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Don't Warn Parents about Harmful Effects of Video Game Violence?

Posted Apr 09 2009 7:14pm

Video game gunIn early January, Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) reintroduced a bill in the California Congress that would require all video games rated T (Teen) or higher to include a label that reads "WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior."

The Entertainment Consumers Association has responded to the proposal by launching a campaign thathas drummed up a good deal of support from gaming blogs. Despite the fact that the bill (and the sticker it proposes) would not restrict video game content, the ECA campaign attempts to show that the bill "is an unconstitutional restraint on speech that will harm consumers and parents alike." It alsoclaims that"the vast majority of studies show that there is no proven causal link between violent media of any type and aggressive behavior."

The research, however, indicates otherwise. Lab-based research by Craig Anderson suggests that playing violent video games increases players' aggressive behavior and makes it more likely that they will deal with conflict aggressively. For more information, see the APA website, or see Chapter 11 of The Handbook of Children, Media, and Development, which reviews the most current research on the relationship between media violence and aggression in young people. 

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