April 23, 2009

National Bill Seeks to Mislabel Video Games

Filed under: Video games — hypeplug @ 7:41 pm
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Stop Your Representative From Sponsoring
Federal Bill to Mislabel Video Games

Stop Rep. Joe Baca’s Bill
Before it Gains Traction
Rep. Joe Baca of California
Tell Your Representative – Don’t Sponsor Rep. Baca’s
bill H.R. 231

As you read this, your Congressperson may be considering co-sponsoring the newest regulatory assault on video games – Rep. Joe Baca‘s (D-CA) bill H.R. 231 The Video Game Health Labeling Act.” Baca’s bill mandates that video games rated Teen or higher receive the following warning label:

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

Baca’s bill is misguided, unnecessary, and simply unconstitutional. In a letter seeking co-sponsors of this bill, Rep. Baca points to research claiming a causal link between video games and aggressive behavior, even though this very same research was rejected as faulty by a majority of federal and state courts.

Let’s fight back, and stop this political bullying of video games. Check out the bill, and send a letter to warn your representative now. Don’t wait for the courts to put an end to it – let’s stop this bill before it starts.

Tell Your Congressperson – “Do Not Sponsor Baca’s Bill”

The Reasons Why Your Congressperson Shouldn’t Sponsor H.R. 231:

  • No Causal Link Between Real – Life Violence and Video Games – Rep. Baca is promoting a link between video games and real-life violence that is based on disputed research which was rejected by many federal and state courts as flawed, speculative, and unreliable.
  • It is Unconstitutional – Since 2001, there have been twelve decisions finding that video game regulation statutes were unconstitutional. Video games are entitled to equal treatment. For instance, the government can’t force labels on the video game “The Godfather,” while “The Godfather” movie is unregulated. Also, courts have found it is unconstitutional for the government to adopt the ESRB system.
  • It Misleads by Mislabeling – This bill would mislabel some games rated Teen or higher as violent when they contain no violent content. Under this bill, music-based games would be mischaracterized as violent even though they are rated T for potential objectionable lyrics for younger ages.
  • It is Unnecessary – Self-regulation is already overwhelmingly effective. The Federal Trade Commission’s study showed 87% of parents are aware of the ESRB ratings and are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the ratings system. The National Institute on Media and Family (NIMF) gave the ESRB an “A” for its ratings and education efforts in its annual report card last year.
  • Violence is Down, While Use of Video Games is Up – Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s. During the same period of time, video games have steadily increased in popularity and use, exactly the opposite of what one would expect if there was a causal link.

Help Stop this Bill and Write Your Representative

Unless you take a few minutes and send a letter now, video games will continue to be an easy political punching bag. You can make a difference just like the hundreds of VGVN members in Utah, who wrote their governor last month, resulting in the governor’s vetoing of an anti-video game.

Thanks for your help,
Video Game Voters Network

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