UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed by Indiana University Research

December 2, 2011 -

Leicester East MP (United Kingdom) Keith Vaz is at it again, now buoyed by research released last week that found that violent video games change the brain in young adult males. The MP has called for a debate on the harmful effect of violent games just as parents are considering buying them as presents for their children during the holiday shopping season.

Vaz, who serves as the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, told the House of Commons yesterday that new data released by researchers at Indiana University's School of Medicine showed that playing violent games led to "physical changes" in the brain.

Vaz emphasized during his comments that the debate was aimed at protecting children and was not about censorship. Following his comments, House of Commons leader Sir George Young said that he would alert Home Secretary Theresa May about Vaz's concerns.

"I am very concerned that as Christmas approaches, parents may be thinking of putting violent video games under the tree for their children," Vaz told the Mercury. "As the research published this week by the Indiana School of Medicine shows, violent video games can have a physical effect on the brain after just one week of playing them."

Vaz also called on the government to implement recommendations of a 2008 report by psychologist Tanya Byron that was commissioned by the Labour Government. That report, he says, called for stricter parental controls on some video games.

"The important thing to remember is most video games are not violent," noted Dr. Richard Wilson, chief executive officer of TIGA, the trade association which represents the UK's games industry. "The average age of video game players is late 20's and, therefore, it is right to have some games geared towards adult players."

"The Government report by Tanya Byron did not conclude young children who play violent games become desensitized to violence," he added. "It said more research was needed in the area. There is a rating system for games to make sure young people do not play violent games and the industry takes the regulation of games very seriously."

Source: This is Leicestershire


Comments

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

Until Vaz paints TV and Books in the same light as he is Games he is destined to look like the opportunist idiot that he is.

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

Isn't this the same guy that refused a debate further away from the Holidays? So.. now that it's closer to the Holidays and all sorts of people are looking to get gifts for each other (be they violent or not), he's deciding it's important now to discuss it?

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

Seriously, I thought after the Brown Vs. EMA decision that this whole discussion was over...at least in the U.S.  The right side won: video games are protected speech, end of story.  The Indiana University study to me was like closing the barn door after the horses have been let out; it's pretty much irrelevant now.  I guess Vaz never got the memo. cheeky

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

The situation in the UK is different from the that of the US. The Brown Vs. EMA decision was that the sale of video games to minors should not be legally restricted, whereas in the UK it is already legally restricted, so the Brown Vs. EMA decision is somewhat irrelevant.

To be honest, I am somewhat concerned that politicians such as Vaz (and some members of the public) do not think that the current restrictions are adequate, since the cover is already pretty comprehensive.

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

I guess you must think the whole world follows suit with the US? Or did you miss on the UK part/not know who Vaz is?

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

"That report, he says, called for stricter parental controls on some video games."

I don't recall that bit but it's been years since I've read it.

EDIT: I've browsed around a bit and it appears all the Byron Report said on the subject was that parental controls needed to be made more accessible.  And that's true.  Some of the console's controls are confusing even to those of us who understand these things.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

Unless it's the part that calls for PEGI to rate all games? So as PEGI tend to rate a lot more games at 18 it's more restrictive?

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

I don't think so.  I don't recall the Byron report asking for PEGI to rate all games.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

Didn't she say that consoles should have a parental lock facility, some how missing the fact that the current gen already do.

Re: UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed ...

Nope.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
 

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