A British video game industry official recently credited Labour MP Keith Vaz’s public criticism of Manhunt with helping to drive sales of Rockstar’s bloody game.
Vaz is seemingly at it again.
The Daily Mail reports that Vaz has expressed outrage over Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game. As GamePolitics reported recently, the amateur game is freely available online, although not from commercial video game industry sources.
In fact, we hadn’t heard of the game until recent coverage by British tabloids. However, comments made by Vaz are helping to spread the word:
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the game contained an ‘unnecessary’ level of violence and offended relatives of those killed by suicide bombers…
He also said he was ‘deeply concerned’ that vulnerable users under the age of 18 are able to play the game…
The Israeli Embassy in London is also understood to have complained. Scores of Israeli citizens have been killed by suicide bombers in recent years.
Vaz has called for a ban on the game. However, as a non-commercial product it is not subject to the U.K.’s game rating process. In any case, because it is hosted on at least one U.S. site, it would seemingly be beyond the reach of British law.
GP: While the previously-obscure game is certainly in bad taste, we thought Conservative MP John Whittingdale took a more sensible approach:
I find this game tasteless but I don’t think it will necessarily start turning people into suicide bombers. But those whose lives have been affected by suicide bombings I imagine would find it upsetting.
UPDATE: Dvorak Uncensored notes that a website operated by racist fringe group the Aryan Nation now links to the game.
UPDATE 2: The game has come in for a mention in the Arab press.