Sarah J's Entertainment Blog

Should video games have warning labels?


In the 1950s, comics were destroying young minds and turning them into kill-crazed violence junkies. In the 1980s, it was heavy metal music. Now it's video games -- and a couple of congressmen want warning labels on all games except those aimed at the youngest kids.

Rep. Joe Baca and Rep. Frank Wolf want the following label on games: "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

According to psychology professor Craig A. Anderson, there are plenty of studies to back up that claim... but it mostly applies to first-person shooters, not games like Pokemon or Angry Birds, which would be covered under the bill.

But competing research says that playing video games can improve attention, speed, accuracy, vision and multitasking.

I can't help but think this is a way of passing the buck. Playing Call of Duty isn't going to turn anyone into a murderer. A variety of social factors, like poverty, exposure ot real-life violence, and plenty more, have a much bigger impact. But it's easier to slap a label on a game than it is to take on huge societal ills.

What's your take? Will video game warning labels make a dent in violence? Will they help parents at all? Talk about it in the comments!

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