Feeds

Blair reveals some games 'unsuitable' for kids

That's why the law already bans their sale to minors, Tony...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Prime Minister Tony Blair today voiced his support for the UK's game certification system, which offers parents an indication of which titles are suitable for given age groups and provides a legal framework to fine or imprison retailers who sell adult-oriented games to kids.

Actually, he didn't say that at all. Blair today told parliament that the game Manhunt, alleged to have been involved in the murder of Leicester teenager Stefan Pakeerah, was "wholly unsuitable for children".

Indeed, Tony, that's why Manhunt carries an 18 certificate. It is already unlawful to sell the game to anyone under that age.

Despite this current legal framework, Blair said he would discuss the matter with Home Secretary David Blunkett, suggesting the possibility of further legislation. He said that while responsible adults should be allowed to choose what games they play, children needed to be protected.

The PM's comments came in answer to a request from Leicester East MP Keith Vaz for yet another investigation between violent games and violent actions.

Vaz asked the question on behalf of Pakeerah's parents, who believe the game was a direct cause of their son's death at the hands of Warren Leblanc, 17, who pleaded guilty to the crime in July.

Local police, however, discounted the claim during their investigation of Pakeerah's death. Indeed, it subsequently emerged that Manhunt had been owned by the victim, not his killer.

Pakeerah's parents are already taking legal action against Manhunt published Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. They are seeking £50m in compensation for the loss of their son. Sony and the game's developer, Rockstar Games, along with the British Board of Film Classification - which also certifies games - have rejected the alleged link between the murder and the game.

At this stage, it's unclear how Pakeerah came by his copy of Manhunt. Aged 14, he was certainly too young to buy it, legally. Any retailer found guilty of selling a game to someone insufficiently old enough to buy it faces up to six months in gaol and a fine of up to £5000 if found guilty. Those penalties could be increased, but so far there's nothing to stop unwitting - or fully aware - parents buying adult games on behalf of their children. There is no evidence to suggest that this is how Pakeerah obtained Manhunt.

As for Vaz's call for further research into potential links between violent games and violent acts, it's something of a red herring. Even assuming such a link is found - and on the basis of past research that remains unlikely - what then? Short of banning violent games and movies altogether, there's little that can be done beyond what the law states already: that it's wrong to sell adult games to children. ®

Related stories

Victim not killer owned 'murder manual' game
Retailers bans Manhunt after murder link claim
Blunkett's satellite tagging: the tripe behind the hype
Blunkett pilot to track offenders via satellite
Data watchdog slams ID card plans
ID cards: a bad idea, but we'll do it anyway
Tag, track, watch, analyse- UK goes mad on crime and terror IT

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.