"It Is About Protecting Our Children"
Is Keith Vaz really a politician? I'm not sure. While I don't doubt he has an impressive academic track record, his walls lined with degrees and diplomas, he seems to waste a lot of this ostensible intelligence crusading against fictional violence represented on a screen by a collection of multicolored pixels. Vaz is back at it again today, urging MPs to hold a Parliamentary debate to discuss the "harmful effects" of videogames on our children. In time for Christmas, of course. Seriously.
"Could we have a debate next week about the harmful effects of violent video games?" Vaz asked colleagues in a chat recorded by the Parliamentary record. "Last week, the university of Indiana published research that showed that regularly playing those games resulted in physical changes in the brain." Not content with citing from scientific research, Vaz also pointed to Christmas, the biggest holiday of the year, where children were most likely to be subjected to the "harmful effects" of videogames.
"At a time when parents are thinking of purchasing video games for Christmas, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that it is important to hold a debate on this matter?" Vaz queried. "This is not about censorship—it is about protecting our children." Vaz is a staunch opponent to violent videogames, an outspoken critic of the likes of Bully, Manhunt and most recently Modern Warfare 2 and 3.
However, Vaz's colleague, Sir George Young, while accepting that such a debate has been on the cards for a while now, could not "promise a debate next week". He did confirm he'd pass on the news to the Home Secretary, and Home Office questions on the matter would be conducted on December 12th. Looks like we'll be hearing more on this very soon. [Parliamentary Record]