Vaz Bails on Debate with Game Biz Foes

Outspoken anti-game MP Keith Vaz pulled out of a scheduled debate with game industry luminaries and politicians at the last minute, much to the chagrin of everyone involved.

Vaz was scheduled to appear at the Westiminster eForum debate, reports MCVUK, alongside Electronic Arts’ Keith Ramsdale, TIGA CEO Richard Wilson, Eidos’ Ian Livingstone and fellow politicians Tom Watson and Ed Vaizey, but did not show, leaving organizers to explain to the assembled crowd that Vaz could not make it.

Vaz then became a subject of ridicule, with just about everyone in the room taking pot shots at the AWOL MP.

Livingstone attempted to fill in for Vaz, mouthing phrases like “Games are evil, games are terrible, games are turning children into killers,” while Vaizey added that perhaps Vaz should now be known as “Keith Chavez” in deference to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Vaizey added that he thought Vaz’s stance on games was “totally wrong,” noting that a game currently appears on the Parliament website and “no one has been killed yet.”

Ramsdale lamented Vaz’s absence, saying, "You want to understand where his head is now after being so negative about the videogame industry."

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  1. 0
    State says:

    Not a surprise really, it’s too easy for Vaz to make a few unfounded statements in Parliament in front of all those MPs who don’t really care or have much knowledge on the subject (although there are now a couple of exceptions, Watson and Vaizey) but at this debate he’d be shown up for what he is and he wouldn’t be able to claim that some amatuer Flash games on the web are an example of the industry as a whole.

  2. 0
    DarkTetsuya says:

    Ramsdale lamented Vaz’s absence, saying, "You want to understand where his head is now after being so negative about the videogame industry."

    Yeah I think we all ‘understand where his head is.’ (how he manages to breathe with it so far up there, I’ll never know. :P)

    300 Episodes and counting:

  3. 0
    Nocturne says:

    It’s getting kind of difficult for any mainstream name to make negative comments about gaming when just about all of them have appeared on a Nintendo advert.

  4. 0
    SticKboy says:

    "Plus nobody really cares about his anti video game stance as it just isn’t important to most voters."

    Especially as coverage of video-games and gaming by mainstream media in the UK is becoming more and more even handed. Give it a year or two at the very most and I think anti-game activists will be seen as the lunatic fringe they really are.

  5. 0
    Magic says:

    I can’t find one in the MCV UK article and I’d love to know it.

    Let’s be civil about it and give him the benefit of the doubt – he may have had a genuine reason to not attend.

    That said, he did sign up for it, presumably knowing full well he’d be an anti-gaming MP surrounded by pro-gaming executives and other MPs who have done positive work for the industry.

    Very courageous of him. :)

  6. 0
    vellocet says:

    I may not agree with him… But the fact that he can’t stand up for what he believes in is embarrassing.  Vaz, you should lose all credibility with those that even have the myopia to follow you.  Even Jack Thompson stood up and spoke for what he believed.

    I’d like to hear the reason. I don’t know how politics works in the UK, but what are the odds that anyone will vote for him now?

  7. 0
    Cerabret100 says:

    So he just completely bailed? no attempt to contact the organizers before OR after to explain why he did not appear?

    What is it with fanatic anti-game people that causes them to commit self inflicted suicide of their reputation?

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