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German Minister Seeks Jail Time For FPS Players

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-i-did-was-a-little-fragging dept.

Politics 383

GamePolitics has the somewhat unbelievable news that German Minister of the Interior Gunther Beckstein is seeking jail time for violent game developers, publishers, and players. MSNBC has further coverage of the issue, which has pro gamers in Germany quite worried. From the article: "The draft law, a reaction to a school shooting that shook German public opinion last month, will come before the upper house of parliament next year. But it is already sending shockwaves through the 2m-strong German online gaming community. 'We have among the most drastic censorship rules for games,' said Frank Sliwka, head of the Deutsche E-Sport Bund, an umbrella federation for German online gaming teams. 'Now we are being labelled as a breeding ground for unstable, dysfunctional and violent youngsters.'"

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Going a little overboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17153772)

Video games were _not_ the cause of WWII.

Re:Going a little overboard (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154312)

No... But WWII is responsible for all the WWII video games of the last few years. If I see one more WWII video game, I'm going to jump into my Sherman tank and take a tour through town!

Re:Going a little overboard (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154660)

I'll provide air cover in my Mustang.

It's all the games' fault! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17153794)

After all, everyone knows Germany has had absolutely *no* history of violence before video games appeared on the scene.

*ducks*

Re:It's all the games' fault! (2, Funny)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153876)

After all, everyone knows Germany has had absolutely *no* history of violence before video games appeared on the scene.
 
*ducks*
World's fastest invocation of Godwin's Law? :D

Re:It's all the games' fault! (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154080)

I've seen faster. Much faster.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154162)

Referring to the world wars generally isn't Godwinning something, you have to invoke Hitler directly. And I've seen it done in headlines a number of times, this is plodding by comparison.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154204)

World's fastest invocation of Godwin's Law? :D

Nope. The first poster beat me with an explicit mention of WWII.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155148)

Nope. The first poster beat me with an explicit mention of WWII.

An explicit mention of WWII? All I had was a lousy pair of threes!

Re:It's all the games' fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154336)

no.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155104)

No, the fastest possible application of Godwin's law is for the origingal post in a thread to invoke the Nazis preemptively. Let's call that a G0 post.

The fastest possible meta Godwin would be in a child response to a G0 post. Let's call that an M1 post. You can't pull a meta-Godwin in a G0 post without triggering the self-referential (wank) exception.

Sadly, you post is a respectable but undistinguished M2 (grand child) meta-godwin. But then again this post is an H3 hyper-meta-godwin so I can't say anthing. H2 would the fastest theoretically possible hyper-meta. Of course you can't do an H1 because that triggers the meta-self-referential (wank wank) rule.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154116)

Das ist nicht witzig!

Re:It's all the games' fault! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154184)

It's a proven fact that Adolf Hitler played Wolfenstein 0.0001 on his Volksrechner 0.4 * 10^(-4) MHz.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (-1, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154560)

After all, everyone knows Germany has had absolutely *no* history of violence before video games appeared on the scene.

Hehehe. Only country that started a world-war. Lost it, but needed a second failed attempt to learn that it was a really, really bad idea.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (5, Insightful)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154820)

Germany didn't start WWI. It began as a war between Austria and Serbia.

They got involved pretty damn quickly, though.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155472)

Germany also didn't have too much to do with burning books & Extreme anti-semitism in WWI. The reference was to WWII, which Germany *did* start, esp. with the baiting of the Poles (the SS did things to the Poles before it even started the war; 'Alfred Neujocks' comes to mind).

Re:It's all the games' fault! (5, Funny)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155558)

Baldrick: I've heard what these Germans will do, Sir. They'll have their wicked way with anything of woman-born.

Edmund: Well, in that case, Baldrick, you're quite safe. However, the Teutonic reputation for brutality is well-founded: their operas last three or four days; and they have no word for `fluffy'.

Re:It's all the games' fault! (1)

revery (456516) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154832)

There's no need to duck as I think your point is quite valid. The reason people will say it's not valid is because we're better now. We've learned from our mistakes. We as a world are wiser. We've made advancements both scientific and social. We'll never be fooled by elitist propaganda again. We've seen the light. Democracy is our savior. We are all of us, free...

Re:It's all the games' fault! (1)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155106)

"We are all of us, free..."

except for all of us, who aren't.............

Re:It's all the games' fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155270)

yes, we are better now, and now, i shall tell anyone who thinks that means we are nonviolent to look at history.

Yes, its pretty damn bloody, even more so when videogames dident exist (altho, im pretty sure the cause of less blood is due to the internet, and ease at which damning clips of violence can be put on it... not to many countries would want to look bad (at least the western ones).

In any even, if you dont believe in evolution, then you cant deny that its in the nature of at least humans (and pretty much every life form) to be violent, or at least have a firm grip on how to be violent, as what humans did in the past, they will always be able to do again. If you do believe in evolution, then why do games that involve violence seem to be the most popular? seems like we havent evolved past violence yet.

WOW, more of the same (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153832)

More clueless people trying to make rules for systems that they have no idea how it works....

First, Didn't the neo-nazi youths have this title all wrapped up before there were violent games?
Kidding aside, this is just another stupid knee jerk reaction to social problems that nobody wants to take the blame for.

When I was a kid, we played with toy guns, king of the hill, kill-the-guy-with-the-ball, and other VIOLENT games...
It wasn't until they banned 'red rover' that this sort of bad finger pointing started to happen...

FerChrisSakes - lets blame everyone and everything but the parents and families of violent kids...

Sheesh

Re:WOW, more of the same (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154170)

kill-the-guy-with-the-ball

When I was a kid we called it "Smear the queer" and it had nothing to do with gay people.

You would think a nation like Germany would have learned the lesson better than any other. Limiting access to media and knowledge in order to 'purify' thoughts never ends well. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/boo kburn.htm [historyplace.com]

-Rick

Re:WOW, more of the same (2, Insightful)

thhamm (764787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154646)

FerChrisSakes - lets blame everyone and everything but the parents and families of violent kids...

true, and beckstein is an idiot. he's got real paranoia and nobody is taking him really seriously here. er. i hope.

Re:WOW, more of the same (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155854)

kill-the-guy-with-the-ball

Wow. I don't think I played anything half that violent when I was a kid--and I had a Nintendo.

OK, well, I did have Super Dodgeball, and you did kill little computer men using balls--but then the guy came back two rounds later with brown skin and suddenly he was from India instead of Iceland. Nobody went home with cuts or bruises, either.

Reason? (3, Insightful)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153836)

Can you say publicity stunt? Seriously, gaming in Germany is massive, and nearly every video game is violent in some way. Why don't they ban "tag" while they're at it, a game which encourages *actual* attacking of another human being in the game. I'm not familiar with German law, but I get the feeling this guy isn't elected. Why? Because so many germans play games and would be against it. This would probably be political suicide even in America, a country that seems more inclined to take away people's rights. Now, however, whoever the interior minister works for can point to this (probably) failed bill whenever a school shooting comes up, but then point at someone else whenever the bill is criticised. Some day people are going to realize that the people in school shootings got the plan on *how* to go about doing their crime from a video game *at worst.* The idea *to* do it came from themselves, from deep mental issues probably stemming from their parents or not having enough ways of releasing their anger safely (ever try video games for that?). If they hadn't gotten the plan from a game, they'd get it from a movie, or a book, or even (gasp) come up with their own.

Re:Reason? (1, Insightful)

Red Jesus (962106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153934)

Says PiSquared:
This would probably be political suicide even in America, a country that seems more inclined to take away people's rights.

Says the summary:
'We have among the most drastic censorship rules for games,' said Frank Sliwka, head of the Deutsche E-Sport Bund, an umbrella federation for German online gaming teams.

While it's true that Americans raise the greatest fuss when folks try to take away our rights, are you sure your allegations are correct? Are we really more inclined to take away people's rights? Gay marriage aside, America is actually pretty good about censorship compared to some places. Especially Europe.

Re:Reason? (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154750)

This is true. For all my bitching and complaining about some of the current legislation in our country, there seem to be plenty of european examples of much worse.

That doesn't mean I'm happy with where the US seems to be going these days, it just means other places are futher along.

Re:Reason? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154108)

The U.S. beat them to the banning of tag
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15316912/ [msn.com]

Re:Reason? (2, Informative)

mikeasu (1025283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154532)

"Why don't they ban "tag" while they're at it, a game which encourages *actual* attacking of another human being in the game." We're one step ahead of you... http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-06-26-rec ess-bans_x.htm [usatoday.com] http://www.washtimes.com/national/20061018-114713- 2243r.htm [washtimes.com] http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/art icles/2006/10/18/attleboro_elementary_school_bans_ tag/ [boston.com]

Re:Reason? (1)

jrobinson5 (974354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154612)

interior minister


You misspelled inferior.

you got it all wrong (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154636)

I get the feeling this guy isn't elected. Why? Because so many germans play games and would be against it. This would probably be political suicide
This guy is elected...
By old people.

Re:you got it all wrong (3, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156020)

This guy is elected...By old people.

More aptly, this guy is elected by people who bother to vote

Re:Reason? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155284)

I think this argument is an elaboration of the old standby: "nobody would be stupid enough to..." Unfortunately, stupidity is the one commodity of which we can be assured an unlimited supply.

If you've watched enough quality American entertainment, you'll know that nothing is so hilariously inevitable as somebody saying "Nobody would stupid enought to..." being followed by the precisely act in question.

See also: "Things couldn't possibly get worse.", and "Mayhem ensues."

Re:Reason? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156088)

"The idea *to* do it came from themselves, from deep mental issues probably stemming from their parents or not having enough ways of releasing their anger safely"
And let's not even think to look at why they have so much anger towards their fellow students in the first place. They probably got the idea of hurting other students from being hurt themselves. Maybe we should look into why these kids feel that they have to go to such extremes. What is the right outlet for the socially ostricized and quitely bullied?

Euh (0, Offtopic)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153864)

I wanted to post an intelligent phrase here but all I can come up with is de doo doo doo, de da da da...

Re:Euh (0, Offtopic)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153926)

God damnit! Someone ALWAYS beats me to it!

Re:Euh (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154874)

You could almost say "poo-tee-weet?"

Re:Euh (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155904)

It's The Police, not R2-D2.

"Logic" (3, Insightful)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153896)

"It is absolutely beyond any doubt that such killer games desensitise unstable characters and can have a stimulating effect," Mr Beckstein said on Monday.
Although true, I don't see how banning a game is going to prevent future violence. You can't apply that "logic" to other areas:

1) Pretty females can have a stimulating effect on sex offenders (known and unknown), so will you ban women from walking in public?

2) Good tasting food can have a stimulating effect on people with eating disorders, so will you ban good tasting food?

How about doing something constructive and helping people recognize problems in their kids, providing free help to families with issues, and promiting good family relationships, instead? :P

Re:"Logic" (4, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154136)

Pretty females can have a stimulating effect on sex offenders (known and unknown), so will you ban women from walking in public?

Or make them wear burkas. Might as well. That's where the EU will be in 10 years time anyway. The lovely streetwalkers of Paris will become a thing of the past. :-(

Re:"Logic" (2, Funny)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155354)

The lovely streetwalkers of Paris will become a thing of the past. :-(

If you had wanted to drive your point home, you might have picked a consequence that was actually bad.

Re:"Logic" (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154196)

Although true, I don't see how banning a game is going to prevent future violence. You can't apply that "logic" to other areas:

1) Pretty females can have a stimulating effect on sex offenders (known and unknown), so will you ban women from walking in public?


You might be on to something. I'll have to see what our friends in Afghanistan -- oh, sorry, I mean Somalia -- think about that idea.

Re:"Logic" (1)

jschul (794880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154288)

New York just did #2 in a way by banning trans fats. #1 is practiced by over a billion people around the world. Not that I think either of these is a good solution.

Re:"Logic" (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154910)

Where did people get this idea from ?

Trans-fats don't make food taste better.

They offer no positive nutritional value.

There's no reason to want to eat them.

Re:"Logic" (1)

HeavenlyBankAcct (1024233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155162)

Unless of course, you happened to enjoy a food item that had trans-fats in it and didn't really want the government deciding whether or not it was okay to purchase and consume it. Is our government now in the business of deciding whether or not our opinions are valid? If that's the case, I can think of several places I would start chipping away at long before I turned to dietary concerns.

Re:"Logic" (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155396)

There's nothing that can be made with trans fats that can't be made without them. Don't drink the food industry cool-aid.

Re:"Logic" (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155454)

To really answer your question.

The government gets involved in a lot of things where they don't belong. There are many things I wish they'd keep out of. But they don't. On the other hand .. do you think the food industry cares about your best interests ?

Re:"Logic" (2, Insightful)

HeavenlyBankAcct (1024233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155686)

No, honestly, I doubt that any industry is looking after my personal well-being. And I do agree with you on the general principle of the issue. However, I can't help the fact that I'd vastly prefer the situation if "looking after my own best interests" was a job left to me and me alone.

Re:"Logic" (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156034)

Labelling trans fats would have been a start ... had the regulations not been so easy to get around. In many cases manufacturers simply reduced the portion size of a product in order to bring the trans fat level below the amount that required labelling.

Here's a good labelling one I've been having fun with lately though ... try and find store bought Wasabi preparations that actually include Wasabi. I found one last night that included "Made with real wasabi" ... and a "What is wasabi ?" section on the label ...yet checking the ingredients list found it was plan old horseradish with green coloring. How do they get away with this ?

Re:"Logic" (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156094)

Don't you hate people who reply to their own posts ? I came to the conclusion that "made with" in the case of this label means "made within 50 yards of" or something like that.

Re:"Logic" (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156174)

So everyone who likes their brownies with marijuana...

Re:"Logic" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154392)

This is Germany, there aren't any pretty women and the food isn't good. That's why they've evolved such great beer, to drink away their sorrows. ;) I kid, I kid...

Re:"Logic" (3, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154436)

2) Good tasting food can have a stimulating effect on people with eating disorders, so will you ban good tasting food?

Yeah - luckily, that couldn't possibly happen, since that would be ridiculous. [nytimes.com]

Re:"Logic" (1, Flamebait)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154592)

Only in the US can someone believe that trans fats are well-tasting food.

Re:"Logic" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155164)

Only in the US can someone believe that trans fats are, well... food.

Re:"Logic" (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155922)

Oh, come on. I'm no epidemiologist, but I'm sure there's stronger evidence for trans fats increasing risk of cardiovascular problems versus the risk of video games causing people to become more violent and possibly hurt another person. If we suddenly discovered that only violent video games were (somehow) causing the incidence of brain cancer to skyrocket, you'd probably see a lot of motions to get them banned. The OP clearly meant to ask if one would ban food that tastes good simply because it might induce susceptible people to overeat.

Re:"Logic" (4, Interesting)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155964)

And just what does banning trans-fat acids in food have to do with banning good tasting food?

Such a ban has been in effect in Denmark since 2004, and I'm yet to see any restaurants close over it or any chefs complain that now they can't make their favorite dishes.

Hell, even McDonalds got on board very quickly. And they've even announced their intentions of extending the restrictions on transfatty acids to all of their European restaurents - all 6,300 of them. Even Kentucky Fried Chicken announced similar goals (they have restaurents in Denmark as well).

And all that without changing the way food tastes.

Oh, wait. You were being obtuse, weren't you?

What next? Going to complain that we don't allow odd things like, say, tar and mercury in your food due to health issues? I mean, people could just steer clear of the foods that contained that kind of stuff, right?

Re:"Logic" (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155092)

It is absolutely beyond any doubt that such killer games desensitise unstable characters and can have a stimulating effect

You state this is true. What this means is that you are stating, for a fact, that any "character" who is "unstable" and plays a violent video game automatically and without exception becomes "desensitized". Even ignoring the fact that you fail to define the meaning of "unstable", or what constitutes a "killer" game, your logic here is flawed beyond repair. You make a broad generalization that can in no way be proven, as it is impossible to test your statement on every person applicable.

Re:"Logic" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155184)

Number 2 is demosnstratively false, look at all the overweight Brits.

Crytek is about... (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153922)

...to have an identity Crysis... [gamespot.com]

Germany of all places. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17153940)

Sorry but I keep thinking about the Reformation and the truth(s) that brought to the world. Maybe Germany is a good example: the church (form of state) and state (State by military) should remain seperate.

I'm a HUGE fan of the Reformation (Calvinist) and Abraham Kuyper had some words to shed on this discussion.

Basically he said if your circle of influence doesn't allow punishment, never seek it. That's a bit of a gross restatement but in the case of this minister, he isn't about the law. He's about Grace and every freaking Lutheran should know that.

Re:Germany of all places. (1)

daniel_mcl (77919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154158)

"Minister of the Interior" is equivalent to the American "Secretary of the Interior." It's not a religious position, any more than Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair is the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Re:Germany of all places. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154892)

>"Minister of the Interior" is equivalent to the American "Secretary of the Interior." It's not a religious position, any more than Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair is the Archbishop of Canterbury. ... and also a Roman Catholic (being Bavarian).

Why the First Amendment is Important (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17153982)

AFAIK, Germany has no codified freedom of speech clause. Certainly there's quite a bit of censorship -- bans on nazi propaganda, for instance.

In Germany, if a bill like this passes, it's probably enforceable. Whereas here in the US, it would be challenged on first amendment grounds.

Re:Why the First Amendment is Important (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154406)

AFAIK, Germany has no codified freedom of speech clause. Certainly there's quite a bit of censorship -- bans on nazi propaganda, for instance. In Germany, if a bill like this passes, it's probably enforceable. Whereas here in the US, it would be challenged on first amendment grounds.

From article 5 of the german constitution aka Basic Law:
"Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship."

Read it sometime, especially the first 20 articles, it's actually quite good:
http://www.bundesregierung.de/nn_22672/Webs/Breg/E N/Federal-Government/FunctionAndConstitutionalBasi s/BasicLaw/ContentofBasicLaw/content-of-basic-law. html/cen// [bundesregierung.de]

Re:Why the First Amendment is Important (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154480)

From article 5 of the german constitution aka Basic Law: "Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship."

Apparently they ignore it just as nicely as we do on this side of the Atlantic too, given the ban on all kinds of things having to do with Nazis, Holocaust denial, and the like. And of course now this.

Re:Why the First Amendment is Important (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154648)

When Germany came out of nazism and WWII, with millions of nazis still around, there was no way around banning it. And nowadays there are still many survivors alive who should not have to be harassed by neonazis. We can start talking about lifting the ban in 20 years or so.

The first reaction by government... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154020)

...is invariably an over-reaction.

Surprised? Nope.

Sounds silly but ... (2, Insightful)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154028)

The USA did ban playing cards online.

Re:Sounds silly but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154074)

That was all about casinos. There are a lot of people with a lot of money controlling those things.

Re:Sounds silly but ... (2, Informative)

Mad Marlin (96929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154490)

Playing cards online is perfectly legal. Gambling, on the other had, is not.

Re:Sounds silly but ... (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154788)

Ever tried to play poker without the rounds of betting ... it becomes pointless very rapidly, the skill in poker is in the betting.

compulsory military service ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154106)

I just had to laugh at this.

a country that still has (IIRC) compulsory military service putting these laws into place.

just funny. Adding to that the issue of possibly charging children for playing a console game (though they may have to have a tantrum first to qualify, but not like that is rare).

Re:compulsory military service ? (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154782)

Arguably it's mandatory social service, with part of the service being military. Almost owrse really, if it were truly military one can argue that everyone should chip in to the physical defense of a country given that that's the main reason for government at all, but forced to act directly as a drudge for the same machine is the nanny state a it's finest.

What the State Really Wants (3, Insightful)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154182)

Is a throughly docile democratized (herd mentality) society. No one must be able to imagine or visualize "solving problems" by using violence, by himself. No one must be able to imagine that there even is a problem. I love this State! More soma, please!

Not "German Minister of the Interior" (5, Informative)

mseeger (40923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154190)

Hi,

he (Beckstein) is not the "German Minister of the Interior" but the one of Bavaria (german: Bayern). Bavaria is the most conservative state in germany, ruled for nearly 60 years by the same party. He has been joined in his attempt by the minister of interior of lower saxony.

The core of the prolem is the definition of "killer games". Since nearly all major politicians are 60 or older, they have nearly no understanding of the topic. They believe e.g. that Counterstrike is played with a joystick and the goal of the game to be "killing hostages". Usually, hearing them, i'm torn between laughing and crying.

Regards, Martin

Re:Not "German Minister of the Interior" (1)

adpe (805723) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154582)

Especially Beckstein is one of the conservative hardliners, who disgusts about everyone, everytime he opens his mouth. He's more or less *the* guy who is not-yet-nazi but sometimes gets very close. Don't take anything seriously he's saying.

Re:Not "German Minister of the Interior" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154606)

They believe e.g. that Counterstrike is played with a joystick and the goal of the game to be "killing hostages".
What difference would it make if that were actually true?

It's safe to say they have the correct basic idea of what a game is, though on specific games clearly don't know what they are talking about. But it's not an issue of the specific game content or why they are against game x or game y. Even if CS were all about killing hostages, should it be censored? We would of course say "no", but they say "yes".

That's the issue that needs to be addressed, because their ignorance of specific games still doesn't excuse their calling for them to be banned, whether they actually exist in that form or not.

Kinda funny because... (1)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154266)

I fired up Wolfenstein 3-D this morning...

and now I see this.

Adolf hitler didn't have violent video games, and he killed 6+ million people. I play these "Violent" games and have killed no one nor have the intention of doing so.
I know this is redundant as all hell, but where the fuck did this school of thought come from that you can blame someone's every action on external stimuli?

Where do you draw the line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154418)

I just got Suzuki Superbikes for PS2. In this game, the riders occasionally kick at each other. Since kicking someone on a motorcycle at race speeds could certainally result in injuries as bad as or worse than a bullet wound, am I playing a violent game? What if I try to take out other drivers in GT4? Such legislation would outlaw nearly all simulation games.

Oh, and what if I develop a FPS app in Java? The folks at Sun aided and abetted me. Do they go to jail?

Howabout a flash app that is somehow violent? Do the people that created flash go to jail? --- Wait a minute... Maybe this law is not so bad after all.

Re:Where do you draw the line (4, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155020)

I just got Suzuki Superbikes for PS2. In this game, the riders occasionally kick at each other. Since kicking someone on a motorcycle at race speeds could certainally result in injuries as bad as or worse than a bullet wound, am I playing a violent game?
Yes, it is a violent game if it allows you to do that. Thus, they would have to change the game so that players do not kick at each other. In fact, at the end of the game, all players will be shown joining the winner for a large group hug to show that there is no animosity.

What if I try to take out other drivers in GT4?
Well, then, your car will immediately be stopped by the police and you automatically lose the race. In fact, in order to keep anyone's feelings from being hurt, GT4 will be rewritten so that all races always end in a tie between all drivers.

Oh, and what if I develop a FPS app in Java? The folks at Sun aided and abetted me. Do they go to jail?
Yes they do. In fact, the makers of personal computers will be liable if someone uses their personal computer to virtually harm another being--including making them feel bad. Of course, makers of personal computers will then sue all of their component suppliers and so on down the line.

someone throw him in jail (1)

scoot80 (1017822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154626)

Someone throw him in Jail for being an idiot!

Violence (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154804)

I'd like to see the scientific studies pointing to the causality studies. Oh right, all the studies are only CORRELATIONS! See who's to say that violent people wouldn't prefer violent games ? So blaming the industry is something completely stupid. Also if they plan to ban violent games I suppose they'll ban violent entertainment. So no more horror movies I suppose ? When is the ban on paintball ? I dare the government to define "violent" because most cartoons are full of violent acts. Also, does it mean they'll sue people making firstperson shooters like deerhunter? Come on...

What, again? (1)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154824)

What happened to the law in Greece banning video games as a form of gambling? Gee... Just ignore the ignorant and move on.

An once of prevention (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154830)

is worth a pound of cure. We all know that.

But what is seldom appreciated is how often that a pound of prevention turns out to be worth only an ounce of cure. Or less.

The reason that the "ounce of prevention" strategy works is that it focuses you on simple, reasonable actions that accurately target the concern and produce few side effects. Like putting a lock on your door to prevent burglary. Now you could sit on your front porch and shoot at everybody who comes near your house that you think "looks shifty". There is no doubt a more vigorous preventive measure than locking your doors and widnows, but it isn't more effective.

It really doesn't matter whether something is done before or after the fact, so much that the action be chosen to produce the results desired, and not much if anything else.

And seeing as we've already triggered Godwin's law, I may as well raise the example of the Final Solution as an instance of the pound of prevention phenomonon. If people thought that the Jews where using their control of money to ruin the country, why didn't they simply pass a few banking regulation laws? Then nobody could ruin the country that way, Jew or otherwise. The answer is that the pound of prevention phenomon, like road rage, is driven by highly emotionally charged thinking. The kind that makes you act so stupidly that the only way not to die from embarassment is to do something even stupider.

If you're so concerned with pathologically violent people, why not simply screen for them at various reasonable points? You provide mental health services at school to disturbed kids and training for teachers on how to recognize and deal with them. You screen people who have violent run-ins with other people before they go onto bigger and badder things. You run a public education campaign so people can recognize when their associates and familiy members need help -- maybe a few people will recognize they need help themselves.

Will this get rid of all violence by disturbed people? No. But it will do a hell of a lot more than banning video games.

Re:An once of prevention (1)

lupine_stalker (1000459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155684)

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, you say? Well, I'm off to buy some Nicorette patches, so I don't start smoking!

Re:An once of prevention (1)

smilingman (942304) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155788)

I never thought I'd post saying this, but... mod parent up. That's the closest thing to genuine insightfulness that I've seen in a long time.

Re:An once of prevention (1)

Rockinsockindune (956375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156006)

If you're so concerned with pathologically violent people, why not simply screen for them at various reasonable points? You provide mental health services at school to disturbed kids and training for teachers on how to recognize and deal with them. You screen people who have violent run-ins with other people before they go onto bigger and badder things. You run a public education campaign so people can recognize when their associates and familiy members need help -- maybe a few people will recognize they need help themselves.

The problem with screening for these kids that do these types of things is that they are very intelligent, but emotionally underdeveloped.
They are smart enough to say the things that they need to in front of teachers and parents. The parents would have to be very smart
and be able to monitor their child's activities without the child's knowledge. The only thing is that most of these children that do go crazy
and shoot up their school seemed to be normal to their parents, so the parents didn't see a need to invade their child's privacy.

Gunther "JT" Beckstein? (1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154844)

Gunther Beckstein is seeking jail time for violent game developers, publishers, and players.

Jack? Jack Thompson? Did you finally piss off and leave us alone, only to change your name and harass another country?

Sad, really, seeing these pathetic little old men who don't understand the modern world. At least "tubes" sounds harmless enough, but twits with passion about their delusions really need to step down and limit their ranting to yelling at kids to get off their lawns.

searching for an answer down the wrong hole (1, Troll)

xshader (201678) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155032)

Those that think the problem was violent video games are looking down the wrong hole and denying their violent cultural heritage.

Re:searching for an answer down the wrong hole (1)

Alise (840677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156114)

While it wouldn't be pleasant for the gamers affected, I think eventually somebody is going get away with a stupid law like the one he proposes. In the end though, it'll be a sacrifice for the greater good. We could finally have definitive proof that taking violent video games out of the equation does absolutely nothing and it might become a precedent for dealing with this kind of stupidity in the future.

sounds like the salem witch trials (1)

pgookii (1037032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155550)

ssia...

The crickets sure are loud in here... (1, Insightful)

WgT2 (591074) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155672)

It sure is quiet here.

Flamebait me if you will, but: Where are the cries? Where are the cries of fascism!?

Here is real fascism, all you Bush haters, and you've all but gone silent. You need to stand up for what you believe where it really matters instead of merely in your self-righteous murmurings of posts past.

Re:The crickets sure are loud in here... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17156086)

Fascism? In Germany? Ha, it'll never happen here!

Re:The crickets sure are loud in here... (1)

Mr. Hankey (95668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156150)

You're right, this is fascism. So is a lot of what's happened here in the past several years however. What you're really seeing is apathy for problems that do not affect people directly.

You insensit1ve clod! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155780)

then Jordan Hubbard come Here but now CoNSIDER THAT RIGHT

You know what causes the most school shootings... (5, Insightful)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155892)

...is all the media glamor and shock that is the result of school shootings. These kids want to "make a statement". They're so hurt or outcast and they shoot up their school to lash back and to make the world notice, as if to say "It's that bad here." It's essentially an act of terrorism.

I'm pretty sure Islamic extremist groups didn't become violent from video games, but because they felt a need to lash out. The behavior is, plain and simple, unchecked immaturity combined with a little knowledge.

back to wholesome games... (1)

misterv (1037046) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155942)

Now maybe German youths can return to playing wholesome, interactive, and physically engaging games like Smear the Queer...

FPS Doug (2, Funny)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156106)

Does this mean that FPS Doug would be made an international criminal???

What about "My Battle" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17156134)

Anyone else read "Mein Kampf" (my battle) by the former DDR ruler? That was German too!
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