LABOUR MP Tom Watson has given his backing to the controversial Call of Duty game that leads players to engage in virtual depictions of violence in London.
Watson has responded, albeit rather late, to an early day motion in the House of Commons that asks that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to apply a very hard line to the game and the title.
The earlier motion, raised by Keith Vaz, needs more work, according to Watson. "Parliament and video games. My good friend Keith Vaz condemns Call of Duty 3. I take a different view," he said in a tweet that links through to the revised document.
Early day motion 2427, which has the title Call of Duty 3 and was sponsored by Vaz, has a very dim view of the game.
"This House is deeply concerned about the recently released video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, in which players engage in gratuitous acts of violence against members of the public," it says.
"[The House] notes in particular the harrowing scenes in which a London Underground train is bombed by terrorists, bearing a remarkable resemblance to the tragic events of 7 July 2005; further notes that there is increasing evidence of a link between perpetrators of violent crime and violent video games users; and calls on the British Board of Film Classification to take further precautions when allowing a game to be sold.
The Watson edit has many changes and rather than criticising the game applauds it. He suggests taking an axe to the text and chopping off everything by the start.
"Leave out from `House' to end and add `notes that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) gave the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 an 18 classification, noting that `the game neither draws upon nor resembles real terrorist attacks on the underground'," says the more reasoned edit.
"[The House] further believes that the game has an excellent user interface and challenges the gamers' dexterity as well as collaborative skills in an outline setting; and encourages the BBFC to uphold the opinion of the public that whilst the content of video games may be unsettling or upsetting to some, adults should be free to choose their own entertainment in the absence of legal issues or material which raises a risk of harm." µ