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 & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Regin: Newly uncovered malicious software snooping since 2008 'was developed by a nation state'
The food fad that's starving Bolivia
Kim Kardashian recreates iconic Jean-Paul Goude naked 'Champagne Incident' photo
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec: Google celebrates 150th anniversary of French artist's birth
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support organisation focuses on ...
£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Support Analyst / IT Support Analys...
£30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...