Games to get cigarette-style health warnings in the UK [Update]

Oh for f**k’s sake.

Sorry, I know it’s not technically considered kosher to open a professional blog post with “oh for f**k’s sake,” but having just woken up to the news that Prime Minister Gordon Brown is going to stigmatize games even further with health warnings, I don’t think there’s a more appropriate turn of phrase. 

With Tanya Byron’s report released, Brown has seized the opportunity to slap cigarette-style warnings on games, stating that they can, and I’m not kidding, damage a child’s belief and value systems and desensitize them to violence. Yeah … you read that correctly.

Of course, it seems that movies are going to be just dandy without health warnings, even though they have the same kind of material.

Perhaps this is their way of protecting games from further scrutiny, I don’t know, but the isolation of them as this vast social problem absolutely horrifies me. Videogames have not damaged the belief system of any child I know, including my family, my friends, and their families, and I refuse to believe that a videogame is as dangerous as a box of frigging cigarettes.

I’ll be getting the full Byron report to look through as soon as I stop having flu.

[Update: The news source we used appears to be somewhat sensationalist, which is rather disappointing for The Times. As stated, we’ll have a full look at the report, and government implications, later]

Jim Sterling