smeggypants wrote:"Video games cause violence" is perennial propaganda.
it used to be " video nasties " in the 80's , TV before that , films before that , etc etc .
Trying is the first step towards failure...Homer Simpson "Ahhhhhh bollox.... whats the point "... Me I would like to thank the MOD for all of their support over the years ...thanks for fuck all do whaaaaaa ?
The government's resident anti-videogames moral crusader, Keith Vaz, has struck out against Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in an Early Day Motion put to Parliament.
EDM 2427, asserts not only that Modern Warfare 3 makes players attack the general public, but also implies a link between violent videogames and violent video games players. Bizarrely, the EDM is titled Call of Duty 3, but given we've got no evidence that Vaz has played the game in question, we'll chalk that one up to an unfamiliarity with the subject matter. Here's the full text:
"This House is deeply concerned about the recently released video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, in which players engage in gratuitous acts of violence against members of the public; notes in particular the harrowing scenes in which a London Underground train is bombed by terrorists, bearing a remarkable resemblance to the tragic events of 7 July 2005; further notes that there is increasing evidence of a link between perpetrators of violent crime and violent video games users; and calls on the British Board of Film Classification to take further precautions when allowing a game to be sold."
Nine MPs have so far signed the EDM -- Martin Caton, Mike Hancock, Kelvin Hopkins, Alan Meale, Sandra Osborne, Bob Russell, David Simpson, Jeremy Corbyn and its sponsor -- Keith Vaz. Corbyn's presence there particularly peeves me, not only because he's my MP, but because I find it hard to believe that his Islington North constituency is really full of people who hate violent videogames. In fact it peeved me so much that I took advantage of the brilliant WriteToThem.com to send him a letter. It read:
Dear Jeremy Corbyn,
I was extremely disappointed to see that you've signed EDM 2427, which makes a pair of very worrying assertions.
The first is that "players engage in gratuitous acts of violence against members of the public". It's a game. You may as well assert that kids playing cowboys and indians engage in gratuitous acts of violence against native americans. Or that playing cops and robbers is training children in larceny and mugging. Players understand the difference between games and the real world.
The second is that "there is increasing evidence of a link between perpetrators of violent crime and violent video games users". This strongly implies causation in one direction, which is not something that studies have found. All studies have shown is that those predisposed to violent tendencies are more likely to play violent videogames, not that violent videogames cause "average" people to become more violent.
On the other hand, a recent study in Nature found that: "There is growing direct evidence that intensive use of video games results in significant generalized improvements in cognitive function". Read more on the subject here.
I would strongly request that as the representative of a large group of young people who find tremendous social, recreational and educational benefits from videogames (and in my case, earn a living partially from them -- I'm a journalist and it's one of the areas I cover), you withdraw your support for this misguided, anti-cultural, anti-technology EDM, and back Tom Watson's amendment instead.
Yours sincerely, Duncan Geere
Tom Watson's amendment, incidentally, is excellent. You can see it at the bottom of the EDM page. It removes all text in the EDM apart from "That this House..." and adds:
...notes that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) gave the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 an 18 classification, noting that 'the game neither draws upon nor resembles real terrorist attacks on the underground'; further believes that the game has an excellent user interface and challenges the gamers' dexterity as well as collaborative skills in an outline setting; and encourages the BBFC to uphold the opinion of the public that whilst the content of video games may be unsettling or upsetting to some, adults should be free to choose their own entertainment in the absence of legal issues or material which raises a risk or harm.
Good work, Tom. If this is a topic that you feel strongly about, too, and especially if your MP is one of the ones listed above that have signed this motion, then you should drop them a line too. Head over to WriteToThem.com, and fill in your postcode, and it'll guide you through the process.
Update: Victory! At least a little. As BJD points out in the comments, Corbyn has withdrawn his signature from the motion. He hasn't backed Watson's amendment, but that's okay. I'm not going to claim that I made all the difference -- there's a well-known axiom about correlation and causation -- but hopefully it helped a little. If your MP is in the list, make sure you write to them.