back to article MP blasts 'ineffective' games regulation

Violent videogames opponent and Labour MP Keith Vaz has once again asked Parliament to tighten videogames regulation, this time following Anders Breivik's admission that he used a popular first-person shooter to prepare for his murderous rampage in Norway. This is the fifth time 'Vendetta Vaz' has tabled an early day motion …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More Censorship from MPs.

    MP - "Lets ban video games because Breivik used them to learn how to shoot"

    Nevermind the fact that he actually needed to get his hands on a gun in order to physically shoot those people, and tightening up the loopholes that allowed him to get one would be a much better way to stop it happening again.

    Alas no, we have net censorship and now increased video games censorship.

    MPs are morons.

    1. Gerhard Mack

      Re: More Censorship from MPs.

      As someone who has actually fired an assault rifle, I'm still rather lost on how a video game can teach one to shoot. Game controllers aren't anywhere near the shape of an actual gun and vibrating controllers feel nothing like recoil.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: More Censorship from MPs.

        Actually you are wrong. I used to play a LOT of Counterstrike and Quake in my free time and I used to have LOTS of free time. Over the course of my training I acquired a keen sense of tactical decision making, such as when to reload and when to reload weapons, how to approach the target, etc. Also spacial and time awareness.

        Fortunately I never had time to commit a terrorist atrocity as I was too busy honing my skills rather than putting them to real world use.

        But the proof is in the pudding that I once got high score at my local Laser Quest even though it was just my first visit. Half the skill is just being aggressive. Take no prisoners. One of the parents had a go at me afterwards but I just pointed out that age has nothing to do with it. When I was 11 I was already more than capable thanks to games like Doom II and Quake.

        1. DF118

          Re: More Censorship from MPs.

          You'll find the phrase you're looking for is: "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". And it doesn't apply to the situation you describe.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: More Censorship from MPs.

        I don't think it was the mechanics of operating the rifle that the video game helped Breivik with, but rather situational awareness. I don't know why Keith Vaz has to cite that Norwegian twat when he could have pointed at the US Department of Defence:'s_Army

        [A FPS based on Unreal, developed and distributed by the US DOD. Whilst originally a PR exercise, it has been extended to military training applications]

    2. LarsG

      You never more

      than three feet away from an idiot when walking through the Houses of Parliament.

      When did Uncle Vaz last play a computer game?

      Have we all forgotten how involved he was by giving out dodgy favours?

      He is just not credible is he?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The idiots that re-elected the idiot and gave him a platform to speak.

    4. LarsG


      The idiots that re-elected the idiot and gave him a platform to speak.

  2. BillyIdol

    Mr Vaz

    To paraphrase Private Eye:

    What kind of society lets MPs to operate without consideration for Violent Video Games?

    Picture of me getting my coat, before inflation makes it to expensive to do that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mr Vaz

      What kind of society lets MPs to operate without consideration for Violent Video Games?

      The type of society that can easily forget about him making a false allegation against a former policewoman in 2002 for which he was suspended from his job.

      Some would say he is still making up false allegations given the known moral oversights he has been documented in partaking in. But thats lawyer education for you perhaps.

      Personaly I treat this person as a hostile untrustworthy witness without anything to add to the subject of a factual basis. I'm sure in many area's he has done good work, but on this matter is is basing his entire stance on a knee jerk reaction from parents who's 14 year old son died and blamed a videogame called manhunt. A claim that the police investigating the case dismissed as only the victim had played the game. Do videogames make you a victim more than not is the question perhaps!

      In summary for those using Windows 8 metro - Oi Vaz No

  3. 1Rafayal

    I think Mr Vaz needs to take a long hard think about what it is he is trying to get across.

    Would tighter regulation prevented Breivik from committing his crimes? I dont think so. There doesnt seem to be a precedent that the medium of entertainment has unduly influenced acts of terror in the past. If you go back as far as Guy Fawkes (whether he was the person who did or not put to one side) he planned and tried to commit his crimes with no external source of training other than an ideal.

    If someone has an idea moving them to such great lengths, they will use what ever they can to facilitate their plan. Would stronger regulation of games like MW3 have prevented Breivik from carrying out his actions? Probably not. Would stricter controls on guns etc. had an effect? Possibly, but again, if someone is driven to achieve a goal they will find a way.

    Should MP's continue to debate the affect of violent or realistic games in parliament? I cant say, but personally I dont think it would prevent atrocities like this in the future.

    1. dotdavid

      "Would tighter regulation prevented Breivik from committing his crimes?"

      Indeed not. In fact, if we for a second assume the unlikely fact that video games cause violence, an easy-to-use violence classification system may have helped him commit his crimes as he would have been able to better choose the game that could supposedly best hone his skills by looking at the most violent ones.

      1. NomNomNom

        Actually it might have helped. One of the things Breivik would have learned from FPS is lag compensation when firing. There isn't much lag in real life but it's still a factor. If he wasn't familiar with lag then who knows he might have missed more shots before running out of ammo.

        Then again I heard he played World of Warcraft. WTF that game can't teach you a THING about combat. Not unless you are fighting some dragon BS.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Whilst a FPS might have aided Breivik's situational awareness, I suspect it was his WoW habit that help loosened his already shaky grip on reality.

  4. Circadian

    Vaz - What a media-whore

    Vaz always seems to be trying to splatter his face all over the media every opportunity that the ambulance-chasing politician can get.

    If he wants to get on (yet another) bandwagon, here's one:

    Do you realise that Breivik was complaining about politicians not representing his views? And most terrrrrrrrist atrocities I can think of in recent years (from Oklahoma bombing, the IRA campaign, Osama Bin Liner etc.), ALL were caused by politicans not representing people in the way they wanted. So it's obvious - ban politicians as they are obviously the cause of all the problems!

  5. The BigYin


    ...twat off, Vaz. This is the same "Think of the children!" knee-jerk bullshit that brought us the IWF (easy to by-ass, penchant fir censoring Wikipedia), block of TPB (easy to by-pass) and now the "I' am a dirty, porn-loving deviant list".

    AIUI there is not one shred of evidence that games increase levels violence.

    And even if there was, that could be a matter for the parents of that child to do their job and not let little Timmy play "Ultra-Kill 9" or whatever.

    FFS, Breivik will have used maps. BAN THEM!

    Probably drank coffee. BAN THE BEAN!

    Even took a dump. ANALLY RETENT TO SAVE YOUR KID!

  6. NoOnions


    "He is a supporter of homeopathy, having signed several early day motions in support of its continued funding on the NHS..."

    Explains a lot, IMHO...

    1. The BigYin

      Re: Homeopathy...

      Ah, so he has a penchant for supporting the unsupported and seeing n effect where there is no cause. Explains much.

      If you forget to take your homeopathy meds - do you die from an overdose?

      1. Thorne

        Re: Homeopathy...

        If you forget to take your homeopathy meds - do you die from an overdose?

        No that happens when you drink a glass of water

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Homeopathy...

      "Explains a lot, IMHO..."

      His critical thinking disability for one.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suppose Mr Vaz would frown on my latest idea

    Whack-A-Mole, but with MPs' heads.

    Just a game, and not for real, I hasten to add.

  8. Kyoraki

    Didn't this Norweigan nutcase also say that World of Warcraft helped train him also, and that he's a member of the Knights Templar? I think Vaz might need one of those sanity tests too...

  9. Jeebus



    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Actually he only considered himself a "cultural christian" and professed no belief in God, even going to great lengths to explain that he didn't believe in God in his manifesto. Calling him a christian terrorist doesn't make sense.

      1. Eguro



        Considering statements like

        "We wish to create a European version of Al-Queda for Christian nationalists"

        "And these chapters of the manifesto are a comparable initiative to take the initiative for a debate which could result in a foundation, creating the base for a Christian version of The Muslim Brotherhood and similar revolutionary organisations"

        "It is a desire to start a debate which might help build the foundation for Christian and nationalistic resistance"

        "We wish to maintain [...] European countries as Christian nations. We wish to ensure the Christian cultural framework in all countries"

        All these statements are translated from his testimony.

        Now granted the last statement does speak of cultural framework - however searching through the testimony thus far, I have not found anywhere that he says something to the effect of not believing in God.

        Explain to me how much more is needed, before we can call him a Christian terrorist. Or is it simply that some people don't want him to be a Christian terrorist...?

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          "As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. ... Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I'm not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe."

          "As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus."

          "Being a Christian can mean many things; That you believe in and want to protect Europe's Christian cultural heritage. ... It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. ... It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)). The PCCTS, Knights Templar is therefore not a religious organisation [sic] but rather a Christian 'culturalist' military order."

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            See, generally speaking, when... say, an islamist goes off in a crowded town centre he's made a video telling everyone how what he's doing is for God and Islam and all that. Hell even those abortion doctor killers over in the states are usually clear about their justification for it. They say "God told me to do it" though, on the face of it, they're ignoring a few commandments to get to that point. It's hard to deny what they themselves claim to be, though I don't think they'd use terrorist as a self-descriptor.

            Breivik did not do that. He explicitly pointed out that he is not religious, that he values science above religion and that he is "culturally" christian. He isn't proclaiming that he is doing God's will, he's talking about how he wants to do his will and reach his goals. He went to great lengths to make it clear that any religious belief is not his motivator and even points out in his manifesto that he believes religious belief, specifically protestant christianity, has been a detriment to his idealised Europe in recent times.

            If anyone wants him to be anything it's the media looking for an equivalent to islamist walking bomb in Europe. He isn't a christian terrorist. It would make as much sense to say he's a darwinian terrorist, or a moderate centrist terrorist, or... well the list goes on really.

            1. Eguro

              Re: Hmm

              Very well :)

              I will agree that Christianity is a contingent matter in this case.

    2. Dave's Jubblies


      It'll also break yer keyboard...

  10. squilookle


    Warning: This post is a rant and is structured as such....

    All this fuss about censoring porn, blocking websites in the interest of corporates whining about losing profit, and this suggests the authorities in this country have nothing better to do.

    While he's at it, by the way, why don't they ban paintball, and water pistols, you have to aim those at things too. In fact, let's just go ahead ban all forms of outdoor and indoor activity, just incase you offend someone, infringe someones IP, or otherwise offend someone. That should solve everything, shouldn't it?

    Or, leave the internet and games alone, let us have our freedom and get on with our lives as we see fit, encourage and support good parenting, and concentrate on the important stuff like, oh I don't know, unemployment, recession, resolving any foreign conflicts/tensions we're involved in... important stuff, and not just these frivolous agendas bought into the spotlight on the whims these Daily Mail types.

  11. jason 7


    As mentioned this guy is so predictable and such a media whore it's embarrassing.

    I just wish he'd jump off a cliff rather than on any easy target he can find while reading the papers.

    1. Christine Hedley

      Re: Vaz

      One thing The Vaz does excel at is single-handedly demonstrating what is wrong with politics in the UK. I'm absolutely sick and tired of seeing his name in print, something that seems to be his main purpose in life.

  12. Greg J Preece

    Off to fire up the Unreal Development Kit and make a quick mod where you kill Keith Vaz, then dilute him in vast quantities of water as a homeopathic remedy for being a twat.

    1. Not That Andrew
      Thumb Up

      I'd play that.

    2. NomNomNom

      But then you'd be arrested because the authorities wouldn't see it as a "game" they'd see it as a "terrorist attack training application"

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Not if your arsenal is only comprised of Custard Pies, Condoms filled with Flour, Rotten Fruit and Eggs. Anti-materiel weaponry includes Muck Spreaders and Badly Parked Tractors.

    3. Thorne

      Not enough water on the planet to dilute him enough to get rid of the nasty taste

  13. mhoulden

    "We should restrict the sale of computer games to children in the UK because an adult in another country who says he played one went on a rampage." Hmm. Correlation is not causation, and in the Breivik case I think it's pretty obvious he had serious issues that had nothing to do with computer games.

  14. Mike Brown

    Vaz? Again?

    He keeps trying to do this. He tried to get Manhunt banned, when it was incriminated in a murder investigation. Unfortuanatly it was the victum that had a copy, and not the murderer.

    Mans a fool.

    Plus he keeps getting caught in "conflict of intrest" issues. So he is incompetant and corrupt as well.

  15. Code Monkey

    By Vaz's logic, I should be a millionaire because I played Monopoly.

    (Hint: I'm not)

  16. OldBiddie

    Better regulation of politicians would be a more productive pursuit to put forward as a EDM.

    Got to make it look like you're doing something though, eh Vaz?

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    I played Portal....

    ...and now I cannot look down the center of a spiral staircase without the immense urge to take a plunge.

    These vidyagames are the work of the devil!

    1. That Steve Guy

      Re: I played Portal....

      That gives me an idea.

      Maybe we should send Keith Vaz some fo Cave Johnson's combustible lemons.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: I played Portal....

      Perhaps a nice relaxing orange portal underneath Vaz and a blue portal to drop him down a slide covered in orange gel and some nice blue gel at the end

      And once we got around to scraping up the remains, we can put his brain in a potato.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You need to be careful though now you know Anders Breivik used first-person shooter games to prepare for his rampage. So when are they banning paintball? And what about those violent films on the TV giving folk ideas? That Tom and Jerry has a lot to answer for.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. lurker

      I realise that bashing the incumbent party/coalition is the traditional pastime regardless of who's in power, but Keith Vaz is a Labour MP, i.e. the opposition and not the current government, so I'm not quite sure what you're getting at here..

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ah yes.

    Many years ago, Private Eye printed a spotlight piece on Keith Vaz. The general gist was that he was a fairly ordinary, talentless, arse-licking, party machine toady, who'd sell his own grandmother for a favourable couple of column inches in the press.

    I have not seen anything since to suggest that they may have been in any way incorrect in their assessment.

    Ignore anything he says. Everyone else does.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Ah yes.

      SO just your basic politician then ?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a few questions

    The gun used in the Norway shooting spree was a rugger mini 14 and a 9mm glock . How would you buy those legally in the UK? Oh wait you can't so how would restricting video games prevent some thing like this happening in the UK ?

    1. John Bailey

      Re: Just a few questions

      Well.. you can't. At least not without having contacts in dodgy places. Not exactly a common resource for the terminally deranged..

      But you can buy a super soaker, and make people feel threatened.. WHICH IS WORSE!!!

  22. dotdavid
    Thumb Down


    ...should come with a violence warning. He certainly makes me feel like committing it...

  23. armyknife

    Keith Vaz is a Hypocrite

    So he blames a video game for real world violence, but doesn't bat an eyelid in voting for a war of aggression, that's resulted in tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dead, the photographic evidence of which has been largely self-censored by our media, as likely to be too upsetting for our delicate stomachs.

    And he then went on to resolutely oppose a thorough investigation into the Blair governments probable criminal actions:

    Truly yesterday's 'gone tomorrow' politician, still struggle for some delusional self-importance.

  24. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Simple solution

    He shot a bunch of blue-eyed blonde scandanavians - right?

    So all we have to do is to ensure that the victims are never portraide like this in violent video games.

    Perhaps we could suggest that the baddies are always shown as darker skinned, bearded headress wearing foreign types?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Simple solution


    2. Mephistro

      Re: Simple solution (@ YAAC)

      It's a great idea, but, somehow, I don't think it's totally original.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bandwagon Vaz

    He's known as Bandwagon Vaz in his constituency, and indeed thoughout Leicester.

    He's an attention-seeking media whore who only gets voted back in because he comes from India, as do most of his constituents (the ones who fill in the postal voting forms for their families).

    When the first-generation immigrants die then he might get voted out, until then the best hope is that he fills his pockets with taxpayers/donors money again and gets jailed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the ones who fill in the postal voting forms for their families

      So important "the ones who fill in the postal voting forms for their families" - yet, nothing has been done about it. It's criminal and happens a lot in ethnic communities (be they Indian, Pakastani, Bangladeshi, Polish, Somali)... especially many women get their forms filled in for them...

  26. janimal

    It makes me so angry

    ...I want to shoot someone's face off!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more sense

    "We'll stick with the belief that Parliamentary members in general have more sense than to even partly blame a videogame"


    LOL, good luck with overestimating MPs common sense then.

  28. DrXym Silver badge

    Mr Vaz is right

    Breivik played World of Warcraft for over 2 years. Clearly it is a murder simulator and should be banned.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Mr Vaz is right

      Breivik, by his own admission, "lived with his mother and liked red sweaters".

      Ban red sweaters!

      Ban mothers!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only 8 signatures

    5 of them from Blair and Brown's ban-first regime. I thought Liebour were trying to shake the ultra-authoritarian image? First a beer gets removed because someone didn't like the label, now this?

  30. burnard

    Go ahead and ban COD then.

    It is a shit game that has stiffled genuine progress in the FPS genre.

  31. Colin Millar

    Murder games

    I wonder what games Blair was watching before he went on to murder many times more people than Breivik. Vaz supports that particular bloodbath all the way.

  32. NomNomNom

    Chess is a particularly violent games of rape where pieces "take" each other. I have always found it disturbing and racist.

  33. NomNomNom

    Snakes and ladders: a particularly sickening game in which players, who may be as young as 4, are made to slide down "snakes".

    Scrabble: encourages and even rewards the mindless construction of violent words.

    Monopoly: players are trained not to question false imprisonment as they lay waste to a dystopian london in a capitalist orgy of greed.

    Connect four: encourages the depletion of resources and has fascist connotations.

    Hungry Hippos: fosters an association between animal cruelty and fun in young minds.

    0s and Xs: Hateful and extremist

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Amusingly, Monopoly was supposed to show how capitalism is a bad thing. People liked it because it lets you lay waste to London or something.

    2. Andalou

      You couldn't make it up

      NomNomNom: "Snakes and ladders: a particularly sickening game..."

      Too late. Snakes and Ladders is already 'banned' in America. The scary snakes have been replaced with slides and the game is renamed Chutes and Ladders.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flight Simulators

    Didn't the 9/11 terrorists hone their skills by using Microsoft Flight Simulator? If so why isn't Vaz demanding that flight sims can only be used by licenced, authorised airline pilots.

    What about those terrible racing games? Shouldn't those be banned too? I mean they make people think they can drive like lunatics .. someone will get killed by one of them soon mark my words.

    Vaz is a publicity whore who will do or say anything to get his name in the papers.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    while we're at it...

    why not ban all films as well? John Hinckley watched taxi driver 15 times in a row, then set out to assasinate a presidential candidate. In fact let's structure society exactly to these lone nut jobs. We'll all sleep a lot easier when we live like the Amish do.

    (Actually the thought of GTA Amish style made me giggle a bit)

  36. Stephen Orr

    I'm embarrassed on behalf of Labour that they let this fool remain a member of the party, much less a sitting MP.

    Surely, at a minimum, our elected representatives need a brain to do their job properly? Vaz is wrong on so many counts that I can't understand where he must be getting his information from.

    Mr Vaz - please, for the sake of your constituents, stop jumping on the bandwagon with issues like this and back your opinions up with both facts and measured consideration about what's really best for the country? The Tories seem to be the party for censorship, maybe you should jump ship?

  37. Chrissy

    I couldn't be bothered to write anything more constructive than to paraphrase - and use a less offensive term than frequently used - several contributors to a similar discussion happening on

    Vaz is a expenses thieving prick who should learn when to shut the **** up, as trying this at least 5 times without any progress would tell even a semi-intelligent person that no-one cares about your dumb campaign.

    And my indpendent contribution is that the day this waste of oxygen gets voted out, or contracts something fatal, can't arrive early enough.

  38. Dave 150

    Keith Vaz, the guy that supports homeopathy... people really voted for him?

  39. MOV r0,r0

    Calling Alan Milburn a 'prick' in parliament is brave for a man whose last name is one letter change from 'Vag'.

  40. PhasedFox

    So worried about video games and yet...,

    has no problems about eviscerating funding for mental health provisions and the NHS. If you believe that the real world is an extension of video games rather than the other way round then you fall into the very definition of crazy. Video games are not the cause of atrocity... a warped viewpoint is.

    Try pushing cures for the cause, rather than chasing the political unicorn that is media freedom.

    Oh wait... that doesn't get you on TV.

  41. This post has been deleted by its author

  42. Anonymous Coward

    I suppose Adolf Hitler must have played violent video games

    along with Henry VIII, Ghengis Khan, Julius Caesar , Napolean ...(etc.. pick your nutter from pre 1970s history here, before when video games existed )

    I mean otherwise how would have they become violent meglomaniac psychopaths without video games ?


    mw3 censorship

    well i have played cod from mw to black ops some where OK but when they started putting disturbing scenes in weather its the Russia level airport where you open fire on civilians or the London truck exploding next to a women and child I think cod should be removed as these are down right offensive to me some violence and gore I can take but when it almost replicates real life um sorry but no its wrong. its now got to a point where cod is simply get ten pathetic pointless because there a company wanting more money greed.

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