News

ELSPA mock Vaz suggestions

Changes to law 'pointless'

UK games industry site GamesIndustry.biz (how apt), have published a new chin-wag with ELSPA boss Roger Bennett. The site manage to prise from Bennett his thoughts on the legislation changes suggested by British MP Keith Vaz last week in Parliament, where Vaz proposed clearer, tougher rating and labelling. The ELSPA chief laughed-off Vaz's suggestions as irrelevant and uninformed. "His whole thrust with this proposed bill was about labelling, which he got utterly and completely wrong, in that he hasn't got up to speed with what has happened over the last three or four years," Bennett told GI.

Vaz proposed that the Video Recordings Act of 1984 be altered to cover games, and is lobbying on behalf of a constituent who's daughter was murdered in a crime linked with the videogame Manhunt at the time. Vaz described the current system as confused, though Bennett countered that the voluntary PEGI ratings and information labelling provided all the information purchasers need. Apparently, Vaz also incorrectly quoted Bennett himself, during a speech to the House of Commons, implying that Bennett disagreed with the current system - when in fact his comments were taken from prior to the introduction of the PEGI system.

Bennett reiterated his believe that Vaz was confused and lacked understanding of the current measures, which he described as "well-established and robust."

"The whole process is mindless, in my view. At the end of the day, as long as the information is there, we should leave it to parents and guardians, to those responsible for young people, to make informed decisions about what they should or shouldn't watch. The blame culture in which we seem to live these days is as a result of the promotion of the nanny state, no question about it. It's always somebody else's fault, and they have to have somebody else to blame," Bennett concluded, adding that he didn't believe anything would come of Vaz's efforts anyway. More soon.

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