Nick Clegg, British Deputy Prime Minister warns of games 'corrosive effect' on children's behaviour

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Nick Clegg, British Deputy Prime Minister warns of games 'corrosive effect' on children's behaviour

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This is encouraging news,

This is encouraging news, Tommi! Thanks for sharing it. It's great to see people with influence willing to talk about this issue.

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Full Report: 'I have to

Full Report:

'I have to ration my sons using computer games:' Nick Clegg warns of 'corrosive effect' on children's behaviour

. Deputy Prime Minister says he limits three sons' games use to 90 minutes

. Antonio, 11, Alberto, 8 and Miguel, 4, play tennis and football games

. Parents have a 'heavy duty' to protect youngsters 'hunkered' in front of TVs


PUBLISHED: 08:13 EST, 20 September 2013 | UPDATED: 09:44 EST, 20 September 2013

Children should be limited to spending no more than an hour and a half playing computer games, Nick Clegg declared today.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he 'rationed' the time his three sons had with their games consoles and parents face a 'heavy duty on our shoulders' to prevent children suffering harm.

And he warned of the 'corrosive effect' on players' personalities when they spend hours 'hunkered down in front of their computer'.

Family: Nick Clegg, pictured with wife Miriam, said parents had a heavy responsibility to limit the time children play computer games

Mr Clegg was challenged about the impact of computer games after yobs mugged a fan who had become one of the first to the new Grand Theft Auto V -- battering him over the head with a brick and knifing him in the back.

The Lib Dem leader said his three sons Antonio, 11, Alberto eight and Miguel four played tennis and football games and not the 18-rated Grand Theft Auto.

But he warned: 'Even for very small kids they just get very wound up with these games so you have to try and ration them a bit.

Clearly these games can have an incredibly powerful, and I suspect in some cases corrosive, effect on someone's behaviour, someone's outlook.

'They get shut off, they don't talk to other people, they just stay in their living room, their bedroom, hunkered down in front of their computer.

'They occupy a sort of hermetically sealed world really of their own, and that can have a very detrimental effect.'

Popular: Hundreds of fans queued in anticipation of buying Grand Theft Auto V in Oxford Street, London, this week

He said many parents struggled in a 'frightening unknown world', and age restrictions were not enough.

'But in a free country what do you do, do you start saying to people they can't use it for more than x number of hours, no you can't do that.

'All parents, we've got a heavy duty on our shoulders, a heavy responsibility on our shoulders, particularly for those of us who didn't grow up with these games.'

Mr Clegg said he sits alongside his sons to watch what they are playing before calling time on the games.

Copycat: Teachers warn children are increasingly copying the content of games, like Grand Theft Auto V

Asked how many hours is suitable on a Saturday night, he replied: 'Not much, about an hour and a half on a Saturday night.'

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers has carried out research suggesting video games are increasing violence among primary school-aged children.

Alison Sherratt, president of the ATL said she was worried about the impact on children: 'Until now, we've been warning of the dangers of children seeing these games, but saying it's the parents responsibility to keep children away from them.

'We've had children crashing into others in toy cars in the playground. When asked about it they say they've been watching Grand Theft Auto. They are quite open about it -- children of nine and ten.'

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Liz Woolley

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