Take THAT! (But not in front of the kiddies, OK?)

Violent video games like Madworld, Grand Theft Auto and House of the Dead: Overkill are often blamed for society's ills but in a BBC Radio debate today common sense prevailed as the UK-based organisation Mothers Against Violence decided that parents must shoulder the burden of responsibility when it comes to allowing their kids access to age-rated titles.

"I'm not directly blaming games, I'm blaming parents," said a spokesperson for the group, adding: "If someone doesn't do something where does it stop?"

Almost inevitably, the Nintendo DS version of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was mentioned, which is unsurprising when you consider the studio in which the program was recorded is based in the UK city of Leeds, where the team behind the handheld version is based.

The discussion focused on the fact that violent video games come with prominent age ratings which are often ignored by parents, who willingly purchase the titles and then pass them onto their under-age offspring.

Such comments mark a welcome change from the usual ill-informed bad press the industry is usually subjected to. Both the US and UK markets have adopted age rating standards, and the UK industry has even gone as far as to say it will bankroll of awareness campaign to educate parents about the different ratings.

[source eurogamer.net]