Connecticut Lawmaker Calls For Taxes, Warning Labels On M-Rated Games

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Connecticut Lawmaker Calls For Taxes, Warning Labels On M-Rated Games

Debralee Hovey

Connecticut State Representative DebraLee Hovey says "countless studies" have proven that violent video games provoke aggressive and violent behavior, particularly among children and teenagers.

Last year, in the wake of the mass murder at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, State Representative DebraLee Hovey proposed a new tax on all M-rated video games. The surcharge, a whopping ten percent, would go to the state's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, "to educate families on the warning signs of video game addiction and antisocial behavior."

The proposed law was not passed, but Hovey isn't giving up. In a recently-penned opinion piece posted on the Connecticut House Republicans website, she wrote that making it harder to buy guns and high-capacity magazines won't change the "endemic culture of violence" in the U.S., and said that mandating warning labels on M-rated games and applying extra taxes to them is the "obvious" way to protect society from violence.

"Countless studies, including a recent 2014 piece out of Iowa State University, have attributed the playing of violent video games with noticeable increases - in both frequency and severity - of aggressive behavior. This is true particularly among children and teens. According to that same study, more than 90% of video games rated E10+ or higher contain violent content, which is often justified and portrayed as 'fun'," she wrote. "Moreover, it is now common knowledge that Adam Lanza was known to play these violent video games for hours a day. If we can educate consumers about mature video games as violent behavior triggers, and put more resources into researching contributing factors of violent behavior, why wouldn't we?"

Hovey described her proposed measures as being similar to warning pregnant women about the dangers of alcohol, and said she was disheartened that the bill did not pass. She's now calling upon supporters to "spread the word about the harmful impact of violent video game play across Connecticut."

"The science is clear and overwhelming; the playing of violent video games by children and teens does lead to observable behavior changes. That same study from Iowa State University showed that 'habitual violent video game play increases long term aggressive behavior' and this increase occurs 'regardless of sex, age, initial aggressiveness, and parental involvement.' That means even children with no previous signs of violent tendencies were shown to have an increased incidence of such behavior after prolonged violent video game play," she wrote. "An additional 2004 study concluded that adolescents who play violent video games for extended periods of time are often more aggressive, more confrontational with teachers and adults, and more likely to engage in fights with peers. Violent video game play does not only impact the behavior of children with preexisting behavioral issues, but the behavior of all children."

It's not clear whether Hovey intends to pursue the issue through further legislation but her assertions aside, the science is demonstrably not "clear and overwhelming."In fact, the final report on the Sandy Hook mass murder found no connection between the shooting and violent video games. We've reached out to Rep. Hovey for comment and will update if we receive a response.

Source: Connecticut House Republicans

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People just don't seem to ever understand that the M Rating IS the warning label...

Blatantly wrong and she clearly doesn't understand what "protected speech" means. She needs to track what the Supreme Court does a little better before pulling this BS out of her ass.

There are warning labels on games Conneticut, it's called the ESRB rating. Of course I'm not surprised that people don't go by that, and it all can be chalked up to negligent parenting in a lot of cases. The ratings are visible on the front and back cover, with the back cover listing the reasons why it is rated what it's rated. Plus, GameStop and other stores force you to show a legal state ID when buying the games, heck in California they have finger print scanners in GameStops now, so if a child is still playing those games then it's the fault of negligent parenting.
But then again, no parent wants to hear how their little Sussie or Timmy did something, and so parents and politicians will blame it on something else instead of taking responsibility.

I will say I'm grateful for how my parents raised me when it ce to games. They actually followed the ratings on the boxes, and as a kid I wasn't allowed to play rated M games at my house unless they could turn off the gore (basically Mortal Kombat). They then watched to see when I was mature enough to play the games and let me play them at home. By that point I was 16, and turned 17 a few months later. Nowadays I'm 20, and while I do have some rated M games, I tend to play more E to T games than M games.

While Sandy Hook was a tragedy, the fact that they are still trying to blame scapegoats instead of actually fixing the problems shows that no one has learned anything really, which is quite sad.

*insert speechless Nathan Fillion gif here*

You know, California tried something similar to this a little while back. Granted, that was asking for age restrictions on M-rated games - which, more or less, already exist and were already implemented widescale. The reason why that was struck down was because it violates free speech. A tax on a videogame, due to this, is likely to be found as such a violation.

An additional warning label, on the other hand, I could see happening, and being legal, but its incredibly stupid since:

1) It already has a warning label - its call the ESRB Rating System. According to the latest ESA release, something like 86% of parents know about it.

2) There's no solid consensus, so any label that they do put on a game box might be considered "slanderous" since there is far from a scientific consensus.

If she continues attempts of this, it will blow up in her face.

But don't you DARE touch her precious guns. They're protected by the only amendment that actually matters; the second!

And as many have pointed out, games DO have warning labels on them. That nice little "M" that idiots like her can't seem to see.

Andy Chalk:
Connecticut State Representative DebraLee Hovey says "countless studies" have proven that violent video games provoke aggressive and violent behavior, particularly among children and teenagers.

Care to share any of these "countless studies"?

Andy Chalk:
and said that mandating warning labels on M-rated games and applying extra taxes to them is the "obvious" way to protect society from violence.

But that's why we already have the ESRB. The M rating IS the warning label!

Andy Chalk:
"Countless studies, including a recent 2014 piece out of Iowa State University, have attributed the playing of violent video games with noticeable increases - in both frequency and severity - of aggressive behavior. This is true particularly among children and teens. According to that same study, more than 90% of video games rated E10+ or higher contain violent content, which is often justified and portrayed as 'fun'," she wrote.

Yes, if only more kids played video games about...um...sharing?

Mr. Omega:
But don't you DARE touch her precious guns. They're protected by the only amendment that actually matters; the second!

Immediately reminded of this:

Reminds me of a "constitutional lawyer" on twitter who was upset over the recent Clippers owner thing and thought that his "freedom of speech" was being trampled upon.

Well, I think we can all agree that this woman is clearly a nut. But once again, I find it amusing that the article makes sure to include Hovey's party when if she was a democrat, it wouldn't dare be mentioned. Plus, if you look up info on her, she's a very liberal republican, thus the whole "tax the crap out of whatever I don't like, no matter what anybody says." It's the same thinking that's banning e-cigs in public places in the People's Republic of Illinois, despite the fact they have no harmful effects to other people.

Heaven forbid you raise taxes on guns. Or pass laws making them harder to get. Or offer programs to help kids who are in similar positions. Or anything else that would have a greater impact on preventing another shooting. You could do ten, no five, minutes of research to find out that there are warnings on video games, that most stores won't sell them to you if you're under eighteen, and then take that knowledge, throw together a commercial saying, "Parents, look at the rating on the games you want to buy for your kids," and that would have more impact than trying to raise taxes. Geez lady.

Mr. Omega:
But don't you DARE touch her precious guns. They're protected by the only amendment that actually matters; the second!

Reminds me of that one pic I've seen over the Internet. I can't post it here (I don't know how to post images, lol), but it said this:

If it is not the gun, but the gunman, then how is it the game, but not the gamer?

it is now common knowledge that Adam Lanza was known to play these violent video games for hours a day

She's damned right. He also slept for HOURS every day. Clearly we should stop kids under 18 from sleeping and put a heavy tax on beds before they all turn in to psychopaths.

Old politician decries current boogeyman in an effort to accumulate votes from the stupid, ignorant and fearful. Spouts 'facts' that aren't, cries 'Won't somebody think of the children?!' and is full of shit.

Nothing new here then.

These people are the worst - Politicians that don't even understand the laws they are supposed to uphold. Try reading the Constitution sometime. Here is a hint...start at the First Amendment. Content based discrimination is still an infringement on free speech.

marioandsonic:

Mr. Omega:
But don't you DARE touch her precious guns. They're protected by the only amendment that actually matters; the second!

Reminds me of that one pic I've seen over the Internet. I can't post it here (I don't know how to post images, lol), but it said this:

If it is not the gun, but the gunman, then how is it the game, but not the gamer?

Ah, Philosoraptor.

First, to post a photo, you need brackets set up. it should like "[ img ]" and then "[ /img]", without those spaces. Then you right-click an image, "copy image URL", and post it between the brackets. Quote this post to see it.

image

I'm just sick of this. Yes we can laugh and mock these cooks but this is the debate they are having instead of putting any kind of gun controls in place. Tighter gun control stops gun deaths. It IS that simple.

Something interesting I learned in studying empirical research on various things for psychology.

Science hasn't "proven" that secondhand smoke causes cancer, it by definition cannot prove that despite "countless studies" showing there is a correlation, science cannot prove cigarette smoke causes cancer.

A scientific study that had its participants play video games and then observed the participants committing violence while a control group did not under perfect conditions could claim to support the theory, something this black and white doesn't prove that there is even a causal relationship between violent video games and actual violence.

Just another right wing lunatic desperate to use the deaths of innocents to champion a personal cause. Facts, evidence, basic logic, these things mean nothing to this sort of person. Not surprising.

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm just sick of this. Yes we can laugh and mock these cooks but this is the debate they are having instead of putting any kind of gun controls in place. Tighter gun control stops gun deaths. It IS that simple.

Every .12 seconds a (super) Meat Boy is impaled upon spikes. Won't you do your part to stop the violence?

I thought Republicans were all about FREEDOM.
I thought Republicans were all about LESS government.

It seems like these aye-holes want to make it harder to buy a video game than to buy a gun.

I'm not sure if they're sincere, or if they're part of some crazy ass gun cult that demands the blood, erm, taxes of not real guns.

MarsAtlas:
Ah, Philosoraptor.

First, to post a photo, you need brackets set up. it should like "[ img ]" and then "[ /img]", without those spaces. Then you right-click an image, "copy image URL", and post it between the brackets. Quote this post to see it.
-snip-

Ah, yes, that was the picture I was looking for. Thanks for that!

Time to verify sources:

There were two peer-reviewed research papers I could find from Iowa State University. One was published in Psychological Science in September 2001:

http://www.soc.iastate.edu/sapp/videogames1.pdf

They obtained their results by performing a "meta-analysis" on literary sources and then correlated specific terms used. And most of their assumptions are based upon conclusions of previous papers (dated between 1971 and 2000) that dealed with other types of media.

The second was published online in JAMA Pediatrics on March 29, 2014:

http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1850198

The study used 3000+ students from Singapore primary and secondary schools.

If they can show the study results in an increase in gun violence in Singapore, then they may need to raise taxes there instead.

Addendum: I should also note that both papers were written by Craig A Anderson, the "Distinguished Professor & Director" for the Center for the Study of Violence. So there's probably no ulterior motives there, like job security, or anything...

MCerberus:

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm just sick of this. Yes we can laugh and mock these cooks but this is the debate they are having instead of putting any kind of gun controls in place. Tighter gun control stops gun deaths. It IS that simple.

Every .12 seconds a (super) Meat Boy is impaled upon spikes. Won't you do your part to stop the violence?

If that only from spikes, I sure don't want to know the statistic for all form of Meat Boy death. =p

image

Is it campaigning season already? My my how time does fly...

But really all we can hope for is that people become involved with their local politics and show that this kind of ignorance will not be tolerated.

Isn't the tax thing going to bump against laws that have already been challenged anyway, meaning even if the law had passed it would simply be another waste of taxpayer dollars?

Andy Chalk:

Hovey described her proposed measures as being similar to warning pregnant women about the dangers of alcohol, and said she was disheartened that the bill did not pass.

Except that actually is a danger, one that's been documented by more than quote-mined, dishonest, and misrepresented disparate studies. This is more like mandating schools teach children that masturbation will cause their eyesight to go bad.

TiberiusEsuriens:
People just don't seem to ever understand that the M Rating IS the warning label...

They want more. They want parents to be terrified that their kids are going to become anti-social, immoral and violent. Hell, I'm surprised they haven't thrown in "gay," "liberal" and "atheist" just to hit all the buttons.

MarsAtlas:

2) There's no solid consensus, so any label that they do put on a game box might be considered "slanderous" since there is far from a scientific consensus.

Congress--state or federal--is kind of like Who's Line Is It Anyway? It's a forum where everything's made up and the points don't matter. If they did, we wouldn't still be having this discussion.

marioandsonic:

Care to share any of these "countless studies"?

You can find them through a google search. Of course, you can also find numerous sites about the Earth being flat....

Sniper Team 4:
Heaven forbid you raise taxes on guns. Or pass laws making them harder to get. Or offer programs to help kids who are in similar positions.

Similar positions to what? We don't really know what set Lanza off. I mean, they're using VIDJA GAEMZ to fill in the gap, but what do we actually know?

CriticalMiss:

She's damned right. He also slept for HOURS every day. Clearly we should stop kids under 18 from sleeping and put a heavy tax on beds before they all turn in to psychopaths.

He also wore pants. You know who else wore pants? Jack the Ripper!

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm just sick of this. Yes we can laugh and mock these cooks but this is the debate they are having instead of putting any kind of gun controls in place. Tighter gun control stops gun deaths. It IS that simple.

The problem here is that participating in the debate seems to just fuel it. The only real way to win seems to be not to play.

MCerberus:

Every .12 seconds a (super) Meat Boy is impaled upon spikes. Won't you do your part to stop the violence?

Ironically, if Meat Boy had had a gun, he could have used Castle Doctrine and/or Stand Your Ground to defend his girlfriend and there would be no game.

Guns-1
Games-0.

Tanis:
I thought Republicans were all about FREEDOM.
I thought Republicans were all about LESS government.

The PR department, yes.

I'd say video games are a fairly trivial part of that, though. With laws on who you can marry, who you can have sex with, who you can worship, who has to carry papers with them, who the police are obligated to serve, and who can be refused service in a public establishment, video games comes pretty low on that list. That's not to say games don't matter, but they should hardly be the breaking point in the notion of smaller government or more freedom.

Thankfully most of this attitude is on the way out - few parents of young children are this out of touch anymore, but it doesn't stop the morality panic police from trying to score points by stoking the latest imaginary outrage.

I did get a good laugh about the warning label thing. Put a warning label on the warning label!

This isn't hard and shouldn't still be a thing.

It isn't violent games that do it, it's PvP multiplayer games. Being competitive makes you, unsurprisingly, competitive.

I wonder if she realizes that videogames, M rated or otherwise, already have labels on them that rather explicitly inform potential buyers of the content found therein. I'm guessing probably not.

Typical political crap. Ignore the real problems and focus on providing people with false sense of accomplishment by promising to give them what you'd previously told them they want.

*sigh* As has already been said, there ARE warning labels you daft woman, it's called the ESRB label.

MarsAtlas:

marioandsonic:

Mr. Omega:
But don't you DARE touch her precious guns. They're protected by the only amendment that actually matters; the second!

Reminds me of that one pic I've seen over the Internet. I can't post it here (I don't know how to post images, lol), but it said this:

If it is not the gun, but the gunman, then how is it the game, but not the gamer?

Ah, Philosoraptor.

image

HAH. Well said good sirs, well said.

This is hilarious in so many ways:

1. M rated video games come with a warning label. It's the M-rating label.

2. The last notable statehouse member to push this kind of law turned out to be a gun dealer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leland_Yee#Arrest_on_corruption_charges_and_gun_trafficking

MarsAtlas:

marioandsonic:

Mr. Omega:
But don't you DARE touch her precious guns. They're protected by the only amendment that actually matters; the second!

Reminds me of that one pic I've seen over the Internet. I can't post it here (I don't know how to post images, lol), but it said this:

If it is not the gun, but the gunman, then how is it the game, but not the gamer?

Ah, Philosoraptor.

First, to post a photo, you need brackets set up. it should like "[ img ]" and then "[ /img]", without those spaces. Then you right-click an image, "copy image URL", and post it between the brackets. Quote this post to see it.

image

That sir is the question. Funny that it takes a dinosaur to get to the nub of the issue.

MarsAtlas:

marioandsonic:

Mr. Omega:
But don't you DARE touch her precious guns. They're protected by the only amendment that actually matters; the second!

Reminds me of that one pic I've seen over the Internet. I can't post it here (I don't know how to post images, lol), but it said this:

If it is not the gun, but the gunman, then how is it the game, but not the gamer?

image

Funny, but flawed. No one is saying that the games are literally killing people. If anything, games are being propped up as being motive or an influence to motive. It's a ridiculous claim, like trying to say that a gun store is responsible for a murder because it sold a gun to a guy with ten fingers. But game and gun are comparable in this topic.

Those windmills aren't going to tilt at themselves.

CriticalMiss:

it is now common knowledge that Adam Lanza was known to play these violent video games for hours a day

She's damned right. He also slept for HOURS every day. Clearly we should stop kids under 18 from sleeping and put a heavy tax on beds before they all turn in to psychopaths.

i bet he brushed his teeth and ate dinner too... WHAT IS SAFE FOR OUR CHILDREN ANYMORE?!

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