Iain Duncan Smith says games are destroying the innocence of UK’s kids

Saturday, 23rd January 2010 20:41 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Ex-Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has told The Times that videogames are destroying the innocence of UK children because “nobody pays attention to age ratings”.

Speaking with Times Online about “power, alcohol abuse and Britain’s broken society”, Smith claims that some games were “extremely violent”, and used GTA as an example.

“We are driving children to lose their childhood, and some video games are incredibly violent, like Grand Theft Auto,” he said. “They are meant to be 18 but nobody cares what it says on the label.”

Television programming was also blamed for this loss of innocence, as well as the government giving tax credits to workers while not seeing stay-at-home parents as having a job.

“When a worker goes out to build a car, the Government gives him a tax exemption, if she or he stays at home you double tax that family by not allowing that tax exemption to exist,” he stated. “I see a lot of dysfunctional families where you are really seeing a society in collapse. We are now into three or four generations of lone parenting, multi-fathering.

“I’ve been to places where the girls have such low self-esteem that they think being abused is the norm. They have never had unconditional love, they have seen nothing but sex as the basis of relationships so they can’t say no themselves.

“In some areas, the way in which society should work has been inverted — instead of wisdom being passed from mother to daughter or father to son, dysfunction is being handed from one generation to the next.”

Not sure paying attention to game ratings can help fix all this.

Maybe if the ratings on the game box were larger, it would help. Wait. They already happened, and the government started enforcing the labeling system around Christmas.

Still, 33 percent of parents in the UK allow their kids to play over-age games.

Thanks, CVG.



  1. Jadeskye

    I hope Cameron doesn’t share his view on this, i was planning on voting conservative.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. satsugai

    What innocence? There isn’t any to begin with, teachers getting bricks and chairs thrown at them. Kids doing all sorts and getting away with it, parents need to pull their finger from out their ass.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Grimrita

    So its the industries fault that parents cant accept responsibilities for their own actions. what a bald cock!

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Ansob

    Does VG247 need overly sensationalist and needlessly alarmist article titles to draw the readership in?

    I have to wonder, since the title on this basically boils down to “CONSERVATIVE POLITICIAN CALLS VIDEO GAMES ‘SOURCE OF ALL EVIL,’ WARNS OF IMPENDING APOCALYPSE! LYNCHING AT FIVE” whereas the actual article content is “People don’t pay attention to games ratings, and this is bad.” :P

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    The headline is basically accurate though.

    “innocence is being destroyed by children’s television and computer games”

    Ok, they missed out the TV aspect… but it’s no less accurate because of it.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Ansob

    It’s a quote, yes, but it’s definitely a quote out of context – the important part (“because parents don’t understand ratings and let their kids play 18+ games”) is left out, with the result that the article title sounds like yet another braindead Tory in the vein of Keith Vaz is slagging off gaming without knowing what they’re on about.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. BC

    What an odd picture with this story. Did all the kids in the UK suddenly become black? If this was a story about Zimbabwe, would there be a picture of a black politician and five white kids?

    #7 5 years ago
  8. bugmenot

    the original title doesn’t even mention games, CVG sensationalised it.

    “Iain Duncan Smith on power, alcohol abuse and Britain’s broken society”

    #8 5 years ago
  9. onlineatron

    Pfft.. the kids are alright.

    ‘And we’ll paint by numbers
    ‘Til something sticks
    Don’t mind doing it for the kids
    (So come on) Jump on board
    Take a ride (yeah)
    (You’ll be doin’ it all right)
    Jump on board feel the high
    ‘Cause the kids are alright’

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Michael O’Connor

    “Does VG247 need overly sensationalist and needlessly alarmist article titles to draw the readership in?”

    If you’ve been here for more than a week, you already know the answer to this.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Yoshi

    Has anyone realised that theres a white man and 5 black kids lol talk about bullshit.

    Plus its the parents fault for buyin the game so why bitch at the kids? Do the words “No your not getting that” mean anything anymore lol

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Hunam

    Not trying to start an epic debate this time but I always thought the problem was not parents giving the games to the kids, but not getting them to understand what is it they have. My parents let me watch violent movies when I was young, I mean single digits. Sure most people would call that irresponsible and maybe it was, but they always sat me down and explained how it was not real. How they did this and how they did that and why these people went and made these violent films in the first place. Letting kids loose with violent media is dangerous sure, it’s because they don’t understand why it’s violent and why it’s not how the real world works.

    Just my tuppence really.

    #12 5 years ago

    What difference does it make if it’s a picture of IDS next to 5 black kids!?

    What exactly is wrong with that?

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Dannybuoy

    Parents have a lot to answer for. I know it’s a cliche but a lot of the problems in our society are due to the fact that some parents were doing exactly what their kids are doing today. Out on the streets causing trouble. They don’t have any respect either. Little bit off topic, but case in hand I saw a chav mother and her chav daughter with their pitbull type dogs the other day. One of the dogs was obviously playing up and the mother raised her fist to the dog as though she must actually punch it when it’s playing up. What kind of behavior is that to teach a child and a way to treat an animal. I’m not a daily mail reader but some people just don’t seem to have any moral fibre these days.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. polygem

    i´m so sick of these politicians always desperately searching for someone to blame…this is so uncool. videogames as a medium are not to blame for destroying the innocence of kids. wtf…how could someone even get to a conclusion like this..this is sick…maybe the pope is taking the innocence from the kids because he´s a meat eating aids causing western pseudo guru pretending to be a good man sent from the lord…i could accept this as an argument-ok. in a world where polticians, business men, and even the big churches have no morals at all and do not live after the rules they once established…who wonders about that things get more and more fucked up? but don´t blame some games for that – that´s just a bad joke…blame it on yourselves.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. The Hindle

    Hes probally pissed he got rumbled about the expenses scandal so hes looking for someone to blame

    #16 5 years ago
  17. NiceFellow

    Story seems to have been reported out of context, and while he’s taking the usual ‘whiter than white’ moral position of politicians making such statements he makes some good points.

    The bottom line is that many parents simply don’t pay any attention to the kids in their charge, for many varied social and economic reasons, and of course while happy to appear compliant the entertainment industry itself (films, books, TV, film, etc) isn’t exactly falling over with horror either if it turns out huge chunks of revenue are coming from kids.

    Heck, buying my own kids comics I’m amazed at some of the adverts – why would a kid aimed at the 9 to 12 demographic, for example, even have adverts for 18 certificate games and films on DVD? Because a fair bit of income comes from that age group for that content.

    It’s nothing new though, and I’d be willing to bet you could find similar situations throughout recent history – I’m not really considering when kids where taken to watch hangings or stuck in a factory to work, they saw things differently in those days.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Yoshi

    @ GIGA the word racist comes to mind?
    Blaming it on black americans maybe?
    Trying to say white americans/british are better maybe?

    #18 5 years ago
  19. robmlufc

    Rubbish as usual, another reason I wont be voting Conservative. I was allowed to watch 18 rated movies with my dad was I was young, single digit as the above poster. I was told aslong as I didnt repeat anything I heard (especialy to my mum!) it was cool. Blaming games and movies is just an easy excuse, there is much deeper rooted social issues.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. The Hindle

    What is racist about that picture jeus christ

    #20 5 years ago
  21. reask

    ^ + 1.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. Psychotext

    It’s a cynical PR picture… but I wouldn’t say it’s racist.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Gekidami

    That picture is on the first page of a google image search for that guys name. I’d assume it was picked purely because its the first picture of him that isnt a blantant portrait of the guy. Also it has kids in it.
    Its apparently him with members of the “Eastside Young Leaders Academy”. It just so happens they’re all black. I’m not to sure what you guys are seeing in this pic. Its not related to what he said about kids being ‘uninnocence’.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Retroid

    Jadeskye said: “I hope Cameron doesn’t share his view on this, i was planning on voting conservative.”

    I can only presume you’ve not heard of the Tories before? :)

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Hunam

    In america you usually have a clear line of good guys and bad guys in politics. In the UK, you just vote for who you think will destroy the country least.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Dannybuoy

    @ 25. Too true, too true. I know Brown is a bit of a bellend but come on, can you seriously imagine that moron Cameron running the country…. oh good lord I shudder to think

    #26 5 years ago
  27. Egon Superb

    Isn’t this all tied into a Channel 4 TV show about games that IDS is appearing on? Bit rich…

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Psychotext

    “can you seriously imagine that moron Cameron running the country”

    I don’t know… I think it would be quite interesting to see what he does. You see, right now he seems to just look at what people don’t like about the current govt policies and make his “policies” the opposite. Maximum voter wooing.

    That’s not going to work so well when you actually have to put those policies in place though. \o/

    #28 5 years ago

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