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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MattsworknameWilson: how? Im still waiting for my upgrade notice07/29/2015 - 3:44am
Matthew WilsonI updated to a clean instill of windows 10.07/29/2015 - 2:36am
Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
 

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