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://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
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Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
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TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
 

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