Nick Clegg describes effect of violent video games as 'incredibly powerful'

 

Speaking on his radio phone-in show on LBC, Nick Clegg has warned listeners of the “corrosive effect” of violent video games on children, using the recently released Grand Theft Auto 5 as an example.

Mr Clegg said that he restricted the amount of time his children spent playing video games to around an hour each evening. He also said that his three sons (aged 4, 8, and 11) only played sports titles involving tennis and football, and that he personally watches them play to check the content of the games.

“Even for very small kids they just get very wound up with these games so you have to try and ration them a bit,” said Mr Clegg. “Clearly these games can have an incredibly powerful, and I suspect in some cases corrosive, effect on someone’s behaviour, someone’s outlook.”

“They get shut off, they don’t talk to other people, they just stay in their living room, their bedroom, hunkered down in front of their computer. They occupy a sort of hermetically sealed world really of their own, and that can have a very detrimental effect.”

However, he also admitted that there was no easy solutions to what he describes as the problematic connection between video games and violent behaviour: “It's incredibly difficult to know in a free country what you can do. We can't limit use by law or by edict.”

Mr Clegg’s comments were made following the news of a London man who was stabbed and robbed of his copy of Grand Theft Auto 5. Although it’s not known whether the attack on the man was motivated by the game, some have seen the incident as emblematic of the link between video games and violent behaviour.

Grand Theft Auto 5’s launch was highly anticipated and the game has since broke several records, including the most successful launch day in terms of revenue for any entertainment property. Worldwide sales revenue totalled $800 million (£498m).

The topic has also been raised in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Washington Navy Yard base committed by 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. Friends of Alexis told reporters that he played violent video games, a fact that was connected with his actions on the 16th.

The Mirror covered the story with the headline “Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis heard ‘voices in head’ after playing violent video games up to 18 hours a day” whilst The Telegraph wrote “Aaron Alexis: Washington navy yard gunman 'obsessed with violent video games”.

Whilst accusations of violent video games causing or encouraging violent behaviour has been a recurrent debate for several decades, studies linking the two have often been criticized.

“It has been increasingly recognized that much of the early research on VVG [violent video games] linking them to increased aggression was problematic,” writes Christopher J. Ferguson, a professor specialising in mental health and video games, in Time.

“Most studies used outcome measures that had nothing to do with real-life aggression and failed to control carefully for other important variables, such as family violence, mental health issues or even gender in many studies (boys both play more VVG and are more aggressive.)”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Ashdown Group: European Recruitment Manager - Cheshire - up to £48,000

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence