U.K.'s Vaz Meets with Government Ministers to Discuss Violent Games

January 19, 2007 -
Fulfilling a promise made by Prime Minister Tony Blair, Labour MP Keith Vaz, a frequent critic of the video game industry, was granted a meeting with British government officials to discuss concerns over violent game content.

Minister for Creative Industries Shaun Woodward, Minister for Industry Margaret Hodge and Vaz discussed violent games and their availability to children - specifically, according to Vaz, a pair of Rockstar titles, Canis Canem Edit (known in the U.S. as Bully)and Manhunt. As reported by MCV, Vaz said:
I am pleased that the Ministers agreed to meet with me and discuss this important issue. This is a good opportunity to raise concerns that many parents and I have on violent video games falling into the hands of young children. I do not believe that this is a question of censorship, but of protecting children.

Apparently, no representatives of the video game industry were present at the talks.  The outcome of the meeting remains unknown. Currently, however, restricting the access of minors to violent game content is a hot topic in Europe politics. 

-Reporting from the U.K., GamePolitics correspondent Mark Kelly

Comments

These clowns just create controversy so they can have an excuse for existing. Fear-mongering, freedom-haters.

Anyone who commits a crime because of game is unstable anyway, and we all know there have been violent sociopaths far before videogames, movies, and tv.

God help us if vaz and thompson start working together.

"I do not believe that this is a question of censorship, but of protecting children."


... (through censorship)

I can't believe people are still worried about Manhunt.

The UK already restricts such games to be sold to minors. If he wants to restrict a parent's right to buy them for their kids then frankly I hope he is told where to get off. Theres a term over here used by the press called "The Nanny State". I suspect Vaz is quite a fan of this.

Manhunt. certificate 18 and Bully, certificate 15, and their availability to childrens, sounds like a retail problem, nothing to do with the game industry.

Well the reply I got from Mr Woodward seems to indicate that unlike Vaz he has actually looked at the current set up with regards to games ratings. I understand the EU has perhaps gone a bit overboard by listening to extremist views but I don't think we're going to see any major UK changes at the moment. As it stands the only problem is at the retail level, the games themselves are not being marketed at underage players, its just shops sell them to them and parents buy them for them.

Vaz doesn't understand video games and has done no research into how they are handled. Hopefully this conversation has instilled some knowledge into him.

So, they specifically talk about two Rockstar games - Bully, which isn't actually that bad (and actually does a decent job of discouraging random violence), and Manhunt, which shouldn't be sold to children anyway and which any responsible parent would step in to prevent their kids playing.

I'm going to have to email Mr. Vaz again, although I'm pretty sure I'll end up with the same futile argument that I had to wade through last time.

I seriously dislike people like Vaz. Riding the coattails of New Labour to get their own petty agendas in place, so they have another chance to interrupt my life. He can fuck right off.

Gotta ban them all comes to mind....

The word that is the most ridulous in this whole thing is PROTECTION. People need protection from bad things, not entertainment. Entertainment and violent images on a screen are NOT evil and NOT something that people need to be protected from. The word protection means to guard against something evil somthing that can cause harm and violent video games aren't something evil and aren't something that can cause harm. No politicians should attack violent video games.

@IanC
Yup, makes almost as much sense as having major surgery without any doctors or nurses in the operating room.

Apparently, no representatives of the video game industry were present at the talks.
Yes, thats the way to do things!
 
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