EC seeks video game code of conduct

Public concerns put pressure on industry

BRUSSELS -- In the wake of a recent shooting spree in which a Finnish school student killed eight people and then himself, the European Commission on Tuesday called on retailers to stop selling violent video games to children.

EU Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding demanded a code of conduct within two years on sales of video games to minors.

Reding also urged governments to comply with the industry age-rating system known as Pan European Game Information.

"Creators have to enjoy freedom of expression but at the same time it's an industry that impacts society," Reding said at a news conference.

Worldwide revenue from video gaming is expected to reach 30 billion euros ($47.5 billion) within two years, of which the 27-nation EU will account for about one-third, Reding said.

Public concerns that video games can cause aggressive behavior have been heightened by school shootings such as that in Finland last November, and have led to several countries banning games such as "Manhunt 2," Reding added.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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