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British MP takes shots at videogames

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Jan 2007 6:30 User comments (15)

British MP takes shots at videogames Boris Johnson, an outspoken Tory MP has once again managed to pick the right topic to draw optimal attention to himself. The man, who once referred to U.S. President George W. Bush as "a cross-eyed Texan warmonger" and Tony Blair as "a mixture of Harry Houdini and a greased piglet", has picked a new topic for headlines; videogames. He says it is time to "garotte the Game Boy and paralyze the PlayStation".
Specifically, he is blaming video games for falling literacy rates among today's youths. "Millions of seven to 15 year olds are hooked, especially boys, and it is time someone had the guts to stand up, cross the room and just say no to Nintendo," he said. "It is about time, as a society, that we admitted the catastrophic effect these blasted gizmos are having on the literacy and the prospects of young males."

He cites falling interest in reading among children and the numbers of students in University without adequate writing skills. "I refuse to believe that these hypnotic little machines are innocent," he said. He went on to mention figures that put Britain as having the highest number of computer games per household, and that 89% of homes with children have a gaming console.

"These possessions are not so much an index of wealth as a cause of ignorance and underachievement and, yes, poverty," he continued. "The nippers are bleeping and zapping in speechless rapture, their passive faces washed in explosions and gore. They sit for so long that their souls seem to have been sucked down the cathode ray tube."


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15 user comments

17.1.2007 6:51

Boris Johnson is an upper class twit currently making the transition from right-wing out-of-touch buffoon of an MP to TV political panel game show out-of-touch professional buffoon.

Like as if anyone seriously gives a monkeys about his views about anything much.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jan 2007 @ 6:53

27.1.2007 6:56

Its jus a publicity stunt for himself i know i live in Canada

37.1.2007 8:26

LMAO go ahead ban all consoles and games what's the bet the twit and his party will be stomped by the public, again lets blame someone else for poor parenting and failing government social policies

47.1.2007 8:57

and it is time someone had the guts to stand up, cross the room and just say no to Nintendo
Dude, everybody is saying no to nintendo. The play xbox or playstation instead.

57.1.2007 9:07

Yeah cos when you're looking for a grizzly gore-fest game Ninty are the people everybody goes to, huh? What a moron.

67.1.2007 9:22

this is funny it's not the kids fault they cannot read or write but if the goverment there had a good school system which is impossible for any country even the u.s.a look at how in the u.s.a that most african american students think they can make more money selling bootleg stuff on the street versus going to school and most of them are dead by 20 because of a shooting or worse and now all these other countrys are blaming video games its not nintendos fault your citizans can't read it's not microsofts fault or sony's fault it is the fult of a school system that doesn't work that rewards upper class students and lets lower class students fail or fall behind

77.1.2007 11:44

in Boris Johnsons defense, George W definitely is a "cross-eyed texan warmonger" and "a mixture of Houdini and a greased piglet" is probably the best and most accurate description of Tony Blair i have ever read. the brits hate Geroge W but they are the ones who re-elected Tony Blair. whos worse, the stupid guy or the guy who does what the stupid guy tells him to? but yeh Boris Johnson is way off with this one... what a tard.

87.1.2007 12:52

Its not the games fault, its the parents and the government. We cannot punish children for fear of losing them due to the government laws against "abusive punishment". The schools are not pushing children as hard as they did before. With these problems children watch tv, play games, and talk on the cellphone. If parents would do more discipline against children then their education would be better. But parents work, go home and rest, and then go back to work the next day. The children live their lives with little guidance.

97.1.2007 13:00

I find this to be highly offensive, as a teenage gamer I still more than my share of reading and have higher than normal reading/writing levels. I actually know of one person who is dyslexic and has near taught himself to read just off videogames. Gotta love the description of of G.W Bush though...a cross-eyed Texan warmonger... brilliant!!!

107.1.2007 15:54

I added the comments this guy made about Bush and Blair only to show his outspoken nature, that is not permission for anyone to turn this thread into a political war. Just a friendly warning, we'd really prefer that news comments stay on topic. :-)

117.1.2007 19:24

Don't worry Dela we are only agreeing with the description (which does IMO do hearty justice) no here has tried to defend those two and I'm pretty sure no one will.

128.1.2007 4:40

Dude, everybody is saying no to nintendo. The play xbox or playstation instead.
Over 3 million new Wii consoles sold in less than 2 months says differently, but that is a topic for a different forum. I work in the educational field and I am the one that stops the kids from playing video games at school. Now before anyone gets upset, I believe there is a time and place and purpose for video games. This Boris guy is using video games as a scapegoat for the failure of these kids parents and teachers. I have been playing video games since 1983 - 84 on my Atari and grew up with Nintendo, Sega and I still play video games to this day. The difference I see and notice in students today that many parents are not involved in their kids lives as much as they should be. They blindly let the kids play games without making sure they are up on the school work first. Video games are not the problem and Boris should dig a little deeper and do some research on the lifestyle of this affected children.

138.1.2007 23:46

This guy needs to do more research before he opens his gob like this. There are products out there in the I.T field that are educational even for reading it has become technologically advanced. I tell this bloke to go out and do research and then come back and have some hard evidence.

1412.1.2007 20:31

Yes, I agree that there is a time and a place for minors to indulge. But Boris, instead of blaming an insignificant object, are you also willing to look at the potential causes instead of the effect: . The fact that Mom and Dad most likely work long hours . The breakdown of the family unit . Propaganda broadcasting turning people away . The potential expense of shopping or eating out . The fear of becoming a victim of crime . The fact that we live in an increasingly online, digital age where reading books are rendered surplus to requirements. . The pathetic shambles over school league tables not to mention funding having an adverse effect on child welfare. But no! Let's not look at the factors which collectively may result in children not spending less time with their parents or swatting up, or spending their money on other forms of entertainment - it's the games' fault! See, these games jumped off the shelf, landed in my hand and held me to ransom because they are strange and evil and have magical powers like Harry Potter does. I saw it in a Christmas cracker but don't quote me on it. Successive, British governments are very good at addressing the symptom of a 'problem' and not the actual root cause..deliberatly and repeatedly failing to take into account real, external factors. Look at Iraq, or the immigration, or jobs crisis as examples of this. Some may suggest that the reason for such an avoidance, is because sooner or later all fingers start pointing in one direction: home. The undeniable fact is that computer games and electronic entertainment are here to stay, and were enjoyed by younger audiences long before the apparent outburst. So rather than point the finger at games, perhaps this government should seriously stop pointing the finger full stop. It's making a fool of itself. I think the British have had a barrel full of such propaganda over recent years - and it really isn't doing them any good as a result. Americans and Europeans have games as well (damn that may shock Boris!). However, perhaps some of them live in communities not beset with such long hours and abysmally - low wages coupled with parents who are working themselves to death in order to pay for houses that wouldn't be worth salt elsewhere. Perhaps those other communities have a stronger family structure and as a result, have less of a desire to withdraw into a private, virtual world as opposed to sharing experiences with one another and cherish their time together. Perhaps education is a more pressing issue for those parents instead of having to put up with seemingly endless reams of bureaucracy emanating from governmental PR consultants assigned to plaster over cracks instead of repair the foundation of a good start in life. I think this issue is a bit more complicated than Boris Johnson or his particular take on something he apparently does not understand. Alas..if he shouts loud enough and long enough it'll make good TV and'll be old news because someone will be able to shout even louder. That's the kind of role model our children could do without.

1516.1.2007 0:11

I agree, Boris is a banana. However, look at the poor grammar, lack of punctuation, and the poor spelling in these posts, and you may realise that there is some truth to what he says. And yes, I am a gamer.

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