MP Watson Dishes on FB Group and Politics

December 8, 2009 -

Tom Watson, the videogame backing Labour MP from West Bromwich East, linked up with GamesIndustry.biz for a wide-ranging interview that discusses what’s going on behind the scenes of the UK government and what we might expect from his pro-gaming Facebook group.

Membership in Watson’s Gamers’ Voice group is now approaching almost 16,000 members. A first meeting of the loose-knit organization is scheduled for December 9 at the House of Commons.

Watson was asked what the group could hope to achieve:

Well, in political terms it's already had a big impact. There're a lot of MPs who've already talked to me about how they can go about talking to gamers, what the issues are, because of course they only read the papers as well, and if the only things you read in the papers is that games are bad and they're turning our children into monsters then it's going to cloud their view.

Next, the MP was asked about the adoption of the PEGI system in the UK as the sole means to rate games:

It's not the PEGI system that people remember from a few years ago. They've really upped their game on this and I think the labelling and classification is better, simpler, easier to understand and I think the industry is pretty committed as well that once this ratings system goes through they're going to invest in a public education campaign so that people actually know what the ratings mean and they're aware when they can make choices in retail outlets.

What about tax breaks for UK-based videogame developers?

Tax breaks are part of that but there's a much wider piece of work to do that perhaps the industry should start thinking a little bit more about. What kind of a games industry do we want in 10 years' time? Where are platform games going? What are we doing with social gaming? Where are we at with games-based learning? How do we tie all these strands of work together so that we can have a really deep, strategic approach to the industry rather than these piecemeal issues that flare up like sunspots and die down again. There needs to be an institution that deals with that.


Comments

Re: MP Watson Dishes on FB Group and Politics

In the future, hopefully online communities will have a larger voice and that politicians will take notice.

Because trying to rally gamers in a certain place at one time is so hard because of the large area to cover and most adult gamers will never be able to attend a venue all at once.

Things are better online since anyone from anywhere can participate in the group when they have the free time and don't risk loosing their jobs, it is a far more better way to show allot of support for online communities.

Perhaps this is a good thing about facebook.

 

TBoneTony

Re: MP Watson Dishes on FB Group and Politics

By and large, gamers will get together, given an event to do so at- there's generally some big LAN at a racecourse or conference centre every few months, as well as more expo-like events like MCM and Eurogamer- the catch being that they're generally there for the content, and while you could probably get enough people together who are already at an event to create some sort of protest, doing so is generally easy to dismiss because most people are only at it because they were passing by, so to speak.

That being said, given that the Facebook group already has an MP involved, you'd only really need a small number of representatives, rather than a big rally- if anything, I suppose we've managed to bypass the need for it.

/b

Re: MP Watson Dishes on FB Group and Politics

That Facebook Pro-gaming group is amazing! There are so many gamers on there! IF this works, hopefully other governments will catch on like ahem, the U.S. government & will stand up for gamers' rights.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: MP Watson Dishes on FB Group and Politics

Okay, I'm assembling a crack team to kidnap him, swap him with a U.S. Senator, and hope nobody notices.  Who wants in?

Re: MP Watson Dishes on FB Group and Politics

If it's Lieberman, I'm in.

Re: MP Watson Dishes on FB Group and Politics

Maybe we should swap out the Stars & Stripes controller for one with a Union Jack, yeesh.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
Goth_Skunknor suggest that the games industry and culture is rife with toxicity because of it and needs to change for the good of the medium. There is room in the market for progressive games to co-exist with games like Hatred, not replace them outright.06/30/2015 - 3:04am
Goth_SkunkAnd if the overly violent content of most AAA games or the perceived mistreatment of women in such games bothers one, by all means criticize it, but do not under any circumstances suggest that it such content shouldn't exist or be promoted,06/30/2015 - 3:02am
Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
Goth_Skunkfirst two games, a move which was ultimately corrected in the 3rd game. By extension, Dragon Age has always had the option, and good on it!06/30/2015 - 2:45am
Goth_SkunkBut it certainly is good to see developers entertain the allowance of allowing the player to develop their protagonist to be homosexual if they want. The Mass Effect series was criticized rightly for not allowing a male homosexual romance plot in the06/30/2015 - 2:44am
Goth_Skunkand only just by the slimmest of margins. Homosexuality is sadly still a hot button controversy in the USA, which makes developing a noteworthy game with a hardcoded homosexual lead or theme a dangerous risk to take.06/30/2015 - 2:37am
Goth_SkunkThe United States is the largest single customer base for video games in the world, and it only just mandated by rule of its Supreme Court that marriage ought to be just as much an inalienable right for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals,06/30/2015 - 2:35am
Goth_SkunkFor example, it would be difficult for a developer to produce a AAA quality game where the protagonist is hardcoded to be MtF transgender, and convince enough people to buy it in order to make it worth its production costs.06/30/2015 - 2:31am
Goth_SkunkNo Mecha, not woe unto those who ask for representation. By all means, ask and be represented. I don't have an issue with it, nor would I say anyone in GamerGate does either. But be reasonable about asking too.06/30/2015 - 2:27am
Goth_Skunkthat would've made Benedict Arnold raise a glass in toast.06/30/2015 - 2:25am
MechaCrashGamers are more than straight white men, but woe unto those who actually ask for representation!06/30/2015 - 2:24am
Goth_SkunkBut Games Journalism, who in the past has stood up for gamers and developers, when their hobby was under attack by idealogues and governments for being overly violent, suddenly switched sides in a move06/30/2015 - 2:24am
Goth_SkunkYet the media continues to push that narrative, and they will continue to do so until their medium dies out from obscelesence or when the old guard retires and is replaced by people who were raised by gamers, people who know the score.06/30/2015 - 2:20am
Goth_SkunkGamerGate, by my view, is far more diverse and inclusive that the purveying culture surrounding games journalism right now. The stereotypical gamer is a straight white male, but GamerGate has shown, time and time again, that this is not really the case.06/30/2015 - 2:18am
Goth_SkunkAfter all, you did just call it a "problem."06/30/2015 - 2:15am
Goth_SkunkAs opposed to setting the bar high, creating a culture clique that promotes exclusivity rather than inclusivity. Cronyism rather than diversity. Do you feel that inclusivity and diversity are just buzzwords to be used whenever convenient?06/30/2015 - 2:12am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician