Are computer games really the problem ?

Keith Vaz, as some regular readers of this blog will know, is not my favourite politician. He seems to be the very model of a publicity seeking vain political who is quick to tell us what is going wrong but short on any ideas that offer solutions other than banging on about things that appeal to the Daily Mail readership, but actually, in truth offer no real solution. Witness also that these words apply to David Cameron.

A few months ago Keith Vaz achieved his weekly 15 minutes of fame by claiming that computer games are behind today's street violence and gun culture. At the time I highlighted what utter crap he spoke on the subject, but now David Cameron is saying much the same as Keith Vaz. His latest solution to the gun culture includes this from today ;

"(David Cameron will) call for ... for the media, music companies and computer game manufacturers to show true social responsibility".

You get it ? It's nothing to do with policies, alienation, a lack of policing, poor parenting skills, a lack of money for youth offending teams, indeed nothing really to do with politicians at all. it is all down to Record companies to and computer game manufacturers.

It's too glib and easy a line to blame tings associated with youth culture. but the statistics do not back up Mr Cameron's views. For example, sales of computer games systems and violent computer games are just as high in rural areas as they are run down inner city areas. If this is the case and they are the cause of gun crime, why are there no stories of shootings and gang crime amongst teenagers in rural villages. Yes, we know that rural villages have their problems with youths, but it is on a different level. Surely this tells us there are other factors involved that make inner city estate different from rural towns and villages.

As someone brought up with computers, who plays what David Cameron would describe as "dangerous" computer games, I tire of being told that these are going to turn me in to a psychopath.

Gun crime in this country will need radical solutions and a lot of money poured in to dealing with it. Attacking the computer games industry, one of this countries biggest exports, is not the solution.

1 comment:

Tristan said...


I remember when it was 'video nasties'. Now its computer games.
Hasn't it also been comics and role playing games?
Oh, lets not forget Heavy Metal, or Rock 'n' Roll or Punk.

I bet at some point someone's probably suggested Yo-yos are the problem...

As for talk of 'social responsibility' - that's code for 'do as we say or we'll use legislation'. It makes government look a bit better and less heavy handed and goes down well better with the Tory grass roots.