Deputy United Kingdom prime minister Nick Clegg apparently believes that games like Grand Theft Auto V can have a "corrosive effect" on player behavior. Speaking on his LBC Radio show today he cited unknown research to malign video games and the people that play them.
"Clearly these games can have an incredibly powerful, and I suspect in some cases corrosive effect, on someone's behavior, someone's outlook; they get shut off, they don't talk to other people, they just stay in their living room, their bedroom hunkered down in front of their computer." Clegg said. "They occupy a hermetically sealed world of their own and that can have a very detrimental effect."
While Clegg does not specifically mention the Washington Navy Yard shooting, his comments are likely inspired by it and by the highly successful release of Grand Theft Auto V around the world. He is also referring to people "hunkered down" in front of their PS3s and Xbox 360s because the game is not yet available for the PC...
"In a free country, what do you do? Do you start saying to people you can't use it for more than X number of hours? No you can't do that," Clegg said. "There are, of course, restrictions around content. But we cannot limit people's use of [video games], certainly not the amount of time they devote to this by law or by edict."
Clegg went on to say that parents bear a "heavy responsibility" in making sure that their children spend time playing games that are age-appropriate games and that they should ration how much time is spent playing those video games.
You can hear all of Clegg's remarks here.