A trivial computer flash game where players score points for blowing up women and children has been branded sick and callous by bomb victims.
Kaboom – The Suicide Bombing Game features a cartoon man running around a busy market town and blowing himself up to kill as many people as possible.
The free online game, which can easily be accessed by children, shows graphic images of body parts being splattered across the town.
Yesterday, it was branded sick, callous and upsetting by the Bali Bombing Victims Group, who want it removed from the internet.
One member, Susanna Miller said: It's callous, inappropriate, irresponsible and deeply offensive. I find it disturbing. I appeal to any sites featuring this game to remove it. It's completely sick.
The game's creator writes on one website: If you find this game offensive, tell your friends! If you are deeply offended by this game then you're way too fucking sensitive and I hope you've been scarred for life.
Tory MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee, earlier this year chaired a report into harmful internet content.
He said yesterday: I find this game tasteless but I don't think it will necessarily start turning people into suicide bombers. But those whose lives have been affected by suicide bombings I imagine would find it upsetting.
A flash animation in which players operate a suicide bomber and try to kill as many men, women and children as possible has provoked nutter outrage.
A senior Labour MP said Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game, which is freely available to all age groups on the internet, devalues human life and should be banned.
Players move a terrorist of Arab appearance along a busy street to get as close as possible to the most civilians. They then click their mouse and the bomber opens his coat to reveal grenades strapped to his body before exploding in a shower of
The more men, women and children are injured, the more points the player receives.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the game contained an unnecessary level of violence and offended relatives of those killed by suicide bombers.
He also said he was deeply concerned that vulnerable users under the age of 18 are able to play the game.
The Israeli Embassy in London is also understood to have complained. Scores of Israeli citizens have been killed by suicide bombers in recent years.
Nutter MP Keith Vaz has lodged an early day motion with parliament.
That this House condemns the creation of the online computer game Kaboom which asks the player to replicate the actions of suicide bombers; believes that this game is offensive to the families of those killed by suicide
bombers and devalues all human life; further believes that this game depicts an unnecessary level of violence; is deeply concerned that vulnerable people under the age of 18 are able to access and play this game; calls upon the game's creator to
show sensitivity and responsibility by removing it from the internet; welcomes the findings of a new study from Iowa State University which recognises the link between violent video games and aggressive behaviour; and calls on the Government to
revise its regulation of violent video games.
Vaz also brought the subject up in Parliament with a question to Harriet Harman, Leader of the House
Vaz: Has my right hon. and learned Friend had the opportunity to look at early-day motion 2416?
[The motion] refers to an online computer game called "Kaboom", which asks players to replicate the actions of a suicide bomber. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that that is offensive to the families of the victims of
suicide bombings and that it devalues human life? I have raised this matter on several occasions at business questions and in other debates. What action are the Government taking to remove such material from the internet or, at the very least, to
approach service providers to ensure that they take appropriate action? Children and young people will be able to have access to those games. Could we have a debate on this important matter?
Harman: The Government are concerned about the effect on children of violent internet and video games, which is why we commissioned the Byron review. That set out how we need action
from parents, from the industry itself and from the Government to ensure that there is proper control of content and clear labelling to protect young children. I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend's long-standing interest in these issues, which
he had even before he became Chair of the Select Committee on Home Affairs. Under his leadership, the Committee has taken a strong interest in such matters. I bring to his attention the fact that on Thursday 13 November, in Westminster Hall,
there will be a debate on the question of harmful content on the internet and in video games.
Internet and Video Games
Westminster Hall debates
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Keith Vaz's ludicrous tirade against the old flash animation game called Kaboom came up in a Westminster debate.
Keith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)
The hon. Gentleman and I have both commented on the video internet game Kaboom in which people replicate the activities of a suicide bomber. It cannot be right that the makers of those games should choose such
storylines to provide entertainment, especially on the internet, where our children and under-18s can access them more easily than if they were going into a shop to buy them, as with non-internet games?
John Whittingdale (Maldon & East Chelmsford, Conservative)
This is a very difficult area and Kaboom , which has been around for a little while, is an interesting example. It is a remarkably crude, cartoon-type game and is not in the least realistic, as many games now are. It
is undoubtedly tasteless and might be offensive to a large number of people. I suspect that it is probably distressing to anyone who has suffered a bereavement as the result of a suicide bombing. Does that mean that it should be banned? I am not
convinced that it should, because it is so crude, and other games pose greater concerns.
Edward Vaizey (Shadow Minister, Culture, Media & Sport; Wantage, Conservative)
May I make a point to my hon. Friend? In his response to Keith Vaz, he has implied that Kaboom is somehow a legitimate video game that breaches the boundaries of taste, but it is not. It was created by an individual
in his bedroom. To say that we should ban Kaboom is, with the greatest respect to my hon. Friend, slightly missing the point. Kaboom is not subject to any legal constraints. It cannot be submitted to a regulator to be classified,
because it is made by an individual, effectively illegally, outside the mainstream, just as violent pornographic films or child abuse photographs are. It is not at all part of the mainstream video games industry.
I agree with my hon. Friend. I hope that he noted that I did not say it should be banned, even if that were possible.
I first became involved in this issue when the son of one of my constituents, Stefan Pakeerah, was murdered in Leicester. The murder mirrored scenes in a video game called Manhunt . Warren LeBlanc was sent to prison,
and Stefan Pakeerah is dead. Stefan's mother started a campaign about the harmful effects of video games and got me involved in it. I pay tribute to her for all the work that she has done.
As soon as I took up the issue, I became the subject of much internet abuse from those who felt that there should be absolute freedom in dealing with video games. I am not sure whether I got a website dedicated to opposing me, as my hon. Friend
Janet Anderson did. I am fascinated to know who her WeeMee is.
I was once voted the third most unpopular person in the world, after Hillary Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, by the readers of one of the video game magazines. I suppose that I should take that as a compliment, but it points to the almost
hysterical approach that the video games industry and the newspapers that support it sometimes take to anyone who manages to raise such matters in the House.
What we need first of all from the industry is responsibility and partnership. We are all on the same side. We are saying clearly that for someone who is over 18, there should be no censorship or attempt to stop them seeing or doing whatever they
want as far as video games are concerned. My interest has always been to protect those who are under 18. Some are our children, of course, but it goes beyond protecting our own children. That is my only concern—not to stop adults buying games but
to ensure that harmful games do not fall into the hands of young people and children.