British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play GTA

June 29, 2009 -

The Member of Paliament who chairs a bipartisan working on the British video game business told Edge Online that most of his colleagues are more conversant with other forms of media.

In his chat with EO MP John Whittingdale dished on a variety of game-related topics from the recent Digital Britain report to broadband speeds to a new requirement that games be culturally British in order to qualify for tax breaks. The thoughtful comments offered by the Conservative MP indicate that he has devoted some time to researching the role of games in British society. Among his remarks:

The case for some kind of incentive to make sure that the UK remains one of the major locations for games development [is] something that needs to be pressed quickly, because the longer we leave it, the greater risk there will be a steady loss of jobs to places like Canada...

 

There’s definitely an educational component. I think it does no harm for policy makers who are going to be debating issues affecting the games industry to have some experience of videogames. If that means developers and publishers coming into the House of Commons, demonstrating them, and giving MPs a sense of what the game involves, that has to be a good thing.

 

My guess would be that very few ministers in the government spend a great deal of time playing computer games, whereas they do go to the cinema, they do watch television, and they do listen to the radio... there may be ministers who rush home to play GTA all night, but it’s unlikely...

Given the age of most MPs, they’re probably thinking back to Space Invaders and Atari consoles. The other thing is that there’s a lot of negativity around, a lot of concern that young people who spend their hours gaming are missing out on educational activities. The case that gaming can bring benefits is something we need to promote, and then there’s always been the fear that somehow certain games may be damaging because of the violent content, and there’s a lot of mythology around that...

 

A game like Manhunt 2... we need to impose controls to ensure that children cannot purchase them. But then there’s the hysteria over something like the suicide bomber web game Kaboom, which everyone got very worked up about. When I went online and tried it out, the idea that this was going to turn the nation into suicide bombers was clearly absurd...

 


Comments

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

A politician actually doing RESEARCH? I must be dreaming.

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Woah, he actually tried the controversial game out himself instead of hopping blindly on the bandwagon of hate?  Are we sure this guy is a politician? ;)

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

This guy is a genius. I mean really, this is all you have to do get our support politicians. Make some sense, don't go fearmongering all over the place, and try to understand the issues at hand.

This guy has done all of those, and I applaud him.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

So how long before some newspaper or pressure group pipes up and accuses him of being in the industry's pocket?

/b

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

This guy clearly understands us gamers.

~ Max Payne 2k8

~ Max Payne 2k8

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

And here I was thinking they didn't want to play a game where you stole money/cars/etc because they're already stealing millions (collectively) from the taxpayers. Why play a game when you can defraud people IRL? 

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Oh, please please do. I want to see an entire house of stuffy upper-middle-class lawyers, businessmen and bankers looking baffled in front of a demonstration of Grand Theft Auto. For once BBC Parliament might have something interesting!

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

What the fuck are you babbling about? WEspecially this bit:

"...and the refusal of the majority of the media to cover the events in the country except one station."

If you're referring to the public expenses scandal, there was wall-to wall coverage from every British media outlet (to the exclusion of pretty much all other news) for about three weeks!

"Not to mention it was the Labor Party’s worst defeat since World War II when Neval Chamberlain’s party was defeated and yet Gordon Brown is still in office like Chamberlain and it might take one more election to get him out"

Once again, what the fuck are babbling about? What/whose defeat? How on earth is GB comparable to Neville Chamberlain, especially when they're from different political parties? Make some sense, man!

-- teh moominz --

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

I think he is referring to the fact that, in general, almost all mainstream media coverage in this country, with the exception of Fox News, has been extremely pro-Obama, to the point that some news organzations, like the New York Times, will bury or even kill stories that might make him look bad.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Oh, I thought he was refrring to Britain - how foolish of me...


-- teh moominz --

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

It would have made sense if he would have, seeing as how this is a story about Britain.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

But that would first require he make sense.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

 

Most of the United Kingdoms Liberals who have been going after video games intensely these past couple of years are now getting unelected. The party that was fairest to the left controlled the Government but they just had a massive lose because of the spending and scandals and the refusal of the majority of the media to cover the events in the country except one station.

Kind of like what we have going on here in the state. The next election should change the British Government quite a bit and remove Gordon Browns control on the Government. Which his party is like the British version of the U.S Democratic Party.

Not to mention it was the Labor Party’s worst defeat since World War II when Neval Chamberlain’s party was defeated and yet Gordon Brown is still in office like Chamberlain and it might take one more election to get him out

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

> Most of the United Kingdoms Liberals

In the UK Liberals would likely be Lim Dems not Labour.

> who have been going after video games

Unless I have missed something only really Vaz has been "after" video games.

> now getting unelected

They suffered a defeat in the euro polls, so "they" (Vaz) has not been unelected. But all sides suffered a defeat in the Euro polls. Even the "winners" (BNP)  actual got less votes than last time round. By the time the next election comes round I'm fairly sure most people will have forgotten all about the expenses row.

> The next election should change the British Government

Labour or Tory will win. Both are centrist with very little difference between them. I think Vaz is an MP in a Labour heartland. I don't think he will be gone.

> Labor Party’s worst defeat ... yet Gordon Brown is still in office

Euro polls not general elections.

--
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

--
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

>I think Vaz is an MP in a Labour heartland.

Also the only ethnic candidate in the first constituency in the UK where White British was not the majority.

/b

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Not one more my good doctor. Just one. NOBODY voted for Gordon Brown. But you've never shown any knowledge of reality so far, so I wouldn't expect you to start now.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Nobody voted specifically for Gordon Brown, no, but the majority did vote for Labour.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

"but the majority did vote for Labour."

Actually they didn't, they won with fewer votes than the opposition due to the redicuously broken voting system we have.

"The Electoral Reform Society has produced a damning analysis of the anti-democratic nature of the 2005 general election. It shows that Labour won 35% of the vote but secured 55% of the seats."
"The Tories polled more votes than Labour in England but won 92 fewer seats."

(from http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/28/political-reform )

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

They voted Labour when Tony Blair was in charge. We had no choice over Gordon Brown, and it is plainly obvious nobody (hyperbole alert!) would have voted for him had he been in charge at the time.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Well, tough, that's how the system is set up. Blair wanted to resign as Prime Minister, ergo he set Gordon to be in charge if I recall correctly.

I'm sure it can be interpreted as 'bait and switch' tactics though... ;)

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Yeah, essentially Blair set Brown up to take the fall just as all the pigeons were coming home to roost from Blairs leadership, and Browns complete mishandling of that, and more recent things like the expense scandal has pretty much gifted the Tories the next general election.

Incidently "that's how the system is set up" is the same excuse MPs are giving to justify their abuse of expense accounts, and it holds about as much water in this case as it does in that case. They MADE the system that way, not us.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

So because they are anti-games they're not getting elected? The general public couldn't give a monkeys over computer games and are oddly enough interested in more important issues like the economy, jobs, immigration and public services (and because of the interest in those issues Labour are losing votes fast).

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Who made any mention of anti-games? We were discussing Gordon Brown, how he came to be in charge and why he won't be after the next time WE (as in voters, not gamers) actually get a chance to say (funnily enough, we even linked it to what you said we SHOULD have said). Read before you sound off.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

I'm gob-smacked at the level-headedness of this man. He's done research, called the Manhunt 2 mess for what it was, hysteria, and acknowledges that there is a bit of a generation gap between people trying to pass laws etc about games and the people who actually play them!

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Agreed. After repeated doses of the "Games must be banned/censored to our vision of morality" BS recently, Its refreshing to see a someone in politics say "I admit we don't know as much as we should about this and I'm open to ways of adressing this."

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

"I'm open to ways of adressing this"

This is the single line which troubles me more than anything.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Hmmm perhaps I should've said "And I'm open to new ways to address our lack of knowledge on this subject."

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: British MP: Not Many Govt. Ministers Rush Home to Play ...

Oh, because heaven forbid somebody in Parliament should actually try and engage with the issue. Your cynical pessimism seems entirely misplaced, given the rest of the article - or did you just read that one sentence out of context?


-- teh moominz --
 
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E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
InfophileIn other words, you stopped when you found out it was arguing for a position you disagreed with, but before you found out why.07/01/2015 - 5:29am
Goth_Skunk"In short, anyone can write a rape scene—but should they? Chances are, the answer is no." And that's where I stopped reading.07/01/2015 - 5:11am
InfophileRelevant to our discussion of rape in fiction yesterday: http://www.wired.com/2015/06/rape-scenes/07/01/2015 - 4:58am
Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
 

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