UK Government convenes over violent games

Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism Shaun Woodward, Minister For Industry Margaret Hodge and MP for Leicester East Keith Vaz met last week at Vaz’s request, with a view to discussing the availability of explicitly violent games to children.

Vaz has told MCV that he was keen to debate the examples of Rockstar titles Manhunt and Canis Canem Edit in particular.

Vaz, who is currently embroiled in the ‘racism’ debate surrounding Channel 4’s Big Brother, told MCV: “I am pleased that the Ministers agreed to meet with me and discuss this important issue. This is a good opportunity to raise concerns that many parents and I have on violent video games falling into the hands of young children.

“Recent research has demonstrated that violent video games can encourage a propensity towards violence in their users. I do not believe that this is a question of censorship, but of protecting children.”

The outcome of the roundtable discussion is still unclear. But the news promises to add to the latest wave of controversy over age ratings on games, after European commissioner for justice and security Franco Frattini this month called for a crackdown on the sale of violent games to minors.

“I want to harmonise rules punishing people illegally selling products, people not controlling and checking identity,” Frattini told Reuters.

“We cannot judge from Brussels which videogames should be prohibited.”

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