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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MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
quiknkoldA Mother will fight to protect her children or her mate. This does not mean they are any different then males when it comes to destruction and mental illness. A Woman has just enough opportunity to be sick like a man. The difference is they will focus10/24/2014 - 9:43pm
quiknkoldsociologist. I've spent years observing and I've come to the conclusion that a big reason men and women are different is because Women are Protectors. Women wont wantonly kill because they are all about protecting what they care about. They are wired this10/24/2014 - 9:43pm
james_fudgeYeah having a penis probably doesn't have a lot to do with it10/24/2014 - 9:32pm
quiknkoldIts Mental Illness. Nobody who is actually sane would willingly walk into a school and commit that. its Mental Illness topped with Teenage Angst. and I'm going to say something that may be construed as sexist, but I dont mean it as such. I mean it as a...10/24/2014 - 9:29pm
Matthew WilsonIt is a worth while discussion, but I dont agree with here premise. I dont belive it has anything to do with masculinity.10/24/2014 - 9:13pm
 

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