Stop the Misinformation Campaign about Video Game Violence

Rep. Joe Baca and Rep. Frank Wolf are promoting a bill that would force video game companies to put extreme warning labels on their products. H.R. 4204, the Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, would compel game companies to label their products with "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.”  As it turns out, their "scientific studies" supporting this claim have been rejected by every court to consider them. These warning labels would perpetuate fear-based misinformation and run afoul of the free speech provisions enshrined in our Constitution.

These warnings are not just dangerous, but unnecessary. The voluntary ESRB rating system, which is already widely used by game publishers, is well-understood in the marketplace, and can provide consumers with the information they need.

The Congressmen promoting this bill are disregarding the 2010 Supreme Court case that emphatically rejected a similar attempt to unconstitutionally restrict the sale of video games. That's because the Supreme Court recognized that the emerging art form of video games is entitled to as much First Amendment protection as any of the mediums that have come before, and can't be singled out for stigma based on flawed science and a mob mentality:

Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium.

Send a letter to Congress and tell them to oppose publicity-stunt initiatives to force game companies to apply deceptive labels to their packaging.