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US politicians demand health warnings on games

All T and M rated titles in the region could carry a warning about their supposed psychological harm

US congressman, Joe Baca, a representative for the Democrats, has proposed legislation that would see videogames carry a health warning label similar to that of cigarettes and alcohol.

If the Videogame Health Labeling Act of 2009, co-sponsored by Republican Frank R. Wolf, were to pass all T and M rated games would carry a label which would read: 'Warning: Excessive exposure to violent videogames and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behaviour.'

"The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families, and to consumers – to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products," Baca said.

"They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility. Meanwhile research continues to show a proven link between playing violent games and increased aggression in young people. American families deserve to know the truth about these potentially dangerous products."

Baca cites studies from the Pediatrics Journal, University of Indiana, University of Missouri, and Michigan State University as proof there is a "neurological link" between playing violent video games and aggressive behaviour in children and teenagers.

"We must hold the video game industry accountable and do everything in our power to ensure parents are aware of the detrimental effects that violent games can have before making decisions on which games are appropriate for their children to play," Baca added.

"I am proud to introduce the Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009, and am hopeful my legislation can work to stop the growing influence of violent media on America's children and youth."

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James Lee