The Church of England has issued a call for tighter regulation of videogames.
The Church, which perhaps still has a bad taste in its mouth from the use of Manchester Cathedral in Resistance: Fall of Man, addressed the issue of violent games in a meeting of its general synod on Thursday night.
Following an introduction, in which speakers were cautioned not to mention the names of specific games because “there is a risk of legal proceedings,” Tom Benyon (pictured), a former MP, took the microphone.
Benyon labeled the Byron Report “good in parts,” but said that it “did not go far enough.” He proceeded to read a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes which he felt “encapsulates the essence of what we are about today in the matter of violent and sexual DVDs.”
God’s plan made a hopeful beginning. But man spoiled his chances by sinning. We trust that the story will end in God’s glory. But, at present, the other side’s winning.
A bubbling sewer of gratuitously violent and sexual pornography in DVD games are washing all around us. Byron relied on the proposition that parents have a liability or are interested in controlling what their children do. We think, sadly, that that is optimistic and a prize hope.
Benyon went on to recount the story of a “family member” who “saw one so-called game some years ago and had nightmares. He was a teenager. He was an innocent and he was profoundly shocked. The damage that he suffered was substantial. The images remained with him for months.”
Benyon also had a compilation of violent games on CD that he was going to show, but he decided not to ruin the “evenings or supper” of attendees by showing it.
He added, “I know that the Devil is said to have all the best tunes. Without any question of doubt he has the monopoly of violent and pornographic videogames.”
The Archbishop of York offered analogies to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, selecting a quote from the latter, that “law cannot legislate for morals, but it can actually regulate it.” He added, “On this great day of celebrating 20 years since Mandela came out of prison, can we help our young people to come out of the prison of these awful, awful videogames.”
Full audio of the hour-long meeting can be listened to here.
Via The Guardian