UK MP Keith Vaz files motion on "violent video games"

keith vaz

Our superfriends over at Edge have picked up on UK MP Keith Vaz's early-day motion calling for "closer scrutiny of aggressive first-person shooter video games." Vaz's chief target this time isn't the content of the games themselves, but European classification body PEGI, who Vaz believes should be doing more to “restrict ultra-violent content”.

In the motion Vaz cites the testimony of Anders Behring Breivik, the man currently on trial for the murders of 76 people in Norway last year. In his testimony, Breivik said he honed his “target acquisition” skills through playing the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare . The motion says it's "disturbed" by Breivik's statement.

The motion goes on to say that “in an era of ever-more sophisticated and realistic game-play more robust precautions must be taken before video games are published.” We're not sure which games Vaz has seen, but it must be said that the Call of Duty series has remained pretty much the same since 2007.

Vaz is no stranger to stirring the hornet's nest of video games. In 2004 he campaigned against Rockstar's Manhunt following the murder of 14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah, which was later proved to be unconnected to the game. In an early-day motion last year he criticised Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for its London-set level , and he'll undoubtedly criticise Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for its cruel and unusual horse mo-capping .

Early-day motions are the parliamentary equivalent of bulletin board posts, occasionally highlighting important issues among frivolous and self-congratulatory notices. However, occasionally they can gather momentum and snowball out of control. It also seems that Vaz isn't going after the games themselves, which more often than not proves to be a fruitless task. Instead he's criticising the structures put in place to prevent children accessing violent games.