Article written by Peter Chapman.
Published on 09/12/2011 at 10:00 AM.
Keith Vaz has himself a bit of a reputation for wanting stricter control of videogames. The MP for Leicester East repeatedly returns to the issue and rarely manages to appear competent when talking about it, bless him.
They should put the internet in here somewhere so Keith can do a quick check that the studies he cites are reputable.
Vaz asked “Could we have a debate next week about the harmful effects of violent video games?” which is a peculiar bit of phrasing. Let’s have a debate about whether there are any harmful effects first, shall we? Oh, Keith already assumes that’s a given because he’s got a study to cite.
So, what piece of scientific genius is he using to validate his desire to take up the expensive time of our MPs? It’s that one we reported on last week that had a sample group of just 22 people, unreliable controls and inconclusive findings. It was also funded by a group with a clear anti-gaming stance. That’s not good science.
A scaremongering attempt at demonising games based on a poorly conducted study which has since been found to have been funded by an anti-gaming group. That sounds like our Keith.
Vaz went on to say, “At a time when parents are thinking of purchasing video games for Christmas, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that it is important to hold a debate on this matter? This is not about censorship—it is about protecting our children,”
They're not just there for the pretty colours, you know?
Oh, hold on… we do have that. The industry itself arranged to have age ratings clearly displayed and retailers are committed to abiding by those ratings. So games which are unsuitable for kids aren’t sold to kids and the adults that buy them are, without question, aware of their suitability for the children they might intend giving them to. So, that’s case closed then, surely?
Perhaps we could use that debating time you wanted to discuss something like the Occupy protests, the impending economic doom in the Eurozone, the ongoing News International scandal or any one of a hundred pressing issues that are affecting us in a way which wasn’t already solved years ago. Oh, here’s an idea: maybe we could use the debating time to discuss the dangers of irresponsible parenting? We could even use the time to discuss how important it is to ensure that scientific studies are conducted in a scientific way with a large sample group, otherwise they’re meaningless? That one might stop more showboating MPs from trying to schedule more utterly pointless debates in the future.
Or perhaps you still want to beat a dead horse just to get your face in the papers?