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German Interior Ministers Seek Ban On Violent Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the ach-mein-gamin dept.

Government 222

GamePolitics reports that "Germany's 16 Interior Ministers have banded together to ask the Bundestag (Germany's equivalent of Parliament) to ban the production and distribution of violent video games. Moreover, the ministers hope to see this accomplished before Germany's new elections take place on September 27th." Violent games became a national issue in Germany earlier this year after Far Cry 2 was scapegoated for a shooting. Germany-based game developer Crytek could be forced to move or outsource if the ban goes through. Spiegel Online has the original story (Google translation).

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222 comments

First Post (5, Insightful)

hachi-control (1360955) | more than 4 years ago | (#28229993)

And first to say, the government hatred on freedom of any type has gone too far, and this is a perfect example.

Eat my balls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230009)

n/t

Re:Eat my balls (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230043)

Shut up bigblacknigger. You should have said "The land of the scheisse and the home of the Dachau". [wikipedia.org]

Come on, what kind of troll are you? Make people think, assbite.

g0 fuk y0ur$e1f (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230119)

You're just mad that it's Friday night and you don't have any niggerdick to suck on, you cockgobblin' Mac fanboi.

Re:g0 fuk y0ur$e1f (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230359)

You're just mad that I fucked your dead great grandmother in the mouth.

Re:First Post (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230179)

While I admire everyone's knee jerk reaction to defend video games via free speech I think this method of defense is inherently idiotic.

If someone came up to me and accused me of murder I wouldn't base my case on freedom of privacy. I would hope my lawyer could simply disprove the actual charges against me.

Fighting these sorts of things largely on free speech seems to imply that that video games are actually responsible for some sort of mayhem but should be protected anyway. They aren't dangerous. They don't pose a public threat and they shouldn't even be charged as such let alone 'allowed' to exist in spite of these accusations.

People need to educate the voting public that the 12 year old next to them on the laughing and bragging about how he shot a rifle through someone's head yesterday and made it explode isn't a deraged lunatic.

Video games out of context sound insane and dangerous. This is largely an educational problem which needs a good PR campaign. It's easier to defend something which people understand and like than it is to fight an abstract constitutional battle about the conflict between freedom and public well being.

Re:First Post (2, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230303)

Video games can be dangerous, but anything can be used as a weapon. It is hard to inflict physical harm with a nonphysical object thou like a digital download.

Re:First Post (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230545)

If someone came up to me and accused me of murder I wouldn't base my case on freedom of privacy. I would hope my lawyer could simply disprove the actual charges against me.

You have it backwards. It would not be your responsibility to disprove anything. It would be the accuser's full burden to PROVE that you have murdered. Unless they can, then you shouldn't have to lift a finger or be inconvenienced by it.

Re:First Post (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230667)

You have it backwards. It would not be your responsibility to disprove anything. It would be the accuser's full burden to PROVE that you have murdered. Unless they can, then you shouldn't have to lift a finger or be inconvenienced by it.

That is where the metaphor breaks down, as there is no such burden in the court of public opinion, and public opinion unchecked causes these things. If we ignore it and do nothing to correct people who for some reason think there is a proven link between violent videogames and actual violence, their elected officials aren't going to say "no, sorry, prove it."

Re:First Post (5, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230609)

Hell, even if videogames DO cause those murders, that's still several orders of magnitude less dangerous than tobacco or alcohol, neither of which is banned. You can probably find food products that kill more people per year than shooting rampages do. Also they're singling out videogames. Why not movies, books (I hear religious texts have inspired a lot of violence, those really shouldn't be in people's hands), music and maybe news reports about violence? Easy: Because these politicians already subject themselves to that kind of stuff and realize it's not a prolem (or if it was wouldn't want to declare themselves psychos).

This is a completely ridiculous pile of bullshit. Shooting rampages are so rare and cause so few deaths that special legislation is not warranted against such a broad subject as videogames even if it were at fault (last time one happened the father got tried for severely lacking firearm safety and of course the kids in question are always in a situation where they get treated like dirt by everyone else anyway).

Re:First Post (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230687)

Hell, even if videogames DO cause those murders, that's still several orders of magnitude less dangerous than tobacco or alcohol, neither of which is banned

And ALL of which have big powerful industries behind them. We're talking about videogames like they're endangered. There is huge industry with lobbyists on our side. And anyway, senior citizens who think games are the devil are dying everyday, while kids who grew up playing games are reaching voting ages every day. Momentum and lobbyist money, if not organization and self-righteousness, are on our side, we don't need to panic every time some idiot government official says something stupid about videogames.

Not to say "Let's not worry about it" lets just keep some perspective that these things aren't gaining much steam.

Re:First Post (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#28231097)

And ALL of which have big powerful industries behind them. We're talking about videogames like they're endangered. There is huge industry with lobbyists on our side.

A bunch of loonies already tried this kind of thing with role playing games a few years ago. Those didn't really have a huge industry behind them and still came out ok.

On the other hand the political atmosphere was quite a bit less hysterical back then (no "think of the children" meme for one). Nowadays it seems that anything remotely suspicious or potentially dangerous ought to be banned for the general well being of the peons. It's so nice that we don't have to think for ourselves any more. It was such a chore !

Re:First Post (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230929)

If someone came up to me and accused me of murder I wouldn't base my case on freedom of privacy. I would hope my lawyer could simply disprove the actual charges against me.

If your legal rights to privacy had been violated, I would expect your lawyer to use this to try to prevent evidence resulting from those violations being used against you. This is standard legal practice, and is the basic reason why such things as the necessity for search warrants actually work.

Fighting these sorts of things largely on free speech seems to imply that that video games are actually responsible for some sort of mayhem but should be protected anyway. They aren't dangerous. They don't pose a public threat and they shouldn't even be charged as such let alone 'allowed' to exist in spite of these accusations.

Which is an important point, because freedom of speech doesn't trump public safety. Basically, at least here in the EU, legislators are permitted to make exceptions to free speech as long as there are clear public interest grounds in doing so ("necessary in a democratic society [...] for the protection of public safety" being I think the phrasing involved here). So, yes, free speech isn't an automatic win in this case: we need to show, conclusively, that there isn't a (serious) public safety issue here.

And this is the government... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230003)

we're supposed to respect for their opinions on Scientology?

Re:And this is the government... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230029)

A government is a body of people notably ungoverned. In this particular case, a few are loonies and a few have good sense. Don't assume it's the same few people in each case.

Re:And this is the government... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230621)

The interior ministers are idiots anyway, the federal one is a serious case of wanting to abolish all freedoms for security. I hope the rest of the govt will react to these 16 as they did to the federal one.

Re:And this is the government... (1)

ImdatS (958642) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230909)

I doubt that there are anyone in our current government here in Germany with any sense at all: talking about shooting down planes, collecting internet usage data, introducing "stop-signs" in order to "prevent" child pornography, banning violent games, heck they even briefly discussed banning "Gotcha".

No, seriously, I lost the believe that there is any one person in politics in Germany with any sense at all. They are all "... a bunch of jerks to be put... " - to paraphrase Douglas Adams (rip).

Re:And this is the government... (5, Insightful)

laron (102608) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230683)

Control freaks will suffer no other control freaks in their territory.

NOOOOO! (5, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230011)

If this keeps Crytek from making games it has become the worst kind of tragedy.
The kind that affects me!

Re:NOOOOO! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230021)

Crytek doesn't make games as it is, they make tech demos.

Re:NOOOOO! (0, Redundant)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230053)

Crytek doesn't make games as it is, they make tech demos.

Yeah but there really cool tech demos.

What about a ban... (3, Funny)

Criceratops (981909) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230057)

... on violent German regimes?

Or a ban on violently bad singers. That could kill off their Hasselhoff hassle.

Re:What about a ban... (4, Insightful)

ILoveCrack83 (1244964) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230073)

But let us be honest. The people ruling that country now, do not even know what you are talking about. The whole world needs to grow up instead of looking for a scape goat.

Re:What about a ban... (3, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230321)

The whole world needs to grow up instead of looking for a scape goat.

Everytime the world tries to grow up in one area it takes a step back in ways we already had correctly. It really just needs a happy medium on all levels.

Re:What about a ban... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230649)

I'm for abolishing the position of the minister of the interior, those guys seem to be the source of all censorship efforts.

Re:What about a ban... (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230721)

... on violent German regimes?

If your nation still felt like it needed to save face after one of the most psychotic and destructive people in modern times lead it via propaganda into committing the Holocaust, you might be a little uncomfortable with any media which might possibly have a negative influence on your population, no matter how slight or unproven that chance is.

Crytek (5, Interesting)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230079)

Hopefully they do leave Germany one of the things that annoyed me about Crysis is that the Koreans didn't respond to dead bodies. In Crysis you can't move dead bodies because it is against the law or some foolishness in Germany. Instead the bodies just disappeared after a little while

Re:Crytek (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230101)

Yeah, but if they leave Germany, do you really think all the devs are going to follow? They'll end up with an entirely new team making games on the old IP, and it won't be the same.

Hopefully, the politicians behind this get some sort of backlash from their constituents, and back down.

Re:Crytek (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230885)

Hopefully they do leave Germany one of the things that annoyed me about Crysis is that the Koreans didn't respond to dead bodies.

That is such a surreal quote.

I thought it had something to do with their last president taking a jump of a cliff and nobody passing any new laws to prevent ex-presidents from committing suicide.

Re:Crytek (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#28231099)

Hopefully they do leave Germany

I don't know about Crytek, but if I finish my studies in 2-3 years and the situation hasn't changed considerably for the better by then (not just games, there a plenty of other issues too), I'll emigrate. This threshold has been crossed ~1 year ago.

Crytek.de (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230107)

FUD - there is no word in TFA about Crytek being forced to outsource or similar - you know, banning sales != banning development.
(Also, Germany produces lots of real world weapons for export only... )

Re:Crytek.de (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230369)

banning sales != banning development.

True, but banning development == banning development. FTFS:

.

[...]ask the Bundestag (Germany's equivalent of Parliament) to ban the production and distribution of violent video games.

Re:Crytek.de (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#28231129)

(Also, Germany produces lots of real world weapons for export only... )

Oh, so that's why their army only uses slings and pointy sticks ? I always wondered about that.
(duh)

Godwin's law... (2, Insightful)

mail2345 (1201389) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230125)

Just got proven again with the tags. Is 10 min a new record? Anyway, what do they mean by violent? "Violent" could be twisted into a lot of things.

Re:Godwin's law... (0, Offtopic)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230177)

Godwin's law just proven again with the tags.

When somebody calls someone a Nazi because they're restricting something, isn't that just a reference to the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld? I mean, I might call the clerk at Borders a book nazi if she yells at me for reading a book for half an hour "for free." I don't really think she's anything like a Nazi. So does this really count as Godwin's law?

Sorry for being a little off topic.

Re:Godwin's law... (1)

Anzya (464805) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230817)

Yes that counts as Godwin's law.

If the clerk also said that she hates you because you are a jew, that you should be killed, that the Aryan should rule the earth (you know, the Swedes, the Danes, the Norwegian and the Indians) and that only those of pure blood should be allowed to read books then you could have called her a book nazi without invoking Godwin's law.

Calling anyone a nazi when they don't support any of the nazi ideas will make it possible to invoke Godwin's law

Re:Godwin's law... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230661)

It gets defined by a bunch of old farts who hate freedom even more than kids on their lawn so it's going to be as broad as possible.

Re:Godwin's law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230975)

Godwin's Law can go suck my Nazi cock!

Recession...not? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230143)

Hey we're really hurting on the economy, let's ban the idiots that dare run a successful business and bring needed tax revenue in! That'l fix the situation! How dare you try and run a business that may offend people in some way!

Re:Recession...not? (3, Insightful)

koreaman (835838) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230231)

Gay marriage redux?

In my opinion, it's the same issue. Self-righteous moral assholes trying to interfere with our private lives, to the detriment of everyone affected and sometimes even to everyone not directly affected (by reducing the economy...)

Re:Recession...not? (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230295)

No kidding, this is a travesty against Crytek. We'll have to get the tech demos our systems will never run from someplace else now!

Dumb Meets Dumber (1, Troll)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230575)

Hey we're really hurting on the economy, let's ban the idiots that dare run a successful business and bring needed tax revenue in!

The economic argument is a boneheaded tactical blunder.

It is the argument the tobacco company makes. The pornographer.

There is no business practice so corrupt and debased that hasn't been defended the same way.

The economic argument fails on the facts.

The Wii is the best selling console platform.

The Wii could all its M rated titles - and it would remain the best selling console platform. The most popular items in Wii. Updated hourly. [amazon.com]

The ultra violent action game doesn't hold that strong a position even in the PC market. The most popular items in PC Games. Updated hourly. [amazon.com]

Re:Dumb Meets Dumber (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#28231143)

The ultra violent action game doesn't hold that strong a position even in the PC market. The most popular items in PC Games. Updated hourly.

Problem is, the German government's definition of "ultra violent video games" varies from the one most people have. We all know about Beckstein comparing the uncensored version of Counter Strike to child pornography...or the censorship of Half Life (1). And the German rating organization (the USK) is a puppet organization controlled by politicians like that - just take a look at what they do: even a lot of T-rated games are rated 16+ or 18+ in Germany, just because you use a gun to kill your enemies.

On a semi-related note, has anybody else already noticed how these pesky USK signs on the boxes seem to grow lately? They almost claim a whole quarter of the front for them...well, just another reason why buying games in German or Austrian shops is a very bad idea (which is a bad idea anyways thanks to prices and taxes). Too good that it isn't like that in the USA.

Re:Recession...not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230595)

This reminds me... I read sometime ago that the porn industry in Los Angeles was suffering and was seeking a $5B bail-out from the government. They said that they contribute billions of dollars to the economy and have a right to be saved, just like the insurance and car companies. What happened to that?

And what about the very successful tobacco companies? Some governments (notably the US government) are practically running them to the ground with all these smoking restrictions. Since they contribute so much to the economy, they totally do not deserve this treatment, following that logic.

Free Speech? Really? Best Defense? (5, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230159)

While I admire everyone's knee jerk reaction to defend video games via free speech I think this method of defense is inherently idiotic.

If someone came up to me and accused me of murder I wouldn't base my case on freedom of privacy. I would hope my lawyer could simply disprove the actual charges against me.

Fighting these sorts of things largely on free speech seems to imply that that video games are actually responsible for some sort of mayhem but should be protected anyway. They aren't dangerous. They don't pose a public threat and they shouldn't even be charged as such let alone 'allowed' to exist in spite of these accusations.

People need to educate the voting public that the 12 year old next to them on the laughing and bragging about how he shot a rifle through someone's head yesterday and made it explode isn't a deraged lunatic.

Video games out of context sound insane and dangerous. This is largely an educational problem which needs a good PR campaign. It's easier to defend something which people understand and like than it is to fight an abstract constitutional battle about the conflict between freedom and public well being.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230187)

> Video games out of context sound insane and dangerous

Mod parent up.
I've been dealing with this for years and didn't even realize it... 0_o

Re:Free Speech? Really? Best Defense? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230205)

People need to educate the voting public that the 12 year old next to them on the laughing and bragging about how he shot a rifle through someone's head yesterday and made it explode isn't a deraged lunatic.

Oblig. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Free Speech? Really? Best Defense? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230391)

It is true that free speech may not be the best defense of video games, but it may be the most effective. Here is why. If the actions of video games and tv shows can incite people to violent acts, then why not the direct statements or commands of radio personalities. This is why we have so much sex and violence on TV and video games. The liberals are generally not going to back massive restrictions of free speech because censorship is not currently the big liberal issue. It may have been, but now liberals have taken on the issue of fairness, which implies balanced free speech. Likewise, conservatives are not going to go for the idea that images and language incites violence because much of the communication system is based on the idea that we can say anything because it is only speech. In this world it is ok for Rush to equate Somali Pirates to American urban youth [thebostonchannel.com]. It is ok for to hate a group of people and hope they all get sick an die [guardian.co.uk]. It is ok for to disrespect the veterans of this countries wars, support a poll tax that the courts found unconstitutional, and support flogging and public executions of the type that was inflicted on Jesus Christ. One might assume she thinks that people who did the later deserve a medal. [washingtonmonthly.com]

Certainly all those thoughts are legitimately expressed in the United States, even though many of these shows occur at times when young children would be expected to listen. We assume that these are just words, and hearing that gay people should be punished, or that Lutheran doctors might deserve to be murdered are just words and will not effect them. This is the same logic we use to support the distribution of other content that reasonable people might find objectionable. Of course merely being objectionable does not make it subject to regulation. We may not agree that shooting police in a video games is acceptable, or verbally promoting the murder of large groups of people based on superficial characteristics, or limited opposition speech, but that does not mean we can regulate it

Of course Germany has a history of hate speech escalating to mass murder, so they have different tolerance to such entertainment

Re:Free Speech? Really? Best Defense? (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230493)

If someone came up to me and accused me of murder I wouldn't base my case on freedom of privacy. I would hope my lawyer could simply disprove the actual charges against me.

I would hope so, being as arguing privacy in a murder case is purely idiotic; the two things aren't even related. That said, if their case was based on a confession they tortured out of you I would hope to hell you made very sure your lawyer argued 8th/5th Amendment violations. Vigorously. It wouldn't be the only thing he argued because that's just not how court cases work, but it should undoubtedly be the core of the defense. If people are doing something they're not allowed to do, the merits by which they justify their actions matter very little to whether or not they should be made to stop.

Fighting these sorts of things largely on free speech seems to imply that that video games are actually responsible for some sort of mayhem but should be protected anyway.

I disagree. I think it says "mind your own damn business." In a free society, you shouldn't need to defend yourself if you're not doing anything wrong. I don't need to get into 75-page treatises of the psychology of adolescent minds or cite studies regarding prolonged exposure to violence if "I can make it, you can not buy it. Shut the fuck up" is a perfectly valid response. If I'm looking to change those peoples' minds, then maybe I'll do so. If I'm trying to get them off my back, I don't see a reason to waste time and breath making an unnecessary argument that, in all likelihood, will fall on deaf ears anyway.

The people making these arguments fall into two camps: The ones convinced that they're right and the ones taking advantage of the ones who are convinced that they're right. Which groups' minds are you hoping to change?

It is a free speech issue, without a doubt. Personally I think it's more important to try to get these people to realize they can't simply run roughshod over anything they disapprove of than specifically defending violent video games.

Re:Free Speech? Really? Best Defense? (3, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#28231041)

I'm a grown up, the things I read, watch or play are my problem and my problem alone. If they were talking about banning games for kids, we could take another angle and argue over the influence of videogames. I'm an adult, I don't want to be considered like an irresponsible that will go on rampage because he watched Terminator or played Far Cry 2...

People don't want to believe in bad people (5, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230161)

People don't want to believe in bad people. Lets face it, some people are just rotten. It wasn't video games, it wasn't the comic books, or the rock music. Maybe something caused it other then nature, but if that's the case, I'm sure it was exposure to a lot of lead or a head injury that damaged a specific portion of the head during early childhood.

Until we realize that some people are rotten, and everybody is responsible for themselves, we're going to continue to creating stupid laws that make the word a worse place to live in.

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (3, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230251)

People don't want to believe in bad people? This thread is inherently Godwinned, so I can point out that A. Hitler enjoyed popular support until it became evident that the war was lost. People wanted to believe in him, even elected him Chancellor, because he promised them solutions. Yete nobody wanted to analyze what those solutions entailed.

It wasn't until after the war was over that you couldn't find even a single person who had ever supported him.

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230393)

You misunderstood "don't want to believe in bad people" part.

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230471)

You mean that people didn't know that he was a bad person? Mein Kampf was published in 1925. Plenty of time for people to figure out that he wasn't worth believing in. But they wanted to.

Whoa, you missed the parents point COMPLETELY (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230859)

His point was that people don't want to believe that some people are just rotten. Your godwinned example would then have to be "Some people just don't want to believe Hitler was just really a bad guy and keep looking for excuses for his actions and how he was so misunderstood and nobody gave him hugs".

This is roughly the problem in europe. We keep lowering jail sentences because punishing people don't work and keep giving hugs and finding excuses for peoples actions. It don't work either because the sad thing is, some people are just rotten. Rotten because they decided their needs are of more importance then anybody else. That they are entitled and nobody else is.

These german ministers are refusing to accept these shooters are just ammoral scum who would have killed no matter what because they simply don't care about anyone. No ban on anything (except guns) is going to stop them. You MIGHT be able to cure them, but only when you allow society to forcibly treat people who have not yet committed any crime. Kinda risky for a politician to suggest.

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (1)

Anzya (464805) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230883)

Hitler also said that people are good at discerning the small white lies because everyone does it. The big whoppers are much harder because nobody thinks anyone would lie about something like that.

Oh, and the solutions he promised weren't about genocide. He simply promised a better economy and bringing back Germany to above and beyond what it was before WWI.
The German people where starting to get desperate after years of oppression due to the surrender conditions after WWI.
The allies from WWI are also to blame for Hitler being able to take control. By placing all the fault on the Germans you simply repeats the errors of WWI.

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (5, Insightful)

eiMichael (1526385) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230339)

Right, people just come out of the womb stabbing and biting everything in sight. Stop blaming shit on genetics just because it frees you of responsibility for your community. Worst case they have some testosterone production issue that makes them more aggressive, but even that doesn't make them rotten.

Putting some teenager into murderer/rapist/assault prison for smoking a particular plant is rotten. Having to leave children at home unsupervised because both parents must work just to get paid minimum wage and can't afford proper child care is rotten. Calling other people rotten to free yourself of any responsibility for what happens on this planet is rotten. Grow up.

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230479)

So, you don't believe people can be developmentally disabled, they're just not educated right when they're kids? Are you stupid or something? If one brain malfunction can be genetic, why in the hell can't another one?

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (2, Insightful)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230447)

More like people don't want to believe in complex problems that require a lot of attention and might not be possible to solve completely. They want simple solutions like banning violent games or installing metal detectors in schools.

As for lead poisoning or head injuries being a major cause: that's a pretty weird guess. How about constant bullying combined by a (possibly in part genetic) antisocial personality and a tendency towards revenge. With some neglect from their environment these kids might not have the coping mechanisms some others do and violent games show an example for how to handle these situations.

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230629)

Let's assume you're correct in saying some people are just rotten. Now what?

We need to get a Rotten Detector, then round the rotten people up and let them (pardon the pun) rot in jail. That's certainly better than creating stupid laws!

*makes quick phone call*

I just called Brookstone.... the rotten detector is out of stock!

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230709)

Kinda like how people won't accept that some children are just born stupid and it's not the fault of the teachers that they can't grasp basic arithmetic. Politicians seem to believe that stupid children are solely the fault of the educational system. They're not, not everybody is born equally capable. Some are just plain dumb and won't learn not to shit in their pants until fifth grade (these days it's apparently considered a sign of high intelligence when a child learned that before entering kindergarten, a decade ago it was seen as mandatory). I regularly hear work stories from a person who works in a kindergarten and the amount of stupidity is seriously increasing.

Though I wouldn't say the shooters were born rotten, they often grew up in an environment where everybody hates or abuses them which obviously is going to build up pressure and hatred within them. Of course dealing with the real problem is too hard for politicians so they'd ratherban something at random (and then act surprised when the next shooting rampage happens).

Re:People don't want to believe in bad people (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230955)

I agree. When I read the proposal to do so, I wanted to kill these banded group. I thought they were bandits for doing so and should be shot. So proposing these bans is clearly dangerous, so they should ban the banded bandits to do the banning.

(And I must be shot for one of the worst puns in history)

Great Economic Move (1)

carlzum (832868) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230183)

In exchange for some pre-election posturing they're willing to eliminate jobs in one of the few growing industries. Not only does it discourage today's game publishers from investing in Germany, they also lose out on the new companies that spring up around the talent they're forcing out of the country.

You know who else... (0, Offtopic)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230193)

You know who else destroyed civil liberties by taking advantage of the paranoid fears of the citizenry?

I'm referring to the Bush Administration, of course.

Rob

Re:You know who else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230379)

You know who else destroyed civil liberties by taking advantage of the paranoid fears of the citizenry?

I can name quite a few American presidents who curtailed individual liberty. Let us start with John Adams, who enacted the Alien and Sedition Act, restricting the right to free speech..

Next, let us move on to, I don't know, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, arrested legislators, journalists, etc. that he didn't agree with, and basically acted like a dictator for the duration of the Civil War. He gave us the income tax (then unconstitutional).

Moving forward in history, we can choose a plethora of presidents. McKinley engaged in a war of conquest and colonization with Spain, resulting in the American occupation of the Philippines and the brutal suppression of its independence movement. Let us not forget the conquest of Guam and Puerto Rico.

Getting closer to the modern era, we have geniuses like Franklin Roosevelt who packed the courts such that they ruled that a farmer, growing crops on his own farm for his own consumption, selling none of it, can still have Federal regulations apply stipulating all sorts of things about what he can and cannot grow, how much of it, etc. etc.

Harry Truman started the modern trend of the president going to war without the approval of Congress. He also tried, but thankfully failed, to nationalize all the steel mills.

I need not mention the abuses of power under Dubya. I would like to add, however, that I don't really see Obama doing anything to repeal the last 8 years' worth of crap.

The True Sad Fact of this (2, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230211)

Pretty much any game made now days could be considered violent, any game that you use a gun or weapon to attack something else. Hell even C&C could and games in that area since they have you trin to destroy the enemy.

Re:The True Sad Fact of this (2, Insightful)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230235)

Show me a game that can't be painted as violent, and I'll show you Solitaire.

Re:The True Sad Fact of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230327)

When that guy in solitaire winks at me, I get filled with Homophobic RAGE!

Re:The True Sad Fact of this (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230329)

Ah, Solitaire. The second biggest waste of times since un-metered internet connections. At least they might ban Minesweeper!

Re:The True Sad Fact of this (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230611)

Depends. Most traditional card deck artwork has the King of Hearts committing suicide by impaling himself through the head with his sword. I noticed when testing this that Vista's Solitaire game came with a whole new set of deck themes that doesn't show this (they replaced all the kings weapons with scepters even on the classic deck theme), but the vast majority of Solitaire games will.

I wonder if Microsoft's removal of the weapons had anything to do with the violence aspect or if it was simply an artwork decision. I kinda suspect the former, because honestly it seems contradictory to me to have a "Classic" artwork them for the cards but then to change up the artwork styles that have been in place for centuries.

Re:The True Sad Fact of this (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230663)

I dunno, people can get pretty violent when they get themselves into an unwinnable situation.

Ban games = no more shootings? (1)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230215)

I have to wonder how this idea makes sense to any rational person who stops and thinks about it. Ban violent videogames to eliminate violence.

It's nothing but election-year grandstanding. You see it just about everywhere, and it likely won't be long until politicians in other countries take up equally extreme/ridiculous measures in order to keep their seats.

fine ban them... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230281)

... BUT the if there is another shooting, they have remburse the video game industry for lost sales and revoke the law. after all you can' throw down that video games cause shootings and claim otherwise when another one happens.

Wrong, next up piracy (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230305)

After all where did the shooters get their illegal ideas? Must have been from the evil interwebz ... queue lockdown in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ...

Mind Does Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230287)

Guess what - what you think does matter... Unfortunately, as carnivores, extreme violence is normal.. Should ultra-violent video games be banned? no.. regulated, yes. Like p*rn is, er or was..

Basically, there is nothing to say that our current way of doing things now is stable or leads to desirable results..

Why not ban TV? (3, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230319)

Not for the violent tv-shows, movies etc ...

No, I'm not going to go along those lines - that's just adding to the fire of "ban violent [something]", and we haven't seen any good studies showing a link between virtual and real violence.

However, we HAVE seen how effective TV, radio and movie theaters are in turning a population against others, raising support for horrible behaviour, war ... lots of other stuff.

It's actually documented in Germany's own history [wikipedia.org]. Yes, I almost Godwin'ed myself, but in this case it's quite relevant, even though it is slightly trollish.

Re:Why not ban TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230423)

Because the politicians need TV to get popular. They don't need video games.

Re:Why not ban TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230697)

I know a lot of people here in Germany who, like me, do not have a TV at home. Unthinkable for some, but it's normal here. Banning TV here will definitely cause a stir, but it won't be as big as it will be in other countries, notably USA and Japan.

Televisions here are mainly used to watch the news and football. I watch neither, so I don't feel the need to get me one.

They're just bitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230333)

Because they always get their asses kicked and all the doublya-doublya-two shooters keep reminding them about it. THEY WERE ALL ON VACATION!

Every election the same farce (3, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230349)

Really, this is supposed to be the fabled "democracy" ancient greeks thought up? Oh no, wait. We've transformed that into a PR farce that every four years proves how rotten the people at the top are. Your votes don't matter. They are merely a numeral representation of how much you "don't" have to say. Lies, populism and ignorant phrase flinging wherever you look. None of this will matter AFTER the election that's why everything they tried to introduce lately was meant to be established before voters aren't important again. Look at our ministry of family and health. They neglected their resort for 3 1/2 years and all of a sudden when the election goes into the confrontation phase they start tossing around stuff like "DNS filters" and "address filtering" against alleged child pornography. All of which could be removed through application of existing laws but since they chose to balance the budget by cutting funds to investigators and connecting departments they now have to start flapping their arms REAALLY fast.

Politicians are lying pricks that are always a couple of decades behind when it comes to reality. Unfortunately this generalization stands to be disproven for all of the major parties in my country. They can't stop anyone from selling these games to me and if they do I'll personally book a cheap ticket to one of our less ridiculous neighboring countries. Other than that I or someone else will sue at the surpreme court that no government can tell an adult tax payer what to watch or what to play. Not unless they give up all their ludicrous make-belief jobs. This will all die down when these shit elections are finally over. Remember: Vote Pirate!

Re:Every election the same farce (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230467)

Really, this is supposed to be the fabled "democracy" ancient greeks thought up?

There were quite a few things different in Greek democracy. One among them was the fact that decisions were taken by direct voting of the assembly of citizens (no representatives). Another was that there was no limit whatsoever on the power of such an assembly - it could vote anything in. In practice, this lead to some interesting side effect - it happened sometimes that a skilled orator could convince the assembly to vote in a particular way on an important issue, and that would go horribly wrong once enacted. In that case, the next assembly could well vote to condemn the same man to death for misleading them...

Re:Every election the same farce (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#28231125)

Really, this is supposed to be the fabled "democracy" ancient greeks thought up? Oh no, wait. We've transformed that into a PR farce that every four years proves how rotten the people at the top are.

Democracy worked for the ancient Greeks for a certain period of time purely because, for
that period of time, the ancient Greeks weren't a degenerate society. They were also
probably the only human society that has yet existed, which were not degenerate, and they weren't able to maintain that degree of sociological integrity for very long, either.

Contemporary America, in particular, is an utterly degenerate society. Civic
responsibility in any form is a completely alien concept. The three primary activities
engaged in are working probably 14 hours a day, being preoccupied on what Paris Hilton,
Britney Spears, or "Brangelina," are doing this week, or working on a continually
worsening obesity problem.

The system only works if you work the system. Virtually nobody does, and that's why it
doesn't work. The only people in contemporary politics, for the most part, are those who want power over others. Nobody else really cares.

Pointless legislation is pointless. (5, Interesting)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230421)

They can't control the production and sales of games OUTSIDE of Germany. People who want them will just order them from elsewhere. What are they going to do, make it ILLEGAL to own games like that? Stupid and pointless. They should spend their time and energy solving REAL problems.

Re:Pointless legislation is pointless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230719)

Fact: they already have made it illegal to own games like that!

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/08/04/german-video-game-laws-explained

*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230529)

Germany is not a computer games-fixated country. More kids here would rather play football than computer games, and the computer gamers don't play violent games exclusively. This proposal therefore affects only a very small minority.

I guess it's the principle of the matter that's getting into the nerves of many. If they ban violent computer games now, who says they won't ban other things in the future? But really, banning one thing doesn't always lead to a ban on others. As an example, doing the Hitler salute is banned here in Munich since like forever, and that restriction of freedom has not led to other restrictions of freedom.

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230551)

in a related story, jack thompson has allegedly begun studying german.

obvious (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28230605)

Why are they being a bunch of nazis about this?

Germany has a problem with democracy (4, Informative)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#28230819)

German law is full of such bizarre restrictions on freedom.

For example, in addition to the usual laws against slander and libel (which have some justification), Germany has laws and penalties for insulting someone, even in private and even if you don't state anything factually wrong.

Germany also has laws against any speech which might "disturb the public peace" or offend. What's the point of having free speech if you can't offend anybody? Didn't opposition to the monarchy or Hitler offend someone? Didn't Luther's 100 theses nailed to the Catholic church door offend the church?

There is essentially no anonymous speech, since all communications ports need to be registered and all electronic communications are tracked and logged. Registration, tracking, and surveillance of citizens in Germany seems to be so widespread that people don't even care anymore and just think it's the same way everywhere. People have the attitude that "as long as the government does it, it's OK, at least we aren't like the US, where Google tracks everybody", which is a bizarre view given Germany's history.

And it's not just the government that does it: some of Germany's biggest corporations have been illegally listening in on employees and customers and even forged communications.

It has to be said that Germany's government currently appears to be using its powers for benign purposes: policing, anti-terrorism, etc. But if parts of the government were abusing those powers, say to blackmail political opponents, who would know? And you only need to look at the 1930's to see how a progressive and liberal German government can turn into a genocidal regime bent on world conquest.

Somehow, the idea of "free speech" seems to have gotten lost in the translation after the Western allies laid the foundations for German democracy after WWII.

Like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28231137)

Like "Hunt for Wikileaks"?

Or do they mean only games they do not play themselves?

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