Home > Digital Economy bill, Economy, Gaming, Labour, Nintendo, Sony, UK Politics, XBOX > Why can’t we ban Keith Vaz?

Why can’t we ban Keith Vaz?

Vaz - a liar or an idiot?

Keith Vaz is fast becoming the UK equivalent of Jack Thompson, the scourge  of the video games industry in the United States.

Swedish police recently arrested a man suspected to be the Malmö killer, a racist responsible for one murder, seven attempted murders and twelve possibly related shootings.

As Liberal Conspiracy reports, Keith Vaz has put his own spin on things, blaming the now ageing but highly popular game Counter-Strike for the racist killings.

In a Parliamentary Early Day Motion, Vaz declares

That this House notes with concern that the recent race shootings in Malmo, Sweden have been associated with the violent video game Counter-Strike; further notes that the internet-based, first-person shooting game that pits a counter-terrorist team against terrorists was previously banned in Brazil and in 2007 was associated with US College Campus massacres; recognises the potential impact of violent video games on those under 18 years; and calls on the Government to ensure the purchase of video games by those under 18 years is controlled and that parents are provided with clear information on the violent content of certain games.

Some small facts for Mr Vaz to chew on before he issues another fact-free attack on video games. The only person associating Counter-Strike with the killings is him. No-one else is, except perhaps for the disbarred lawyer Jack Thompson. The identity of the accused is not even known yet. So, if Vaz was being honest he could not imply, never mind directly associate the killings to the video games industry, never mind Counter strike specifically. Indeed, even if the Malmö killer was addicted to gaming, he may have been addicted to Pokemon or Mario-Cart or even wii-fit. Wii-fit is being promoted by the NHS so does that mean the NHS is encouraging violent killers? Lesson one Keith, not everyone who plays video games plays first person shooters.

A Brazilian Court did ban Counter Strike but a higher Court overturned that ban. The game is legally on sale in Brazil and sold without hindrance. The same court that banned Everquest. I guess the Judge thought Brazil suffered from too much witch-craft. Perhaps the Judge and Mr Vaz could speak to Christine O’Donnell about the dangers of the dark arts.

The only person who tried to link Counter-Strike with the University killings was the US soul-mate of Vaz, Jack Thompson. Thompson is now disbarred.  Keith Vaz still holds a seat in the Parliament of United Kingdom and can use that Parliamentary seat to attack an industry enjoyed by 73% of the population.  Vaz is not just some random back bench nut that can be happily ignored either. He is Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

It is in fact a disgrace that the Chairmanship of the Home Affairs Select Committee is held by someone so happy to spread lies about the gaming industry. Politicians can be ejected from Parliament if they spread lies in election literature but obviously not if they use the great institution of Parliament to spread lies about an Industry.

As with the Malmö killer claim by Vaz, Thompson’s claim of a link to Counter Strike to the Virginia Tech shooting was made even before the killer was identified. When the Governor published a review of the incident, it was found Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, had no record of playing video games at all. He did however have a history of mental health problems. The claim (just like the cake) was a lie. Books interested Cho, not games. The only game Cho played was according to the report Sonic the Hedgehog.

The other University killing linked to Counter Strike by the notorious liar Jack Thompson was the horrific shooting at the Northern Illinois University. Initial reports suggested that Steven Kazmierczak, the shooter did not fit any standard profile of someone likely to go off on a rampage. It was later found that he had been dismissed by the US Army for not declaring mental health problems and that he had stopped taking medication. He was however also interested in books and shortly before the killings, he sent his former girl friend a book by Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist. So do we ban books now? Hey let’s burn them. That usually works out well.

Why is it when politicians seek to ban games they always find some three year old game to attack? In the gaming industry they may as well be talking about Pong. Dizzy Thinks details the cost of affording MP’s the opportunity to issue Industry bashing, self congratulatory, ego massaging EDMs that most people generally ignore.

Vaz in his latest attack on the gaming industry  “calls on the Government to ensure the purchase of video games by those under 18 years is controlled and that parents are provided with clear information on the violent content of certain games.”.

Adult games are already rated by the BBFC and that role is being transferred to the Video Standards Council. All games, even the cutest of Nintendo games are rated by PEGI. Shops strongly enforce those age ratings.

Current generation consoles already have parental controls on them.

Nothing can however prevent a parent buying an adult game for their games loving child. Just as nothing can prevent a parent buying a horror film for their child. So what more legislation is needed or even wanted? Arrest parents who allow children to play adult computer games?

I have a suggestion for Keith Vaz. Next time before you parrot your lunatic friend in the US, go and buy an Xbox 360 or PS3. Pick up a copy of the latest AAA rated game and see why gaming is enjoyed by millions of people World-wide.

  1. kaitlin
    November 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm


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