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Friday, December 12, 1997 Published at 15:10 GMT



UK

Race games safety warning
image: [ Harmless or harmful? Driving games face safety warnings ]
Harmless or harmful? Driving games face safety warnings

Britain is considering slapping warnings on car race computer games, telling motorists to calm down when they get behind the wheel in real life.

Proposals are being considered as a controversial game featuring car-hijacks hits the market.


[ image: Controversy over Grand Theft Auto]
Controversy over Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto is one of the games expected to be among this year's big sellers.

It has attracted criticism for its violent content but after several months of delay it has been officially classified as suitable for 18-year-olds and over.

However, under proposals being considered by the Home Office, all car racing games would have to include a safety warning on the screen at the start.

The idea came from a member of the public who wrote a letter which was passed to the Home Secretary, Jack Straw. It said video games encouraged dangerous driving and that a warning might be a deterrent.

The games industry opposes the plan saying there is no evidence games encourage dangerous driving.

Grand Theft Auto's manufacturer, BMG Interactive, says a warning would be pointless.

Spokesman Simon Butler added: "By the time someone has bought a game they've made the decision that they want to play it and enjoy it.

"Grand Theft Auto has an 18 certificate which means if you're under 18 you shouldn't be buying it or playing it."

But some pressure groups believe a warning is not enough.


[ image: Jonathan Bartley: Violence should be controlled]
Jonathan Bartley: Violence should be controlled
Jonathan Bartley, from the Movement for Christian Democracy, said: "We're in the very early stages of development of video games and we will have to see the effects fully assessed.

"But every indication is that violence needs to be controlled and we need to have restrictions and guidelines for parents and those using the games."


 





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