Video Games Linked to Rape in Parliament Debate

Although we can’t think of a single commercial video game with an interactive rape scene, British MP – and frequent game critic – Keith Vaz (left) made sexual violence sound like a gaming staple in a debate on Friday.

As reported by Spong, the issue under consideration was Conservative MP Julian Brazier’s bill to bring additional censorship to games in the U.K. Although Brazier’s attempt ultimately failed, Vaz, not surprisingly, was a supporter:

Someone sitting at a computer playing a video game, or someone with one of those small devices that young people have these days, the name of which I forget – PlayStations or PSPs, something of that kind…

Well, whatever they are called, when people play these things, they can interact. They can shoot people; they can kill people. As the honourable Gentleman said, they can rape women.

Conservative MP Edward Vaizey, speaking later, questioned Vaz’s rape assertion:

…the right honourable Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz), who chairs the Home Affairs Committee, mentioned that some video games allow the participant to engage in a rape act… I checked the point with the BBFC and found it to be completely unaware of any such video game.

 

Is the honourable Gentleman aware of any video game that has as its intention the carrying out of rape or that allows the game player to carry out such an act? The BBFC and I are unaware of any such game.

Vaz, however, was not present to respond to Vaizey. But the frequent game critic also took time to paint the U.K.’s video game industry and gaming press as malign forces:

The industry is one of the strongest and most powerful in the media today, and London is the centre of that industry.

 

Whenever those of us who raise the issue of video games have done so positively in relation to concerns about violence, we have been pilloried in the press that is sponsored by the video games industry for trying in some way to destroy it.

Link to full debate here

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