Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) have introduced a bill that would require video games to carry a warning label similar to cigarettes, only in this case the warnings would inform consumers that video games have been linked to aggressive behavior.
Finally! It’s high time the government steps in and lets consumers know that every game ever made, including those violence mongering Dora cooking games, can cause little Timmy to explode in a fit of rage at the slightest provocation. Also, it’s about time that Congress take time away from such trivial matters as unemployment, staggering wealth disparity, the growing surveillance state and dependence on foreign energy sources to tackle something that really matters, informing consumers of nebulous ties between games and aggression.
Unfortunately though, for all that the warning does, I don’t feel that it does enough. I think that games need specific warnings so that consumers can be shielded from unpleasant experiences as much as humanly possible. What kind of warnings you say? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Read Dead Redemption – WARNING: You may think you’re about to embark on an epic Sergio Leone style western, but instead, prepare yourself to pick lots and lots of flowers. Yeah, flowers. Also, we hope you like bears!
Dragon Age 2 – WARNING: Bethany’s boobs are not really as big in the main game as they are in the tutorial. I know, right? Such a let down.
Halo: ODST – WARNING: Upon completing this game, you may feel like Nathan Fillion is your very bestest friend and that he will totally help you move on Saturday. Neither of these things are true. Alan Tudyk, on the other hand, may be able to help out, but only for like, an hour.
BioShock 2 – WARNING: Playing this game and making choices based on your own notions of child rearing may uncover what a truly terrible parent you are. Please return your children to their womb of origin immediately.
Dark Souls – WARNING: Failure to complete this game will brand you as a worse player than Bill Abner. No greater shame can be imagined.
Marvel vs Capcom 3: Ultimate Edition – WARNING: All of your wins have been against the AI. You are not ready to go online. No, seriously, don’t—see, I told you. Man, that has to be some sort of record.
L.A. Noire – WARNING: Actually, there’s not much game here. Carry on.
Cooking Mama – WARNING: This bitch is crazy.
Mass Effect 3– WARNING: This game may do nothing to assuage your fears that every choice you’ve made has been meaningless and that the yawning chasm of unfulfillment that exists at your core has been excavated by a lifetime of poor decisions. Also, you may be inadvertently exposed to gay sex. Icky!
Angry Birds – WARNING: Involvement with this game in any capacity may make you prone to hyperbole and to proclaiming the death of any game that isn’t sold at the App Store for less than a dollar.
New Super Mario Bros – WARNING: You are no longer eight. Failure to adjust your expectations accordingly may diminish your enjoyment of and/or ability to play this game.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – WARNING: While playing this game, you may feel like you’ve played it before. That’s because you have, like nine times.
Left 4 Dead – WARNING: Todd will shoot yo–oh. You’re dead. Told you.
Braid/Journey/Limbo – WARNING: Failure to enjoy these games may cause feelings of inadequacies as you wonder if you’re just too stupid to “get it”. Enjoying these games may cause feelings of blind allegiance to common gaming tropes simply because they’re presented as being artistic. Eff it. Go play Call of Duty.