MP Showdown Transcript and Video

November 10, 2009 -

In a follow up to yesterday’s news of a brewing Boss battle between Labour MPs Keith Vaz and Tom Watson over Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the BBC has a short video online which captures the exchange between the two in Parliament yesterday.

A GP transcription of the video follows:


Keith Vaz: At midnight tonight, a new and violent videogame called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is to be released. It contains such scenes of brutality that even the manufacturers have put in warnings within the game telling people how they can skip particularly scenes. Given the recommendations of the Byron Review, specifically paragraphs 32 and 33, what steps is the government proposing to take in order to ensure that these violent games do not fall into the hands of children and young people. It’s not about censorship; it’s about protecting our children.

Sion Simon (Minister for Creative Industries): The clearest recommendation of the Byron Review is that content suitable for adults should be labeled as such and sold as such, that it should be an offense to sell such content to children. That’s the case under current law. It will be the case under the law when it changes in the Digital Economy bill. This game the honorable gentleman refers to is a certificate 18 game. It should not be sold to children and the governments job is to make sure that adults clearly labeled can get what adults should be able to and that children are not in danger of being subjected to adult content.

Tom Watson: I’ve seen the content in this video game… it is unpleasant, though no worse than in many films and books. It carries a content warning; it is an 18+ game and carries a BBFC 18+ rating as well. Does the Minister agree that it would be better for members of this house to support the many thousands of games designers and coders and the many millions of games users rather than collaborating with the Daily Mail to create morale panic over the use of videogames.

Sion Simon: I was in Dundee last week visiting the videogames industry. I can certainly agree with him that videogames is an industry…  a very large…  a very important industry, in which we have a national competitive advantage in this country, which it’s important that all members of this house and he government continue to support.


In response to Vaz’s public comments about the game, Watson set up a Facebook group called Gamer’s Voice, as we noted yesterday. That group has grown from 478 yesterday to almost 9,500 at the time this story was written.

GP: It appears Vaz’s comments about paragraphs 32 and 33 from the Byron Review reference the following two bits from the report’s executive summary:

32: There are some possible negative effects of violent content in games, but these only become ‘harmful’ when children present other risk factors…

33: However, we need to approach unequivocal claims of direct causes with caution – there is a strong body of ethnographic research which argues that context and the characteristics of each child will mediate the effects of playing video games. This means considering the media effects evidence in light of what we know about child development. We can use this to hypothesise about potential risks to children from playing some games….


Comments

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

 I like how paragraphs 32 and 33 have absolutely nothing to do with the argument Vaz is trying to make.  Perhaps he meant to quote later ones in the paper?

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

But perhaps Vaz has a point (not the one he wanted to make though), shouldn't there be more of an education programme to tell parents that these games aren't suitable for children and that gaming is more of a pastime of adults now than it is for children.

Of course Vaz goes on "it's not about censorship, but please ban this game" which just doesn't work. Yes the game isn't suitable for children, educate parents about this.

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

Whilst I accept there is still an under-current of opinion amongst oblivious adults that gaming is just for the kids, I would think that given the rating system is the same for cinema, dvds and games that people would know what the 18 certificate entails to some degree.  I guess some people just don't care and don't live up to their responsibilities as parents.

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

My Dad picked up a copy for me yesterday (I'm 26 so no shenanigans were going on, I was at work) and he said there was a woman in the queue with her son who would have been 13 at best. There were clear markings on the store posters and advertising points for it that it was an 18 rated game so it's either willful ignorance or outright stupidity. Despite what Keith Vaz likes to make people think, most of the people in the queue were in their late 20's/early 20's.

She didn't get a copy because they sold out before she could get one so no idea if they would have turned her away.

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

This Keith Vaz guy seems like quite the wanker. I mean doesn't British parliament have better things to do and waste taxpayer's money on then worrying about some violent video games. Time debating in parliament is money and complaining about violent media is an absolute waste of British taxpayer's pound. Start debating real problems and stop worrying about teens playing violent games for God's sake.

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

I really hate these comments. Of course they discuss more important issues, of course they spend more time on more important issues, but it doesn't mean that they can't debate more trivial matters too. Parliament is open to all sorts of matters (granted some are a waste of time such as violent computer games and fox hunting), but they're not really wasting much money on this which has seemingly taken up little more than a few minutes.

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

That was gold. Seriously. You can really tell how little Simon and Watson care for Vaz's opinion.

I also love how Vaz was rying to sound all official by referencing sections of the Byron review even though they really had nothing to do with his question.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

I would loved to have seen Vaz's reaction to Simon and Watson's comments.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: MP Showdown Transcript and Video

In other words, Vaz once again got STFU in parliament.

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

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