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Tobacco-Style Warning Labels For Games Being Discussed

A bill has been proposed in North America that would require violent games to carry a warning label similar to those that are currently seen on packets of tobacco. The two congressmen who have proposed the bill want a message that reads “Warning: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior” on video game packaging.

“Just as we warn smokers of the health consequences of tobacco, we should warn parents — and children — about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behaviour.”

– Virginia Representative and the bill’s co-sponsor Frank Wolf

188 thoughts on “Tobacco-Style Warning Labels For Games Being Discussed”


    1. its just plain stupid

      they should propose a bill to put more money in indy games
      if they want to change anything at all

    2. No i think the reason they propose that is stupid. About 2 years ago some kid shot his parents and then they blamed it on insanity due to halo 3. They said the kid didnt know his parents wouldnt come back to life and he only meant shooting them as meager insult.

      1. That is a terrible excuse. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have none of this “the game made me do it” excuse. That judge should have sent that kid straight to jail, video games are only video games.

      2. WTF!!! I have played games were you blugen people to death (throughly enjoyed doing it btw). And I’m the least violent person there is. This is total BS, if a kid wants to kill his parents then that’s a mental issue, not a video game issue.

      1. And some parents dont want to be parents… if you get me… My dad would kick my ass if he seen me playing or watching something inappropriate for my age group

        1. I let my 5yo play Saints Row 3. He loved it. His grandma (Mothers side) threatened to break it after she saw the giant didlo. I teach my son right from wrong, not to use naughty words and games are just games. Months later, he’s over the game and is still a normal as any 5yo can be.

    1. I played my first violent game when I was 4 or 5, which was the Turok series for N64. When I was 7 I played GTA III and started watching adult swim, south park, etc. And I swear I have never been influenced by any of it.

      1. It’s called repressed emotions. Unless you deal with those emotions face to face, you cannot just say you weren’t affected by them. Of course, obviously, nobody will ever admit becoming more violent because of a video game, not because they’re afraid of censorship, but because they don’t want to look like a dumbass evil person who was apparently influenced by a video game or any media in general.

        1. That has got to be the most stupidest reply ever. What emotions are you going to get from a video game? Unless your mind is weak, you shouldn’t. “Oh, I ran over a person in GTA III. Better go cry about it, or do it in real life.” Video games are a scapegoat. I know have a five year old cousin who plays GTA IV and does extremely well in school. The teacher is constantly telling his parents how kind he is in class. The kid doesn’t even get rewarded for his kindness! Let’s pretend video games do affect the mind. If anything, video games would teach games what NOT to do in real life.

          1. Well said. I make straight A’s in school and have been playing games my whole life, violent and non-violent. I also get tired of the idea that video games make kids stupid. As a matter of fact, I would argue that they’ve made me smarter. Geometry, memorization, and vocabulary could be some examples of what games have helped me learn.

            1. This is so true, I also have, not perfect, but excellent grades in school and I have played videogames formaly and considered myself a gamer since I was 9. If any I think games like Zelda, Metroid and even Mario help your brain to be quicker when looking for a solution. They may think videogames are bad and make you stupid, but I am sure it’s the other way around.

        2. Dood, I’ve play video games, violent and non-violent over the years. I played Silent Hill, GTA, Persona, Mortal Kombat, Skyrim, Left 4 Dead and many other games and you know what? I study in college, I work as a part-time writer, I have a lot of friends, I read books, I do my chores, I workout, I eat right, I walk my dog and I live my life. And I haven’t seen any of those “violent” games turn me into a psychopath.

  1. fuck they don’t need to do that that is why they M for mature label is their for to warn parents to not buy kids that game eventhough they do

      1. Well most companies around me aren’t even allowed to sell games to anyone suspected to be under 25, so you have to have your ID on you to buy M games.

  2. If this is going to be implemented, TV series and films should really carry similar warnings. Some music possibly even should.
    It’s all a bunch of BS IMO any ways. I don’t believe video games, or any other medium, affects behaviour of children or adolescents at all. All comes down to poor parenting.

    1. I agree with you completely,kids are much more likely to face of cruelty,wrong Ideals and messed up points of view from TV,Music,movies,and even sports (by following bad decisions of their role models) in a much more realistic way, since most of those are set up on the real world. Even though I believe that such warnings are an exaggeration,and will most likely not solve cases of bad parenting, who should be more concerned with what comes into their home, I do believe that slightly bigger and brighter signs are not a bad idea.

    2. This might be just me, but books can have some messed up adult themes in them like any other medium. Do books have ratings? Plus, I find a book relies more on mentally visualising and relating the events more sub/consciously. Know what I mean?

  3. I completely agree, but only because one time at Best Buy, I saw an eight-year old-ish asking their father to buy a CoD game, and he completely agreed. Even my aunt did this once in the past when my ten year old cousin wanted [Prototype]. When I asked her, she told me that it’s just another game and all games are for children, which is why she didn’t know it had such violent themes.

    1. In that case we go back at robhc’s comment, I quote:

      “I don’t believe video games, or any other medium, affects behaviour of children or adolescents at all. All comes down to poor parenting.”

    2. Get over yourself for fuck sake, so what? If a parent approves, a parent approves. My Dad brought me mortal kombat when I was 7 and do you see me ripping peoples spines out? Sending people to hell? Or pulling their vital organs out? If a child can’t handle games or can’t seperate reality from virtual reality then they are stupid and not yet ready for that content. Games are for kids no matter how you look at it, it all depends on maturity.

  4. Ugh. If they do this they might as well put warning labels on booze saying ” warning- alcohol can cause violence”. Its just such a dumb idea.

    1. exactly, i hate it when people say that violent games cause violent actions, umm no(only when i rage quit haha, but that has nothing to do with hurting any person) its the idiots with major anger issues that play violent games that screw everyone else over, if some angry kid that plays dora the explorerer shoots someone, i dont think the game would be blamed.

      P.S. their scientific research they talk about is a bunch of faggot idiots trying to make themselves look smart by blaming violence on something.

  5. Couldn’t they just put a twice as big age sticker on it with arrows pointing at it. No one will believe, and therefore care about, something like that

  6. Maybe the label should be “Warning: Exposure to bad parenting has been linked to aggressive behavior” instead.

  7. That is ridiculous. We already have an M-rating, why on Earth do we need this? If it isn’t obvious enough to people now that it shouldn’t be given to younger kids, it won’t be obvious with that.

    1. exactly, CERO, PEGI and ESRB already clear enough to state the age rate for certain games..
      if people still doesnt get that, well… they are indeed retarded .___.

    1. Why are you here? So you spend probably hours a day just stalking Nintendo sites to post comments like this? You’re so cool. We’re all so jealous.
      You obviously only care about graphics then. Graphics don’t make a game. If they did then there would be no video games because the originals wouldn’t have sold because they didn’t have “good” graphics. And good doesn’t mean realistic. In fact, I prefer them less realistic for the most part because they aren’t supposed to be real. I’m guessing you mostly just play CoD and all the games that are exactly like it. A lot of people who whine about graphics usually do. I’m betting you’ve never played a great game with “bad” graphics. By bad I mean by your definition, which seems to be “not realistic”. Here’s a great game with unrealistic graphics, Earthbound. If you want to see good graphics on the Wii, check out Okami (Not a Nintendo game, but it is available on the Wii). The graphics are amazing and beautiful, but I don’t think you’d appreciate them because they aren’t realistic. You’re stupid and I’m not even going to waste anymore time on you.

    2. Lets run down the list of the problems of your “comment”:
      1) No PS4 has been officially announced yet
      2) Where is it written that games need good graphics to be good games
      3) Can you read? this is not an article about the Wii U, Its about idiots who think violent games cause violent kids. I bet if you took away violent games from Playstation, there would be no games left.
      (P.S. nintendo tends to more focus on innovation and game play than graphics. just because a game has good graphics, doesn’t mean its a good game)

      1. I would argue that both Sony and Nintendo value good gameplay, I’ve enjoyed many games on both systems. I have to say though, I DON’T like where Nintendo is going with this “innovation” thing. Have a motion controller if you must, but release a conventional controller as well and advertise it more than the motion one. Make it your main focus and the motion control something extra. I know most people will hate this, but personally, I think I would’ve liked Zelda Skyward Sword (I’m using it as an example because I’ve recently played it) a lot better if I had something more accurate and responsive to control the game with besides waving my arm around. Please, anyone feel free to reply. I love debating my favourite hobby!

    3. yur an idiot, sony copies everything nintendo does, isnt the playstation move just a lil bit like the wii? oh yeah i dont think that was a coincidence and also t failed while the wii sold 2x as much as the ps3 so go suck on that

  8. Didn’t they learn anything by the great success of the parental warning stickers in music…. just a to get kids to better notice the ultra violent/lewd/and crude games…

  9. I already have played a lot of violent games and in 18 years of live i NEVER,NEVER, punched or hurt someone. That’s ridiculous!

          1. What is wrong with you? Can you not let others have their own opinions? So what if you prefer microsoft? So what if you don’t like nintendo? Why can you not look for the gems rather than the faults in the video game industry? Are you really so arrogant that you need to raise your opinion in every single conversation that involves the video game industry? Respect the opinions of others and don’t flaunt your, it makes you look like an ass.

        1. What the fuck is wrong with you? Calm down and go whine on another site. You know this article will affect Xbox or Playstation or whatever you like, too…

    1. “Will you guys listen to the video and stop commenting purely based on the title and the first 10 seconds? This isn’t an anti-Nintendo video, it’s for them. There’s a question mark at the end of the title for a REASON.”

      Congratulations, you have just tried to troll us with a video you clearly didn’t watch, which turned out to be a pro-Nintendo video. You have just ensured that sane people will mock you for your failed attempts at trolling. Evidently, you just looked up “Wii U will fail” and picked videos at random. Give up, please, because you clearly have no idea how to troll.

    2. Did you even watch more than 1 minute of the video? They guy in it basically says Nintendo is awesome, the Wii U will sell well, the people who work at Nintendo are great, the new games for the 3DS will be great (They are already out and are great), and he’s excited for HD Zelda, Mario, and Smash Bros… And he called Microsoft (and Activision) a bunch of suits who just want money…. Maybe you should watch this before you post it. It’s basically a bunch of Nintendo compliments along with a cute picture.
      Thanks, now I’ll go check out this guys videos.

        1. lol u kno u dont even make us mad bcuz the actual experts like the wii u. ouch im sorry to burts yyur bubble but if you actually check out consols before you bash them like an asshole you might actually know something. yeah, im a nintendo fan because nintendo is fun, not all graphics and the wii u will have that too but they have the best ideas and are always changing the way you play games, microsoft and sony are in the battle for best graphics and guess what?, i have a gaming pc that could kick the ass of both consoles, put together, so suck it up asshole you lose, nintedo sell a ton more consols and will win this time just like always. :D

          1. lISTEN TO THE EXPERTS!



            1. Pachter ain’t that bad… He’s very accure… Except when it comes to Nintendo… But he’s good at predicting 360 and PS3 stuff.

    1. Why did you choose a video with bad music… also

      Why did that guy steal Darth Vaders light sabor? Oh wait thats just the dislike bar!

    2. Go buy mass effect 3 and go on your Xbox to keep you busy and stop you getting here.

      You know… stop wasting your time trolling because it just makes 360 fanboys look even more retarded.

  10. I believe, like many, that it’s the parents responsibility to sift through what games are acceptable and which are not. Simply looking at a M rate game and seeing “Intense Violence” should tell them it’s not a game for a 9 year old kid

    1. siegfried von schroder

      i have informed my other friends which they are microsoft fans too about thos blogsite! we will have fan,soon enough

  11. After all it works for the smokers… Who the fuck would even stop to read that?? You know what else is linked to aggressive behavior??? doing something difficult… There’s a fine line to feeling agressive and causing violence… aggression is an unavoidable feeling and violence is an action… You can’t link a “Violent” Video game to aggression… Thats like linking a hard Working job to aggression… Or that game where you have a metal hoop going through a zig zag metal bar and you can’t touch it off the metal bar… THAT FUCKING THING PISSES ME OFF >:O

  12. I love video games, but this is a great idea, and most of you detractors don’t understand how science works. The fact that you have played violent video games your whole life and have still managed to avoid shooting anyone doesn’t mean anything about the long-term effects of frequent play of ultra-violent games. Controlled studies have been done examining this relationship, and they are pretty conclusive. Playing GTA/Halo/CoD/whatever does increase violent behavior in significant ways, like it or not. I support this legislation completely, and would love to see the talented people making these ultra-violent games be guided by regulations towards more pro-social content. You may not believe it because of what you are used to, but non-violent games are actually just as fun as their gory counterparts.

    1. I tried juggling once… every time I dropped a ball I felt punching a kitten.. THERE WAS NO WARNING LABEL ON THEM BALLS… hehe I said balls ^.^

      1. Agreed. If there is a warning label on this, there should be a warning label on card games because those can make you aggressive, too! And what about paper? If I get a paper cut, I’ll get aggressive!

      2. Agreed.

        They should stick warnings on bus time tables… they always turn up late and makes me want to scream or kick a dog.

        Sigh… even the bus’ make me more mad then M rated games…

  13. If parents aren’t smart enough to read the ESRB labels before buying the game, what makes them think they’ll read this?

  14. I kind of agree, as long as their willing to put warning labels on cheesburgers, movies that talk about alchohol, etc.etc. etc…

    1. And any difficult activity like slamming a revolving door or punching your reflection in the face… Try it… you wont be able to ;)

  15. That is so unscientifically unproven. I’ve been playing violent video games for years and I ansutly cause no vience to others

      1. Actually I’ve heard they’ve NEVER proven it, hell, I actually remember reading an articles that video games have helped kids in more than one occasion.

  16. Pingback: Tobacco-Style Warning Labels For Games Being Discussed | My Nintendo News « Circle of Friends

  17. What? F**k off already! There’s not concrete evidence that games are linked to aggressive behavior. Tobacco has been linked to deaths and stuff because of medical records, but video games? WTF? What about movies, TV shows, books, even the famous fights within congress?


  18. Well….. I guess this is the part when I say “RON PAUL 2012”. He would veto this bill in a heartbeat if he were president. Search Ron Paul on youtube.

    1. Why do you want Ron Paul elected?!

      and how has this got anything to do with this?

      Also… why do you vote republican?

      1. He’s not republican, he’s libertarian. He’s running republican because 3rd parties never get any election coverage.

    1. ^THIS

      Really, when I play CoD and I never shout at the TV playing it… I shout when the game lags and quits.

  19. Groundbreaking news here, violence in video games lead to violent behavior. Studies weren’t able to prove this so it must be true. Also, violence in movies, TV, books, sports and on the 10 o’clock news have also been linked to such behavior. This is true because someone said so.

    Now we must pass a bill to prevent these things, the evil of video games, movies, TV, sports, the news, and life itself must be stopped. Why can’t people just watch the emergency broadcast channel and live happy in a life with no violence murder or sex.

  20. Dog owners are exposed to their dogs pooping on the street. Has this lead to an increase of people pooping in public?

  21. BULLFUCK!!
    what the hell are they thinking, Video Games aren’t dangerous
    what, would you rather us play GTA, or go out and do it!?
    stupid bastards, probably never played a damn video game in they’re lives

    1. True.

      A video game is just a video game… it’s not real so you can do what you want in it.

      I mean… why do people create a fuss and demand banning a game which has killing civilians in it?

      Age ratings will just become plain retarded if they put these warnings in it.

  22. I think this is a great idea. In fact, I have a few suggestions for other things they need to warn people about.





    1. Wait?

      I don’t understand the labels lead to autism and the water linked to cocaine addiction part…

  23. Its not like ive been influenced to do anything bad like ive done in like Gta 4…And I do some pretty messed up stuff in it..its stupid…thats why there are labels like M,T,E is warn parents to NOT buy the game for them…its going to come to “warning dont buy this game..its violent and will make your kid want to kill you” on every single game cover

  24. @siegfried von schroder, seriously nobody cares.
    anyways, i think ppl really gotta differentiate between games, and tobacoo, heck even violence. its not the kids, it’s their parents. if they bought them games like that, they need to tell them, that its a game, no matter how realistic it is. just cuz u push buttons dusnt allow you to be ontop of the world, so to speak

  25. Meh, this really isn’t a big deal. I mean, sure it’s pretty stupid, but if parents didn’t read the ratings before, what makes you think they’ll do it now?

  26. The problem here is that there’s also scientific proof that says there ISN’T a link between violent games and violent behaviour. It’s one of those situations where the cause and effect can’t be determined.

  27. If they do this, why not put a warning that excessive sexual lyrics or drug references in songs, or sexual and violent scenes in movies and television has been linked to negative and illegal behavioour as well? These politicians keep finding ridiculous ways to not do their job. To f*ck with them all.

  28. Because games approach reality…

    just like smoking approaches actual consumption as opposed to a culture of passive consumption…

    It’s about reality and facing reality.


    Next thing you know they will be outlawing war…

    or death.

  29. This is just retarded… Why don’t they think about it for Movies also?

    The most retarded thing about this is that Kids should know the difference between Fiction and real life. Wow I knew the difference when I first played video games ^_^

    Some countries don’t allow game rating systems like in Russia and north africa… I have family members who are 5 years old and play GTA freely and can even buy it and can go to gaming places and kids often play Counter Strike; because there are no age ratings in that country.

    Seriously, in the countries with no age rating, the kids are not influenced by games and go out and shoot people… it’s only kids who have something wrong with them or are plain retarded who end up thinking CoD or some shooting is real and take their dads gun and go and kill people.

    1. Cuz with movies, you only watch them. With games, YOU’RE the one who’s doing something, not just the npcs. I’m not totally keen on whether media truly influences people’s behaviors or not, but assuming it did, then games would likely influence people’s behaviors far more than movies. And honestly, if I were to choose to trust between a person who has actually fired a gun and knows how to use a gun and a person who’s spent days playing games where you shoot with guns at people (not that these are mutually exclusive), I’d trust the dude who’s actually fired real guns. Cuz at least he knows exactly how dangerous it is to wield a gun anyway (“always assume a gun is loaded!”).

      1. You notice action movies with guns are usually rated 13+ or R?

        Well whats the reason now why they rate it that?

  30. Well, this actually makes sense. Kids who play violent games aren’t going to grow up to be murderers, but they will likely find violence and aggression more acceptable because they’ve enjoyed taking part in it in a game. This will totally reduce the CoD kids, though. :P

  31. Oh lord >_< by the way sikr you should just America, not north america cause nothing like that is going on in Canada.

  32. It’d probably be just as ‘effective’ as the warnings on cigarette boxes too, if you get what I mean.

    I’m indifferent on this, it’d have little effect either way, I would’ve thought these people would have something better to do than this though.

  33. It’s all ready be shown time and time again,

    Fatherless and Poverty

    are the main causes of violent criminal behavior.

  34. This should happen and I have some evidence to prove this. I’m not someone who enjoys violent games, I love most nintendo games, the Sims series and online games wereas my brother isn’t like that at all. We used to LOVE the same games then he got an xbox and he changed so much. His attitutde towards my mum and dad altered and now he constantly sits in his room and when he comes down he fights with everyone, he blames everyone for stuff they haven’t done including with me. We used to be best friends but now we hate each other. We’re complete opposites.

  35. Also I’d like to add I don’t think the images on the cig boxes even work, most just ignore them. Although I believe that has failed I think this would work because it is the parents buying the games most of the time so they would see the warnings and go against it.

  36. *Voice of Yoda* “School leads to homework, homework leads to frustration, frustration leads to anger, anger leads to hate… ”

    Better Label school as a danger leading to violence. SERIOUSLY: How many killings have resulted in the affects of school on kids!!!

    If we’re going to get silly about it, we better FUCKING label school as a trigger for violence…

  37. A simple parental advisory warning of violent content is fine. But to say that the game can result in aggressive behavior is a load of bull. IT’S A GAME!! Are politicians really ignorant enough to blame video games for real world violence? The causes of real world violence in young people are not as simple as “it’s the video game’s fault”.

  38. The supposed link between violence and violent video games has never been proven. I’ve done upwards of 7 independent research studies into the supposed link all throughout high school and college. Not a damn source ever provided enough evidence to inconclusively prove anything about violent games causing violent behavior. In most cases, the opposite was found to be true by several of my sources. (I did a lot of internet and library based research)

    I know I’m just one man, and my scenario proves next to nothing for society as a whole, but I grew up playing the likes of GTA and other violent games and grew up to be a pacifist against unecessary violence. The same might not be true for others, but as far as my experience goes, games of all sorts serve as more of a pacifier/stress reliever than an inspiration for violent acts.

  39. “If [videogames] had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”
    ― Marcus Brigstocke


  40. Have some points to point out:

    1. How would this affect anything? Isn’t this what the PEGI is for?
    2. I don’t know anyone who’ve become more aggresive by playing video games… Actually most people I know who play video games are calmer than those who doesn’t.
    3. Even if it was true so would this label stop nothing due to the fact that more often the parents of these children are a worser problem than the games.

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  42. I find it sad that parents are becoming so obsolete. It’s like the government says “Well, it’s not like kids are actually supervised and counseled these days, we should probably raise them with stickers.”

  43. People need to stop bitching it’s just a label you acting like they to trying to stop people for making games geez clam down i think it’s a good thing theses kid don’t need to play things like this and watch movies that has all that killing in it.

    1. YOU CANNOT WRITE THAT COMMENT!… or play that game or watch that movie. We say so. It’s just a label but it says your freedom of choice has been revoked. Stop bitching. I will make my opinion but no-one will see it because the label drives them away. That’s the point Rex! People will stop making grown-up games because it will limit the market/money. There is a HUGE financial difference between an Everybody-rated movie/game and an Adult rated M/G. And financial investment (blockbuster hit) wants results ($). Plus the gaming community/public don’t want this, just 2 congressmen with anti-violence voters do..

    1. Something similar was I’m sure. I hear about laws like these being proposed every few years. Thankfully, there always seems to be enough people with common sense that it doesn’t pass into law.

  44. Utter and complete shite! I played DooM at the age of 6, when it arrived to the PS1! I’m a 22 year old woman now, and I’m not insane, or sat in an institution, wearing a straight jacket! I’ve never not played violent games from my youth. Video games are the government’s scapegoat for people’s mishaps.

  45. They don’t realize that there is already a system in place. In America, it’s called the ESRB. They have labels saying who the game is (approximately) ok for. This way parents can make sure the game is okay without playing it. It’s that simple. And, Wolf needs to cite his sources.

    1. Apparently, parents have a terrible reading comprehension. Words or phrases like “Teen,” “Mature,” or “Intense Violence,” “Blood and Gore” obviously takes a mind beyond Stephen Hawking to understand.

  46. What a load of bull… Why put warnings for things which have killed 300 people worldwide at the most, where alcohol which has no warning labels, has killed millions of people? I’m not saying that warning labels are good, in fact I think they are a terrible idea, but politicians should at least get their priorities right…

    People have enough common sense and free will to choose to use or not use a product which can have detrimental side effects. We know smoking kills; stop shoving it down our throats…

  47. If a kid can’t seperate fiction from reality, he has a problem to begin with. Society has to stop blaming video games, music and movies for shit like that. As Screwattack once said: if you’re jacked up, it’s because your parents don’t love you.

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  49. Why not do this? I died a lot on SMG2’s The Perfect Run and I got very pissed. I think this is what they mean. Death a LOT which leads to annoyance then angry ness.

    Though maybe not..

  50. The evening news (and morning and noon news) is more violent than anything I have seen in a game, why not have warnings on that? Bullying in schools cause death too, more warnings on that. Life sucks in general, I just play games to get away from it.

  51. At least dumb-ass parents will recognize that the game has violent content and maybe their 8 year old shouldn’t be playing it.

  52. Pingback: Deputados americanos querem aplicar aviso em games violentos similar aos de cigarros | Obvius


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