London Mayor Suddenly Likes Games

By Blake Ellison, Oct 15, 2008 10:39am PDT Boris Johnson, the London mayor who wrote that "computer games rot the brain" in the British newspaper Telegraph before his election, is now "delighted that the London Games Festival is back in our city for its third year."

The LGF, which starts on October 31, "demonstrates the creativity and range of the gaming industry, which, as an important part of London's creative sector, makes a vital contribution to the economy as a whole," according to a press release quote from Johnson.

In particular, the mayor is happy to see the return of EA's marketing team: "I am pleased to see EA's Be the One event is returning to Trafalgar Square," referring to an expo from the publisher which is open to the public during the Festival.

Johnson is a long-standing opponent of video games. His 2006 editorial in the Telegraph claimed "It is about time ... that we admitted the catastrophic effect these blasted gizmos are having on the literacy and the prospects of young males." He proceeded to blame gaming habits for "ignorance and underachievement and ... poverty," citing England's illiteracy statistics as evidence.

Earlier this year, after taking office, Johnson also blamed a wave of knife crimes on violent games.

Many thanks to Eurogamer in their guidance of things gaming and European.

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