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Outspoken anti-game MP Keith Vaz pulled out of a scheduled debate with game industry luminaries and politicians at the last minute, much to the chagrin of everyone involved.

Vaz was scheduled to appear at the Westiminster eForum debate, [URL=http://www.mcvuk.com/news/37250/Keith-Vaz-skips-industry-showdown]reports MCVUK[/URL], alongside Electronic Arts’ Keith Ramsdale, TIGA CEO Richard Wilson, Eidos’ Ian Livingstone and fellow politicians [URL=http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/11/09/british-mps-battle-over-modern-warfare-2]Tom Watson[/URL] and Ed Vaizey, but did not show, leaving organizers to explain to the assembled crowd that Vaz could not make it.

Vaz then became a subject of ridicule, with just about everyone in the room taking pot shots at the AWOL MP.

Livingstone attempted to fill in for Vaz, mouthing phrases like “Games are evil, games are terrible, games are turning children into killers,” while Vaizey added that perhaps Vaz should now be known as “Keith Chavez” in deference to [URL=http://www.gamepolitics.com/2010/01/18/chavez-playstation-poison]Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez[/URL].

Vaizey added that he thought Vaz’s stance on games was “totally wrong,” noting that [URL="http:// http://www.gamepolitics.com/2010/01/12/try-your-hand-being-mp-week"]a game currently appears on the Parliament website[/URL] and “no one has been killed yet.”

Ramsdale lamented Vaz's absence, saying, "You want to understand where his head is now after being so negative about the videogame industry."


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