Germany considers ban on violent games

By Jos
Jun 8, 2009
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  1. Violent games may soon be a thing of the past in Germany. GamePolitics reports that the country’s sixteen interior ministers have banded together to petition the Bundestag (Germany\'s equivalent of Parliament) for a ban on both the production and distribution of violent games. If approved, the ban could be fully enforced before the next German elections in September, forcing companies like Crytek to either relocate or outsource development work.

    Read the whole story
  2. xempler

    xempler Newcomer, in training Posts: 24

    Games don't kill people....people kill people. Millions of people play similar games and they don't go around shooting people.

    In regards to the 17 year-old who went around killing sixteen people, I don't think the games Far Cry 2 and Counter Strike was the problem. This person was obviously disturbed and had deeper issues.

    For all we know, he could of watched a baseball game and taken a bat to sixteen people's head. So banning these type of games won't solve the problem of these psychotic, demented people.
  3. polidiotic

    polidiotic Newcomer, in training Posts: 103

    Indeed. I second that thought. I wonder if they're just getting sick of the WW2 games. ;P lol
  4. nazartp

    nazartp TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 202   +10

    All this stuff is so highly debatable... Can't really say that games do not contribute to violence - I have no reliable data to base it on - and don't have any evidence to the contrary. Just being a fan of the game doesn't mean a person would go and shoot a bunch of people. On the other hand who know how the game affects a young mind. That being said, what about freedom of speech? Europe starts to strongly remind me of the USSR.
  5. polidiotic

    polidiotic Newcomer, in training Posts: 103

    Most countries in Europe are Socialist countries. The people have let the governments get out of hand, much like here in the US. A video game, I don't think, is attributable to freedom of speech, because they're sellable products but even saying that (and I don't think sellable is a word, but you get the idea) European countries do not have constitutions protecting the rights of people for their freedoms, like we do in the US. Freedom of speech, religion, etc... are not universal human rights, unfortunately.
  6. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,917   +119 Staff Member

    pol*****ic; not to be an *** or anything but please don't write crap like "European countries do not have constitutions protecting the rights of people for their freedoms"
    Everything infact is covered by free speach, including games and movies, however just like in the US pornography is not allowed for people below the age of 18, and many movies are rated similar to "R" in the US where the visitors must be 15 years of age atleast
    There is unlike the US no censorship of "bad words" and such crap in the regular media (atleast in Sweden)
    I always find it funny as hell that it's not allowed to use swear words in the US media at certain times of day, however showing someones brain being splattered all over a wall is fully ok

    "The European Convention on Human Rights, signed on 4 November 1950, guarantees a broad range of human rights to inhabitants of member countries of the Council of Europe, which includes almost all European nations. These rights include Article 10, which entitles all citizens to free expression. Echoing the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this provides that
    Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_by_country
  7. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 893   +98

    I still just find it odd that it always seems to be age related to these shootings, just because the shooter is not an adult it makes him more likely to be brainwashed by video games in to thinking its alright to kill? I don't think it has anything to do with the games hes playing but more the people he socialises with and the rest of his living invironment. It's funny how millions of other people of similar age play thses games without killing their friends and or family. Whats not to say that some one in their thirties wasn't influenced by tv sitcom in to believing they could get away with murder, those shows seem to be left alone. Maybe it's just me, I spent the better part of my youth playing GTA and FPS without ever considering actually stealing a car and going on a murderous rampage.
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    Correct me if I am wrong, but don't Germans have all this filthy porn stuff that they seem to think is OK?

    http://www.thelifeingermany.com/2008/04/germanys-attitude-towards-sex.html

    So they are being selectively prudish now?
  9. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,319   +370

    Germany is ultra-sensitive to violence stemming from the 107 million casualties caused by them cranking up WWI and WWII. Especially after the fall of Nazi Germany. The Germans spend a lot of time and energy distancing themselves from that and anything even remotely considered violent.

    Do violent games make people want to pick up guns and go shoot other people? Of course not. But for an already disturbed person, I don't doubt that the "glory" effect of shooting virtual people ala Far Cry 2 or Fallout 3 couldn't have some (but not all) influence.

    I just want to see what Germany's excuse will be the first time a mass murder takes place and there are no video games to blame.
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    Computer games don't cause violence.

    Porn doesn't cause rape.

    People cause these things.
  11. polidiotic

    polidiotic Newcomer, in training Posts: 103

    Per Hansson, you're confusing laws for constitutional freedoms/rights. In addition to this, please refer to the several ways in which the UK and other countries in Europe actually prohibit protests on certain subjects and ban people who are vocally controversial.

    Some examples of the awesome freedoms in Europe:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/mar/06/freedom-of-speech
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/philipjohnston/4604985/Whatever-happened-to-free-speech.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/16-banned-from-britain-named-and-shamed-1679127.html
    (Now, I'm not one for allowing terrorists or murderers into my country... but Michael Savage? A doctor? A conservative radio host? Someone taken out of context on a day-to-day basis? C'mon...)

    The news dictates differently. Freedom of speech does exist, but to what end? Especially when they can pick speech apart and say what's legal and what's not... There is no constitution, as I've shown this forum, for the country of France, just like most European countries, that dictate the freedoms of the people. Like France, the UK has a constitution that dictates how the country is governed, but that's about it. The apparent freedoms come from the "European Convention of Human Rights." Obviously there are stipulations... when it comes down to the way a country is governed. In fact, it seems that the government laws/regulations of a country supersede the Human Rights document, so how effective is it, really?
     
  12. polidiotic

    polidiotic Newcomer, in training Posts: 103

    And here I forgot we were talking about Germany... they have a whole slew of additional issues. ;/
  13. This seems like a knee-jerk reaction based on emotions rather than evidence. This silly search for a scapegoat happens every time a school shooting occurs. I guess it wasn't violent music this time.

    At any rate people whose lives have been ruined need something to fill their time so they can pretend like they're preventing it from happening again.And politicians need to make a name for themselves. Let's not give them too much grief.
  14. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,917   +119 Staff Member

    pol*****ic; what I am saying is that the US is not different
    Try going to a 9/11 meeting and telling them it's all a big conspiracy, most likely you will be asked to leave by the police
    Like Michael Moore was in his film "Fahrenheit 9/11"
    Note that I'm not in any way defending some of his views, I'm only defending his right to express them
    So before you speak so highly of the US constutution (and ignore the many atrocious changes to it by the Bush regime) please don't explain why Europe is so much worse
    Sure, there are some really shitty ideas in some contries, especially the muppet goverment in the UK trying to turn it into some 1984 version of total goverment surveillance like China
    But really most things that are not allowed as far as free speech go is the same as in the US, for example trying to starta riot through hate speech etc is illegal in Europe too
    There are some other understandable ammendments for example in Germany and some other countries where is is not legal to deny the holocaust for example
  15. TBolt

    TBolt Newcomer, in training Posts: 66

    This is such a touchy subject...but again, I am left with thinking this is another example of a "shotgun approach" (pardon the pun): Rather than addressing and fixing the root issues, countries are looking at the obscure and taking aim at addressing the issue by some sort of non-specific blasting.

    Now, that being said, I would be a little irresponsible to say violent video games have absolutely nothing to do with kids going of the deep end...factually, I believe there may be a very small influence there but it is certainly not the catalyst for them going out and performing mass murder. As some have said, their act stems from a deep rooted psycological issue that was likely there before their video game "addictions".

    So, what's the proper solution? IMHO, it's not some broad-base approach like "bans" but a proper addressing of the issue. Mental health is the issue that needs to be addressed. That, my friends, starts at home...with the parents. Why are teens/pre-teens playing mature games in the first place? And if parents allow this, they should be monitoring their kids' activities a little closer to ensure their kids arent exhibiting some unhealthy attitudes - if they are, get them some professional help. Also, there must be stronger enforcement for who buys these games...under 18 purchasing a rated "M' game at your local game store is what needs to be corrected. If parents are okay with their kids playing those games, they need to be the one purchasing them...then they need to be willing to have better interaction and responsibility with their kids in the first place.

    Global bans may be, in government eyes, the "right" approach. But it's just a band-aid covering up a (mental) issue that is still there. It also punishes everyone else who purchases/plays/enjoys that sort of media entertainment without having any kind of influence and confusion with reality versus virtual reality.
  16. polidiotic

    polidiotic Newcomer, in training Posts: 103

    You're allowed to deny 9/11 and the holocaust all you want in America. You can blame the government and claim it's a conspiracy all you'd like, and people do on a daily basis. It's not illegal to make such claims, just as it's not illegal to hold KKK parades and meetings, or to be associated with the Communist political party.

    You're being fooled by watching anything created by Michael Moore, as he's produced so much controversial crap, based on lies, rumor and the blatant use of actors in his "documentaries." If Michael Moore wasn't allowed to say the things he does or ask the questions he does, then why is he able to produce a movie about his relentless and ridiculous questions... and gain wealth by doing so?

    I'm not touting the "greatness" of America... I'm just stating facts. I'm also not stating that European countries are inferior or "worse." We have a written constitution that differs from many countries in the world, stating specifically, the freedoms of the citizens of this country... and the limitations of government (which is something Obama hates). The founding fathers of this country understood corruption of government, as they fled Britain and seceded from that nation for a reason. They understood the importance of freedom and a people's inaliable rights.

    Anyway, the only "atrocious" change that Bush made was the PATRIOT act... which infringes on our rights to privacy, which I disagree with... but honestly, it won't affect you unless you're planning on terrorizing the country. That can be amended, however, and hopefully will in the future.

    Don't be so defensive. If you're European, I don't mean to insult you, I'm just stating facts and pulling links supporting it. =/
  17. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    Germany has been trying to repair their image for over half a century now. For a long time it looked as if they had made alot of progress. Now it seems as if they're moving backwards. First book burning, now banning video games. Interesting. Say "No" to big government.
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,419   +281

    If germany is backpedaling I'm not one to notice/ I hold nothing against them I understand enough about ww2 to forgive the german people. I think a very similar thing should have and for the most part has happened with americans and slavery.
    But there is a big "thing" on stuff now. (INtentionally vague)
     
  19. Nic3694

    Nic3694 Newcomer, in training

    Hey guys can you please stop commenting about everything in Germany if you don't even know anything about it aside from Wikipedia. I was born in Germany. In Germany and most of western Europe, sexual themes are looked upon way more lightly than Violence. Like someone already pointed out, Germany started to condemn violence after World War 2, because the rest of the world had gotten a violent image from Germany. The same thing just not as bad happened here in the US after the 60's-80's with the sexual revolution. That might be why America has such a big censorship on Television items. After watching the German news past the school shooting (as said in article) I noticed that a lot of politicians AND citizens started to blame Video games. Of course I agree with most people here saying that it would be a bad idea to ban video games. i would much rather look at higher punishments for people who don't lock their guns out with a kid that went to a psychiatric because of suicidal thoughts (This is what happened to the kid that committed the school shooting). But that's just my point of view...
  20. OneArmedScissor

    OneArmedScissor Newcomer, in training Posts: 49

    Regardless of any discussion of right in various countries, the problem with Germany's approach is that they attempt to distance themselves from their violent, totalitarian past...by dealing with anything related to violence in a near-totalitarian fashion. It's completely hypocritical.

    If it accomplishes anything at all, it's just proving that that is how they still function, and always will. Just showing the world that they don't like violence isn't the half of it, as they make every effort to deal with things they don't like in an extremely controlling manner.
  21. polidiotic

    polidiotic Newcomer, in training Posts: 103

    The Nazi movement started with the idea of a perfect world... unfortunately such a world does not and will not exist. Violence exists, be it in video games or in reality... and that's something you can't escape nor hide.
  22. tengeta

    tengeta TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 632

    Ban the games, then come here and do it. Then ban the guns.

    See how much less murder there won't be as we just kill each other with knives and bombs instead.
  23. If they ban VIOLENT games, they should also ban VOILENT MOVIES AND TV SHOWS.
  24. That's such a ridiculous comment....

    I mean thies is a pretty "bad" count but most of the countries and religion on earth have a large amount of blood on their hands...

    US -> IRAQ, Indians, Slavery, ...
    GB -> Colonial wars, Slavery,...
    Spain, Portugal -> Conquista, Slavery
    Israel -> killing thounsands of civialians
    Sowiets -> killed jews as well,
    The Church -> so man people where slayed in the name of God in the middle ages
    Germans -> WW 1+2, ...
    And so on

    Almost every western country/people is guilty for some kind of mass murder.

    On topic...

    The consideration of a ban is just a sign how helpless and uninformed politians are.
  25. polidiotic

    polidiotic Newcomer, in training Posts: 103

    Why did you neglect to mention Palestine, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, China, Japan, Greece, Italy, Vietnam, Turkey, etc, etc, when listing out the countries responsible for bloodshed? It's not just "Western" countries... Look towards Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.

    I love how the US is demonized and at the top of the list... First, slavery isn't murder (though slaves are typically not treated well), many of the Native Americans weren't exactly as "peaceful" as you've been led to believe, and irregardless, 75-90% of their deaths were the result of spread of disease that they had no vaccination for (that the Europeans brought to North America), and Iraq was liberated from a dictator who consistently killed his own people, in droves, and was responsible for starting 2 wars.

    I also love how Israel is on the list, too... for protecting themselves from an onslaught of terror from Hamas. Yes, they've killed civilians, because Hamas hides behind civilians and has the support of the people they hide behind. But, I guess it's ok that Hamas can launch missles into Israel, killing their civilians, provoking one of, if not the only peaceful (and extremely powerful) country in the Middle East.

    I'm sorry... I'm just annoyed by people who half-listen to the news, and when doing so, only listen to that which is offered by the likes of Anti-American organizations like NBC/MSNBC... or read the NYT and Washington Post. These companies sicken me and the educational system in this country is faltering by the wayside, indoctrinating our students with anti-American sentiment and false truths. It's really pathetic.

    Not only this, but we have companies (GE) in bed with the government now, pushing green energy that they produce... and who just happens to own NBC/MSNBC/CNBC (who, if you've noticed have been running "green" movements for the last year+). Meanwhile, Al Gore (Nobel Prize Winner for Fraud) is getting rich off of Global Warming... $100million more wealthy than he was, previous to his movie and nobel prize. Pull the wool off from over your eyes.

    Now I'm fired up... and you got me off-topic. Darn guests and their anonymity.
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