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Labour plans new games policy

Labour MP Keith Vaz told MCV that a central topic of the discussion would be the potential implementation of TV advertising to educate parents over age ratings on games.

“I will be organising a seminar in the new year to bring together the relevant Ministers, industry representatives, retailers and parents,” said Vaz.

“It’s an opportunity to reach a consensus on what actions, including a potential television advertising campaign, should be implemented to protect the UK’s children.”

The news comes after Senators Hilary Clinton and Joe Lieberman – critics of gaming controversies such as Grand Theft Auto’s ‘Hot Coffee’ scandal – endorsed a similar TV campaign in the US.

Commercials teaching parents about age ratings from the US Entertainment Software Rating Board have been aired on major networks. The ads have been backed by parents and the ESRB.

“The campaign by Senator Clinton and Senator Lieberman is an excellent example of what can be achieved when there is consensus between legislators, the games industry and
retailers,” added Vaz.

“This advertising campaign to educate parents should be replicated in the United Kingdom. Keeping parents informed is the best and most effective way to prevent explicit video games from getting into the hands of young children.

“It is a campaign which the games industry in the UK should support as it would be a clear demonstration of the industry’s concern for the welfare of our children."

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