The official line goes as such: “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.” Congressman Joe Baca (D – Rialto)(pictured, second from left), through his newly introduced Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009 would like this to be on the package of any game rated T or higher. Apparently, the guy has been quite the active voice when it comes to sex and violence in the media, often citing research showing the correlations between exposure to game violence and propensity for real violence.
The debate will go on and on, but really it seems like putting a warning on the box has the same cultural impact as health warnings on cigarette boxes. They will be bought regardless. What’s more interesting, though, is that this is not nearly as conclusive as the dangers of something like smoking. That would explain the passive language of “has been linked.” It’s as if legistlators are just itching to send out these warnings, not willing to wait for that definitive research to come forward and drive the facts home. Kind of a frightening thought.
Somewhere in this, there is a joke tied to the old arcade messages “Winners don’t do drugs!” and the fact that many winners probably did, in fact, do drugs. I just can’t find that joke.