In UK, Conservative MP Blames Youth Crime Surge on Video Games

May 13, 2008 -
A Conservative Member of Parliament has pointed to mature-themed video games as contributing to a surge in juvenile crime in the UK, particularly among girls.

As reported by the Daily Mail, MP David Ruffley (left) said:
Selling 18+ rated violent computer games such as Grand Theft Auto IV to underage children is more likely when many retailers have no fear of being caught, as my figures demonstrate.

This poor enforcement of the law is damaging to children. But I'm not surprised when officers are overwhelmed by a colossal amount of red tape.

The figures Ruffley referred to indicated that, nationwide, only eight fines had been imposed for selling mature-themed games to minors in 2006, the last year for which data is available.

Via: Next Generation

Comments

What do you expect

Well of course! what do you think they are going to blame it on?  Bad Parenting?

All the politicians need to

All the politicians need to know this one saying!!

Research is the Key!!

The youth crime surge in Britain is caused by things other than video games, such as drinking, smoking, drugs, soccer hooligans, gangs, and stupid politicians getting on their nerves.

The same can go for America but we have football hooligans not soccer, football. Besides our juvenile crime rate is at a 30 year low so what does that mean for Britain. ???

Too narrow-minded, obviously.

Just isn't a legitimate claim, oy. And though I know little about UK's laws, I judge that they would be more enforcing on the ratings restrictions.

Where are all these girls in

Where are all these girls in the UK playing violent games? I never seem to meet any :(

Hey...how do you get rid of

Hey...how do you get rid of the subject-thing? I didn't type anything in the subject box but it keeps showing up...

I wish I knew...I asked for

I wish I knew...I asked for an instructions post on another thread (GP Makeover) so hopefully our questions will be answered.

Of course more fear mongering about games even after that report came out.

No, never blame the criminals.

"Blah blah blah.... lies lies lies... blah blah blah... shit I make up.... blah blah blah" is all I see. I'm not missing anything am I?

David Ruffley, YOU are an agenda-pushing, fear-mongering MORON!

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptA Conservative Member of Parliament has pointed to mature-themed video games as contributing to a surge in juvenile crime in the UK, particularly among girls. As reported by the Daily Mail, MP David Ruffley (left) said: Selling 18+ rated violent computer games such as Grand Theft Auto IV to underage children is more likely when many retailers have no fear of being caught, as my figures demonstrate. This poor enforcement of the law is damaging to children. But I’m not surprised when officers are overwhelmed by a colossal amount of red tape. [...]

To: Prez Geo Bush; Speaker Nancy Pelosi

From: Fake Jake Thompson

RE: Impeachment of Federal Judges

Dear George and Nancy:

Finally an issue the two of you can get together on. Please accept this as my formal and sworn request that you immediately begin impeachment proceedings against all Judges named in the New York Times article of Monday May 12, 2008. (Did I say happy mothers day, by the way? if not, I'm doing so now.)

As you both know, Judges are lawyers and have an affirmative duty to report malfesance and the article in the Times clearly states that these judges did nothing when they say perjury comitted before them. Perhaps if these Judges spent less time playing video games and more time reading the ethics rules and the bible things might be a little different in Sin City, a/k/a New York.

Lets get moving on this. I'm raring to go. And while you're both at it, can you toss in an impeachment count against Judge Dava Tunis in Miami? I'd really appreciate it. I'll fill your counsel in on the details. I'm sure you will both be shocked and chagrined.

Anyway, this should be a fun way for George to serve out his term. Did I mention I'm available to serve as attorney general? Just a thought.

I hereby swear by all the wonders of the universe that every single thing written in this letter is gosh darn true.

Fake Jake Thompson, Gadfly and Esq.

David Ruffley...officially Keith Vaz's live-in boyfriend.

Well to be fair he has a point, think about just how alike a juvenile (say 16 year old) english girl is to the unshaven eastern european 31 year old protagonist of GTA4. I mean come ON, with a protagonist so similar, it's practically a manual for young girls on how to be a criminal!

Step 1: Sex change
Step 2: Stop shaving
Step 3: Wait 15 years, preferrably somewhere in the Balkans to develop the accent
Step 4: Arrive in america illegally & try to help your cousin
Step 5: CRIME!!!

Hold on, I read that article, he didnt link them at all. Instead, the Daily Mail tagged his separate newspiece on the end of that newspiece about female juvenile crime.

His actual words don't link videogames to violence at all, please read the article before commenting!

Caption for picture:

"It are fact! I know because of my learnings." >:[

david you are dumb ass moron that does not know anything about fucking video games. you proibally still live with your mother you fucking ho

Szia!
Szerintem a GTA uj jateka nagyon jo!!!!!!! es egyaltalan nem veszelyes.

Uh, wait.

He doesn't link video games to violence at all.

Gamepolitics, are you resorting to sensationalism?

Yeah, Dennis, this article is kinda... misleading in comparison to the one you're referencing.

Must agree, this is actually something much more interesting.

Despite the fact that the ratings ARE legally enforced in the UK:-

'Despite an explosion in games with content suitable for over-18s only not a single person received a caution for supplying violent video games and DVDs to someone underage. Only eight fines were imposed.'

The system either works inconceivably well, or it's buggered.

I spy a douche bag.

I don't even know if Dennis reads these articles before he posts them anymore. This is appauling, seriously, to the folk critising David Rufety I suggest you read the article rather than be led astray like the children of Hamelin.

The article is about an increase of 25% of crime commited by girls in the UK and the mail tagged on a piece about the enforcement of the sale of violent games to kids. Dennis is just spinning the article to further an agenda.

@ GoodRobotUs

Everytime I buy a film, game or anything in any store in the UK, I get ID'd.
Hell, I visit the same corner shop 4 or 5 times a week, and they ID me everytime.

Why?
Because the deterrent of heavy fines and losing licences is enough to force shops to ask for ID.

More proof that this story has been spun towards the sensational.

Look at the Next Generation article that was cited as the source,
http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10424&...
nowhere in that artice does it suggest that video games are causing a rise in crime in fact its very clear that the MP is talking about the enforcement of the law regarding selling games to kids.

LOL @ the sheer amount pf people who didnt read the article before slapping down acomment.

I for one see no problem with enabling the police to uphold the law currently in place. I agree that they have too much red tape to get through in order to get anything done and it has resulted in less time spent on the streets enforcing the law.

18+ rated games shouldnt be sold to kids, end of story.

...And the proof is?

Oh no sory, the guy's a conservativem he doesn't need proof. He just BELIEVES.

One question. Where are the statistics and facts to go along with this? In the science community, this guy would be called a crackpot, I just call him a lier.

I'll grant that GP appears to have misinterpreted the article--it's more of the usual Daily Mail game-bashing, tagging a comment about games on the end of a piece about juvenile crime. There's no indication in the text that Ruffley tried to link the two matters.

That's not a get-out-of-scorn-free card for him. His "research" for his claim that the age restrictions are not being enforced is based on the number of fines imposed. He assumes that because not many fines are being imposed, the law is not being enforced. He does not appear to consider the perfectly logical alternative that retailers simply aren't breaking the law on any significant scale, and therefore are not getting fined.

It makes about as much sense as this hypothetical conversation:

Illogical MP: The increasing number of leprechauns in Britain is a serious problem.

Rational Person: I haven't seen any leprechauns at all.

Illogical MP: That's how you know they're there!

hmm i gotta say i dont see why this article shoudl be on the site :S

its not about videogames.. :S

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,355268,00.html

I don't about video games, but Star Wars is the cause of this violent crime, amirite?

This is just shoddy reporting by the Daily Mail, and the MP allowing himself to be quoted in this context shows he agrees.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

@All the folks claiming "not about videogames":
Read the last 4 paragraphs in The Daily article.
If you "already did", and still don't see it. Do it again.

@The article:
I think Balance called it out the best.
[sarcasm]
Things are just going TOO smoothly for MP David Ruffley. Of course, the crime rate isn't down (that would only make sense). The reality is that it just isn't being reported! The lack of police reports couldn't possibly be due to game stores actually making sure that they're doing the job right, and that the 'crime' rate really IS that low. Nope, it's really at an all time HIGH, and we must SAVE THE CHILDREN!
[/sarcasm]
Genius. I wish I could apply that logic to different aspects of my life....no wait, I don't. It would make my life HORRIBLE.

(BTW, I lurved that mockery of a photo the daily used in the article. They couldn't find a picture of actual misbehaving girls, even though they spend an entire article making it out to be a huge problem? :P)

@Arifex

What I'm claiming is that the GP headline is totally false

The video game angle on this story is "An MP reckons enforcement of BBFC ratings for video games is down" thats it.

What does GP pull out of his arse?

"A Conservative Member of Parliament has pointed to mature-themed video games as contributing to a surge in juvenile crime in the UK, particularly among girls."

Uh hu.

Even without the erroneous title of this story this guy still sounds like a tool.

Even if you changed the title you'd still have a farce here. It's even MORE hilarious they're showing a rise in crime with girls and trying to link it with video games.

@Erik, you are correct he is a tool. Although I didn't vote for him I have the misfortune of being represented by Ruffley.

Oh and yes, the headline doesn't really match the story. Seriously GP, don't get carried away.

Gift.

@Gift

I see you are English, then. No worries, I got a friend over here who moved here with his family from England when he was 5 years old.

[Forrest Gump]
And that's all I have to say about that.
[/Forrest Gump]

Mr. Ruffley, enough is enough. Enough said.

The problem with the figures is that they don't mention how many mature-themed video games are being sold to minors overall (the Daily Hansard shows clearly that there are no records available of actual cases nor of tests made in retail establishments). As such the figures are meaningless - they don't suggest that many kids are getting away with buying mature-themed games, or that the law is being poorly-enforced AT ALL. I mean what if there were only eight instances of mature-themed games being sold to youngsters? If so that would be a 100% enforcement rate. The idea that there are many people getting away with it is a big assumption to make, and one that isn't backed up by any figures whatsoever.

I think David Ruffley needs to take some critical thinking classes.

I think when the truth comes out we'll all find that kids are not buying mature-themed videogames from stores in anything like the numbers that these bozos assume. PARENTS are buying mature-themed games for their kids. So there's no poor enforcement going on at all.

These politicians don't seem to understand that most parents don't care how violent their kids games are as long as the games keep the kids out of their hair for a few hours. THAT'S why kids get hold of mature-themed games. It's not like there's a vast conspiracy of shop-assistants selling these games to kids. There probably IS a vast conspiracy - of PARENTS who want to keep their kids quiet using any means possible.

@Buncha Kneejerks

I've not had encounters with the Age-Check for a good long time, at 36, I barely even notice ratings these days, but what is more interesting is the way the facts are presented. A real example of lies, damn lies and statistics.

@DeusPayne:

"BUY MY BOOK!" "BUY MY BOOK!" "I WAS ON 60 MINUTES (AND YOU WEREN'T)" .... oh wait this article's not about him, nevermind. :P

yeah, SSDD.

At least he acknowledged that girls play games. Still stupid though, PARENTS buy these games for their kids. Alos, if games are responsible, why is this not happening EVERYWHERE? Games are available internationally!

Spelling error:Sentence three *Alos*=*Also*

Gotta start wrapping it up here to go home from work, but I did a quick glance-around on Google to see if Ruffley came up anyplace else -- you might want to switch over to this article at Spong, which at least focuses directly on the gaming aspect without muddling it up with unrelated statistics of female youth attacks.

Incidentally, the actual info came from Vernon Coaker, who said that "information on the number of recorded offences of retailers selling video games or DVDs to underage customers is not collected centrally." So not only does this have nothing to do with rising crime rates, but the irrelevant sixteen-month-old data isn't even restricted to gaming mediums! I'd wager dollars to DVDs that this has more to do with some high-schoolers trying to get their hands on the Criterion edition of The Godfather than with Liberty City.
---
Fangamer

@~the1jeffy

That is freaking awesome I love weird stories like that. I mean, I hate FOX news but if this actually happened, then thank you FOX you made my day.

In our parents generation why didn't anyone ever make the connection violent
crime and Rock em Sock em Robots. Or G.I. Joe those were violent toys and games. I'll tell you why.......Politicians need a scapegoat. Other than a failed presidential run and video games what is Joe Leiberman famous for?

You never see a lot of "Liberal MP Blames Youth Crime Surge on Video Game" do you? Why aren't we hearing more about them? Maybe they're on vacation?
 
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