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Germany Wants EU to Ban Violent Games

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they'll-getcha dept.

Games 122

FredDC writes "Germany is seeking support among other European countries to ban violent videogames during its EU Presidency, according to Infoworld. In an initiative led by Franco Frattini, the European Justice commissioner, Germany is pushing for restrictions on the sale of games with violent content of any kind, from Half-Life to Star Trek . In the eyes of the EU, gaming and real-world violence is 'linked', and steps should be taken to prevent the purchase of these games by younger people. From the article: 'The German government said it will conduct a study of all the different national rules concerning video games, with a view to setting Union-wide norms. Its initiative makes the prospect of a ban much more likely. Video game violence became a hot political issue in Germany at the end of last year when 18-year-old Sebastian Bosse shot up a high school in Emsdetten, Germany, injuring 37 before fatally turning the gun on himself. Police said Bosse spent most of his waking hours playing Counter-Strike.'" This, just days after two Final Fantasy VII fans were arrested in connection with a series of killings.

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Hostile? (0, Flamebait)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654118)

Isn't Germany where Hostel 1 and 2 are based?

Re:Hostile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654374)

No. It was Slovakia.

Re:Hostile? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654382)

Where's the ban on other violent games, like soccer? How many deaths have resulted from soccer riots without the EU caring?

In other news.... (2, Insightful)

MicktheMech (697533) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654164)

The rest of the west wants the United States to ban captial punishment. Not going to happen...

Re:In other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654962)

but it's about protecting the children...

Re:In other news.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17655282)

First, they went after the jews. Now, after violent games players. I wonder if they're going to start a world war based on that...

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654192)

First frag!

Leave us alone (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654214)

Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off, fuck off.

Christ, first WWII and now this. Why does Germany hate the rest of Europe so?

Re:Leave us alone (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654366)

Christ, first WWII and now this. Why does Germany hate the rest of Europe so?

You've obviously never been to France.

Re:Leave us alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661788)

Or the UK.

Wrong again... (2, Informative)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654234)

They just aim to create EU-wide unified criteria for judging violence in games. Nothing more. It has nothing to do with banning games!

Re:Wrong again... (2, Funny)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654318)

But...but...an accurate headline would make fewer people click on it! I can't fathom this!

Re:Wrong again... (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654364)

They just aim to create EU-wide unified criteria for judging violence in games. Nothing more. It has nothing to do with banning games!

Slashdot summaries are often misleading interpretations of articles. That is not the case here. From TFA, "The Commission wants to see a combination of outright bans on the most violent games, together with minimum age rules on other titles." If you're asserting the summary is wrong because you read the article, your comment would be fine as the reference is already there. As it is you're making an assertion that contradicts the article. For that you need to provide a real reference if you want anyone to believe you.

Re:Wrong again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17657018)

This proposed ban ought to motivate the fuck out of Jack Thompson. He's probably doing the happy dance right now.

Bastard.

Re:Wrong again... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660616)

If we go by what Germany banned itself "most violent" means games like Manhunt, not GTA or other commonly played games.

Re:Wrong again... Yes you are.... (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654418)

From the article.
"The Commission also wants to harmonize national rules in the 27 countries in the Union. "Protection of children cannot have borders," Frattini said. The Commission wants to see a combination of outright bans on the most violent games, together with minimum age rules on other titles."

How does an outright ban have nothing to do with baning games?

Re:Wrong again... Yes you are.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17655118)

The Infoworld article is misleading and wrong (american journalism at work).
What has been reported in German-language news (see heise: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/83790 [heise.de] )
is simply that steps are being taken to create a central list of banned games in member states.
This in itself has NO effect on the actual bans or lack thereof.
The second thing is that the EU justice comissionary wants to (rough quote) "harmonise member state laws" on the matter (or as he refers to it, protection of children). It seems more likely that he means the list can be used by other countries, not that the EU will ban things directly.

Re:Wrong again... Yes you are.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17657510)

The Infoworld article is misleading and wrong (american journalism at work).

This has always puzzled me. Why does every defense of European legislation involve a slam on the United States? Is it to divert attention, or do you truly think American reporters are sitting around a table going "Well, we haven't made up anything about Germany lately, let's report they are turning old people into Snausages."

Re:Wrong again... (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654490)

You say that now, but when there's a rash of punks smashing down walls, don't think they'll start banning the sale of games glorifying property destruction like Tetris!

Re:Wrong again... (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654610)

According to several articles and interviews I heard on the radio, as well as this little german article (idn't found any better one) the german efforts only involve creating unified child protection rules. Of course they'll ban games, but this will only affect MINORS!

Re:Wrong again... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657116)

Except they explicitly said they wanted to ban violent games. So when they say "we want to ban violent games", how exactly does that mean that they don't want to ban games?

Re:Wrong again... (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660120)

not quite wrong. those idiots (especially the bavarian minister of the interior) really do want to ban shooters.

Re:Wrong again... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660636)

The Bavarians are more of a running joke than any serious political force.

Re:Wrong again... (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660676)

Yes, but Beckstein is a moron - can't believe that so many want him to be Stoiber's successor. From what I read [stern.de] /heard Mrs. Zypries (minister of judgement) only intends to create unified rules for creating a blacklist of ultraviolent games. Selling those blacklisted games to minors would be made a crime then. Oh, and this article clearly states that "a EU-wide ban of ultraviolent productions is NOT planned. Every EU country has to decide for itself which videos/games to ban. That's no decision to be made in Brussels."

They should just ... (1, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654316)

They should just implement some kind of gun control. Yeah, that's the ticket; keep guns out of the hands of kids. Oh wait ...

Re:They should just ... (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659730)

They should just implement some kind of gun control. Yeah, that's the ticket; keep guns out of the hands of kids. Oh wait ...

[T]he United States has the highest rates of childhood homicide, suicide, and firearm-related death among industrialized countries. ... The firearm-related homicide rate in the United States was nearly 16 times higher than that in all of the other countries combined (0.94 compared with 0.06); the firearm-related suicide rate was nearly 11 times higher (0.32 compared with 0.03); and the unintentional firearm-related death rate was nine times higher (0.36 compared with 0.04) Rates of Homicide, Suicide, and Firearm-Related Death Among Children -- 26 Industrialized Countries [cdc.gov] (1990-1995) ___ Where firearms are tightly regulated, firearms are insignificant as a cause of death among children.

Sucks for the EU =( (2, Insightful)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654324)

They already have enough trouble getting stuff at the same time as the NA/Asian markets, and if this goes into effect, they'd be even worse off.

Germany... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654390)

Ah, yes. Germany, where they limit freedoms and lock people up so that no one will come along and limit freedoms and lock people up.

It was going to happen somewhere. (3, Insightful)

Esc7 (996317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654412)

I feel for Germany. As the country that was host to probably the greatest villain in the twentieth century there is going to be a lot of pressure to condemn things that could ever be even remotely like the horrible things that happened there during WWII. I say this is an overreaction, but it still makes sense in some way. After reading about this http://www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showthread .php?t=31767 [quartertothree.com] story on slashdot earlier, and forcing myself to remember that Europe has its nudity/violence tolerance levels switched compared to America, I see this as a misguided, but inevitable event.

Re:It was going to happen somewhere. (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654796)

I agree entirely with your analysis of this news event. In fact I scrolled down specifically to see if there was a comment like this one already so I wouldn't be redundant.

It's quite telling that laws mandating so-called decency don't work and that repression seems to typically lead to inappropriate behavior. You tell priests they can't get married and either you attract or turn people into molesters. Try to keep your kids innocent of sexual reality (e.g. unisex religious schools) and they end up being, uh, promiscuous. And what about gun control laws in America? It's harder to get a gun now than it has been at any prior point in time, yet gun crime is generally trending upward and has been for a long time. None of this is actually working. It's almost as if when you push people, they react against you!

Every time I see kids treated like adults, they act like adults. Every time I see kids treated like kids, they act like kids. Oddly enough the maturity of their behavior tends to be pretty proportional to the trust you place in them, although obviously everyone is different and if you take anything too far, the results are negative. Brushing your teeth helps fight tooth decay, but you want to stop before your gums are bleeding all over the sink.

Re:It was going to happen somewhere. (4, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656808)

Every time I see kids treated like adults, they act like adults. Every time I see kids treated like kids, they act like kids. Oddly enough the maturity of their behavior tends to be pretty proportional to the trust you place in them ...

Agreed, 100%.

The phrase monkey see, monkey do, cuts both ways. While growing up in a violent environment (not video games - that's fake; I mean real violent environments like warzones and gang violence prone urban zones) tends to produce violent kids, kids with good, strong role models tend to be more intelligent and responsible. Humans emulate. It's what we've evolved to do.

Where it gets complicated, though, is determining: what is a good role model?

Personally, I think the anti-game, anti-fun, anti-alcohol, anti-drug, anti-sex, anti-everything protect-you-at-any-cost soccer moms are terrible role models, because they perpetuate the "do as I say, because I'm better than you" creed. More often than not, it is rooted in hypocrisy. And that is more damaging than any video game could ever be.

Re:It was going to happen somewhere. (1)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657522)

Every time I see kids treated like adults, they act like adults.

Absolutely. I like to make this point whenever I can. I don't know so many people can forget that kids are people too; I mean, everyone was a kid once.

I would add that adults follow the same rule. If you start thinking badly of someone, they will lower themselves to meet your expectations.

Finally, nitpick. I think you mean single-sex school instead of unisex school. Unisex means "sex not distinguished" - think uni- in united rather than unique. I don't know how to correct people without sounding like an asshole, I hope you won't take it that way.

Re:It was going to happen somewhere. (1)

chroma (33185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17658068)

And what about gun control laws in America? It's harder to get a gun now than it has been at any prior point in time, yet gun crime is generally trending upward and has been for a long time. Are you sure about that? Read this: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/guns.htm [usdoj.gov]

Re:It was going to happen somewhere. (1)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659694)

It shouldn't really be surprising that a legislative solution isn't going to do much to solve a social problem. There was an idea going on around in the beginning of the last century that banning alcoholic beverages would magically erase all their harmful effects from society. As it happened, such laws only served to create a huge market for smugglers and organised criminals, putting things further out of reach for regulation.

I would imagine that sweeping the concept of violence under the carpet, in a society in which it's quite firmly rooted, would fare no better. Germany, of all nations, should know this better than most.

Re:It was going to happen somewhere. (4, Informative)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17658376)

"As the country that was host to probably the greatest villain in the twentieth century there is going to be a lot of pressure to condemn things that could ever be even remotely like the horrible things that happened there during WWII."

The pressure has less to do with hosting the supposed "greatest villain in the twentieth century" and more to do with the fact that Germany was invaded and has since been occupied by foreign troops until the present day. And contrary to what is shown on the "History" Channel about the postwar events - with commentary about the Marshall Plan, Hershey bars and grainy footage of airplanes dropping off bales of cargo - the reality was much more harsh. Over 4 million Germans were used as slave labour by the Allies after the war. This went on for a period longer than the war's duration!

Meanwhile in Germany after the war in 1945 and 1946, international aid organizations were prevented from sending relief to German civilians. In 1945, the average German civilian received a starvation diet of 1200 calories - in the US and UK occupation zones. In 1946, the average German civilian received 1500 calories, still well below what is considered to be healthy.

Their press and government were also under strict Allied control.

THAT is where the pressure to self-flagellate comes from. Germans knew that if they didn't kowtow to their occupiers, their lives would be forfeit. These attitudes got passed down to the next generation.

Stalin was at least as bad as Hitler ever was. The difference between Russian and German attitudes about their past leaders is that one was occupied by enemies of the prior regime, the other wasn't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_Plan [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower_and_German _POWs#American_food_policy_in_Germany_shortly_afte r_the_war [wikipedia.org]

Except... (3, Interesting)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654460)

Violent crime has gone every year since videogames were first introduced. And the rate of violent crime began dropping very sharply starting in 1994 in the USA. Doom, the first modern "murder simulator" and poster child for those who like to like fantasy and real-world violence, was released in 1993. Is there a correlation? Maybe not, but it's every bit as cogent an argument as anything these anti-gaming fascists can come up with.

Re:Except... should have read: (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654514)

Violent crime has gone down every year since videogames were first introduced.

Re:Except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17658692)

The problem is that these idiots have it backwards, violent games don't make people violent, violent people gravitate towards violent games.
Imagine that! Never could have made that connection, eh?

The problem with school shootings is more to do with the culture at the moment, high schools don't tend to be very forgiving environments for people with relatively quiet personalities, students will frequently bully people they perceive as weaker then themselves, the put up and shut up mentality associated with this environment ultimately just causes some people to build up their rage until they snap and that's when this crap happens.

On a [somewhat] less sarcastic and cynical note, I have no issue with legally enforcing the ratings on games to prevent under 10s playing AO rated games but ultimately education is the best long term solution over legal obstacles, it is up to parents to teach their kids right from wrong, not leave it up to the TV or video games to do it for them. [If you're going to neglect them like that, then why did you have them in the first place?]

Germany doesn't get it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654486)

They also want to use their presidency to ban the swastika. The nazi flag is important, it's used for all kinds of purposes (in academia, theater, film) and is culturally significant.

Germany: We're ashamed of the Nazis but we can make it okay by turning the EU into a totalitarian entity. Fascism was all in the past for us and we're using our EU dictatorship to make this point clear!


It's no surprise they want to ban violent games, they'll be gassing muslims next!

Re:Germany doesn't get it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17655178)

They also want to use their presidency to ban the swastika. The nazi flag is important, it's used for all kinds of purposes (in academia, theater, film) and is culturally significant.

Well, I hope you are aware of the fact that the use of the swastika is only banned in Germany if you use it as a political symbol (meaning as a propaganda in favour of national socialism). The use of the swastika (and also the nazi flag) is legal in Germany in academia, theater, film, and also in all other circumstances where it is used not related to national socialism.

Otherwise, for example, this would not be possible:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/theodosius/111354338/ [flickr.com]

What else would the nazi flag be associated with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17655692)

Well, I hope you are aware of the fact that the use of the swastika is only banned in Germany if you use it as a political symbol (meaning as a propaganda in favour of national socialism). The use of the swastika (and also the nazi flag) is legal in Germany in academia, theater, film, and also in all other circumstances where it is used not related to national socialism.

No officer, we're not national socialists, nothing of the sort. We are the local chapter of the Aryan Healthy Cookery Institute. Do try the strawberry and banana meringue pie, it's delicious with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The pie has been very popular this week; so popular in fact that there's been precious little room in the oven for jews. I'm only joking, there is always room in our oven for the cause. Shall I get you a spoon?

Re:What else would the nazi flag be associated wit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17655922)

What else would the nazi flag be associated with?

OK, let me phrase it more clearly:

1) The use of the swastika (and also the nazi flag) is legal in Germany in academia, theater, film.
2) The use of the swastika is also legal in all other circumstances where it is used not related to national socialism.
(You might know that the swastika as a symbol is older than national socialism.)

The clue to this distinction should have been the comma before the "and". But I know, these little details are easily lost on the casual reader... :)

Re:What else would the nazi flag be associated wit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17656646)

How about if I have a swastika and the words "Heil Hitler" tattooed on my forehead?

I'm not a Nazi, I just don't see a clear-cut distinction. If the Nazis organized meetings under the pretense of cookery or bavarian beer tasting, would that be illegal?

Re:What else would the nazi flag be associated wit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17657332)

How about if I have a swastika and the words "Heil Hitler" tattooed on my forehead?

I'm not a Nazi, I just don't see a clear-cut distinction. If the Nazis organized meetings under the pretense of cookery or bavarian beer tasting, would that be illegal?


The distinction might be in some cases difficult. Just to be clear: I'm not arguing that there are no restrictions in Germany, there are. Flying the nazi flag on your flag pole in the back yard, or putting a nazi sticker on your car surely is illegal in Germany (not sure what would be the exact consequences, though). But when I read comments like "but you need the symbol for historic education, movies and theater" I get the feeling that many people have a quite limited knowledge what the situation is like in Germany. You can see nazi symbols quite a lot in Germany. In movies, reports, books, whatever. But just showing the nazi symbols without a "proper" context is surely not accepted. And yes, there is sometimes trouble since there seem to be different opinions when the use of the symbol is acceptable and when not. I remember there was the case of some guys using he symbol for a sticker which was clearly supposed to be anti-nazi, but they still got in trouble. I don't remember how the case ended, though.

We have right wing organisations (so called neo-nazi organisations) which organise meetings, demonstrations etc. The biggest one being the NPD (National-democratic party of Germany. The established parties wanted to let them (the NPD) be declared illegal not too long ago, but they failed at the constitutional court. Organisations like these organise their meetings, demonstrations, party ralleys etc. Sometimes they have trouble because many cities don't want these events taking place in their area. Organisation like the NPD have gone to court to force cities to allow their party ralleys and demonstrations, and the often succeed. After all, as long as they are not outlawed they have the right to have their meetings like other organisations, too. But you can be sure that the NPD takes care that no nazi flags are shown on their events (although surely at least some of their members would like to).

It's quite a complicate topic. :)

So every other EU HL gamer is also a murderer? (4, Insightful)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654510)

I think we're all pretty sick of the constant political campaigns against violent games. In every case it's someone who goes nuts and commits some heinous crime and the fact that they played violent video games often is trotted out as either the sole cause or the trigger for the event. But there's thousands (maybe tens of thousands I don't have figures for EU) of other EU gamers playing HL and CS and somehow, beyond all odds, they manage to not go psycho and kill a bunch of people, how do they manage? [/sarcasm]

Why in this modern age must popliticians treat entire continental populations like a kindergarten class? A statistically insignificant number of people are in the ven diagram overlap of violent videogame players and violent criminals so such games are banned for everyone? Talk about lazy legislation, so sorry it's easier to try and ruin it for everyone else instead of actually investigating the other motivations and causes that lead to these tragedies and maybe learning to diagnose and treat or prevent such violent behavior. This has all been said before, it will all be said again, just ranting to get it out of my system.

Re:So every other EU HL gamer is also a murderer? (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655166)

Try millions and you might just be getting somewhere. (Me included)

Re:So every other EU HL gamer is also a murderer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661914)

Yeah, why are they not asking for the ban of all violent TV programs , then ?

Clueless hypocrits looking for a scapegoat.

They sure as hell don't want to ask themselves why the kid went berserk at the school and
what it represents : mind formatting for future obedient little slave-drones
ready to get shafted all their life sweating for the fat pig that'll exploit them until they
drop.
What a great existence to look forward to ! What joy !

Come on trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654568)

Let's get some swastikas going before Germany bans them! [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Come on trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17655400)

Let's get some swastikas going before Germany bans them!

That article seems to me to be somewhat misleading. The use of the swastika is banned in Germany if it is used to promote the ideas of national socialism. In all other context (be it for eduction, in movies and theater) it of course can be used. Eg here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theodosius/111354338/ [flickr.com]

The same is true for all over uses of the symbol which are not related to national socialism, eg in Buddhism.

Dog Ancestor 3D? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657170)

The use of the swastika is banned in Germany if it is used to promote the ideas of national socialism. In all other context (be it for eduction, in movies and theater) it of course can be used.

Video games and motion pictures are both audiovisual works. Would a swastika in a video game be treated the same as one in a film?

Re:Dog Ancestor 3D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17657768)

Video games and motion pictures are both audiovisual works. Would a swastika in a video game be treated the same as one in a film?

To be honest, I'm not sure.

I looked up the respective German law (http://bundesrecht.juris.de/stgb/__86.html). Of course, it is in German, don't know whether that is of use for you.

In any case, (1) states that you can get a prison sentence of up to 3 years or a fine, if you posses or distribute propaganda material of unconstitutional organisations (like the Nazi party).

(3) says that (1) is not applicable, if the material is used for civil education, for the defense against anti-constitutional activities, or for art, science, education, research or the coverage of contemporal or historic events, or similar activities.

(4) says that in minor cases courts can abstain from imposing any fine at all.

So if you consider games as art, it would be OK. But of course, IANAL... ;)

Re:Dog Ancestor 3D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17658136)

It would not be a-okay. There's a reason Wolfenstein 3D etc are not legal in this country.
Same automagically applies for any random Unreal Tournament/Half-Life mod with a swastika.
(That argumentation also makes sense because you often enough can play as the Nazis, and otherwise could just stand around in RTCW looking at a flag without there being much art involved.)

Re:Dog Ancestor 3D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660140)

No. In Germany (like everywhere else), the rules are selectively enforced depending on the importance of the people
inconvenienced. That is why collecting stamps or coins from the Third Reich, swastikas and all, is perfectly OK (there are a *lot*
of collectors in Germany, probably including a number of politicians), but having swastikas in Castle Wolfenstein is not - gamers
have no political representation.

Re:Dog Ancestor 3D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660462)

Yes, even strategy games with WW2 setting have to have non-swastika flags/etc to be allowed to sell in Germany.

Re:Dog Ancestor 3D? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660702)

Videogames count as toys and as such are not permitted to show Nazi symbols.

Exchange Student (3, Funny)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654582)

I remember the German exchange student in my highschool years relating a story to me that fist fights and such outward violence is viewed as idiocy. He told me they tend to resolve conflicts verbally. Sure, they might swear at each other, but rarely does anyone resort to violence. He also played tons of GTA and said he did enjoy videogames. The guy woldn't hurt a fly. He was one of the coolest, most laid back people i've ever met, but the pot might've had something to do with that.

I love censorship (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654696)

I have criticized the EU gov't for a long time already because it is an overreaching, overregulating piece of bureaucratic uselessness. This is the final straw.
Go on, restrict free speech a bit more, not that it matters by now. I'll download everything from respectful countries if need be. My country will probably be first in line supporting this idiotic idea, seeing as a liberal gov't official was recently quoted advocating the ban of Rule of Rose and this gov't is oh so keen on "protecting" me...

ban violent games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654714)

Will they ban the ever-popular french game, set cars on fire [timesonline.co.uk] ?

Completely Understandable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654722)

Other than aliens, who gets more deaths in video games than "za Hairmons"?
I would get a little tired of it to. "Jeez! Don't you nerds have anyone else you
can kill for awhile? The Nazis have been beaten for a little while now...can't you
make a game where you are invading the middle east? Or Russia, WTF happened to all
that animosity towards the soviets?!? Your gonna give the CCCP a big 'ol smooch,
but look out, here comes yet another Nazi-shooter..."

(joking aside, I am in agreement with the core issue: STOP MAKING FREAKING WWII
THEMED GAMES!!!)

Problem with homicidal tendencies not games (2, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654848)

What is with the constant scapegoating of video games in Germany? Folks connected to a murder being Final Fantasy fans is about as relevant as their being, I don't know, Nestea Cool fans or something. You would really have to be flat-out disingenuous and have some alternate agenda in order to make a connection between Final Fantasy VII and a homicide (unless it was with a big big sword, or one of those sweet guns Vincent has... mmm triple barrel goodness...). As for pushing for EU-wide standards for violence in games, well unless the EU is all one big monolithic culture, those standards will not reflect the views of enough people IMO. But then again I'm not even a supporter of ESRB ratings in the US. Or movie ratings for that matter.

Re:Problem with homicidal tendencies not games (1)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661274)

Hmm, Why Scapegoat? I hope that is a rhetorical question.

In case it not...

It's because people want a solution to a problem that doesn't involve them acceping responsibility for their own actions, or that does not require much effort on their part.

Buty I hope you knew this already.

In Nazi Germany... (0, Offtopic)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655078)

... Violent Video Games Play You!

Sorry, couldn't resist :D

And they're right! (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655196)

Come on, people, everyone knows videogames make people violent. For example, Adolf Hitler was a Duke Nukem 3D fanatic, Josef Stalin loved Mortal Kombat, Che Guevara played Carmageddon the whole day, Pol Pot was crazy for Resident Evil...

Re:And they're right! (4, Funny)

T_ConX (783573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657796)

I heard Dick Cheney was a real Duck Hunt nut in the 80's... but he wasn't very good at it.

Re:And they're right! (1)

diablomonic (754193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657968)

hey come on, who modded the parent down, its the funniest comment Ive seen all day :) (and relevant, maybe if he played it some more the incident wouldnt have happened....(or it would have been fatal, depending on if it was accidental)

Sour Grapes. (0, Troll)

crhylove (205956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655272)

I think they are all just pissed off about being the bad guys forever, since Wolfenstein 3-d. But that's what happens when you let a false flag terror operation suspend the original precepts of democracy so that the fascists can take over and start espionage against the public. Luckily here in the US we're way too smart for that..... Oh. Shit.......

rhY

Re:Sour Grapes. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655644)

Your point would have been better if it included the mass slaughter of citizens by the government, but then your couldn't draw your ridiculous parallel anymore. I guess it sucks when you're dying to make a shitty point.

Re:Sour Grapes. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17657956)

The US managed that *without* a Treaty of Versailles.

One thing in common (3, Funny)

The_DoubleU (603071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655374)

Germany has had a few kids going nuts and in every case there was something in common. The person in question owned 'violent' video games. So it is very easy to ban video games.
But they forgot another thing all cases had in common, every person was attending high-shool of some sort of education. So my conclusion is to ban education and no more school shootings.

This give the kids also more time to play video games.

Re:One thing in common (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660032)

Objection your honor: In the first case the police report showed that the person did not even have a computer, the press just was screaming constantly he was an evil counterstrike player. In the second case he was a counterstrike player but the letter of farewell basically had no computer connection at all. In the third case, those evil guys were members of a computer club where they learned to program computers, the press instantly shouted they found the evil killer computer game final fantasy VII thats it basically. If you read the press and not the police reports (which are in the open) and listen to Stoiber and Beckstein who do not have a clue at all but basically scream for hanging before asking serious questions of course you get a different picture!

Ban politicians. (0, Offtopic)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655382)

Politicians and war are linked.

For that matter, come to think of it, BAN GERMANY.

Correlations... (2, Informative)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655558)

This, just days after two Final Fantasy VII fans were arrested in connection with a series of killings.


Most people are a fan of something. Is the media going to start associating other crimes with the personal interests of those perpetrators? In some cases it may provide some insight but in most cases it does not. I can think of a few things out there more closely related to crime than this and those aren't investigated.

But I guess this hits closer to home for many people and when was the last time the news media hasn't sensationalized a story to make a few extra dollars?

There's something very frustrating about government officials getting fixated on non-issues when there are far more serious problems to contend with.

Re:Correlations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660090)

I think that's the point - since they don't have a clue what to do about the real problems, but must be seen to do
something to justify their position, so they look for non-issues that they can "solve".

Final Fantasy VII?! (2, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655598)

This, just days after two Final Fantasy VII fans were arrested in connection with a series of killings.

They're calling Final Fantasy VII "Killerspiele" ("killer game") because two killers used aliases from the game.

They think the game inspired them to kill. How? Did they take turns?

Did someone translate the X-Play skit for "RPG Radiculopathy" [youtube.com] into German and leave out the humor?

Re:Final Fantasy VII?! (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17658476)

How is the parent Redundant? No one else posted that FFVII was a turn-based RPG or referenced RPG Radiculopathy before it did.

This is Germany (0, Flamebait)

mjwx (966435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659084)

Did someone translate the X-Play skit for "RPG Radiculopathy" into German and leave out the humor?


We are talking about the Germans, they are a people with no sense of humour.

Data (1)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655906)

Do they have any supporting data, other than hearsay and fear? The only thorough study of the idea that violent video games and violent tendencies are linked that I know of (here [inist.fr] ) failed to find any such link at all, even when the researchers entered the study expecting to find a link. And this is any link whatsoever, not just whether violent video games cause violent tendencies.

Why would they need supporting data? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656836)

Politicians never bother with it, they go with what they think, and they got elected so they must be right.

For examples of this behaviour see the war on drugs. Whenever new studies come out, even if they were funded by the government, if they don't fit the ideology they are discarded.

We do not currently have a society based on evidence or reason. More's the pity.

My two cents (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655952)

Violent video games do not create violent people. Instead, society ills create violent people, none of which are the video game's fault.

About time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17656006)

...that this gory Worms mayhem is stopped by the authorities

Similar news in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17656072)

Dateline Canada [www.ctv.ca] , where a coalition of teachers and parents want the gubbermint to restrict the sale of saucy music, video games, etc. to minors:

TORONTO -- Canadian children are being exposed to far too much violence in music lyrics, video games and on television and need to be protected by laws similar to those that restrict the sale of tobacco to minors, a coalition of teachers and parents said Wednesday.

The group called for age-based restrictions on music sales, similar to existing systems that prevent underaged consumers from obtaining inappropriate movies and video games. They also called for controls that would prevent radio and television stations from airing violent content before 9 p.m.


I'll take 'Exercises in futility in the age of file sharing' for a thousand Alex.

They don't want Germans shooting Germans (1)

thewils (463314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656084)

In Call of Duty.

No, not "Germany" (3, Insightful)

koinu (472851) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656090)

Only some stupid politicians!

True story (1)

onehalf (948544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656376)

The Germans, they are not a warlike people.

And yet you can piss and shit on someone in porn.. (1)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656454)

Apparently violence is bad, but shitting and pissing on someone in a porno is A-OK. I could wrong though, perhaps I wasn't watching German porn so much as it was the German version of the School House Rock segment on how the government works.

Re:And yet you can piss and shit on someone in por (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17656840)

You miss the point. You can't buy porn if you're under 18, yet you can buy video games that contain violence. There is a system to rate violence in video games, but some german politicians seem to thing that it's not strict enough, that's all.

Re:And yet you can piss and shit on someone in por (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660748)

When you're under 18 you can buy games with violence in them, yes. But that's only because a little violence doesn't immediately trigger the 18 rating. In Germany many of the more violent games are rated 18 and cannot be legally sold to minors.

prio "art" (2, Interesting)

Walter Carver (973233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656538)

Some of the games that I have played (and enjoyed) include Carmageddon, Doom, Doom2, Unreal Tournament, Quake3, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Unreal Tournament 2004, Doom3. After all this virtual blood, I can't hurt an ant and I can't stand to even see violence in real.

Some people just don't get it. Real violence is one thing, virtual is another.

And it's not like that violence in movies can be as (or more) graphic as in video/computer games, right? Not that violence in Germany wasn't present before video games either (WWII).

Mind their own business... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656886)

Why would Germany care for what other countries allow? :-p

Are they losing out revenue on not wanting violent games in their own country, and thus don't want anyone else to profit from sales or what?

If they only minded their own business and limited their own crazy laws to themselves.

Re:Mind their own business... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660762)

Because it's very easy to trade stuff across EU-internal borders and as such minors could circumvent an age restriction by ordering the game from e.g. Austria (or even walking over there and buying it if they live close enough to the border).

Re:Mind their own business... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661234)

That may be quite close to the truth. Major German studios like Crytek are quite likely to move to France (tax breaks) or the UK (because they all speak English already) in the near future given the current German climate towards games. As for preventing people playing these games, no chance. If they're available anywhere in the world they're available on p2p.

What is the next excuse? (1)

erica_ann (910043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657106)

Ok.. so a country bans a video game... because it creates violence for children and kids.

Well violence still continues...

So, do you ban the console video games are played on? Start banning hockey, soccer, other sports, media, wars?

For every bit of violence that is seen, someone will make an excuse for the violence. It is becoming a never ending cycle - ban something you do not understand instead of actaully seeing where the problem stems from.

Shall we ban people from the internet next? What a kid doesnt see on a video game, they can always go see/read/listen to on the internet. What I have seen on the 5 o'clock news can be worse than many "violent" video games.

Me personally... I watch what my kid plays.. I play the video game too (rented).. and if I think it is too violent, then I dont buy it or let him play it. My kid is my responsibility.. I am responsible for what he watches and sees.. not the government.

So much for history... (1)

Imaria (975253) | more than 7 years ago | (#17658470)

Has everyone on this planet forgotten there were murders and crimes before we had video games?

Umm... No (1)

lupine_stalker (1000459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659058)

Ok, this guy did spend quite a lot of time playing Counter-Strike, and thus, when he kills some people with a gun, it has to be linked. Correct?

 
No, it isn't. Now, if I was an avid surfer (IANAS), and one day I cracked and decided to kill my classmates, I would not whack them to death with my surf board. No, I would get access to whatever knife or gun I could and kill people that way. These people are over-reacting.

He spent virtually all waking hours playing CS (1)

emj (15659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659620)

You know perhaps the issue is about a young man playing to much computer games (I'm guessing 8 hours to 14 hours a day)... I played alot of Quake ten years ago, and got very good at it, well you have to get good if you play 8 hours a day for a couple of months. But you can't play that much without getting into somek ind of trouble, e.g. not doing everything you should in school, moving around less.

There are several reactions you can have when you discover that you are playing to much, either you stop, or you play more and more. The "I will shoot down all my classmates" reaction, is pretty long down that list, though.

Correction (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660020)

Not germany, Bavaria (dont mix that up with austria, we are very close languagewise, but totally different mentalitywise) Bavaria sort of is the Redneck state of germany, with some asshole populist politicians who have been on an anti gaming and video crusade for almost 20 years.

why isn't computer gaming cons more violent then? (1)

Mirar (264502) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660056)

As someone stated once,

If computer games makes you violent, why isn't there more violence at computer gaming cons?

It would be the perfect opportunity, people play counterstrike for 40 hours straight, have their senses depraved from lack of sleep and too much Red Bull and CC and Jolt and whatever, probably gets pissed at the kid who kills them in every single game...

When? (1)

robcfg (1005359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660218)

When, for god's sake, are they going to realize that it's responsability of the parents to guide their children and prevent such cases of younger people playing too many hours or inadequate games. I have played all kind of games trough all my life and I've never kill anybody, the difference is, my parents told me when to stop. Instead of banning games, they should made a training camp for parents.

Re:When? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660778)

When more people vote for the green party (which has politicians that do understand that) instead of the CSU (which just wants to ban the easiest target).

don't listen to rightwing politicians (0, Flamebait)

fnberger (1052830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661130)

people, could we switch back to normal? we hear proposals to outright ban all computer and video games from rightwing politicians all over the world. germany also has it's share of conservative fundamentalists and some sensationalist yellow press, while the majority rejects either the ban of games, of abortion or of free speech. on the other hand, some people even enjoy watching snuff videos. are snuff videos free speech? should it be legal to make a business from it? no. are 'manhunt' and 'postal' the right games for a 9-year-old? no. there should be big fat labels on the box, cd and starting screen of games, showing the appropriate user age, so parents can decide. and exactly this is what the EU is trying to achieve these days: continent-wide rules for age labels. which is good. no matter what rightwing nutheads are trying to tell us.
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