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UK government: There is more to life than video games

Kevin Kelly

Shaun Woodward, the UK's Creative Industries and Tourism minister, wants the game industry to help curtail the amount of time kids spend playing games. Which is more than a bit ironic considering he took no such umbrage last month, telling a crowd assembled for the announcement of the BAFTA video game awards, "Video games are a huge part of the creative industries in the UK and deserve full recognition for their vital role in our economy. The huge diversity of games, from entertainment to education, put them at the centre of culture in Britain."

He's being a bit equivocal, last month heaping loads of praise on the same industry he's wagging his finger at this week, but he's far better than opportunistic American politicians who would rather play the parental role for you. Woodward goes on to say, "We want to help parents have the facts to help them in their parenting, and we want games to be a responsible part of this mix." So, first he doesn't want children to play games, now he wants games to help people be better parents? Make up your mind, man!

Woodward advocates that parents should be the ones raising their kids, not the government, which is a stance we can fully support. If your kid is locked in his room playing World of Warcraft for twelve hours a day, you need to be a better parent instead of waiting for men in black suits to show up and take his paladin away. Don't let a television or a joystick raise your kid, either hire an au pair or roll up your sleeves and get involved.

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