The Guardian reports
that David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party in the UK, wants to "ban violent computer and video games as part of a raft of measures to combat crime in Britain." He also "strongly condemned Labour's "knee-jerk" law and order reforms."
Let's deal with that second part to begin with. "Knee-jerk" - something like say, oh I don't know, grasping around for a scapegoat in order to look tough on crime? There is still no link, absolutely no scientific link, between violent games and actual real life violence. It was the same with heavy metal and D&D before, and it will be the same with anything that follows after.
Right. To the proposed ban itself. We already have the BBFC in place to regulate video games - as you probably know, they recently banned Manhunt 2. Regardless of what you think of that decision, the fact is there is already an existing system to stop kids getting their hands on violent games. OK, the system is broken in that retailers will sell to anybody, but then attack the retailers, not the gamers.
For those in the know about UK politics, you might say that Cameron is never going to be Prime Minister so we don't need to worry. Perhaps. I certainly won't be voting for him. However, given the centre-grabbing of the current political climate, and with Hillary Clinton proposing similar legislation across the pond, I can easily see this being picked up by the current Labour government. Then, we have a problem. My only hope is that what with games being big business now, politicians will come to their senses and realise they can't afford the economic hit from banning games, no matter how many political points it scores them.
In the end, to outright ban whatever subsection of games that are deemed "violent" (and who knows how they'll do that) is to say to the entire adult population of the UK "No. You cannot possibly handle the content of these games. You may be able to vote, to drink, even join the army and die in Iraq, but you cannot play Bioshock."
Needless to say, this is entirely ridiculous.