More Video Game Violence Hooplah

Video Game Violence Controversy Spreads
Missouri Representative wants to Tax Violent games and Obama sics the CDC on violent games

Today isn’t really the best day for video games, specifically video game violence.  In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, video games have once again come into the spotlight as being the harbinger of doom, despite having no direct connections to Sandy Hook or any other violent crime.  Video Game violence has been on the minds of legislatures like Leland Yee and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who penned a law in 2010 that would make the sale of violent video games to minors a crime.  Luckily, the law was deemed unconstitutional in 2011 by the Supreme Court in Brown vs. EMA.

There have been numerous studies (way more than I care to post) about video game violence, with the most prevalent outcome being — no conclusive evidence for or against video game violence increasing violence in children.  But, that didn’t stop Missouri Representative Diane Franklin from submitting a bill that would put a tax on violent video games, and then use the money generated to treat exposure to violent video games.  The assumption is that video game violence is a known evil, that needs to dealt with.  Chances are that the bill won’t pass as similar bills in the past have all been overturned (See Brown Vs. EMA for cases).  I won’t rehash old arguments, but the phrase “chilling effect” comes to mind with taxes on certain classes of games.

Then, in almost the same breath, Obama asks the CDC to research the effects of violent media (including video games) on children, to determine the cause of this epidemic of violent children.  I can’t help but wonder what the drive is here, other than to maybe appease the masses and some of the more conservative politicians.  Anything study that does come out of the CDC on video game violence is years away at this point, and video games are often a “shoot from the hip” (pun intended) target – rarely a sticky one.  In all fairness, President Obama does seem to take a balanced approach and not an alarmist, sensationalist approach to video game violence.


Reference: House Bill No. 157 2013

Via: The Escapist and The Escapist  


Because Hearsay and Unfounded Conjecture Justify It….

California, despite being a hotbed of game developers, seems hellbent on alienating those large studios inside the state.  From the SCOTUS case Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, to Senator Lee, and now a repeat attempt by Sen. Joe Baca to add warning labels to games.

According to IndustryGamers, this is Baca’s second attempt at adding warning labels to video games, as the first attempt in 2009 died in the House.  While the exact text of the bill isn’t available yet, it’s fairly safe to assume that it’s pretty similar to the 2009 version.  In that version, the warning would read:

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

Because clearly–there is no evidence to the contrary, or that enough of the studies conducted to attempt to link games and violent behavior have shown at best, a correlation, not casual , relationship between the two. I know every new media has to have it’s day as the bane and inevitable cause of the downfall of society, but gaming is going on what, 10 years of oppressive attempts.  California, go find something more beneficial to do than waste tax payer money on pointless legislation.  Personally, I’m getting pretty annoyed with all the conjecture, intentional manipulation of the facts (and omission), purposefully misrepresenting outcomes to push through legislation for no reason other than some antiquate ideal from the 1940s that anything the breaks even minutely from the status quo or makes you slightly uncomfortable must be destroyed.  

Sorry, /endrant 

Via IndustryGamers: U.S. Representative Brings Back Game Warning Labels