Violent videogames attacked

It's been a bad few days for the blood-thirsty videogame. On both sides of the Atlantic, violent games have taken some rap, and the politicians are st

It's been a bad few days for the blood-thirsty videogame. On both sides of the Atlantic, violent games have taken some rap, and the politicians are starting to act.

The spark for debate in the UK was mainly caused by details of Rockstar's new game Bully, which lets you wreak vengeance on the malicious schoolboy bullies in the main character's school. It's not out until next Spring, but its title has been enough to ignite debate in the House of Commons.

Former Labour minister Keith Vaz has recommended referring the game to the British Board of Film Classification or simply banning it, while the Australian Childhood Foundation has called for a minimum R rating.

Such controversy is, of course, nothing new to Rockstar, which saw Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (above) temporarily pulled from the shelves due to hidden sex scenes, but they've understandably called for the game to be judged after its release.

Meanwhile, over in the US a Florida state senator has just introduced a bill that will potentially ban the sale or renting of violent games to minors. It apes an almost identical bill introduced by Governor Arnie in California.

The influence of violence in games is an age-old debate, with the critics pointing to new research which shows that videogames can stimulate parts of the brain associated with violent behaviour. Under-fire software companies in the US, though, are arguing that the the proposed legislation is unconstitutional.

It's an interesting moral tussle best solved, we think, by a good game of Halo 2 on Xbox Live.

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