British MP Wants a Red Button on Consoles – Parental Panic?

A British member of the European Parliament is supporting that body’s call for adding a "red button" to video game consoles.

The idea, apparently, is that parents can press the button if some objectionable game content appears onscreen while their children are playing.

GP: Wouldn’t it be simpler to just turn off the TV or, better still, check the game content descriptors before allowing the kids to play?

The MP, Glenis Willmott, told This Is Derbyshire:

Research shows video games are useful for educational and medical purposes – and they can be good fun. But not all of them have content which parents will be happy with. Online games, which are easy to download on to a PC or mobile phone, make parental control even harder.

As GamePolitics reported last month, the "red button" recommendation is included in a European Parliament report that is generally favorable toward video games.

Via: DarkZero

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  1. Fenavian says:

    I have a 7 year old daughter. I also have a plethora of violent games. You know what I do when I play violent games, I either have her play in her room or wait till she’s in bed. It’s called good parenting people. I have seen me do it. It works. With things like this, it makes me wonder how we evolved as a species sometimes.

  2. Doom90885 says:

    If this shit is actually approved than all my faith in the human race is lost forever.





    For those who oppose and view video games as murder simulators…When are you going to FINALLY oppose and view firearms as murder weapons?!?!

  3. CyberSkull says:

    There is such a device. It’s called the POWER BUTTON. Upon pushing their proposed red button, how would they flag objectionable content?

  4. gamadaya says:

    I think all consoles should have these, but instead of turning of the game, they would deploy a gloved cartoon hand that slaps the parents, and then scolds them for being to overprotective.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  5. Wormdundee says:

     I sincerely hope you’re joking.

    I think the current Panic (power) Button is quite sufficient.

    There’s also that magical button on the TV that turns off the picture and sound.

  6. Sage says:

    I believe a "panic button" for all game devices is a good idea! It would really help out the parents and save children from seeing/hearing things that are inappropriate.

  7. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Where have I seen this before? Ah, here we are.

    Upon close analysis, I have concluded that this was just as stupid THEN as it is NOW. Maybe even more stupid than it was then.


  8. axiomatic says:

    I know a lot of Britons. I live next door to a very nice British couple. None of the Brits I know are anywhere close to as stupid as this "particular member of the European Parliament."

    So lets get this straight. Kids usually play M rated games when parents arent around. So we have established that the parent is not usually in the room when "Grand Theft Sodomy" is played. So now this "particular member of the European Parliament" wants a "red button" (or the ham fisted idea of one) to be able to push when the parent actually bothers to take an interest in the development of their children? Let say the parent ACTUALLY was in the room. What is the difference of covering the childs eyes and a "red button" that potentially could block some thing (the parent) finds objectionalble?

    This is a (bad) solution looking for a (nonexistent) problem in my opinion.

    Just do your job as a parent you lazy "particular member of the European Parliament." It’s called PARENTING, you should try it some time. In fact, you might let other parents do their jobs as well instead of attempting to sanitize the medium for us all. I like my M rated games and see no need for this extra tech to be built at the cost of game developers and console manufacturers. It’s the parents job, plain and simple.

  9. Valdearg says:

    How much would that suck, though? You’ve been playing some game for the past 4 hours, trying desperately to beat the current mission/level/scenario, only to have your somebody walk in and push the "red button" RIGHT before you finally beat said scenario..

    I hate to say it, but in that situation, all of the frustration and anger from trying to beat that mission would probably get redirected 100 fold at whoever hit the button..

  10. squigs says:

    What if you’re not home?

    You can’t be there all the time and kids will find a way to play violent games.  You could lock the console away in a strongbox I guess but that seems a little heavyweight a solution.

  11. squigs says:

    Thje "Red Button" is a piece of simplification to explain it to the media.

    Really what the report recommends was that consoles have parental ratings based controls (which they already do), and time access controls. 

    I wonder if anyone has ever actually used the age rating controls.  I suspect most parents aren’t aware they exist.

  12. Father Time says:

    Or it could be the ultimate prank, in fact this gives me an idea for a game related practical joke shop.

    Fool your friends into thinking they got an RROD, a disk read error, have flying objects assault their Home avatar or show them you turned their wired controller wireless. All this and more at the Gaming Joke Emporium (residents of California must pay a sales tax).


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  13. Dragoon1376 says:

    I don’t think you’d want to make any for the 360 though, especially with the whole RRoD thing and all.  It’d either be redundant or give people heart attacks.

    First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

  14. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Anyone want to invest in a bussiness that produces and sells these easy to implement red buttons? The stickers will be custom made for each of the consoles to match the size and shape of their respective powerbuttons. Available for only $29.99 plus S&H. Residents of Oklahoma must pay 7% sales tax.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  15. TK n Happy Ness says:

    A Red Button would apply more to governments who make stupid decisions like this.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  16. JB says:

    The button should also be encased in a glass box that has to be broken before it can be pushed. And don’t forget the case-sensitive 25 digit alphanumeric code kept in a safe that can only be opened via confirmed retinal eye scan and fingerprint analysis. And this safe should be kept at the end of a hallway that has multiple auto-opening doorways (a la Get Smart).

    Now we’re talking!

  17. LujanD says:

    I support this red button movement!


    Only if the red button resembles the one in the pic, and requires two keys turned simultaneously to operate; accompanied by flashing red warning lights.

    That’d be sweet!

    Naturally, once I’m bored with it, I’ll go back to running over helpless pedestrians.

  18. Werrick says:

    Back during my piracy days (like, 10 years ago or something) I had a friend who knew a guy who ran a major operation in his basement. Half a dozen PCs all in a RAID with redundant firewalls, the whole bit. He had a "Button". He had set his operation up with little packs of gunpowder in each pc so that if he ever got raided by the cops or INTERPOL or something he could smack this button and everything in his basement would suffer from shaped charge explosions, annihilating everything he had.

    This reminds me of that… which in turn makes me sad.

  19. Lost Question says:

    just give them 10 or 15 years and they will have caught up to now (for the most part). it seems like they work on a different time line some are in the now and some are stuck round when pong and space invaders were new.

  20. Zerodash says:

    Don’t expect today’s politicians to understand such a radical concept.  They are still struggling with the very concept of the internet and interactive media.

  21. Deamian says:

    The red button exists already, Mr.British MP, it’s called "Power". It goes on and off. Press it when it’s on, and watch the magic happen.

    By the way, we’re in 2009.

  22. State says:

    All consoles now (I believe) have parental controls on them blocking certain games from playing, perhaps politicians should be told of this.

  23. Vordus says:

    The headline should be "British MEP" not "British MP".


    And I would thoroughly support the idea of a big red ‘offended’ button, but only if it was wired to shock whoever pressed it!

Comments are closed.