U.K. Conservative Slams Violent Games & other Influences in Wake of Youth Slaying

August 25, 2007 -
In the wake of the brutal ride-by slaying of an 11-year-old Liverpool boy on Wednesday, the leader of Great Britain's Conservative Party has attacked a number of cultural influences - including video games. As reported by the Times, David Cameron said:
What has become of our society when we have this spate of children killing children?”

It means understanding and acting on that age-old maxim that it takes a village to raise a child. It means retailers stopping the sale of alcohol to young teenagers. It means music companies, media companies, games manufacturers, not just thinking, ‘What is my social responsibility as a company in terms of the projects I support and the charities I back, good and important as they are’, but asking, ‘What is the effect of the music I produce, the games I market and the programmes I broadcast?’

Coincidentally, fellow Conservative Jeremy Hunt was interviewed recently by MCV regarding the British game industry. Among his comments:
The UK video games industry is obviously a vitally important part of our economy. The Government needs to do all it can to support the video games sector and allow it to flourish.

I would, however, place equal weight on the cultural influence that games can have. As children and young people make up a significant proportion of video game users it is important for the industry to act in a responsible and sensitive way.

Issues involving content have largely focused on the negative aspects associated with games. The arguments around Resistance: Fall of Man and Manchester Cathedral being the most recent example. The industry needs to accept it has a duty to act responsibly when it comes to appropriate content and politicians and the media needs to realise that the industry can have a positive impact on young people’s lives...

I believe that it is time for the games industry to act in a responsible and sensitive way and play their part in the prevention of unsuitable material falling into the hands of children. It is essential that manufacturers take seriously the messages sent out by violent and increasingly life-like video games and I believe that most currently do so.

Comments

Back on topic. Parent's should be responsible for their children. It takes very little effort to prevent a child from playing an M-rated game. That's what parenting is about, takeing care of your child. They brough the child into the world, and they have the responsibility to look after thier child.

Jack Thompson, you yourself are a father, and I hope you understand that it's your responsibility to police them. The game industry provides entertainment for a wide variety of different audiences, from toddlers to adults, just as the movie industry targets different audiences with different movies. Just as it's the parents responsibility to prevent children from watching porn or violent movies, it is their responsbility to choose the games appropriate to their children. The game industry even provides an easy way to identify games that are for mature audiences through ESRB and their rating system, which is largely viewed as a reliable rating system.

"Thank God for MP Cameron, as adult leaders on both sides of the pond are understanding that pop culture is by and large raw sewage in which teens are drowning.

Once you kids grow up, you’ll understand. Until then, pay attention. You’ll learn something. Remember, I was once as ignorant as you. I grew up."

First of, you believer "pop culture" nowadays is violent video games? I was under the impression that "pop culture" is volatile and that it changes very quickly. "Pop culture" means popular culture, and from what I see, "pop culture" nowadays is more focused on enviromentalism more than anything else. Heck, look at the Live Earth Concerts. I'm sorry if you believe enviromentalism is "raw sewage."

Second of all, you make the assumption that all gamers are kids once again. Games like Bioshock target adults like you Jack. It would be a sad mistake to believe that the game industry is trying to shove mature games down little kids throat. And besides, selling mature games nowadays requires the purchaser to have a driver's license to prove that you are over 18. Wherever you sent your kid to pick up GTA, I would assume that the retailer was probably an independent business, therefore, you can sue that retailer instead of going after the big companies. And besides, why are you going after Take-Two in particular? Just because of GTA? I've seen a lot of violent video games pass under your violence radar. For example, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, God of War, etc. Why just Take-Two?

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