UK-based game player lobby group Gamers’ Voice held its first "Parliamentary Games Day" with Ministers of Parliament and video game industry representatives at the House of Commons. The group describes the event as "a real success" with politicians of all three main political parties attending to play video games with Gamers’ Voice on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.
A total of 16 MPs attended the event. John Whittingdale, Ed Vaizey, Luciana Berger, Clive Betts, Pete Davison, Don Foster, Dr Julian Huppert, Karen Lumley, Jason McCartney, Nigel Mills, Stephen Mosley, Andy Nuttal, David Cairns, Simon Kirby, David Hanson and Keith Vaz all made appearances at the event.
A highlight of the event was when MPs John Whittingdale and Don Foster traded punches through the Kinect Sports boxing game.
The video game industry also attended the event in force. Ian Livingstone OBE, Miles Jacobson OBE and Jon Hare attended, along with Dr Richard Wilson of TIGA, Michael Rawlinson of UKIE, Gianni Zamo of the Video Standard Council and Dave Green from BAFTA.
Organizers were particularly pleased with comments from MPs after the event: Luciana Berger said on twitter after the event "Well done to @GamersVoice for organising such a good event" and it was "The best event I’ve been to in Parliament so far in 2011!" Government minister Ed Vaizey MP told the press his view on the event "I think it’s an inspired idea to set it up."
The gaming charity Special Effect also successfully showcased their eye-control technology and software to MPs. The technology allows gamers with even the most severe disabilities to play games.
Willians Donegan of Special Effect spoke positively of the Gamers’ Voice Parliamentary Games Day:
"SpecialEffect were delighted to have been invited by Gamers’ Voice to attend Parliamentary Games Day and help to promote the positive image of gaming," said Donegon. "It was a great opportunity to meet and talk directly to MP’s as well as members of the games industry, even though we had some trouble shifting some MP’s from eye-controlled Peggle!"
"The event was a big step in creating a better understanding of video games and breaking down some of the misconceptions about a subject which, as a games charity, we know is incredibly important to many," he added.
You can learn more about the group by visiting gamersvoice.org.uk.