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Switzerland Pursues Violent Games Ban

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the brutal-crackdown-on-violence dept.

Censorship 276

BanjoTed writes "We hear lots about the issues facing violent games in Australia, but the anti-games bandwagon is gathering pace closer to home — in Switzerland, to be precise. The Swiss government is gearing up to consider a total ban on mature games in the country."

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Er... (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196142)

"We hear lots about the issues facing violent games in Australia, but the anti-games bandwagon is gathering pace closer to home — in Switzerland, to be precise."

Are you sure you don't live in Austria?

Re:Er... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196710)

No Kangaroos in Austria

Re:Er... (2, Funny)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196768)

Not true. There are some at the Vienna zoo.

Please send me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196146)

a free packet of Swiss Miss Cocoa, thank you.

I'm Australian you instensitive clod!!! (5, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196160)

This isn't closer to home for me:P~~~~

Re:I'm Australian you instensitive clod!!! (1)

aiht (1017790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196556)

:P~~~~

Why are you drooling?
(I'm Australian too, btw)

Re:I'm Australian you instensitive clod!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196854)

Lebanon isn't very far from Switzerland.

I can understand banning games (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196162)

Some games are really bad, whether it be egregious content or age-inappropriate content.

But there's no need to get violent about it. A normal rational games ban would work just as well as a violent games ban.

Re:I can understand banning games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196276)

If you had a real identity I'd kill you.

Re:I can understand banning games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196284)

As a swiss I think that ban isn't solving the problem. We still have a conscription army which hands out an assault rifle to every male citizen over the age of 20.

Re:I can understand banning games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196332)

Yeah but it's not like if they weren't doing anything against this problem, they already started getting the ammo back from the citizen. And so fare only 100'000 of the citizens have disappeared with their ammo.... I feel more secure now! ^^

Re:I can understand banning games (2, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197014)

Not really an issue, since anyone with a clean criminal record can purchase as much ammo as one wants.

Re:I can understand banning games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196286)

As a Swiss citizen I can firmly say I have no strong feelings on the subject whatsoever

Re:I can understand banning games (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196304)

Neither for nor against? I suppose we could say you were ambivalent.

Re:I can understand banning games (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196828)

From Wikipedia:

The word "ambivalent" derives from the Latin prefix ambi, meaning "both" and valence which is derived from the Latin valentia, meaning "strength". It is common to use the word "ambivalent" to describe a lack of feelings one way or the other towards issues or circumstances. A more specific and conventionally accepted word to use in this case, however, would be "indifferent". A good way to remember proper usage is to remember that the prefix ambi means "both", so if you are "ambivalent", you have both positive and negative feelings towards something, or have feelings for both sides of an issue.

Re:I can understand banning games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197034)

From Wikipedia:

A pedant is a person who is overly concerned with formalism and precision.

Re:I can understand banning games (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197064)

Wow, you've changed my life! I suppose we could say that you've souffled it! I mean, you'd know what I meant, right?

Re:I can understand banning games (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196382)

Couldn't you at least come up with an analogy?

Re:I can understand banning games (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196418)

No, this is about games which show certain patterns of flashing light (as opposed to those which show other patterns of flashing light). You see, some patterns of flashing light actually physically injure people (violence), so these patterns must be banned. It's no different than someone punching you on the street or shooting you with a gun, if you think about it.

Re:I can understand banning games (4, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196812)

Why do they not ban all films, books, and CDs with content unsuitable for children as well?

Slipperly slope (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196170)

If as an adult you let the government treat you like a child, remember what happened to you as a child when you "said something mommy and daddy didn't like".

Re:Slipperly slope (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196178)

remember what happened to you as a child when you "said something mommy and daddy didn't like

All those years of expensive therapy for naught...

Thanks, asshole.

Re:Slipperly slope (1)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196492)

Strangely enough, nobody screamed outrage when bans against games, graphics, etc. depicting child-p*rn were brought in...

So - where do you draw the line in which crimes should be 'legal' as game subjects, and which ones should not be?

Personally, I am somewhat sympathetic towards banning acts considered serious crimes in real life from being the subject of a game (by which I mean games requiring players to act out these types of crimes).

On the other hand - the games industry is a bit lazy as well - obviously, for them it's less of an 'intellectual leap' releasing one first person shooter after another, with graphics becoming ever more spectacular (and gruesome)... Why aren't we seeing any games manufacturer try for a push in games that aren't quite as destructive?

Re:Slipperly slope (3, Funny)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196790)

Because I want to blow shit up...

Re:Slipperly slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196834)

Oh you are?
How about reading a book about a murderer?
Or watching a tv show based on that? (YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH)

Should that be illegal too, since, tough it's fiction, it's still illegal?
Or is it only okay if the "bad guy" is doing it, and we shouldn't feel sympathetic for him in the first place?

Wait, that would still leave out batman.

Re:Slipperly slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197124)

It's your opinion that is lazy. You obviously don't actually know much about games, so why bother typing out your crude opinions? In case you don't know what I mean I'll do your research for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_Wii_video_games. Yes that would be a list of the best selling video games on the best selling platform. The industry is diverse, but those with an axe to grind obviously choose not to see it.

A great sign! (4, Funny)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196190)

With this focus by Swiss leadership on the dubious social dangers of simulated violence, we can at least take heart knowing they've found solutions to all other social issues with demonstrated negative impacts.

I'm so happy to live in a world with such pragmatic leaders. We can always count on politicians for intellectually honest debate of issues and good faith efforts to fix the problems they can.

So nice to sleep easy knowing that representatives the world over don't let themselves get bogged down in baseless populist hysteria or abuse the power they're given to manipulate economies such that wealth is redistributed to their buddies.

I don't know what we'd do without our honest, hard working politicians. May your silver spoons never tarnish, you captains of hypocrisy.

Re:A great sign! (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196538)

Well Swiss politicians like to be re-elected. If you don't like what they are doing you can elect someone else, or make it clear to the current bunch that they might not be re-elected if they bring in stupid laws. There is a pirate party in Switzerland which opposes this law: http://piraten-partei.ch/ [piraten-partei.ch] supporting them might make the currently elected politicians think again, or get them replaced eventually.

Re:A great sign! (1)

CisJokey (1625407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197104)

Additionaly, changes in our swiss law (if they apply it to the whole country) have to be approved by the whole population, because we are used to do direct democracy (sad to say we also vote for stupid things, you know).

Part of a general pattern (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196198)

Switzerland has very little regard for free speech. Very little regard for things that are unpopular or disliked and has an aging, reactionary voter base. Frankly, I got far more worked up over the ban on minarets that they enacted last year. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/world/europe/30swiss.html [nytimes.com] That was a much more serious violation of basic rights. This? This is small potatoes.

Re:Part of a general pattern (5, Informative)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196314)

Switzerland has very little regard for free speech. Very little regard for things that are unpopular or disliked and has an aging, reactionary voter base.

Aaaaah Switzerland, this famous dictatorship... And you are supporting these claims how? Because I happen to live in that country but it doesn't seem to be the country you are describing. Free speech? Very little regard for things that are unpopular or disliked? What the hell are you talking about exactly? Do you have examples that make Switzerland stand out of the crowd of European countries? Agreed, the ban on minarets is not exactly the vote we can be most proud of. I would just like to point to the fact that Switzerland is no different from other European countries in that regard as was demonstrated by numerous polls in Europe following this particularly infamous vote. Also on votes asking whether or not to put a cap on immigration, the Swiss people have constantly voted no (there was several votes on this question since the 70s) and we have also accepted to embrace bilateral agreements with the EU and extend those agreements to the new EU members from Eastern Europe so I don't really see more reactionary voters than in any other western country. The only difference is probably that pretty much everything goes into a public vote and is hence very visible.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

Tempete (964394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196530)

I think that's what he meant by "very little regard for things that are unpopular or disliked".

You point out the polls that show other European countries also don't want Minarets around, but I'm not aware of them being illegal in any of those countries. Just because it's unpopular there doesn't mean it should be banned - he's just arguing against the direct democracy in your system.

Re:Part of a general pattern (3, Informative)

biovoid (785377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196752)

The ban on minarets was based on a vote of the public on that specific issue. The Swiss people decided on this issue. You may not agree with the result, but at least the Swiss have the ability to vote on specific issues, as opposed to most other so called "democracies", where the only control the individual has is on electing a representative. In other words, your "democracy" is really just a democratic republic.

Re:Part of a general pattern (5, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197076)

Pure democracy is called "tyranny of the majority" for a reason.

Re:Part of a general pattern (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197116)

Over here in California we have a more direct democracy and it results in tyranny of the majority.

Re:Part of a general pattern (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196560)

Also on votes asking whether or not to put a cap on immigration, the Swiss people have constantly voted no

gahahaha your majority party got elected by literally running a campaign on anti-immigration.

like, one of their campaing ads was straight up a bunch of white cartoon sheep pushing a black one off of switzerland.

Re:Part of a general pattern (3, Interesting)

biovoid (785377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196774)

Your ignorance of the Swiss political system is evident. Parties have very little impact on these issues. Do some research before making completely unfounded responses.

Politics of Switzerland [wikipedia.org]

Re:Part of a general pattern (3, Informative)

Radtoo (1646729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196594)

Agreed. Free speech is not really in danger in switzerland:

Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index 2009 [rsf.org]

Freedom house [freedomhouse.org]

I'm sure you can find more evidence if you care enough.

Whether a human right has been dented with the minaret law is (potentially) still to be determined by some court. But I think it would sure be a tough case for the court. Determining whether towers in certain shapes can't be prohibited by a democratic and fair election isn't easy by itself, I bet. Add to that that these towers are not necessary, but only somewhat (modern-)symbolic for a certain religion...

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196388)

Switzerland has very little regard for free speech. Very little regard for things that are unpopular or disliked and has an aging, reactionary voter base. Frankly, I got far more worked up over the ban on minarets that they enacted last year. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/world/europe/30swiss.html [nytimes.com] That was a much more serious violation of basic rights. This? This is small potatoes.

How's not being allowed to build a tower (or four) a violation of human rights ? God won't listen if you've got a flat roof ? This is much more serious since these games are played in the confines of your own home by adults not bothering anyone else.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196408)

Also, women in Switzerland didn't had the right to vote until as late as 1971. They are also possibly the only country in the world - and certainly the only one in Europe - where car racing is banned. They introduced that law in 1955 after Le Mans disaster [wikipedia.org] and it's still in place.

Re:Part of a general pattern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196480)

Switzerland has very little regard for free speech.

I am Swiss, and I don't agree with you. Besides, I fail to understand the relation between violent games and free speech. You must be American.

By the way, as a father of four, I gladly welcome any measure reducing the exposure of my kids to violent games. Just like I don't care if they are sometimes exposed to nudity. Again, I am not American...

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196534)

Then, loserboy nerd, it's your fucking duty to see to it that they don't get titles meant for ADULTS. As an adult myself, I'm glad if no piece-of-shit kid can buy stuff that is meant for my age group, but this assraping law would make it impossible for adults to buy adult-themed games for the sake of the piece-of-shit kids. Fuck, in Switzerland you cannot buy liquor if you're under 18, do the same for games. Otherwise, ban all liquor in Switzerland and see how long their shitty government lasts.

Re:Part of a general pattern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196574)

I suppose you'd prefer that your children are exposed to real violence instead. With the loss of rights you can be assured they will, either because the people grow a backbone, or because the government isn't satisfied with their mere kingly tax.

As with most laws effecting individual rights, this will serve to oppress legitimate use more than anything. Your unreasonable rules will push your children into finding themselves another male role model, and your naive view of violence will push them to a more enlightened perspective.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197134)

I'm also Swiss, and i disagree with you. If you don't want your kids exposed to violent games, don't buy them violent games. You can already do that today.

This ban will prevent people like me getting my hands on a legal copy of a perfectly normal video game like GTA 4. It will however not prevent your children from getting illegal copies of the game.

Re:Part of a general pattern (2, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196564)

You'll find stupid laws in any country, just because you heard of the minaret ban doesn't mean that's representative of Switzerland. Besides free speech does not mean you can build whatever you want, the minaret ban does not prevent anyone from saying what they want.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196764)

No but it is blatantly discriminatory and unjust, and, like the ban on violent games, follow a pattern of banning anything that the majority dislike without regard to the rights of individuals.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197178)

The minaret ban is perfectly okay - it's a democratic decision to set a sign against a fascist ideology disguised as religion.

It will not prevent Islam from spreading further through Europe and erode our basic values of freedom.

If you're an American, you might not understand what i'm talking about. That's because most of the muslims in America are upper-class immigrants (at least were upper-class in their home countries). While many of those are still muslims, they're not extremist and approach their religion like an educated christian and take everything with a grain of salt.

In Europe, the situation is different. The muslim immigrants here are uneducated and would kill their daughter if she had sex with a non-muslim (happens almost every week in Europe). Up until the Minaret vote, political correctness forbade from speaking about honor killings - luckily, this has now changed.

Re:Part of a general pattern (2, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196676)

I got far more worked up over the ban on minarets that they enacted last year. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/world/europe/30swiss.html [nytimes.com] That was a much more serious violation of basic rights.

Can you name the "basic rights" that are being violated here? Nobody is stopping Muslims in Switzerland from practicing their religion, they are only not allowed to impose it on everyone else in the form of giant rockets (erect penises?) whose only purpose is to promote the said religion. Since they are not even being used for calling for prayer what else is their purpose?

Re:Part of a general pattern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196682)

Switzerland has very little regard for free speech

Sure, because the next thing we strife for are your famous "Free Speech Zones". In fact, if you'd followed the vote over the ban on minarets you'd have seen it was more like our free speech backfired to embarrass us world-wide. Politicians didn't take it seriously enough to argue against, as it was another of the FUD campaigns of our swiss people's party.

It's not flattering. But the people have voted, and we've got to accept that.

Why does this guy get modded informative for spewing utter nonsense?

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

biovoid (785377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196732)

Free speech has nothing to do with it. The ban on minarets was a majority vote. You may agree or disagree with it, but the people voted. Switzerland still remains the most democratic country on the planet. The "democratic republic" of the US, UK and Australia doesn't even come close to the pure democracy that Switzerland strives for.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196798)

Democracy, as most of us understand, does not mean that the majority can do whatever they like without regard to the rights of the minority. It is illegal to be a Christian in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, or to have gay sex in most of Asia. The majority of Germans in the 1930s backed laws discriminating against Jews and Gypsies (a good many were happy with killing them as well). These laws are undoubtedly backed by the majority, but that does not make them right.

Human rights are more important than free speech, and a blatantly religiously discriminatory law is not acceptable.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

biovoid (785377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196956)

Wow. Are you from the US?

Re:Part of a general pattern (3, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196972)

Wait one minute... The majority of Germans back the laws against Jews and Gypsies? Please get real references here....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party [wikipedia.org]

Hitler came into power through a minority. His party never had the majority. The problem was that at that time Hindenburg was vehemently against the Nazi's, but to get a "functioning" government he allowed them to be a government. Think of it as follows in a modern context. Stephen Harper who is in the minority in Canada was allowed to be a government in by the governor general. The catch, and this is where things became dangerous once Hitler's party became the government one of their first acts was to impose absolutism. In a watered down way it was Harpers peroge where he stopped allowing the government to function.

I am not saying Harper is Hitler because he is not. What I am saying is that Harper and Hitler from a political action perspective were very very similar. Once Hitler's party gained full control the propaganda started...

BTW not every German was for Hitler. Neither my mother's family nor my father's family were Hitler supporters (and we are not Jewish either). My mother's parent's were "disabled" and hence were one of the ones who were considered sub-German quality. And my father's parents thought the Nazi's were trouble, they were industrialists my grandfather hated extremists! Though they were scared enough to not say much. As much as people enjoy the rights to free speech, right to demonstrate and a right to a fair trial. In those days you "disappeared".

Re:Part of a general pattern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197090)

I'm so glad someone stood up for this, I read that statement and a little bile rose in my throat.

my grandmother and her family were perfect genetic members of the "great aryan race" in Germany, they could have accepted the benefits given to them by the nazi government, they would have been very comfortable I'm sure but like a large number of Germans they rejected the vile ideas of hitler and his followers and fought against the regime, .They got the hell out of Deutschland as soon as they possibly could!

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196736)

The Mosques in Germany were infamous for getting a building permit for, say, 2 stories and then building a multistory monstrosity and ignoring any local goverment - either eating the fines or ignoring them relying on the Politically correct to shut up any opposition while they go ahead and dominate their neighbors sunlight and skyline.

Can't imagine it was much different in neighboring Switzerland.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196806)

Some members of a group break the law, so you think all members of the group should be discriminated against?

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196904)

No, he thinks they should obey the law just like everybody else has to.

Re:Part of a general pattern (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196896)

As a hopeful soon to be Swiss... I am actually proud of the minaret vote. Not the result because I would have probably voted no. No I am proud of the fact that the Swiss people can vote on these issues. Time and time again I see in other representative democracies votes being made that are only for a small minority of the people. Shall we call them lobbies? When lobbies take over then minorities take over, and then you get the mess called American politics.

The American political system is completely broken because of the lobbies that manage to control individual politicians. Thus those politicians are unable to make decisions since no compromise can be made unless a horse trade is made with the decision.

At least with a direct democracy like the Swiss you get a decision, you might not like it, but its a decision. California while having the direct vote is also an example of a decision. Sure the voters make silly decisions, "yes I want lots of social benefits", "no I don't want to pay for it." Those are decisions, screwed up, but eventually people will see, "oh maybe no benefits or maybe benefits..."

No (1)

duk242 (1412949) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196246)

I like how you refer to Australia as some far away land....

Re:No (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196352)

If you're an American, you can't get much farther away than that. I think the antipode for much of the US is in the South Indian Ocean, somewhat near Australia, might even be the closest populated land if you disregard Antarctica.

Re:No (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196716)

You're right, although as an Australia always think of the US as being only a 'moderate' distance away. Takes me 13-14 hours on a plane to get to LA or San Fran from here. It's almost double that (~23 hours) to get to UK/France etc though. So it seems weird to think of Australia as being 'super far' from the US.

Re:No (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196726)

Oops, I meant "as an Australian, I always think of the US...". /. really needs an edit function.

Re:No (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196436)

Well it is tucked away pretty far "down under" there.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196602)

Stop thinking north is up.

amusing hypocrisy (1)

egokick (1298043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196280)

It's slightly amusing that anyone who disobeys the censor on violent video games will be quickly met with real violence from the very institution supposedly censoring all this violence for peoples safety.

Watch those crime rates climb! (4, Interesting)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196296)

If we look at the youth crime rates in the US, they dropped of precipitously when the PS1 came out and have stayed low compared to previous decades ever since.

If the trend was the same in Switzerland, what happens when you take away that outlet?

Most of the drop in crime likely comes from resolution of boredom, but it probably serves as a panacea for some of the whackjobs out there too.

Re:Watch those crime rates climb! (2, Funny)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196448)

Oh video games, is there any crisis you can't solve [smbc-comics.com] ?

Re:Watch those crime rates climb! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196466)

I agree, I have to fill my daily killing quota somehow, pwning low level noobs in wow has done it for me so far.

Re:Watch those crime rates climb! (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196794)

Hard to believe that this got modded informative, this is total anecdotal evidence. There has been at least one new gaming platform every 2 or 3 years. What is next ? A reply pointing out that the NES was linked to higher crime rates ?

You are bound to find anecdotal evidence if you look hard enough and this is a terrible example.

Re:Watch those crime rates climb! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197142)

See also: http://www.slate.com/id/2152487/ [slate.com] Excerpt:"What happens when a particularly violent movie is released? Answer: Violent crime rates fall. Instantly. Here again, we have a lot of natural experiments: The number of violent movie releases changes a lot from week to week. One weekend, 12 million people watch Hannibal, and another weekend, 12 million watch Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
University of California professors Gordon Dahl and Stefano DellaVigna compared what happens on those weekends. The bottom line: More violence on the screen means less violence in the streets. Probably that's because violent criminals prefer violent movies, and as long as they're at the movies, they're not out causing mischief. They'd rather see Hannibal than rob you, but they'd rather rob you than sit through Wallace & Gromit."

Not just unemployment (2, Insightful)

jbatista (1205630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196306)

I'd like to see this much dedication in governments to other, more serious, forms of violence such as hunger, desease, poverty and (there I say it!?) corruption and unemployment. Yes, I realize banning unemployment is futile (some people are incompetent) but I consider it a vile form of violence against 40-something people when they're too old for employment but too young for retirement. But if they can get it right with some little things, maybe they can figure out how to get it right with bigger, more important things; but that is just a silly dream of mine.

You know where this is going (2, Interesting)

janwedekind (778872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196348)

There are Flash games and soon there will be HTML5 games and then they will be discussing the introduction of internet censorship.

Switzerland is still getting it backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196372)

First, they were okay with the Nazis. Now, they're complaining about games where you kill Nazis. They just can't get it right.

Mod -5: Godwin'd

Closer to home? (3, Insightful)

srjh (1316705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196376)

Some of us are Australian, funnily enough.

Re:Closer to home? (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196434)

Or in my case, a Kiwi living across the ditch.

Re:Closer to home? (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196952)

Bird, fruit or an New Zealander?

Re:Closer to home? (1)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196678)

Shhh don't tell 'em.

"Mature"? (1, Insightful)

Corson (746347) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196380)

"Mature" games? As in, games where the player must kill or rape other otherwise torture other people? Strange definition of maturity...

Re:"Mature"? (4, Informative)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196570)

It's shorthand for "for mature audiences". But you knew that.

Re:"Mature"? (4, Interesting)

mike2R (721965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196674)

He does have a point though - most of what is classified as "mature" in games really only appeals to teenagers. Take the sex scenes in Bioware's DragonAge; speaking as someone in my thirties they are cringe-makingly awful, but I suspect my eighteen year old self would have enjoyed them.

It isn't just games. I recently reread what I remembered as some excellent Sci-Fi books, Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn series. I still like the books, but I found the constant gratuitous sex scenes really got a bit wearing after a while. When I first read them, I found those sections titillating.

Re:"Mature"? (1)

Virak (897071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197088)

Killing isn't torture, though the latter can lead to the former, and rape isn't in itself torture, although it can be used as such. Regardless, very few games require or even allow the player to do any sort of torturing, and rape would be illegal in some countries, banned for sale (but not for possession) in others, and theoretically legal to sell in the rest but practically not due to no store being willing to stock such a game, and thus generally not such a great business decision. Have you ever even played a video game?

Re:"Mature"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197108)

No. Mature in the sense that they have had time to mature. Pong and nethack come as examples.

If you stretch it a bit may be Tetris could apply.

on positive side (5, Informative)

jarkus4 (1627895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196390)

Switzerland has more direct democracy than most countries. Even if the legislation passes parliament, if someone gathers 50k signatures against some law (in 100 days), he can cause national vote on this matter. In this vote all citizens decide whether the law should stay or be rejected. So to get rid of it they just need to convince normal people (and not politicians) that this is a bad idea.

Re:on positive side (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196452)

This is pretty much what I came here to post. Even if the Swiss Govt DOES pull this off the citizens can just deal with it themselves if enough of them care.

Re:on positive side (1)

Baki (72515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196762)

Since more than half of voters are over 65, there is little chance for that.

The direct democracy is just a farce if you ask me. I have lived here for 10 years and I've never seen anything good come from it. The latest painful affair was the prohibition of minarets, which is just a blamage. I'm glad I don't have Swiss nationality or I'd need to be really ashamed for my people.

On the topic, there's still more weapons around here (from the army) than in almost any other country in europe. And often "accidents" happen with these. People shoot for a hobby for real, but just enjoying oneself with a computer game as an adult should be prohibited? It's ridiculous.

Re:on positive side (1)

zarzu (1581721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196808)

very true, any petitions through direct democracy gets shot down most of the time, if they don't it's because they are emotionally rooted and irrational like the ban on minarets or anything concerning child molestation. there's a reason why most countries don't have direct democracy, maybe we will learn some day.

Re:on positive side (1)

Radtoo (1646729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197098)

You're absolutely correct that there's irrational decisions. But you are not really correct in that this is a reason to "not have direct democracy", because our representatives elect are just as irrational as people are. There's quite a lot of documentation on that. Watch some recordings from brain-dead Swiss or US Senate debates (or any other nation that records and publishes its "regular" proceedings). Or perhaps the videos and reports of fighting in the russian / korean / taiwan's / ukraine's / ... etc. parliament - I mean, what could they rationally hope to win by a fist fight?

This is simply a consequence of these representatives being chosen by irrational, emotionally rooted people.

However, I strongly believe direct democracy is a safeguard against despotism, and that it is safe enough with something like a "constitution" and internationally accepted laws as moderating influence. It is a good idea.

Re:on positive side (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197048)

>>I've never seen anything good come from it.

No that is a real study of a political system. Gee I lived in the US, Canada, UK, France, and well I come to the same conclusion its all a farce... Does that mean it's true? Not really...

The direct democratic system works in Switzerland if you understand the Swiss mentality. The minaret vote while people might disagree with the result is an example of a discussion on a topic that most people ignore. Let me throw out another example, gay marriages. I don't care whether there are or are not gay marriages. It's none of my business. However, by tromping on the emotions of people gay marriages have become a stigma of liberalism gone crazy. You are tromping on the rights of conservatives who do not approve of gay marriages. So instead of a having a discussion on gay marriages we have the situation where "human rights" go against the will of the people.

That tromping of the "rights" of the people by a panel of people is what causes extremism to rise. A very good American friend of mine, who is very conservative and religious, said, "you know we could quickly solve this problem if we change how marriages are defined." By allowing gay marriage you are opening the can of worms where the catholic church would have to allow the marriage of people. Thus the solution to this problem is to remove marriages and call them unions from a legal perspective. Thus everybody must appear in front of a local magistrate for their union. However, those that want a marriage can also go to a church... Everybody gets what they want... And my religious friend said, "that would be a good solution..."

BUT NO... You are either for or against gay marriages... Yupe much better debate.

Re:on positive side (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197192)

If the youth doesn't vote, it's their fault. I'm 25 now, and i've voted in every election since i was 18.

Re:on positive side (1)

Kolargol00 (1177651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196722)

Morevoer, the Federal Council is opposed to the two proposed [parlament.ch] bills [parlament.ch] .

Re:on positive side (1)

zarzu (1581721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196778)

that's true, but i can assure you if it comes to a national vote we will not reject something like this, our current voter base is old and conservative.

Re:on positive side (1)

biovoid (785377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196786)

Mod parent up. The so called "democracies" of the UK, US and Australia, which in reality are merely democratic republics, could learn a lot from Switzerland. The only country on the planet that truly represents a democracy of the people.

Re:on positive side (1)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197140)

And with it a tyranny of the majority. Too much lawmaking by referendum and you get nonsense like the minaret ban and California's budget problems.

Stopping virtual violence should take a back seat (1)

Schafer (21060) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196420)

...to preventing real violence. Thank goodness the Swiss are taking care of that too. Soon shrub assault will be a thing of the past as they codify plants' rights [wsj.com] .

Bundled with child porn... (2, Informative)

Kolargol00 (1177651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196504)

Of course this stupid idea has been bundled with some child porn legislation to ease its way into the parliament. :/ Here is the original press release [parlament.ch] (in French, also available in German and Italian).

It's just not fair (1)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196520)

... that idiotic parents, that go out and buy their kids GTA I thru IV and then complain about videogame violence, are causing this kind of reactions all over the world. I mean sure, for now it's only 2 countries, but then others will follow the example.

Those parents need to be dealt with, because I agree that mature games are bad for kids! Parents need to learn about ratings and age restrictions! They need to THINK before buying their 8yo a game with hookers, violence and drugs. Make it mandatory to present an ID to buy mature games, just like with alcohol, cigarrettes and pornography. After that, it's all the parent's fault and they should be held responsible.

Quoting Orson Welles... (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196818)

"You know what the fellow said - in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace - and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Don't know if story repeats itself, but maybe...

Re:Quoting Orson Welles... (3, Informative)

zarzu (1581721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196960)

this quote needs to die, now.

until the end of the 15th century the eidgenossenschaft was fighting the habsburg, throughout the 16th and 17th century there was religous civil war all over switzerland. at the end of the 18th century france essentially conquered switzerland and started the helvetic republic. the last fights on swiss territory were in 1847 and there is only democracy since the 19th century.

that italy had a strong cultural development during the rennaissance has nothing at all to do with war and bloodshed, it mostly has to do with social structures, immigration and patrones like the medici family.

Closer to home ? (1)

KermitTheFragger (776174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196844)

Only geographically closer to home. Switzerland isn't part of the EU, they just happen to be surrounded by it.

Too many schizophrenic-narcissist's with Guns ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31196860)

It is good to know that they're banning violent video games.Men need an outlet to show their masculinity by proving that they're tough guys.Some of them are violent in the real world as well.Probably, these games sell because they want to prove that they're "macho" even though, most of them are domesticated.Does it make sense?

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