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Keith Vaz wants "further steps" from PEGI

Labour MP back on anti-games bandwagon with new early day motion

Controversial Labour MP Keith Vaz has tabled a new early day motion in the House of Commons, calling for "further steps" to highlight games with violent content.

The brief description of the motion appears on the UK Parliament website and states: "That this House notes with grave concern that despite the 18 rating that the most violent video games carry, some children and teenagers are still able to acquire them; congratulates the work of Mothers Against Violence with regard to their campaign to increase parental awareness of violent games."

The motion also "urges the Government to support the promotion of parental awareness of the violent content of video games which are 18-rated; and calls on the Government to urge Pan-European Game Information to take further steps to highlight the inappropriate content of these games for under 18s."

Despite the lack of specific suggestions on the "further steps" that should be taken by PEGI, the motion already has 17 signatures from other MPs representing all major mainland parties, as well as Northern Ireland groups the DUP and SDLP.

Vaz, who was suspended from Parliament in 2002 for false allegations against a policewoman, has become the UK's most high profile anti-games politician. He first become involved in the industry following the 2004 murder of Stefan Pakeerah, which despite police comments to the contrary, Vaz attributed to the influence of Rockstar Games' Manhunt.

In 2005 Vaz called for Rockstar Games' Bully (aka Canis Canem Edit) to be banned, before the nature and content of the game had been made clear and despite the title later being given a 15 age rating.

Vaz's attitude to the industry had appeared to mellow in recent years, with the MP admitting in 2009 that parents have a "huge responsibility" in overseeing the games their children play (while admitting he did not know what titles his own children were playing).

Nevertheless Vaz was chastised by industry figures when he failed to attend a Westminster eForum event in January of this year.

Although many in the industry may have hoped that Vaz would not be returned to parliament in the recent general election, he easily retained his seat in Leicester East. Other more pro-gaming MPs from the other three main UK parties were also returned to their seats, retaining the status quo from previous parliaments.

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