The fact that these people have any power whatsoever is confusing and depressing.

For the record, I was one of the few gamers who supported the idea of ratings for video games and therefore, I have no issue with the ESRB. I think those ratings are necessary and make perfect sense; we've got ratings for movies, don't we? And I believe it's absolutely true that certain forms of media and entertainment should be kept away from our developing children.

But of course, the lawmakers are never happy with such a victory. Of course not. It's too reasonable. It's not radical enough. So now, we need to single out video games by putting warning labels on the packages, alongside the ratings we already have. The only games that would be exempt from this law would be the ones rated EC (Early Childhood). Every other game would have to carry a warning label of some kind, so parents can fully understand the potential ramifications.

The press release at Congressman Joe Baca's website should tell you everything you need to know. Firstly, it proves even supposedly intelligent people, those we have elected into a position of power, are allowed to let personal bias supersede science and fact. By not citing the numerous studies that prove or at least suggest the positive effects of gaming, your position has an automatic slant. And the "facts" that are stated have been refuted again and again.

The official reply from the Entertainment Software Association can be found at GameSpot :

"Unfortunately, Representative Baca's facially unconstitutional bill–which has been introduced to no avail in each of six successive Congressional sessions, beginning in 2002–needlessly concerns parents with flawed research and junk science. Numerous medical experts, research authorities, and courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, exhaustively reviewed the research Representative Baca uses to base his bill and found it lacking and unpersuasive. Independent scientific researchers found no causal connection between video games and real life violence."

I'm waiting for the law that says warning labels should be placed on movies sold in stores. I'm waiting for the warning label on books. We've got one for music albums but obviously, it's not enough. Do all that, and then, perhaps only for the sake of absurd symmetry, I'll go with the warnings on video games. At least then the public will have already started to dismiss such warnings as needless and downright inaccurate. And last but not least is the single most glaring issue that is just downright laughable-

Baca and every last one of his like-minded cronies continue to think that all video games are for kids. That's the shame and irony of it all. They actually believe violent games are made to be sold to kids. They think nobody over the age of 18 plays them, despite any statistics that say the average age of a gamer is at least 35 (and rising with every passing day). The only reason to single out video games for warning labels is due to this outdated, nay, archaic belief. "Natural Born Killers" resulted in quite the backlash; I never saw a proposed law requesting warning labels for movies. Why? Because "Natural Born Killers" wasn't for kids. But obviously , Twisted Metal is.

It really is embarrassing. These people are in power. They're proposing laws to govern an industry that is completely alien to them. I can't decide if that's massive ego running rampant, or some special form of blindness unique to politicians. Whatever it is, one would hope that after decades of lawmakers embarrassing themselves when it comes to video games, the lawmakers themselves would be tired of looking foolish.

Apparently not.

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Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

California is disappearing under a mountain of debt, their unemployment rate is over 12%, their school continually turns out undereducated children if they even graduate at all, cost of living and gas continues to go up, people are fleeing the state in droves and this is what their "representatives" are occupied with?

God help us. So sick of these politicians inserting themselves into our personal lives.

"They're proposing laws to govern an industry that is completely alien to them."

Just like many of the other things they try and control. Mark my words, if the pols get their fingers in the video game industries cookie jar in the form of over regulations, video game prices will go up even more.

"I can't decide if that's massive ego running rampant, or some special form of blindness unique to politicians."

They think we're too stupid to govern ourselves. They are the elite and the few who know better, so we must yield to their undying wisdom.


Last edited by Jawknee on 3/20/2012 9:47:49 PM

Metal Head
Metal Head
9 years ago

The reason California got in huge debt is because people refuse to paid a higher tax on car registration. This is how the great arnold got elected, biggest mistake. California schools are fine, the problem is that students don't try at all. This is a huge problem in our country, kids don't care for school. I love how South Koreans push their kids to get excellent grades. Video games are art at its finest. Why Politicians don't realize they are the problem and not the solution to our problems. I'm a proud Californian and graduated from UCLA.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I lived in California for 7 years. Their LA Unified school district is not fine. The people in charge don't even claim that the schools are fine. Also the car taxes are high enough though they're not as high as they are in my state. Blagh! XD

As for the debt, the problem is not that taxes aren't high enough. It's the government spending. You could tax every single California resident 100% of their income and it would hardly be a drop in the bucket. I've studied the numbers. The problem is spending.


Last edited by Jawknee on 3/21/2012 12:14:08 AM

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

But what is it your government spend so much cash on? I thought you guys had a very privatized society?

I'm not getting myself into a political debate here, just curious about what all the money goes to if tax can make no difference.
Here in Norway tax is a major contributor to both social welfare and education.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/21/2012 7:26:08 AM

TGSA
TGSA
9 years ago

Although I'm sure this bill will fail, can't they at least add movies in there just so they can embarass themselves further. If they'd consider doing this to videogames, can't we find some hogwash study that says movies do the same thing.

Not that I believe we need this crap, it's just that I'd love to see hollywoods reaction if there was such a bill. Oh wait, they'd probably lose all their monetary support if they did that. Damn politicians…

Doppel
Doppel
9 years ago

@Metal Head:

Good Grades =/= Intelligence and Intellect

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Beam, much of it is spent on education and the public employee unions. It pays for 100% of their healthcare and pensions. Some goes to hospitals because many get stuck with the bill when certain groups of people use the emergency room as their general doctor then don't pay. A lot is spent random boondoggles like high speed trains that no one rides. The other problem is since the economy is so bad there, there are more people on welfair and not enough people working. When there is less people working there are less people paying taxes so there is less revenue going to the state.

TGSA, I agree they should too but they won't because most of their campaign cash comes from Hollyweird.

wackazoa
wackazoa
9 years ago

"But what is it your government spend so much cash on? I thought you guys had a very privatized society?"

Wellfare and Social security. "Social" programs account for almost 55 to 60% of U.S. Govment spending. Just saying.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

And until we institute a freakin' means test for social security – so Bill Gates doesn't get another paycheck after the age of 65 – we're going to keep spending like idiots.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Indeed. That idea is at least floating around Congress these days.

PC_Max
PC_Max
9 years ago

Personally I have no issue them labelling alongside the rating on the back of the game box/case warnings of language or violence. Its not the kids buying the games, its their parents. And granted parents need to find out what game it is they are buying their kids, by asking the clerk behind the counter or labelling.

And I have seen studies that make remarks to the affects of games on kids or adults a like, studies that go one way or the other. Problem is depending on what side of the fence you sit on… depends on what study you believe and hold up in the others face to prove your point. Bias on both sides.

My thought is games have good and bad affects on humans in general. This is most likely dependent on the genre of games they play.Point is there will always be this debate and there are many factors involved.

Yep, an unpopular stance.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

The older we grow the less of a problem it will become. My generation grew up playing fairly innocent games like Mario and Zelda. Now we have over the top violence like in God of War, Gears etc. Now that I am a father, and a gamer, I know what to allow and what not to allow. I think people are smarter than these pols give them credit for.

Also remember that anytime the government imposes new regulations on business', their costs go up and those cost inevitably get passed onto the consumer.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

The rating is MORE than enough. I take issue with singling out video games, as if they somehow have more detrimental effects than any other form of entertainment we expose our kids too.

That…is crap.

wackazoa
wackazoa
9 years ago

Ben dont music CD's have "explicit" warning labels ? I dont think that video games get singled out is all Im saying. But I dont think vg's really need any additional ratings. Im actually sad there arent more AO rated games. Not "BMXXX" AO rated but I feel Heavy Rain should have been AO. Some games kids should play.


Last edited by wackazoa on 3/21/2012 11:21:43 AM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Music has warnings because it doesn't have ratings.

At least that's what I always assumed.

@Wackazoa
I feel you about the AO games, but most devs just aim for M. I believe there might actually be a policy by Sony and other console companies to not release AO rated games? Could be wrong though. I remember reading something like that along those lines somewhere.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/21/2012 11:41:36 AM

wackazoa
wackazoa
9 years ago

Underdog I remember Sony's policy as well where they said they'd never allow a AO game. But really today that is just garbage. With the age of gamers going up it makes sense that certain game be allowed and produced only for adults.

And Im not talking smut either. Producers like Quantum Dynamics and Rockstar really have to walk thin lines to get the M ratings when if they just made the games for stories sake they would probably be AO rated and possibly more telling.

In books there is a big difference in stories between Harry Potter and anything written by Eric Lustbader. So should the story telling between Little Big Planet and adult aimed games.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

First of all, there's no reason whatsoever for Heavy Rain to be rated AO.

And music albums don't have ratings. They have warnings, and they're certainly not health warnings.

If such a law as Baca proposes passed, video games would be the only entertainment medium on earth that has an official rating and a health warning attached to it. …yeah, that's called "singling out."

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I can't stand these blue dogs tossing out red meat. These types love to place blame because it resonates with certain communities and helps get them re-elected.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/20/2012 9:52:24 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Yumm…red meat…


Last edited by Jawknee on 3/20/2012 9:57:22 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

What World said.

I love democracy. But when everything is in 4 year cycles and becomes about re-election as opposed to the constituents…

Yeah…. Democracy isn't the best form of government. It's just the best we have so far.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/21/2012 8:47:50 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

America isn't a democracy. It's a Constitutional Republic.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Oh… so THAT'S why all this garbage goes on there.

😉

But seriously though… what's the difference… You guys vote your politicians into power very democratically just like us. You have states just as we have provinces and territories. And you have a constitution just like we have a constitution.

I know the way the politicking is done with vito's and what not is different, but that's about it. That's actually the only difference I see. All our politicians have equal power, more or less, and for something to pass it's typically just 50%+1.

So aside from that, I don't see any difference. It's all very democratic, if you ask me.

-Theoretically- (lol) all our politicians would merely do what is best for their constituents. That is all.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/21/2012 6:35:41 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

For starters we don't have a Parliamentary system like many Democracies do. Our powers are divided into The Executive Branch, Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch. In the states it's not as simple a "majority rules" like in a Democracy. We vote for a Representative who then goes to Washington to uphold the interests of their constituents. Then those Representatives vote and a consensus must be reached with the House and the Senate before a piece of legislation it is sent to the President for him to sign or veto. We do not have a centralized government. Each state gets to write is own laws and has their very own Governor(Executive), State legislator(Congress) and their own Judaical Branch.

We are governed by our Constitution and the limits on the Federal Government within that Constitution. A majority in Congress can rule that we must buy an electric car but it wouldn't pass Constitutional muster. Thus it's is not a true Democracy where majority rules as it would be stuck down by the courts. As they are there to keep the executive and legislator in check with the Constitution.

There is a difference, that is the reason there is are separate words for Democracy and Constitutional Republic.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

We have provincial legislation in addition to federal legislation, and most laws are provincially based much like each state has it's own law.

I'm not sure I like the idea of so much power going to one to five representatives. Too much opportunity for cuckolding.

It's funny, I remember learning all that in an intro to political science class in university in my first year. I remember talking about and learning about the pros and cons of our system and the pros and cons of the American system… but for the life of me, I can't remember much of anything. lol. Of course, that was nearly a decade ago, now, and I didn't study poly-sci beyond the introduction course. So of course I've forgotten by now.

Which one is better, I remember, being completely situational.

Neo_Aeon666
Neo_Aeon666
9 years ago

Well you know… Baca… Baka (idiot) XD This might be where the Japanese took the term!!! 😀

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Why is it that once we elect most of our f*cking politicians into office they suddenly try to force their own misguided agenda's on us, and abuse our own tax money to bite the very hand that feeds them???

And it seems there's hardly any more of those "lesser of the evils" to even vote for these nowadays.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I think the problem is too many of them have forgotten that they work for us and not the other way around. They think that since they went to law school that they truly know better. Some are well intentioned I'm sure but the path to hell is paved with good intentions. 😉

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Lately it's paved with transvaginal probes 😉

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

LOL!

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

I think the system is partly to blame too, the movie Ides of March showed really well all the back door deals and stuff politicians have to do to get elected. It kinda gave you the sense that there is no way not to be crooked as a politician.

Also aren't the ratings already warnings? They even state why the game is rated that way, seems redundant to me.

556pineapple
556pineapple
9 years ago

I was going to say politicians should come with warning labels, but then I realized the fact they're called politicians is warning enough.

ctd669
ctd669
9 years ago

I'm guessing… The guy is a democrat!! Just sayin.. Im calling it Obamagaming…. Socalism at it's finest!

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

LOL! But hes a "Blue Dog" so he still represents freedom and stuff…

ctd669
ctd669
9 years ago

Er…. whatever!.!….

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Ben, did you see the report about how terrorist organizations are starting to use games like Call of Duty and Halo to host their little terror meet ups? Apparently they think it's a secure form of communication to chat over PSN and Xbox Live to plan their attacks.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Great. Yes, video games are evil.

…..the next quote from Joe Baca.

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

Is that actually true? Because all I ever hear are 12 year olds calling me a noob…

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Yes it's true. It's a recent phenomenon so it is just now making the news rounds. In all honesty I think it's a good sign. Shows they are getting desperate.

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
9 years ago

Warning labels? Apparently video games are the new cigarettes.

"Video games may cause cancer. That's right. A cancer to society! Save the children! Do it for the children! They are so innocent…wait a sec, pan the camera back to those innocent looking kids…DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN! I TOLD YOU TO FUCKING SMILE! Oops, did you get that on the video? We'll cut that later…"


Last edited by ZenChichiri on 3/20/2012 10:47:49 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Come to think of it I'm getting a little tired of the 5 seconds of my life I have to lose watching that seizure warning. I think everyone knows wild flashing lights can induce seizures, especially people who have seizures.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

You realize of course that such warnings have had the intended effect. Now my mother thinks all video games cause seizures.

And with warnings like the ones Baca proposes…yeah, the next step is making video games illegal.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

haha, you're right about that. Let's hope this legislation is less successful.

tes37
tes37
9 years ago

I think Joe Baca may be on to something. Something stupid, that is. He should worry about his own household. I can read the ESRB game rating just fine without government assistance.

I think we need a warning label on Congress.

THEVERDIN
THEVERDIN
9 years ago

I think the whole Congress should be replaced.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

America went through this with comic books once too. We just have to weather the storm and let sense rule the day. I have half a mind to start a gamers superpac to inform the world this entertainment isn't exclusively for children.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I'm in. It could be a bipartisan effort. ;P

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Okay, but you should know the Freemasons may be involved 🙂

wackazoa
wackazoa
9 years ago

So George Washington is behind all this ??????

Wow… that explains everything.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Yes, George Washington Carver and his sweet pototes.

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
9 years ago

I don't disagree with your article Ben but I believe there are warning labels on movies already. Don't have any to hand but I'm sure it says on the back things like "contains scenes of mild peril and scenes of a mild sexual nature".

That might only be for the R2 releases though as I can't recall what it says on R1.


Last edited by Gabriel013 on 3/21/2012 2:08:31 AM