Dundee West MSP Joe FitzPatrick, who has been highly supportive of the Dundee-based Scottish video games industry, today reacted with surprise at a parliamentary motion which seeks to associate the industry with 'high levels of violence' and has tabled an amendment at the Scottish Parliament to promote a more constructive approach.
The MSP feels that the original motion, tabled by Labour MSP Elaine Smith, is unnecessarily hostile to the industry and may set-back development of a sector which has a combined turnover of approximately £20m and employs over 700, many in Dundee.
Joe FitzPatrick said: “I am very keen to promote Dundee's world-leading video game development sector and am concerned at this unwarranted attack on an important industry and the effect it might have on its development.
“Only 3% of games in 2007 are classified as an 18+ certificate. Overall, the recent Byron Report was ambivalent about the connection between video games and violence.
“Of those games that do contain violent conduct they are clearly designed only for adults and rated appropriately.
“The UK Government is due to introduce legislation protecting children by making age ratings compulsory for all boxed games designed for those aged 12 or above, using the Pan-European Games Information (PEGI) classification system. It is important that this is done before the General Election.”
“Parents should heed the classification code and only buy games for children which are appropriate for their age and retailers should continue to strictly enforce the classification system when selling video games to the public.”
Dr Richard Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of the TIGA the games industry’s representative body, said: “The video games industry makes an important economic contribution both to the Scotland and to the wider UK economy. It sustains highly skilled, graduate level jobs in an industry that exports games all over the world.
“Video games also have great potential in respect of education and training. Rather than knocking the UK video games sector we should be celebrating its success and implementing measures to help the industry to realise its full potential.”
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA, tel: 0787 593 9643
Andrew Scott, Press Officer, Dundee SNP Parliamentary Office
8 Old Glamis Road, Dundee DD3 8HP
Tel: (01382) 903202, mob: 077899 46492