Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' Effect on Children's Behavior

September 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Deputy United Kingdom prime minister Nick Clegg apparently believes that games like Grand Theft Auto V can have a "corrosive effect" on player behavior. Speaking on his LBC Radio show today he cited unknown research to malign video games and the people that play them.

"Clearly these games can have an incredibly powerful, and I suspect in some cases corrosive effect, on someone's behavior, someone's outlook; they get shut off, they don't talk to other people, they just stay in their living room, their bedroom hunkered down in front of their computer." Clegg said. "They occupy a hermetically sealed world of their own and that can have a very detrimental effect."

While Clegg does not specifically mention the Washington Navy Yard shooting, his comments are likely inspired by it and by the highly successful release of Grand Theft Auto V around the world. He is also referring to people "hunkered down" in front of their PS3s and Xbox 360s because the game is not yet available for the PC...

"In a free country, what do you do? Do you start saying to people you can't use it for more than X number of hours? No you can't do that," Clegg said. "There are, of course, restrictions around content. But we cannot limit people's use of [video games], certainly not the amount of time they devote to this by law or by edict."

Clegg went on to say that parents bear a "heavy responsibility" in making sure that their children spend time playing games that are age-appropriate games and that they should ration how much time is spent playing those video games.

You can hear all of Clegg's remarks here.

Source: Guardian by way of GameSpot


Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

Just to be clear: Doesn't the UK law forbid selling a PEGI 18+ game to minors? Doesn't that put the blame solely on the parents?

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

Well, legally, the seller is the one who broke the law.  Although you could well argue that the parents are also responsible morally.

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

What Clegg "believes" is irrelevant. Some people believe in pixies, but that doesn't mean I should take care to warn my kids not to step on one when they go out into the garden.

Before parents can be said to 'bear a heavy responsibility' to police their kids choice of video games, there must be studies showing solid evidence of video games harming children. So far the studies show no damage at all.

Parents already bear heavy responsibilities in regard to their children - those responsibilities should focus on real things that actually do harm. Focusing on fear of things that do no harm whatsoever is a distraction from much more important parental responsibilities.

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

*citation needed

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

It doesn't matter what he says, he hasn't got a chance of getting back into power! Hell he's ruined the Lib-Dems chances for at least a generation. 

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

Be better if we had limits on how corrupt politicians can be and stay in office - start there... it would benefit society a LOT more.

Just saying... between the two - which causes more issues? Some want to go on about violent media - but corporate, banking, and political corruption - obsession and addictions to power and money are just ignored - like they are "normal". 

Hell - it's even defined as a disorder --

So they go on about people who 'play too many games' - but don't mention those who trash their family life working all the time, or those that use overseas cheap slave labor or step on people to enrichen themselves to obscene amounts of wealth they could never use - at all.

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

Good thing it has an 18+ rating!

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

its almost like they think anybody born between now and 1980 is a walking psychopath

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

With some people that's exactly it.

Re: Deputy UK Prime Minister Claims GTA Has a 'Corrosive' ...

Well - we are their children - so who should they blame?

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