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Rory Cellan-Jones

Vaz v Watson - Modern Warfare 2

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 9 Nov 09, 12:46 GMT

It's the biggest games launch of the year, possibly of all time, a title which is expected to sell 3 million copies in the UK alone over the coming days. It's the subject of feverish interest from fans, and great expectations from retailers, with stores opening at midnight, and a price war launched by one major supermarket chain. But Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 has also sparked off a battle between two prominent Labour MPs with very different views of digital culture.

Posters for Modern Warfare 2It started this morning with a story in the Daily Mail about the violence in the 18-rated game. The Mail said critics had accused the creators Activision of being irresponsible - but the only critic named was Keith Vaz, the Labour MP for Leicester East, who said this: "I am absolutely shocked by the level of violence in this game and am particularly concerned about how realistic the game itself looks."

Mr Vaz has been a long-term critic of the games industry, and plans to raise his concerns over Call of Duty in the Commons this afternoon in questions to the culture secretary and his team.

But within hours another Labour MP Tom Watson had hit back. Mr Watson is the former minister for digital engagement, and a prolific blogger and social networker who has shown a willingness to go on the attack over issues like cutting off illegal filesharers since he left the government in April.

He had already shown his impatience with critics of video games and this morning started a Facebook group, Gamers' Voice. The mission statement on the group's page says: "Are you sick of UK newspapers and (my fellow) politicians beating up on gaming? So am I. The truth is, UK gamers need their own pressure group. I want to help you start one up."

I got hold of Tom Watson and he told me that this morning's article had "pushed me over the edge". He said that the voice of ordinary games wasn't being heard:

"Everything that comes out of Parliament in relation to video games is relentlessly negative. There are thousands of people employed in this industry, there are 26 million people playing games. We should have a much more balanced view of the industry, indeed we should be supporting them through difficult times."

Keith Vaz's concern is about one particular level of the game, which involves the gamer deciding whether to kill unarmed civilians. I contacted Activision, and a spokesman pointed out that players encounter a mandatory "checkpoint" before this segment of the game, warning that it contains disturbing elements.

Tom Watson says the content in question is "deeply repulsive" and he would not want to play it himself - but he points out that similar material is in both books and films, and he believes that as long as there is a classification system which is well policed, there is not really an issue here.

Keith Vaz told me he was concerned by the way the manufacturers of the game were glorifying violence.

"Nobody is trying to stop anyone over the age of 18 purchasing this game," he said. But he said government, manufacturers, retailers and parents all had a responsibility to work together to protect children.

He already has a question listed for this afternoon about the steps taken by the government to implement the recommendations of the Byron Report on the classification of video games, and he will follow up with a supplementary about Call of Duty.

But Tom Watson is planning to hit back with his own views on the gaming industry. That's DCMS at 1430, and you can follow this bout of modern warfare on the BBC Democracy Live website - and maybe report back here on your verdict.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Keith Vaz has always been an ignorant self-serving worm who just panders to whatever interest group he thinks will get his name in the papers. It's no surprise that the BBC story cites him as having been "Quoted in the Daily Mail"; house journal of authoritarian nutjobs everywhere.

  • Comment number 2.

    here we go again .. violence in computer games.
    if the person playing it is not stable enough to relaise the difference between fantasy violence and real-life violence then they deserve to be locked up.

    It's an 18 certificate which, unless I am mistaken, means anyone making available to under 18s can be prosecuted, so that's the end of that then.

    Now, where's the much-waited review of Ubuntu and why is the petrol price 106.9ppl not in the news?

  • Comment number 3.

    The airport mission in question has been known about for a month and was only released details about to take pressure of the PC pre-order situation. Any numpty looking at the IW forums would know this!! They only added the checkpoint after the reaction they got from it was so strong, especially in the states.

    IW & Activision are set to lose millions globally over removing dedicated servers and causing massive pre-order cancellations globally. THe result will kill off any community development that has essentially fueled half the ideas and new features found in the current version.

    It's funny how all UK press and retailers arn't highlighting this so it doesn't affect their sales from gamers in the know! And before I get flamed by an xbox fanboi; I have an xbox too but I won't be buying this trash!

  • Comment number 4.

    Charlie Brooker, a man not known for his sensorious nature, commented yesterday on twitter, "Finished MW2 last night after all. S'alright. More I think about that airport bit the more I think Infinity Ward have lost their minds...".

    I loved games such as Dead Space, GTA IV etc (though some scenes in that felt a bit 'wrong' to me), but I have to agree with Brooker here.

    I'd guess those above are being as blind as they're accusing Vas of being, having not seen the game in question. Watch the offending scene here http://www.gameanyone.com/video/171701 then make your minds up!

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't know.. what's this country coming to..

    It seems that it's up to the government to tell us what we can do/not do in every corner of our lives. Is it not up to us to decide what we want to view/not want to view?

    It's time that the government realised that we are adults, over 18 and have minds of our own, able to make our own judgements.

    Fair enough, stop kids under 18 from viewing such materials - after all isn't that what a rating system is for?

    Keith Vaz, lay off - people like you make this country more of a nanny state than most adults can stand. Go and do something useful with the MP badge you carry (given to you by the voters) like (as bager_fruit says) why is fuel so expensive? - Real pressures on your average joe's life are financial - surviving this country's tax system, not worrying about a bit of violence in a videogame.

    And on a parting note, when the war in Iraq started, CNN broadcast much more violent scenes as part of their LIVE newscast of the war - available for everyone to watch - no rating system there to protect children!

  • Comment number 6.

    I played the airport level this morning and didn't kill a single civilian. Lord knows how many militia I've killed at this point.

    And yet, I still don't have any urge whatsoever to run out my front door and open fire at real people. I don't even own a gun. Funny that.

  • Comment number 7.

    In the build-up to this game's release, I heard about the now-notorious airport scene and saw a brief video clip. I found the whole thing ever so slightly distasteful, and so I decided that I wouldn't be buying the game. But that's as far as this should go — everybody should have the freedom to decide whether or not to buy a game that has this kind of content, in much the same way we have the freedom to watch (or not) violent movies, listen to music with explicit lyrics or buy newspapers featuring emotive missives from Keith Vaz. The only restriction on these things should be those lawfully required by the ratings authorities. Everything else is – in another guise – censorship, by people who believe their vision of morality and good taste should be everybody's vision.

  • Comment number 8.

    The simple answer to this is age old and has proven to be both fair and logical to all parties time and again: if you don't like the game, turn it off, don't buy it! The same applies to television, to films, to newspapers, to any media. Nobody has the right to tell you what you should or shouldn't like. Video games have age ratings for a reason, and the 18+ rating for COD should tell you all you need to know, as well as the further content warnings on the box. And by its inference only adults should be playing the game, so please leave us alone and let us make our own adult decisions about what we should or shouldn't enjoy. Soapbox moment over.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why do the PC versions of these games require widnose, why don't the developers make the CD/DVD bootable with its own OS.
    That way it would have access to all gamers across all PC OS's (including the fanbois who are using PCs with OSX)

  • Comment number 10.

    Comment 9 - because the developers would than have to write an OS as well, make that OS interact with the hardware and it's not going to be as compatible as they would like it to be .... they're writing code to work under an existing OS as it is, to then have to make an OS and write the game code for it? Not gonna happen.

    Don't want to play games in Windwoes? Buy a PS3.

  • Comment number 11.

    The same Keith Vaz who was a supporter of Blair and the war in Iraq, top of the expenses scandal list, cash for favours, etc, etc, etc.

    And now a self appointed protector of us poor gamers forced to endure this corrupting violence.

    I watched a video of heavily armed soldiers, storming a building, killing innocent civilians, getting blown to bits. i thought it was the trailer for this game. turned out it was just the news from Helmand.

  • Comment number 12.

    Finally someone in authority who doesn't believe all gamers are mental phsyco killers. Computer games are just no more violent than any other form of media, such as TV or films, and are governed by the same regulations. I reckon if any action is undertaken by the government to restrcit content then it will be undermined by the online community. Since owning my own PC I have blasted my way through the Half Life series, Left 4 Dead, Crysis, GTA4 and spent many enjoyable hours online in Team Fortress and Counter Strike Source and yet I still haven't lost the plot. As for the excuse for protecting children, surely an equivalent would be attacking the drinks industry and banning certain drinks because people drink whilst underage. The principles are the same.

  • Comment number 13.

    Anyone else think, that the reason people like Keith Vaz are so against these games, is because they know that if it came to it, people like them who interfere in every part of a nations lives would be the first up against the wall.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well, that sure was anti-climatic. Still, hopefully all this will get a ball of some sort rolling.

  • Comment number 15.

    Good to see the BBC playing right into Activision's hands. It is clear this level, and the deliberate leak of it's existence, is there to get news headlines. Every major network in the US will be featuring this game on tonight's news because of it.

    What great publicity. Little Johnny won't be able to resist purchasing it.

  • Comment number 16.

    The issue isn't with the content of the games, the issue is with parents not being educated that these games just aren't suitable for their kids any more. An 18 certificate should mean the same as it does in movies. Would these parents let their kids sit through a marathon of the Saw and Hostel films? Of course they wouldn't, but because it's a game it's a cheap babysitter, and little Timmy won't shut up until he's got the latest 'toy' to go in his machine.

    As a 23 year old, I'm really looking forward to MW2. The thing I'm not looking forward to, however, is that there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of screaming pre-teens playing this online and using every slur under the sun when I finally get online with it. Where will their parents be? Probably sat in a completely different room and not realising what a foul-mouthed little so and so their 'angel' is becoming. The fault of games? No. The ignorance of parents.

  • Comment number 17.

    Seems like another daft response to an aspect of a game the 'reviewer' had absolutely no real perspective upon. Whilst I cannot claim that the content is not edgy or certainly pushes the boundaries on the previous game as far as that type of content is concerned, it is hardly worthy of such negative hyperbole. Films and books already cover this sort of content on a fairly regular basis - the excellent Generation Kill currently on Channel 4 deals with similar issues almost regularly.

    The perception that 'participating' or 'reliving' such experience through the medium of video games, as a conductor to real-life enactment is a pure fallacy. I wholeheartedly agree that exposure to the young and impressionable must be controlled and there are bodies and regulations that publishers must deal with - but we also must not forget the responsibility that falls at the feet of respective parents also.

    However, gamers do need a truer voice. The industry is rapidly expanding, budgets are matching and outstripping major films and revenues and profits even outstrip this in certain areas. The gamin industry is not going anywhere but upwards in size, scope and power at the moment. Games should never be exempt from censorship, just as films are not exempt from it - but it should be far easier to discredit the knee-jerk reactions of people outside of industries or positions of appreciated authority, passing comment on something that they really and truly know little about. Most people watch films but a comparative fraction play games, look down on it and stick the boot in, fuelled by a stereo-typed perspective on a medium that they do not understand, have patience for and therefore do not appreciate as a developing story-telling medium.

  • Comment number 18.

    Modern Warfare 2? Pfft. You think that's bad? I once saw a computer game where some little bloke got cash by headbutting bricks and gratuitously stamping on turtles and other small animals. Then... he started dropping some magic mushrooms. I can't believe we are letting our children be exposed to this kind of filth!

    Vaz is a fool. MW2 will be the biggest game of all-time because it is the closest thing we currently have to an interactive cinematic experience. And despite what Nanny Vaz thinks, rather than be corrupted by the "glorification of terrorism", I suspect most will be sensible enough to put the hyperbolic "airport scene" into context.

  • Comment number 19.

    Winstano I think you pretty much summed it up there

  • Comment number 20.

    Keith Vaz doesn't like realistic violence. Perhaps he also objects to the graphic depiction of putting out someone's eyes. Shall we ban the staging of King Lear Mr Vaz?

    I guess the day that Labour politicians stop telling grown men and women what to do and think will be the day that hell freezes over.

  • Comment number 21.

    It is disgusting that people can buy a game full of the sort of hideous, racist offensive wars that our government starts.

    We might all end up supporting their harebarained schemes

  • Comment number 22.

    What i don't understand is why the fuss now? Grand Theft Auto has been released in several different incarnations now, in all of which it has been possible to kill unarmed civilians; in Fable II it is possible to sacrifice civilians to the shadow temple for prizes; hell in Fallout 3 you can detonate an atomic bomb in the middle of a town and eat the corpses of your victims if you want.
    People like Keith Vaz are so out of touch it is laughable. Things that were considered acceptable in an older generation are not acceptable now, and vice-versa; we move with the times, scenes like these have been commonplace in computer games for years now and no amount of outrage is going to change that.
    Besides if Lars von Trier's Antichrist can get past the BBFC uncut, what is a few unarmed civilians?

  • Comment number 23.

    Little Johnny won't be able to resist purchasing it.

    Little Johnny doesn't have to resist anything. That's his Mum's job.

  • Comment number 24.

    So the bottom line here is that we're desperately devoted to sheltering our children from violence, until the minute they turn 18, at which point we'll boot them into Afghanistan so they can experience the real thing. The missing ingredient here is 'perspective'.

  • Comment number 25.

    Keith Vaz is shocked; I was shocked at that 85k he claimed on his second home. Anyhow, it’s curious why games are such a target of violence? If it’s because of the interactivity involved within violence, what empirical evidence do you have to say it makes me violent, or indeed a person with a pre-disposition for violence should react to gaming, what if it has the reverse effect as a stress relief mechanism?

    If it’s an 18 rated game children can’t buy it, and if the child somehow acquires it, then it is the parent’s responsibility to confiscate the game or would parents prefer to days and let another example of the ‘nanny state’ to take hold.

    In my mind this is another easy target for the repressive political establishment to subdue.


  • Comment number 26.

    Over 18s actually play 'bang bang you're dead' games? I used to play cowboys and stuff when I was a kid, but I gave it up long before I was 18. This is all a bit sad...

  • Comment number 27.

    Have you noticed that all these people who slate video games have never played a single video game in their lives? How can you criticize something you have never experienced? Also this whole idea that playing a video game would encourage kids to go out into the real world to mimic the events in games is completely obsurd. I dont recall any stories when I was a kid of children going out, jumping on heads of turtles and headbutting brick walls to see if coins come out after playing Super Mario Bros! Then again I guess the kids of my generation were educated by our parents to realise that movies and games ARE NOT REAL!

  • Comment number 28.

    You know, if politicians would actually think before they speak it would be nice. I wonder if they are so disturbed about the violence lets send them instead of our sons and daughters to faraway places that don't really care. The game is rated but hey didn't politicians mess up on that law too!
    Mind you that has just made me think if we did send them instead they would likely mess that up just like they are messing our country up.

  • Comment number 29.

    As I understand it, despite what the popular perception might be, we actually live in one the the least violent periods of this country's history. Has anyone actually proved a link between the portrayal of violence in the popular entertainment media and the real world? If so, what spawned violence pre late twentieth century? And although such games do not appeal to me I would loved to have seen Genghis Kahn's games system , I bet it was brilliant!

  • Comment number 30.

    fantastic... don't they have more pressing issues to discuss in parliment... like actual war?

    i cant comprehend how and/or why mp's feel the need to bring computer games into discussion, when there are far more important issues that should be raised within the houses.

    first and foremost, who on earth does he think will be offended by the content of the game? the only people that would have to view such content would be the people that actually have chosen to purchase the game!

    if anything, hes pulling a 'jedward' on the game and this will probably have an adverse affect on the issue he is trying to raise.

    makes me wonder really the caliber of the individuals that are actually standing in a position of resposibility..

  • Comment number 31.

    What makes me laugh about this is that this level has been known about on the internet for some time. It is being reported about the day before the release date when there is nothing anybody can do about it... if they wanted to.

    Where was the Daily Mail or Mr Cellan-Jones when IW ostricised the PC gaming community almost two months ago when it was announced that no dedicated servers would be planned for PC gamers? There is an online petition with nearly 200,000 signatures against Infinity Wards decision but we are ignored.

    There is also a worldwide COD4 server shutdown taking place 10/11/08, release date of MW2, as the PC community comes together in solidarity against Infinty Ward and their actions.

    Todays complaint comes because of 'excessive violence in video games' which has always been there. IMHO the difference with this game is because it re-creates the horrors of real life and not the cartoon effects that appear in GTA. The politicians can complain as much as they like, the game has been bought and played already... its to late now.

  • Comment number 32.

    It's strange, I'd personally have thought the big fuss about MW2 would be the fact that the release is squarely between Remembrance Sunday and the 1th November.

    But that could just be me....

  • Comment number 33.

    I have never played these games, so I cannot make a judgement here.

    However, here is one bit of food for thought on the general subject:

    On one online game (Wurm Online) I overheard two young teens, around the 14 year old mark, complaining that the game was "useless" because it did not have beheadings in it - apparently beheadings are really cool in many games.

    I was told by a mod that I was lucky, because if I was in certain other, much larger online games I would hear that sort of conversation constantly from thousands of the young players.

    That is where we are at the moment. Anyone want to guess where we will be in 20 years time?

  • Comment number 34.

    Finally a headline to knock the disgraceful 'iPhone worm' story from the top of the technology page and even your front page. All day iPhone users have been asking our IT department about it when (a) it only affected jail broken phones and (b) it's not harmful in any way at all. The BBC used to get criticism here for promoting Apple too much and so they've gone in the opposite direction with ludicrous scaremongering rubbish.

  • Comment number 35.

    Every April and November there is a spike relating to interest in "Violent Video Games" - The following chart from the "information is beautiful" web site shows it clearly:

    http://infobeautiful.s3.amazonaws.com/google_insights_2.gif

  • Comment number 36.

    I hear what you say at #16 winstano but my teenage son tells me that all his friends are getting this tomorrow. I bought previous CoD games for him as they were 15 rated. Does anyone know whether MW2 is any more violent than CoD4 or CoD World at War?

  • Comment number 37.

    @36 As far as I know, it's not especially worse than the other games. Possibly slightly more bloody, but the main difference is the sections like the airport section that could be considered disturbing.

  • Comment number 38.

    As others have said, it's simply a PR stunt. You simply can't buy advertising like this - Activision must be rubbing their hands with glee at this point. The higher the rating (and moral outrage) they can get for shooters, the more they're likely to sell - no-one wants to play a first-person-shooter rated U.

    And yeh, it's REALLY nothing new. I'll point you in the direction of Counter-Strike Source if you'd like some ultra-realistic graphics and underarmed civilians (hostages) to gun down. You can play as Terrorists and everything...

  • Comment number 39.

    Tell me what the difference is between a military (or terrorist!) training manual and a violent video game?

  • Comment number 40.

    What strikes me more than anything else is the hypocracy of Vaz. This is a man who STRONGLY voted in favour of the Iraq war. A war which resulted in the killing of thousands of Iraqi civilians as well as our own troops. But it would appear that Vaz is more interested in saving the lives of computer generated pixel-civilians in computer games than real people (well actually, he probably just wants to get his fat face in the papers).

  • Comment number 41.

    I'm 41 now and have played video & pc games since the Atari VCS right up to this current generation of games consoles, and have obviously seen the changes from basic 2D sprites to polygonal 3D and the quasi photo-realization of the graphics. The Call of Duty series has always been an "on-the-rails" shooter and rather overrated if you ask me, and I'm sure Modern Warfare 2 will be more of the same but with better graphics. This thing with Vaz is all a storm in a teacup ultimately, although I hate to think what the politicos will do when the next-next generation of games put the gamer in a true three dimensional environment when it's impossible to tell when the virtual world begins and the real world ends.

  • Comment number 42.

    This is nothing new. Way back in 2001 it was possible to use the services of a prostitute and then beat her to death with a baseball bat in GTA 3. I think the reason MW2 has caused such an outcry is because of the sensitive issues involved when it comes to Terrorists, airports, innocent civilians...

    I've not played the game yet, but the scene itself sounds very distasteful in light of 9/11 and other terrorist attrocities. However, I don't think the game should be banned or edited, it should be upto the individual to make up his or her own mind on the matter. I think we're lucky in the UK, because we have a relaxed censorship policy, which can benefit mature gamers. I wonder how censorship boards in Australia and Germany will react to this...

  • Comment number 43.

    Martin Watts #29.

    "As I understand it, despite what the popular perception might be, we actually live in one the the least violent periods of this country's history."

    maybe that is because we send our young, testosterone-filled youth to perpetrate violence in foreign lands?

    "Has anyone actually proved a link between the portrayal of violence in the popular entertainment media and the real world?"

    don't know, but advertising works! why else would the industry spend such huge sums?

  • Comment number 44.

    Games always get hammered far more than any other medium and I can think of only one reason why; politicians are usually ageing men who've most likely never played one. It's so much easier to scapegoat a technology which they themselves don't use. TV and film violence couldn't be harmfu, after all, scrupulous politicians watch television and films without needing to stab or shoot anybody. No, all of Britain's problems must stem from gamers. Let's forget the assault on the working class that has occurred in the last thirty years. Let's disregard the knowledge that social mobility is no higher than in 1979. Let's ignore the fact that there are millions of people who are perpetually unemployed, including a staggering amount of graduates (it's not just a case of becoming 'skilled' as the government so erroneously claims). Let's applaud the reality that the wages of the top 10% have soared since 1979 whilst real wages for the rest of us have declined. Who cares about paying the mortgage or putting food on the table? Those are just minor inconveniences, gamers are clearly the real issue.

  • Comment number 45.

    "Tell me what the difference is between a military (or terrorist!) training manual and a violent video game?"

    If I can answer a qustion with a question, what's the difference between playing Fifa/ Pro Evo and being paid a hundred thou a week playing for Real Madrid? Or Guitar Hero and being Slash? The games are a simulation of a real life or fantasy situation. The fact you control it with a piece of white/beige/black plastic should be the first clue.

    While they can look fairly realistic these days doesn't change the fact they're a poor copy of a copy of real life. I gave up on CoD after they populated entire servers with homophobic 14 year olds. Maybe that's what needs to be worried about.

    To finish, I can't remember where the quote came from, but a wiser man than myself once said, "Games clearly don't influence behaviour. I mean, you don't see children brought up on Pacman spending their time in warehouses, moving manically and eating pills."

  • Comment number 46.

    Consider the source.... really works on this subject--I wss actually torn between both sides--until I read the Vaz background. Now, I can feel perspective returning. :)

  • Comment number 47.

    Once a person asked me ..after I had tried and tried to tell him about the overwhelming entertainment of gaming...finally said, "Is it Art?"

    Art....ummm...yes, that was my point...but there is no reaching them.

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm avoiding the game not because of the content but the "consolification" (yes, I just made the word up) of the PC version especially the lack of dedicated servers (9v9 game hosted on a gamer's PC? - no thanks), inability to make mods, maps* (some of the best games I've played have been using maps created by the community) and tweaking the settings which are the mainstays of PC gaming.

    * which no doubt will ensure that PC players will have to pay for DLC (downloadable content) made by IW to extend the game, just like console gamers have to put up with already.

  • Comment number 49.

    Kids always imitate fiction and often the more violent aspects of it.

    Although manufacurers like to deny this till they are blue in the face, in reality not only do they know this is true, but rely on it heavily for sales.

    Take an early example from the 1960s. An incredibly high selling item was the batman cape and mask. Merchandisers knew, probably because they had kids themselves, that kids wanted to play the part of their hero, and as close to the real thing as possible.

    So much so was this the case, that the advertisers took care to make sure that kids who bought superman capes didn't jump from bedroom windows in the hope they would fly!

    So, this was all very well known and documented, and no one disputed it.

    I don't think that modern video games MAKE people violent, however, just like a batman cape tells them that is all right to be a cartoon superhero, so violent games, especially ones focussed around anti-heroes, or where the player plays the criminal or whatever, give the message that it is all right to be violent.

    A few years ago, when we had a group of 13-15 year olds lose the plot outside our front door at 2am, and I went out to shut them up, they threatened me by poking me in the chest with their fingers portraying guns held in the modern upside down gangster fashion. Now, where did they get that idea from? Did they make it up? Or did they pick that up from a video, tv, game ....

    Wherever they got it from, they felt it was okay to behave that way. It wasn't, and I and the two police officers I had invited round for the party spent a considerable length of time explaining it to them.

    Now, as I said, I don't think games MADE those kids into young thugs, but they could influence what sort of thug and HOW violent they become. And that is worrying.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    I think the trend towards increasingly violent games is worrying. I do not believe that playing such games leads to acting out violence in real life; unstable people will also be unstable. I do think games are distinct from films. Watching a film is a passive experience whereas a game is an active and rewarding experience. Game designers have created a segment of violence simulators; part of the appeal is the realism of the simulation. Whether deliberate or not, these games appeal to young boys and parents ignore the age ratings. I'm not sure whether it does any harm, but do we really want to move towards a society whereby simulating violence is seen as a normal and healthy way to relax? I just don't see the need for these violent games to simulate 'real' life; what's wrong with shooting zombies and aliens.

  • Comment number 52.

    In the 50's it was the dancing.
    In the 60's it was the dress sense.
    In the 70's it was the music.
    In the 80's it was the movies.
    In the 90's it was music and movies.
    And now its the video games.

    Some people, generally the older generations or people that don't understand the thing they are criticising, will always seek to blame something for teenage and society violence.

    It's not violent games, violent films or violent music that causes violence, it's violent people.

    Violence is one fo the oldest things in the world, it's not going to be caused by watching somthing nasty happen to people in a video game.

  • Comment number 53.

    Glad to see Tom Watson is against the stupid plans on cutting off file sharers. I have no interest in doing any file sharing myslef, but I don't want to move into a house and find that the phone line is cut off from having the internet. Do these loonies ever consider how their daft ideas will actually be applied in the real world???

    It's strange that Madelson has come up with this silly and unpopular idea just before an election. I hope someone is checking his bank accounts to see if any music industry money is making it's way in there - or if he magically gets himself a directorship etc after his government gets voted out...

    Oh but he may not be affected, after all, he was never voted in, was he?

    Vaz may have a point about this particular game and especially the scene in question (the game makers should know better), but he should realise that his comments are more likely to make it attractive to the average teenager in this country.

  • Comment number 54.

    I'd just like to point out that the person I know who plays the most violent games like Modern Warfare is my father.
    He's a 53yr old ex miner with a stressfull managment job, he comes home and spends a few hours shooting terrorists or nazis or aliens or zombies, all in gory 3d hi-resolution.
    Are you telling me he's going to become more violent because he's spending a few hours playing violent games? Surely it's your upbringing and life experiences that influence you most, not games you play for a few entertaining hours to relax.
    It's an idiotic argument.
    Ok, violent people are attracted to violent games and films, but then they are violent people in the first place. Some of us like the idea of playing a game which is very realistic, it helps with the atmosphere of the game and builds the tension.

  • Comment number 55.

    Within 30 seconds on the internet your 12 yr old can watch videos of pornography, footage from wars, fatal car/plane crashes, rock climbing accidents, executions etc.

    Surely thats a bit more of an issue than them shooting a few 3-d computer generated people.

  • Comment number 56.

    I can't say that I know what all the fuss is about to be honest. The last Call of Duty game (World at War) has graphic violence right from the beginning: the first cutscene is of a US Marine prisoner having a cigarette stubbed out in his eye and then having his throat cut by a Japanese soldier, complete with blood splattering up the wall. This didn't bother me, nor did it seem to bother anyone else at the time, ministers or otherwise. So what's the big deal this time around?

  • Comment number 57.

    This is shameless bandwaggoning by Keith Vaz - joining a moral panic for the sake of piggybacking on something which is already getting column inches. Diving after the "won't someone protect the children" vote.Yes, please let's finally have a voice for the consumer in the leisure software industry, someone to extol the positive aspects of the pastime that can be wheeled out to respond every time a politician doesn't think they're getting enough of the Daily-Mail reading outrage demographic.If Keith Vaz had been active in Westminster in 1977, I'm sure he'd have been devoting just as much of his busy Parliamentary schedule to trying to ban The Sex Pistols.

    One should also look at Keith Vaz's voting record - Pro the invasion of Iraq, pro Trident - seems pretty much pro violence unless it's in pixel form! What a shameless hyprocrite!

  • Comment number 58.

    Colonicus42 #55.

    "Within 30 seconds on the internet your 12 yr old can watch.."

    most of these can be 'enjoyed' on Freeview TV. :-(

    Television, drug of a nation
    breeding ignorance
    and feeding radiation
    (DHOH)

  • Comment number 59.

    Does anyone really listen to these politicians? I mean Seriously? Why should we listen to them when they sure as hell dont listen to us.They bang on about how this and that is bad for society and that gamers are just little terrorists practicing on their consoles getting for the real thing. Come on its only a damn game. If you really want something to shout about why not shout about your government sending REAL people to REAL countries killing,and being killed by REAL people.Charging the tax payers money (which also comes from these games)to fund your little escapades overseas and also pay for your scandalous expenses.If anything it should be you who answers to us not the other way round.Anyway enough of that,i got my copy of MW2 this morning and unfortunately i cant play it because im stuck in work so when i get home have my dinner play with the kids for a while then i will stick on MW2 and kill me some terrorists, altho in my mind i will just replace the terrorists with politicians and make it all the more sweeter.Then i will go to bed have a nice sleep dreaming of being a millionaire or something like that get up in the morning and go to work with absolutely no murderous tendancies whatsoever. Peace out. btw if ya wanna hit me up on xbl gt is [Personal details removed by Moderator]

    muahahaha

  • Comment number 60.

    simon crompton-reid wrote:

    This is shameless bandwaggoning by Keith Vaz - joining a moral panic for the sake of piggybacking on something...

    ##

    Actually, Vaz has been pretty opinionated about this sort of thing before, Including Grand Theft Auto, and has try to get some changes in the law.

    He is a bit of a long term campaigner

  • Comment number 61.

    markbriton wrote:

    ....and parents ignore the age ratings.

    And who's fault is that, and why should anyone else suffer for the irresponsibility of bad parents?

  • Comment number 62.

    After playing the airport level, I found it interesting, yes it had a moral dilema. I guess it was supposed to be portrayed as a government having to do dirty things for a greater good (as mentioned a certain MP thought this was a good idea in Iraq). Of course at the end of this level you arn't exactly rewarded for doing the deed either (I won't spoil it for anyone yet to complete this level).

    Oddly Mr Vaz hasn't spouted up with a token sound bite and "look at me, look at me, please look at me" moment about Fallout 3 download content and the kidnapping a baby, but I guess it wasn't enough of a media bandwaggon.

    I think the biggest scandle of the whole thing is that Activision think a 6-10 hour game should be legitimatly sold a £55, whilst at the same time supermarkets are selling at significantly below their cost in order to stamp out competion, but I guess this doesn't make enough of a media headline.

    Have a read though his wikipedia entry, if you fancy a laugh.

  • Comment number 63.

    The Call of Duty franchise has since day one been both violent and realistic. It's also not afraid to kick you in the face with the realities of how horrible war really is.

    One of the games has a scene in the normandy landings. Your landing craft gets blown to bits in the opening cut scene, after you have watched the guys on the boat getting increasingly nervous, one of them throws up, one is praying etc. The level is rediculously hard, you basically have to just run up the beach and hope you don't get killed while soldiers all around you are being blown up.

    In one of the games you have to play out the invasion of stalingrad by the russians, they we badly supplied so only had enough guns for half the men, you play one of the guys who didn't get a gun. You have a clip of ammo and have to run behind people with a gun hoping they get killed.

    In the last Modern Warfare game theres a scene where the character you've been playing for half the game gets caught in a nuclear explosion, the chopper crashes and you have to crawl out and around the debris, then your character dies.

    Its brutal, tense, realistic and has an almost opressive atmosphere at times. Far from glorifying violence, it shows you what war is really about. It's not pretty, it's not easy, it's not fair, it's not simple, the good guys arn't good and the bad guys arn't evil. It makes you think.

    Surely thats better than having a bulletproof patriotic 'justice' loving hero with perfect morals potraying a steralised version of war stripped of all the scary, dangerous and violent elements.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    Andrew Wood #64.

    "I don't think Muslims or Irish Roman Catholics should be allowed to play just in case it gives them some ideas."

    funny - not.

    have you always been a racist or did that come about as a consequence of your playing 'harmless fun' games?

  • Comment number 66.

    Terrorists, killings, explosions and drugs?

    Sounds like a night in with the telly on. The news and soaps have much worse than animated pixels

  • Comment number 67.

    #65 have you never had a sense of humour or was it removed after taking offence at computer games or obvious jokes?

  • Comment number 68.

    Andrew Wood #67.

    humour wasn't evident, but no, I did not complain about or ask for removal of #64.

  • Comment number 69.

    jr4412 #68

    Unfortunately the part which said that the game was harmless fun and should be enjoyed by all including children was removed. My point is that video games like all forms of art should not be censored unless it genuinely harms people(Snuff movies, extreme pornography etc). the depiction of violence has been going on since cave man was able to scribble his etchings onto the wall. This game depicts terrorist activities, and my joke was that someone somewhere will be blaming this game if there are attacks on an airport, like at 911 Microsoft Flight Simulator was blamed for helping to train terrorists to fly planes.

    Now we have an interactive almost lifelike media in video games. Interestingly enough there was an article earlier this week on the BBC news about the Uncanny Valley, and how it is almost impossible to get that last bit towards genuine lifelike representations of people, this is true of this game despite its new levels of realism it is still easy enough for all to separate game from reality.

    Vaz I remember 12 years ago complained about a game called Carmageddon where points were gained by running over zombies in a car. Despite the fact I spent 2 weeks playing this game, I only occasionally get the urge to run over pedestrians.

  • Comment number 70.

    Not playing nasty computer games makes you a better person: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmstnprv/605/60502.htm

  • Comment number 71.

    Andrew Wood #69, #70.

    "..Carmageddon.."

    weren't the publishers forced to change the colour of the 'blood' to green in order to appease the critics? now that I thought was hilarious.

    I think, on balance, Tom Watson's position is ok; Keith Vaz now (good link, thanks), I'm afraid I wouldn't get my opinion past the moderators.

  • Comment number 72.

    Having read the majority of the comments posted I find myself more concerned than ever about the ability of a sizeable number of those commenting to understand the possible consequences of such games. Yes there are many responsible adults for who experiencing such games is part of a healthy range of activities and who are psychologically balanced individuals. However the use of comparisons such as its no worse than what can be read about or seen in films or news coverage is totally spurious. None of those forms of entertainment require the user to press a button or pull a trigger that depicts a realistic and violent fatal consequence whilst experiencing a surge of adrenaline or excitement followed by relief and a sense of achievement – yes I have played some of those games! It surely doesn’t require a PHD in psychology to appreciate that there is a difference and that the experience, especially as it is repeated, will have some degree of impact on any individual. This is especially so on a young developing brain and mind and I’m sure neuro-psychology will point out that the development of the brain (particularly those that influence morality and consequence) are affected by the type of sensory inputs experienced. Yes, censorship is there to protect the young but it is an incredible naive person who believes that it stops many children from playing such games. The games industry has brought us into a new era of what an individual can experience and with it should come a social responsibility. Unfortunately the industry either currently doesn’t understand it or maybe just doesn’t want to.

  • Comment number 73.

    @ 22

    The first GTA was briefly banned in this country. Which is somewhat hilarious if you remember it's toned down comic nature. Especially in comparison to modern graphics. I was fortunate enough to of purchased my copy before the ban came in to effect.

    My opinion on this is the same as always. This is a parental issue, not a governmental one. I also believe their have been studies showing that people who play violent video games are far less likely themselves to turn to real life violence. Presumably because they work it out of their system in the game.

    Alas, I await the next time a game comes out. Maybe that will be the one that will finally tip me over. I wonder if my local church has a tower.

  • Comment number 74.

    it is an incredible naive person who believes that it stops many children from playing such games.

    It really is up to their parents at that point. A games console + TV or a gaming PC is a large, loud, and expensive setup. It's not something that can be hidden under the mattress away from parental eyes. Any parent that lets their child play Modern Warfare is making a deliberate choice, and any consequences really are their responsibility, and theirs alone.

  • Comment number 75.

    Personally I don't see a problem with the level or any of the themes in the game. As posted already, I've seen a lot worse on tv and in movies. This over 18 rubbish is something I do have a problem with. I watched a child who was highly addicted to Call of Duty 4 at the age of 9 being taken to a shooting range to fire a gun, the child didn't know how to hold it, didn't know how to load it and was in absolute tears the minute he shot the thing. Children and some adults find guns to be an extremely scary peice of equipment and most would be puzzled on how to use one effectively even if they didn't find them a bit intimidating to use. Games and reality are two very different things indeed, and I'm insulted to know that politicians think im so brain dead that gamers cannot tell the difference.

    Utter rubbish.

  • Comment number 76.

    Post #72.

    Having read most of the posts I've concluded that no-one here is disputing the level of violence in this game, nor that they could POTENTIALLY be harmful to kids (though I personally don't think so, I've been playing shooters and beat-em-ups for years, ever since Streets of Rage on the MegaDrive when I was under 10 years old. Oddly enough I've managed to get through life thus far while suppressing any urge to kill, maim or car-jack. I also happen to think that my parents did a pretty good job of bringing me up). The 18+ age rating means that shops cannot sell the game to minors, and if parents still want to buy the game for their kids then so be it. I don't, therefore, see what this has to do with the rest of us - ADULTS - who just want to enjoy the game while succeeding in differentiating between fiction and real life.

  • Comment number 77.

    i see my comment (no 59) is still being checked by the mods.any reason for this?

  • Comment number 78.

    dear all anti call of duty people, i would tell you to shove yourselfs up your own arses... it is the best game ever up to date and keeps us off the streets make greif for the general public...
    thanks
    god of cod

    long live call of duty!!!!

  • Comment number 79.

    Having now played the section in question I can't think of a more persuasive way of convincing anyone who is anywhere near being in their right mind of the need to relentlessly pursue and systematically exterminate those who would for whatever reason commit such atrocities.

    I started out following the orders to shoot but within a minute or so of seeing civilians crawling across the ground trying to get away I found myself unable to press the fire button until the confrontation with police. It was utterly nauseating, and therein lies the brilliance; it reminds you in the most personal and striking manner possible why we have to fight tirelessly against those who wilfully target the innocent and unarmed.

    Great work, Infinity Ward.

  • Comment number 80.

    It's clear that video games are just an easy scapegoat. As has been said countless times before, the only people likely to involve themselves in violence because of a computer game are those predisposed to do it regardless. Yes the airport scene which is kicking up the stink is a little heavy, but I've played it and funnily enough I don't wish to reenact it in real life.

    Halloween has just passed and with it the latest release in the Saw franchise which basically serves to educate people on how to kill and maim others. Not a peep was heard in the media about any potential to neagtively affect audiences. One rule for one...

  • Comment number 81.

    Kieth Vaz can go stick his nose back in the trough and out of my shopping habbits! Claiming for a 2nd house 12 miles from your main one shame on you. The scene in question is quite disturbing, it should of taken place in westminster. Like 76 i played streets of rage at~10 and loved it, wish i could take a baseball bat to half the thugs and boy racers on my estate but alas i am evolved human being who can think for himself and know it would end badly. Maybe Mr Vaz can ix that problem first? I also ran around collecting rings at the speed of sound as a pointy blue hedgehog once did.

    72 how far do you want to nanny the public? No more electricity because someone might lick a plug? No more knifes because you might hurt someone with it? What percentage of gamers will go on to commit a violent act they experienced in a game?

  • Comment number 82.

    "there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech" Quote from kieth Vaz, well certainly not under labour!

  • Comment number 83.

    Parental responsibility in protecting young children here is absolute. This is not a legislative responsibility. The game has (rightly) been certified 18, and that should be the end of it.
    For me, the fact that this tyoe of interactive media is pushing the boundaries where film / TV is only passive exposure, has the capability to be a good thing in the future as the technology develops and the experience gets more "real". The opportunity to understand first hand without actually being at risk yourself should be educational - but ONLY at the correct stage of a person's development.
    I have only played the earlier WW2 set versions of COD, but playing the game brought home to me the horrors of warfare far more vivdly than countless documentaries, "Band of Brothers", or "Enemy at the Gates" ever did or could have. The active aspect of gaming engenders a far more intense experience of the context.
    You cannot legislate for the tiny minority of adults who this type of experience might unhinge just as you cannot wrap your kids up in cotton wool for their whole lives.
    You can, however, follow guidance set to inform parents and ensure younger children are not exposed to inappropriate material (whatever the source; TV, film, internet, games) - this is not the responsibility of Mr Vaz or the government - its yours as a parent.

  • Comment number 84.

    Number 52:-

    " 52. At 1:20pm on 10 Nov 2009, Colonicus42 wrote:
    In the 50's it was the dancing.
    In the 60's it was the dress sense.
    In the 70's it was the music.
    In the 80's it was the movies.
    In the 90's it was music and movies.
    And now its the video games.

    Some people, generally the older generations or people that don't understand the thing they are criticising, will always seek to blame something for teenage and society violence.

    It's not violent games, violent films or violent music that causes violence, it's violent people.

    Violence is one fo the oldest things in the world, it's not going to be caused by watching somthing nasty happen to people in a video game."

    TRUE.

  • Comment number 85.

    Many moons ago i wrote a short piece that was featured in a national magazine, criticizing the media's depiction of video games as the source of all evil in the world. While i still stand by the view that violence in video games does not normally manifest itself as violence in real life, i think that there are boaundaries of taste and decency that need to be guarded. Having first viewed the video of the scene in question and then playing it in order to understand the context in which it appears, i feel that this is one occasion on which these boundaries have been crossed. The large number of casualties and the casualness with which the game treats this, coupled with the fact that the context and narrative does not demand it, sets a dangerous precedent for video games to use unnecessary and tasteless violence as a selling point, whether justified or not. The realism of the scene is worrying also. if only one person were to play this and, as a result of mental instability, attempt to recreate what they have played in the game, the result could be devestating.

    I appreciate earlier comments that what is on show here is no worse than has been depicted in the past and that the 18 rating should prevent a large number of youngsters accessing the content. However, where as parents tend to vet the type of films that there children can watch, many do not understand the content of the videogames that they buy for them. many a times i have stood in line at HMV and watched as a mother has purchased a copy of (insert 18+ rated game of choice) before heading outside and handing it to a child not even into their teens. the attitude that these are just games and, as such, suitable for children still exists, and there seems to be no attempt to educate or effectively legislate to change this view.

  • Comment number 86.

    This will be the last thing I type as i have just finnished playing COD2 and am now sat with my laptop in a famous international airport. I'm quite sweaty as my bullet proof vest keeps me real warm. Now to get out my general purpose machine gun and let loose a few rounds on the holiday makers...COD 2 made me do it I've never contemplated anything like this before I played that game goodbye fellow gamers!
    Or maybe not...

  • Comment number 87.

    The one thing I can see in common with all violent people, isn't video games.
    They were all babies once, and therefore they all drank milk, so surely the answer is to ban milk?

    The content is pretty distasteful, but the game warns you before playing it, so you can avoid it should you wish.

    Its ironic that Mr Vaz would talk about taste and decency, considering his voting record on war, his second home being 12 miles from his own home, and being the proud holder of the longest suspension from the UK parliament for trying to obstruct investations into his affairs

    In context of the story, the scene is showing you that good people sometimes have to do bad things in order for the benefit of the world, something that in the week of Remembrance, we have to realise happens. Lets not forget what we, the allies did to Dresden.

  • Comment number 88.

    The same thing happend with 'Dirty Sanchez', some 15 year old kid jumped off a roof and broke his leg, then he said he did it because he seen them do it on a Dirty Sanchez DVD, so his mother decided to sue the program and makers. It went to court, then Prichard and Daint (two of the people from the program if you didnt already know) walked into the court room and asked how old the kid was, when they were told 15 they just said well its an 18 he shouldnt be watching it anyway, plus it comes with the warning not to re-enact anything you see as it is done by pros and what not. As soon as the judge heard this he said the kid shouldnt have been bought this DVD in the first place and then slapped down his hammer, win for the Sanchez guys.
    This shows that if kids do something and then blame it on a game/dvd etc how about you check what their age is and then the certificate first.
    I myself am 19, I have played both CoD4 and the new MW2, I was 17 when I played CoD4 and yes I was old enough as it was only a 16 but I have had games that were 18's and seen 18 films since I was 15 and I tend to be a nice lad, yes generally I do have my angry spots (who doesnt) but in no way can it ever be blamed on computer games or films or anything like that just general humna nature to get upset or angry, and in no way possible am I gonna grab a samari sword/gun or knife and start running into shops/schools or airports and start battering the hell out of people for fun, people that do this are sick individuals who have been subject to mind torturing things in their life which have lead to them doing it themselves, games are just a pass time not a man/women on screen hypnotising you into attacking everyone around you.

    Stupid Daily Mail started this.

  • Comment number 89.

    Alimus #22 I love you, your insight on Keith bloody Vaz has brightend up my day, he really hasn't looked at other aspects and instead has just picked on one little thing that to be honest isnt even that bad. I mowed them down with that gun in the airport, it's part of the game and i'm damn well not going to skip it because it is violent, I mean has he not seen the scene in Hostel were they blowtorch that birds eye out!!! Now thats slightly worse than shooting pixels at pixels.

    22. At 4:45pm on 09 Nov 2009, Alimus wrote:
    What i don't understand is why the fuss now? Grand Theft Auto has been released in several different incarnations now, in all of which it has been possible to kill unarmed civilians; in Fable II it is possible to sacrifice civilians to the shadow temple for prizes; hell in Fallout 3 you can detonate an atomic bomb in the middle of a town and eat the corpses of your victims if you want.
    People like Keith Vaz are so out of touch it is laughable. Things that were considered acceptable in an older generation are not acceptable now, and vice-versa; we move with the times, scenes like these have been commonplace in computer games for years now and no amount of outrage is going to change that.
    Besides if Lars von Trier's Antichrist can get past the BBFC uncut, what is a few unarmed civilians?

  • Comment number 90.

    The airport level is part of the story. In a game unlike a film you take part in the story not watch it.
    If the airport level did not exist how would the story progress?
    what makes modern games so popular is the fact that they have well written plots.
    It is not just killing for the sake of it.

  • Comment number 91.

    Does it never end?

    *SNORE*

  • Comment number 92.

    I am 54 years old. I really enjoyed playing the game.though I felt it was too short. The airport level does present a dilemma, but there are other parts of the game that present the player with other equallyugly aspects of war and military conflict. Through friends I know many of their teenage kids have the game. Keith Vaz needs to catch up with where most teenagers are at in regards to their understanding of video violence, social values and morality. His is the attitude that is best described as immature. What would he prefer. A war game that removed the player to a sterile 'neutral' fun space of yesteryear?

  • Comment number 93.

    Who really cares about the violence in the game, take a look on the streets that we live on, plenty there. MPs need to actually start doing something worthwhile in this country, start dealing with real issues. if somebody doesn't have the mental capacity to realise the difference between reality and fantasy, then they shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets in the first place. And I for one think that its a brilliant game!

  • Comment number 94.

    At 18 years old you can be playing modern warfare on your playstation or X-box, or you could play it for real out in Afghanistan or Iraq with only one life and not as good equipment. In a war that Keith's pal Tony got us into. Which would you rather your kids were doing?

  • Comment number 95.

    Parents that buy this game for their children aren't fit to be called parents and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  • Comment number 96.

    This whole fuss about violence in gaming is getting ridiculous.
    Why is the focus only on gaming? Is it because we have control over the actions rather than watching someone else doing it? Is there therefore some sort of scientific evidence suggesting that the act of something in relation to violence is more damaging and influencing to the human mind than watching someone else commit the same act?
    For god sake. If games werent around, and we read books with violence in it, the same things would be said about violence in books.
    Its simple really. Theyre worried that someone's going to go into an airport and start pumping rounds into people because 'they saw it in a videogame'.
    Now im sorry, but anyone insane enough to do so, isnt just going to be influenced by ONE SCENE in a game, which you can skip by choice.
    This is more about bad parenting. The game has a clear 18 sign on it, which, duh, means 18s and over only. Adults. Not kids. But the adults cave into the kid's whining about 'oh my mate has it though' blah blah blah and they end up putting it under the tree for little Jimmy as an xmas present, and then they wonder why their kids are so messed up in the head these days.
    Why should Infinity Ward dub down the content of their game because theres a chance that some kids under the age of 18 will get their hands on the game?
    Thats just bad parenting if a kid gets hold of the game, but you could also point the finger at the guys behind the desk in game stores selling the game to every man and his dog that walks in and places the game infront of them with money. Its all capatalism.
    Its pathetic. Stop trying to control us.
    And the irony of the story? The majority of war games like this one are based on real events, i.e. wars that the governments started in the first place out of greed for oil, yada yada.
    So dont point the finger at us for buying and experiencing gaming violence when youre the ones promoting the violent content that youre complaining about.

  • Comment number 97.

    1) It's a 18 FFS.
    2) I'ts JUST A GAME.
    3) "Quoted in the Daily Mail" is all you need to read into this to know it's not worth looking at.

  • Comment number 98.

    95. At 08:27am on 14 Nov 2009, aardfrith wrote:

    Parents that buy this game for their children aren't fit to be called parents and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Or could it be that they are parents who care enough about their children to educate them in the difference between fiction and real life?

    I am 52 and have been playing computer games for as long as they have been available to the general public. I have killed many many thousands of aliens, nazis, zombies and occasionally baby seals but do you know something funny? I have not once been tempted to do it in real life.

  • Comment number 99.

    Keith Vaz claimed more than £75,500 in expenses for a flat in Westminster despite the fact his family home, a £1.5 million house, is only 12 miles from parliament. He also switched his designated second home from the £545,000 flat to a house in his Leicester East constituency and back again in the space of a year. Souce - Telegraph.co.uk

    Go home Mr Vaz. Why would anybody respect his comments about a video game let alone his political views! You must earn respect by doing the right thing in life. He has no right to comment on anything as an "MP" let alone a game played by voting age players 3 million and counting, tick tick tick...

  • Comment number 100.

    Im also like some ppl on here im also a mature gamer (32yrs/o) and there are plenty of other games that let you choose to be good ( help or save ppl) or be evil and slay civilians and innocents and do bad things ( fable is one that i played) playing computer games is mainly about ESCAPISM.

    Playing "the bad guy" in games doesnt mean that i go out in to real life and do the same there as in a game. I consider myself to be a calm polite and well-mannered person in real life. but when i play a game i want to explore the darker side and do things i wouldnt WANT to do outside or to real people. and i wonder how many people would go into the "airport scene" and mow down anything in site (friendly or enemy)just for fun.

 

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