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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Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthe thing is unions earned their bad reputation in the US. the way unions oparate the better at your job you are, the likely you want to be in a union.07/07/2015 - 11:33am
InfophilePut that way, "right to work" seems to have BLEEP-all to do with gay rights. Thing is, union-negotiated contracts used to be one of the key ways to prevent employers from firing at will. Without union protection, nothing stops at-will firing.07/07/2015 - 11:06am
Infophilehas an incentive to pay dues if they're represented either way, so the union is starved for funds and dies, unless things are bad enough that people will pay dues anyway.07/07/2015 - 11:02am
InfophileFor those who don't know, "right to work" laws mean that it can't be a condition of an employment contract that you pay union dues. That is, the right to work without having to pay dues. Catch is, unions have to represent non-members as well, so no one...07/07/2015 - 11:01am
 

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