EU 'trying to smuggle propaganda' into children's bedrooms with video games - The Times .

Video Games

7 Views

        

MEPs have been accused of trying to “hijack” video gaming for woke “political ends” after voting to back “initiatives to promote European video games that showcase European values”.

A new think tank in Brussels linked to a Hungarian university has charged the European parliament with “smuggling propaganda into children’s games” in an attempt to manipulate public opinion.

Two weeks ago MEPs voted through a resolution instructing the European Commission “to launch initiatives to promote European video games that showcase European values, history and diversity”.

The proposal, backed by a majority of the parliament on November 10 and tabled by Laurence Farreng, an MEP on President Macron’s Renew party list, seeks to harness the power of video games.

Her proposal “stresses that video games and e-sports have great potential to further promote European history, identity, heritage, values and diversity through immersive experiences” with “the potential to contribute to the EU’s soft power”.

Advertisement

While the resolution is not legally binding, it does require the commission, which regulates the EU’s audiovisual sector, to take it into account and similar votes have changed Brussels’ policy.

The MCC Brussels think tank, which is newly launched and linked to Budapest’s Mathias Corvinus college and figures close to Hungary’s Eurosceptic government, said the MEPs were interested in “indoctrinating young people with EU’s emphasis and interpretation of diversity and inclusion”.

Laurence Farreng, a French MEP, said that video games have “the potential to contribute to the EU’s soft power”

Laurence Farreng, a French MEP, said that video games have “the potential to contribute to the EU’s soft power”

GETTY IMAGES

Professor Frank Furedi, a Hungarian-Canadian academic who heads the think tank, noted that “young people turned off by boring lectures about the EU’s technocratic rhetoric are far more likely to be influenced by propaganda masquerading as an exciting video game”.

“At a time when video games are under scrutiny this is a very worrying development for the industry as it may be pressured for political purposes,” he said. “As far as woke campaigners are concerned, video games provide an ideal medium for indoctrinating young gamers with their propaganda. They hope that fun-loving gamers will seamlessly adopt their propaganda.”

Farreng wants her proposals linked to a “European Video Game” label for a gaming industry worth more than €23 billion and employing 98,000 people across Europe. “Video games can provide significant mental health benefits for many players and have the capacity to disseminate positive values for the younger audience in particular,” she said.