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Keith Vaz Urges Paliament To Debate Game's "Harmful Effects"

Felix Kemp
Censorship, Christmas, Keith Vaz, Violence

Keith Vaz Urges Paliament To Debate Game's "Harmful Effects"

"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]

Add a comment7 comments
DrTrouserPlank  Dec. 9, 2011 at 14:26

Judging by the Picture of Vaz I'm inclined to agree that our children do indeed need protecting.

foofan73  Dec. 9, 2011 at 14:48

My local GAME store in town is one of the few shops in my city centre that still gets large queues for the till and is full of people.

Bottom line is videogame and console sales contribute one hell of a lot of retail revenue to this country.

If Mr Vaz had his way he'd be indirectly strangling this country's already struggling retail sector, nice one Vaz(!)

socialjeebus  Dec. 9, 2011 at 14:59

I would rather have a debate on corruption in politics.

Me too, particularly why peers can't be removed from their positions despite being convicted of criminal offences and why so few politicians were punished over the expense scandals. Although Keith Vaz probably wants to shy away from any talk of corruption given his own track record. Being suspended from Parliament and found to have lied repeatedly to Parliament, the Police et al - I'd like someone (perhaps even Keith himself) to explain why he is still even an MP.

His track record on censorship isn't any better either.

I just hope his efforts to protect children from video games (not actual violence mind) are as successful as his attempts to get the Satanic Verses banned.

Last edited by socialjeebus, Dec. 9, 2011 at 15:00
MattGardner  Dec. 9, 2011 at 15:07

Surely our government has better things to do right now than debate the ramblings of an excitable and duplicitous buffoon.

You'd think.

DivideByZero  Dec. 9, 2011 at 16:06

Buffoon is a great word. Very apt. He needs hitting in the face.

I'm free on Wednesdays and Thursdays, in the evening.

(note, just to clarify, games don't make me violent, anger does... and idiots like this make me angry... games are FUN)

Last edited by DivideByZero, Dec. 9, 2011 at 16:19
StolenDiagram  Dec. 10, 2011 at 12:55

If you want to protect children, then the first port of call is to address the issue of idiot parents who buy games like Call of Duty for their 8 year olds, not to continue on with some obvious personal vendetta against the industry that's both pointless and a waste of everyone's time and most likely taxpayer money. Why is this muppet still an MP? What exactly is it that he contributes?

Video games are appropriately age rated, that in itself SHOULD allow developers and publishers to abstain themselves of blame.

Where is your nonsensical hatred of other forms of such media - Television? Cinema?

Do not seek to punish the majority for the actions of an irresponsible minority. If we lived in a world such as that Mr Vaz, no doubt you would quickly find this country ALOT less accepting of you!

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