It’s only been two weeks since my look into why a whole generation of people look upon video games with fear and disdain, and yet here were are again with our beloved hobby at the centre of yet another unwarranted attack -this time from Westminster.
Just when it seemed that bonds between the games industry and the Government had begun to grow that much stronger over the last twelve months, a debate lead by Labour MP Diane Abbott on London gang crime saw MPs link the increasing problem of knife crime in the capital city to violent video games and movies.
Liberal Democrat MP and former party leader candidate Simon Hughes stated: “The report then makes a controversial point, but I believe that it is true – evidence supported our view that violent DVDs and video games exert a negative influence on those who watch and play them.”
Ironically enough this particular turn in the debate on knife crime came about the very same day as the Digital Economy Bill was discussed in the commons where plenty praise was heaped upon the games industry.
“It is important that we in this House and the Government recognize more than ever that the video games industry is already very important to our national economy” said Labour MP, Siôn Simon.
Unsurprisingly the games industry’s number one fan Keith Vaz had this to add: “My right honourable friend is right to mention the success of the creative industries. With reference to our children, the industry must act responsibly – with respect to video games, for example. Such responsibility must accompany the success of the digital revolution.”
Clearly the PEGI and BBFC systems already in place for video games, combined with health warnings found in every single video game – both in the accompanying manuals and opening loading screens – doesn’t quite cut the grade for Keith when it comes to an industry taking its responsibilities to its consumers seriously…
The mind truly boggles.