Games consumer lobby group Gamers’ Voice has held the first “Parliamentary Games Day” with MPs and video game industry representatives at the House of Commons.
The event was a real success with politicians of all three main political parties attending to play video games with Gamers’ Voice on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii.
With important votes taking place in the House of Commons during the event, MP’s were very busy. That’s did not stop sixteen MPs attending and taking a chance to play games and talk about video games. One of the surprise guests was Keith Vaz MP; we got a short interview with him which we will be releasing in the near future.
John Whittingdale, Ed Vaizey, Luciana Berger, Clive Betts, Pete Davison, Don Foster, Dr Julian Huppert, Karen Lumley, Jason McCartney, Nigel Mills, Stephen Mosley, Andy Nuttal, David Cairns, Simon Kirby, David Hanson and Keith Vaz all made appearances at the event. We even got to see John Whittingdale and Don Foster throwing punches at each other through the Kinect Sports boxing game!
All the MPs left us with positive words. Luciana Berger said on twitter after the event “Well done to @GamersVoice for organising such a good event” and it was “The best event I’ve been to in Parliament so far in 2011!” Government minister Ed Vaizey MP told the press his view on the event “I think it’s an inspired idea to set it up.”
The video games industry was well represented, with Ian Livingstone OBE, Miles Jacobson OBE and Jon Hare all attending. We also had Dr Richard Wilson of TIGA and Michael Rawlinson of UKIE along with Gianni Zamo of the Video Standard Council and Dave Green from BAFTA attending as well as scores of others.
The gaming charity Special Effect also successfully showcased their eye-control technology and software to MPs, this technology allows those with even the most severe disabilities to play games.
Willians Donegan of Special Effect spoke positively of the Gamers’ Voice Parliamentary Games Day:
“SpecialEffect were delighted to have been invited by Gamers’ Voice to attend Parliamentary Games Day and help to promote the positive image of gaming”
“It was a great opportunity to meet and talk directly to MP’s as well as members of the games industry, even though we had some trouble shifting some MP’s from eye-controlled Peggle!”
“The event was a big step in creating a better understanding of video games and breaking down some of the misconceptions about a subject which, as a games charity, we know is incredibly important to many.”
Gamers’ Voice is an independent pressure group representing video and computer gamers in the UK which seeks to act as a conduit to make our voice heard in the government and mainstream media.
In November 2009, Tom Watson MP founded Gamers’ Voice on Facebook in order to bring together gamers from across the UK in response to negative articles on gamers in the UK media; Gamers’ Voice has over 16,000 members.