Tory Leader Takes Dig at Games

In a wide-ranging interview with the Times Online, Iain Duncan Smith took a little time to make disparaging remarks about videogames.

Smith has long been obsessed with fixing what he terms today’s “broken society.”  His solutions included promoting the importance of marriage and implementing more taxation on alcohol and reversing 24-hour liquor licensing laws.

As a contributor to today’s societal ills, Smith said about games:

We are driving children to lose their childhood, and some video games are incredibly violent, like Grand Theft Auto. They are meant to be 18 but nobody cares what it says on the label.

An article on Computer and Videogames took Smith to task for his comments, responding that the MPs voting for adopting the PEGI system obviously “care” what’s on a game’s label. Also singled out for “caring” were ELSPA, retailer GAME and a group of videogame publishers that attempt to keep inappropriate games out of the hands of younger gamers.

The CVG article also puts the onus on parents to police what their kids are playing:

But unless our politicians make sure parents ‘care’ enough to say "no" – by backing Parliament’s own legislation – we’re fighting a losing battle.

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  1. sharpshooterbabe says:

    Since he is critisizing the society, why don’t we (public) critisize his political views & party he represents. I mean they are just as broken as we are……



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

  2. gellymatos says:

    "Smith has long been obsessed with fixing what he terms today’s ‘broken society’."

    There will always be people who "crusade" around because society isn’t exactly how it’s what they want. Be it conservative, liberal, or whatever, such people will say society is flawed simply because society doesn’t follow their beliefs. Hell, I’ve heard enough rants on this sight on similar things.

    This article as a whole gives me mixed feelings. One hand, politicians seem to be starting to recongnise that the issue with preventing videogames from getting into the hands of children is a parental issue. One the other hand, they still seem to want to control the industry.

  3. State says:

    In the UK there are three main political parties: Labour, The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats. Please do not confuse them with the ideologies of converatism and liberalism. Iain Duncan Smith is a member of the Conservative party. There are many Conservative party members that do not believe in god.

  4. axiomatic says:

    I see where you are coming from but in the world I live in the "conservative" types are usually "conservative" because of some kind of life lesson they learned somewhere. Generally that stems from religion or a religious parents but I will conceed that maybe Iain Duncan Smith has burgeoned his conservative ways "somehow" and that I did knee-jerk toward religion as the cause.

    Fair enough.

    My point stands though, which is, this guys "values" don’t speak for all of us and its bad of him to apply his values where they may not be welcome.

  5. Erik says:

    Much like we don’t have any control, nor do we owe Atkinson an appology over the remarks from some random jackass gamers on the internet, well, you get the idea.  Much like a Spurs supporter can’t do a damn thing about other people in his club, nor should the supporter be expected to.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  6. State says:

    What a hypocrite. Fix your own football club first before talking about other issues. As a Spurs supporter he shouldn’t be allowed to make any comments until the bad Spurs supporters are dealt with.

    He didn’t make any comments about religion, so I think it’s just as valid to criticise him about the football club he supports as someone did about his religion.

  7. Erik says:

    To be honest Wicca doesn’t really bother me.  But acting like it does tends to show some hypocritical chinks in the armor of such people who profuse to be like "So open minded and stuff" to their Myspace buddies in one sentence and completely show closemindedness against a large group of people IE Christians a sentence after.  Ergo, comedy.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  8. DarkSaber says:

    lol Wicca. The "Twilight" of religions.


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

  9. Erik says:

    As I don’t see religion mentioned in this article I don’t see the relevance.  But really I suppose it doesn’t matter as religious knee-jerking isn’t all that atypical here.  Vald for instance.  Though I do wonder what sort of shit-storm it would kick up if someone tried talking shit about an "MySpace generation hip" religion such as Wicca.  Generally when one does that the religion bashers become religion defenders.  It’s really damn funny to watch actually.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  10. axiomatic says:

    The relevance is that Iain Duncan Smith best look to his own religion to fix things before taking issue with "what he terms today’s “broken society.” "

    "Broken society" from whose perspective? Oh right a perspective that does NOT speak for us all.

  11. Longjocks says:

    "They are meant to be 18 but nobody cares what it says on the label."

    Just imagine if we took this attitude with everything in life. The tool we use to educate people about Topic X isn’t working so let’s just get rid Topic X.

  12. Bigman-K says:

    While many parents are far from perfect, i’d still much rather they be in charge of raising the children then the state. Comments like yours scare me. Allowing them to as you say "raise them idealoically correct" is just another way of saying the state should control their thoughts and feelings and make them nothing more then obedient slaves to wishes of those in power. It reeks of authoritarionism and fascism exactly what the German National Socialists and Russian Communists wished to do when they took control of power. I think a smart man once said "When the government seeks to take control of the children, freedom is lost and tyranny reins."

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

  13. Vinzent says:

    The problem is that too many parents aren’t raising their children right. If they were, then the government wouldn’t have to regulate these things. The government should stop pussy-footing around the issue and start seizing children to put them in education camps. It’s the only way to ensure that our future is raised idealogically correct.

  14. gamegod25 says:

    Yeah no one cares. That’s why videogames have the best ID checking rates as well as parental controls.

  15. Vake Xeacons says:

    Of course we NEED politicians to make sure parents are doing their job, right? I mean what are our taxes paying them for if they’re not breathing down our necks? Three cheers for Big Brother!…Come on…anyone?

  16. Cheater87 says:

    Looks like A. Parents know their kids and they can handle 18+ rate games or B a know your ratings campaign could be set up to let parents know about the new PEGI system and the ratings.

  17. hellfire7885 says:

    And if he got his way there would be less for people to do or they’d go to illegal places to do it, causing even more problems.

  18. Cerabret100 says:

    He seems to be insinuating that it’s the parents and others faults for not paying attention to the ratings, which i find to be true.

    however i’m sure that was an accident and he probably intended to insult gaming in general.

    yes i’m pessimistic about politicians ever really understanding.

  19. Erik says:

    Wait, what?  This response doesn’t seem to have any relevance to the story whatsoever.  I mean maybe a little more relevance than SDD insipid meme pictures, but that goes without saying.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  20. axiomatic says:

    What a hypocrite. Fix your own house first "Soapbox Christian." Until there are no looneys in your own religion you need to stay quiet. Some of us beleive in other things and can walk upon this earth without harming others and also without having to beleive in YOUR god. What is it about some of you Christians that makes you feel entitled to criticize others ways of life? Something tells me your "Jesus" would not approve of this method of "spreading the word."

    Sorry to all you normal level headed Christians. I really don’t have any issues with you and wish you the best. But jeez, put a muzzle on your outspoken looneys, they are doing your religion a massive disservice.

  21. Magic says:

    Firstly, I’d just like to nip it in the bud by saying IDS (And I’m nowhere close to voting Tory and probably never will) isn’t purely blaming games or the industry here, he’s not making vitirolic comments like certain politicians such as Keith Vaz. He’s at least saying the intention – surprisingly enough -is that kids shouldn’t be played 18 rated games, yet they are anyway.

    As I noted at EG about this, it’s part of the Conservative’s "Broken Britain" campaign where they’re essentially whinging about the state of the country, particularly families and married couples, and not offering any, for what I’ve seen, constructive solutions. Like in this instance with IDS about games – lashing out, as CAVG mentions, is not going to help.

  22. Drazgal says:

    For those being mislead by the headline Iain Duncan Smith is an ex-leader of the conservatives not the current leader.

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