turn on

    On Kids - Have been linked to excessive tiredness and extreme annoyance for everyone other than their own parents

    On Lawyers - Known to induce greed-seeking behaviour

    In fact, I demand that every lawyer and child must display a clear warning label of no less than half their size warning you of the dangers.

    Ok, seriously - yes there is evidence to suggest that a very small percentage of people are susceptible to violent behaviour as a result of playing violent games (or watching violent TV etc.). However, sticking warning labels on the product will make nob all difference as I am sure that this so called lawyer is well aware. The main problem is with society itself though, but as society doesn't want to blame itself it looks for a scapegoat.

  38. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Going with the NASCAR theory

    I have to agree. I have always doubted the causal conclusions presented by groups who purport to want to protect us by introducing a nanny-state.

    "Oh, my poor Jessica is promiscuous because she listens to that booty music!"

    No, your Jessica is just a whore.

    "Oh, my poor Timmy is a bully because he plays violent games!"

    No, your Timmy is a fucking psychopath.

    "Oh, my poor Johnny got killed because he was mimicking his favorite movie/video game!"

    No, your Johnny got killed because he was stupid and could not separate reality from fantasy. (And that could be partly your fault, since you obviously lack some reasonable sense of the same separation.)

    Anyway. Douche bags are going to be douche bags, no matter what labels you put on the products you buy. Really, I think this will be more of a liability and protection mechanism for the game manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Now they can say, "Hey, it says clearly on the package that if you play this game, you may go on a mindless killing rampage." Of course, then later items carrying these warning could be deemed as a hazard to public health and subsequently banned.

    Oh, Jesus, am I following this bread-crumb trail too far? Sorry, I just got into a thing.

    Thing, getting into Paris.

  39. Allan Dyer

    @Andy - Bread's OK

    There are plenty of violent people who eat rice instead of bread, so I think your link is weak.

    However, I know of no cases where a violent person has not been inhaling oxygen. Oxygen has also been linked with combustion, ageing and free radicals. I say ban it now!

  40. James

    @ Andy

    Roll on the Daily Mail`s "BAN THIS SICK BREAD" campaign =D

  41. TeeCee Gold badge


    No, it's like saying that the more you watch NASCAR the more likely you are to have sex with close relatives.

    "Has been linked to", remember?

  42. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Police State?

    "Governments mandate "warnings" on things like cigarettes, but continue to collect tax revenue from these "hazardous products". That's FUCKED! If they were really sincere in conveying the message that smoking is a confirmed health hazard, they would move to ban the substance and forget the tax revenue. (As if...!)"

    That's a very common argument but it leaves out the cost of providing health care to all those smokers with lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, etc. I've seen studies that show the cost of providing all this health care is greater than the revenue brought in from selling them.

    When I was a smoker I know for a fact that I'd have led a bloody revolution if the government had tried to take away my precious smokes.

    Adults need to be responsible for their own actions. Children, on the other hand, need to be watched and protected from stuff that their minds may not be able to process correctly yet.

  43. This post has been deleted by its author

  44. alan

    RE another dumbass merkin thinking of the children....

    i always find playing catch with a nade and the hossies in CSS works just as well as congressmen, it never fails to make me laugh watching them fly across the room if you land the nade correctly.

    Remember though only do this a CT as the terrorists get kicked for killing hossies by the game, but the CTs dont for some reason (made in america me thinks :))

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Seeing the warning.

    From the article:

    " The type of parent who would buy their 8-year-old Grand Theft Auto is also probably not someone who's going to catch the additional warning — given they've already ignored "

    " the ESRB warning, "

    The ESRB warning is in a nice colourful box, and blends in as another bit of the noisy colourful packaging. It's a great example of something hidden in plain site.

    " the title, "

    Half-life, for example? Bioshock?

    Not all violent games are called "Hitman" and "Grand Theft Auto", remember.

    " the guns on the cover,"

    You get toy guns for 4 year olds. A picture of a toy gun is like a picture of real gun. Toy guns aren't all that violent but real guns are. Hell, I'll bet there are guns on the cover of Pro Paintball. Sadly, the NRA idea that "guns don't kill people" has more than slightly reduced the psychological impact of images of guns.

    " and the description on the back of the box. "

    Two words: small print. Who reads that? Conscientious people. People who are already reading it -- people who go out of their way to find and read it.

    But to the majority of the population, "game" means "toy" and toys are for kids. It's exactly the same problem as the Great Manga Scare of the 90s -- the parents just couldn't conceive of "mature" cartoons (and yes, I know the cartoons are called "anime" and the comics "manga", but I'm only quoting the incorrect terminology used by the press at the time).

    It's just human nature, and sometimes the only way to get past firmly-held assumptions is to stick a big, bold, stark, black-and-white sign in front of people saying "THIS ISN'T FOR KIDS".

    Maybe these silly "health warnings" are the only way to actually get the majority of parents to sit up and take notice. It's all well and good saying it's the parents' responsibility, but someone's got to take responsibility for getting the message through to the parents.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Being treated like infants has been linked to bemused frustration and increased feelings of tedium"

    Have a read of

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Reg comments proved violence/video game link to me

    Why is it that when anyone makes a suggestion that playing violent video games might be linked to aggressive behaviour, the comments page on the Register is filled with violent threats and calls to disembowel anyone who disagrees with the view point of people who play violent video games? Some of the people commenting here real need to take a chill pill and re read their comments about how stupid the rest of the world is, and realise that they are the ones who need to rethink their position.

    Does playing violent video games encourage me to behave violently?


    Acknowledging that it does helps prevent me from posting stupid comments on websites.

  48. Michael

    Well I reguarly play..being 31

    CS:S, DOD:S, Nascar 2003 Racing, GTA, Call Of Duty, Rfactor, Rogue Spear blah blah blah.. But I dont feel the need for speeding in RL or wanting to jump headshot the n00b in the street.

    I admit that I get a kick out of playing such games but I know what RL is, even though some these days seem to struggle with that concept.

    I wont be allowing my little madam to play such games until I feel that she is able to separate RL from games.

    I can remember a time whilst working for a play for cash service only to recieve a call from a parent who's child was 8 and playing CS:S and didnt realise what his son was playing at the time with his friends! Some parents should be doing a much better job and making more informed decision with what their kids have access to, but some just dont give a monkeys... If this helps, then good - I really aint bothered as a parent about seeing another warning sticker on a box. But going out an buying an '18-rated' game as it is currently displayed and giving to my 7 yr old just aint on really, common sense out of the window! Its their fault if that child turns into a axe wielding physcomaniac...

    Parents just need to take responsibility

    Mine the one with the parenting handbook in the pocket

  49. b

    Video games didn't make me violent or aggressive

    and I'll kill anyone who says otherwise.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And why stop there?

    I fully support this labelling effort, but only if we extend it to all media and arts. Other works that need a proper warning label:

    Romeo and Juliet by W. Shakespeare - Murder, Suicide, underage sex.

    International News - Murder, violence.

    Fox News - Murder, violence, bigotry, bullying, scaremongering.

    Most Hollywood movies - Violence, murder, boredom.

    Congress - Gibberish, self publicity.

  51. michael

    a much better warnlable

    politicians=warning may contain bulls**t

  52. Paul

    In addition to the more obvious flaws...

    Linking this warning to ESRB ratings makes no sense. First of all a game could easily have a Teen rating without any violence to speak of. And more importantly ESRB is private company and has no right to assign ratings with legal power.

  53. Graham Marsden

    @Reg comments proved violence/video game link to me

    And your post proves the link between reading the Reg's comments page and trolling...

    Alternatively, if "playing violent video games encourages you to behave violently" then STOP PLAYING THEM!!!

  54. Anonymous Coward

    @Graham Marsden

    No I think I'll carry on playing them and training myself to control my anger so I don't shout online at people I disagree with whilst thinking I'm a genius! And you will probably carry on living in denial and be unaware of your obvious delusional status.

  55. Graham Marsden


    Thank you for your reply.

    May I suggest that if you wish to continue this discussion you contact my solicitors, Messers Pott and Kettle-Black.

  56. Chris C

    re: Reg comments proved violence/video game link to me

    "Does playing violent video games encourage me to behave violently? Yes"

    Then you are in the minority, and speaking seriously, you need therapy so that you can learn to differentiate reality from fantasy. As for the rest of your comment --

    1. There are idiots, including violent idiots, in every group of people. A grouping of people who play or have played violent video games is no exception. So yes, you will get "violent threats and calls to disembowel anyone...". Why? Because people are idiots, and many people can't control their anger very well. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to those who play violent video games. People who have never even seen a video game display this same exact behavior.

    2. Yes, a lot of people commenting here *DO* need to "take a chill pill", but not for the reasons you think. I think they do because they need to be able to speak about this emotional topic calmly and without threats. The moment you start yelling and making threatening comments, people will (justifiably) stop listening to you.

    3. Why do you claim that people who are emotional about this topic need to "realise that they are the ones who need to rethink their position"? Are you so naive and arrogant that you think your opinion is the only one that matters? Maybe you think that everyone else thinks and behaves like you?

    I'm not so arrogant to believe that everyone thinks or behaves like me. I know there are a lot of people out there, and they're all different. However, personally knowing many people who have played violent video games, and none of them ever being violent in real life, is a good indication to me that playing violent video games does not cause violent behavior in the majority of people. And before anyone says "One is too many, so we need to ban them all now" -- the minute we start limiting our choices and our actions to what is safe, reasonable, and has has effects on any one person on the planet, we'll see that we can do literally nothing because EVERYTHING will cause a negative reaction in at least one person.

    As for the person who said the ESRB ratings are colorfully displayed, blending into the artwork -- I can't say they don't do that, but I can say that every time I've seen a game, the ESRB rating has been black lettering on a white background and/or white lettering on a black backround. The problem, as I see it, is not that parents don't see the ratings, it's that they just don't care, probably because there's this illogical belief that video games are "for kids" and that anyone who plays video games "refuse to grow up". A lot of people actively (and willingly) refuse to believe that video games, like movies and television shows, are made for adults as well as children.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris C

    Perhaps my post wasn't clear enough.

    A lot of things make you angry in life, politicians your job other people ect. It doesn't mean you have to act in a violent way.

    Violent computer games use this anger as part of their task/reward to make the game interesting.

    After playing a good game you have a raised adrenaline level and a predisposition to continue behaving along the task/reward path. This does NOT mean you are going to grab a gun and start killing people because you have been playing the game. It is beneath intelligent people to suppose that this link can be drawn.

    What would be more reasonable scenario is for you or anyone else who has been playing a violent video game to be short tempered after doing so, likely to snap WHAT! at someone who disturbs you whilst playing the game. These are all aggressive acts that if you are honest with yourself are a likely outcome of playing violent video games. If you are aware of this then you can take measures to avoid it, if you deny it you will not.

    If you really can't detect this behaviour in yourself then take a look at other people whilst they are playing computer games, I would suggest the online xBox gaming community is a real eye opener. Or alternatively reread the reg comments and notice how aggressive and incapable of rational argument gamers are when they think someone might stick a warning label on their addiction of choice.

    Playing games gets me worked up, there, its not a difficult thing to admit, after all it would be a bit dull playing them if it didn't. Now I can make sure I don't snap at someone when they say fancy a cup of tea, or post angry rants about how reading a post made me want to kill the author but playing video games don't make me aggressive because I have never physically assaulted anyone.

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