Has MP Vaz Mended His Anti-Game Ways?

According to a handful of his associates in Parliament, anti-game MP Keith Vaz has softened his often bristling views on the videogame industry.

In his role as MP, Vaz has called for cigarette-style warnings to be affixed to videogames, condemned the violence in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, called for a ban of RapeLay, expressed outrage over the home-made game Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game and even alienated other anti-violent game crusaders.

At an ELSPA-hosted political Q&A centered on the game industry, not one, but three of Vaz’s fellow MPs weighed in on the changes Vaz has made to-date.

Tom Watson:

Over the last 12 months his views have shifted quite significantly. Partly because he read what Tanya Byron had to say, partly because the industry had engaged with him and wouldn’t let him get away with factually inaccurate comments, and partly because he is getting kicked to death in the tearoom when the cameras aren’t there.

Ed Vaizey:

A while back Keith brought up the issue of the Japanese game that allowed you to play as a suicide bomber. I knew he was going to bring it up in advance, so I contacted the industry to understand the situation. And I managed to intervene on Keith to let him know it was just a rogue operation, a game made in someone’s bedroom – just like anyone can make an unpleasant film in his or her rooms.

Don Foster:

When Keith made his comments about the suicide bomber game, he began by saying ‘I would like to make it clear I think the video games industry is doing a lot of good work.’ And I was delighted to be the one that followed him to speak next, because it was the first time I had heard him say something like that.

GP: In a bid to encourage Vaz’s transition further, we actually selected a semi-flattering picture of the MP for once.

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  1. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    I would not be happy with anything Vaz dones until he gets sent to the back bench like a certain former attorney general in south australia was…. :(

  2. 0
    Arcanagos says:

    GP: In a bid to encourage Vaz’s transition further, we actually selected a semi-flattering picture of the MP for once.



    "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson’ll justify it in the end." – nightwng2000

  3. 0
    hayabusa75 says:

    I think the bigger picture here is not so much that Vaz has changed, but that (at least from what the articles say) his compatriots in Parliament are a large reason for it.  I mean, it’s really nice to see non-game related folks stick up for the games industry publicly and not let factual inaccuracies just slide by.

    I certainly don’t see that happening much in the U.S.

    "De minimus non curat lex"

  4. 0
    Kojiro says:

    I would say that is a very flattering photo.  (come on, the guy isn’t a model, he’s just an average Joe, and that’s a good picture of him).

    If he is having a change of heart, I hope it is for the right reasons.  I hope he is becoming more educated on the industry and it’s issues.  If that is the case, then good for him.  I think more people should learn to be less alarmist and seek more facts before crying foul.

  5. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Um, Keith Vaz is the guy who LIED about the contents of the Byron report- so much that she had to actually call him out on it.  Also, until he comes clean about the lies he continues to perpetuate about that whole Manhunt murder, Vaz is still a lying anti-speech jackass.

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