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Crytek Considers Leaving Germany Over Game Law

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the before-they-turn-up-the-heat dept.

Games 124

Heise is reporting that the largest German game developer and makers of the much-anticipated upcoming title Crysis, Crytek, are considering leaving the country in anticipation of a new restrictive law. "The Conference of Interior Ministers (IMK) of the countries had unanimously decided on a production and distribution ban for violent computer games for the first time in the end of May. The responsible Federal Ministry of Family Affairs is presently working on a less drastic draft of a law for the protection of children and youth. Instead of only the previous 'violence glorifying' games, also the 'violence dominated' games should be indexed by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM) in the future. These may then no longer be advertised and sold to youths."

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Old news? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20322417)

Re:Old news? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20322591)

Jack Thompson is furiously smoking a crack pipe and muttering to himself in german about the nature of violence...

If Crytek actually *does* change location due to legislation like this, I think that *IS* news. Otherwise.. meh.

Re:Old news? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20328341)

It's quite possible that they're just considering it again.

This should not exist anywhere (4, Interesting)

Sciros (986030) | about 7 years ago | (#20322453)

"Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons"

As socially progressive/liberal as Germany is in many ways, the sheer fact that it has such an organization is astounding and disappointing to me. First of all, it sounds way too much like something only a "Totalitarian Regime"(tm) would have. Second, it's such a misappropriation of resources it's laughable.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (2, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 7 years ago | (#20322581)

Well, yes and no. Just by the name, you can't be completely sure their purpose. Maybe they approve videos appropriate for classroom viewing? Maybe they are the organization that enforces not selling porn to minors?

Re:This should not exist anywhere (2, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | about 7 years ago | (#20322835)

Heh, on that note, given the average German high-schooler's attitude/approach to sex, they might as well *market* porn to minors for all it matters.

Maybe I was a bit too surprised when a close relative of mine in Germany first nonchalantly said something like "oh, here everyone's slept with everybody" w.r.t. her school... it's like, thanks but I didn't really need to hear it from you T_T

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20328417)

What better marketing is there than saying "you're not allowed to have this"?

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 7 years ago | (#20333813)

Maybe I was a bit too surprised when a close relative of mine in Germany first nonchalantly said something like "oh, here everyone's slept with everybody" w.r.t. her school...

I guess that's one way of making the job of a teacher more appealing ;).

Re:This should not exist anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20322595)

Yeah because no way could liberalism ever end in ridiculous nannyist control over everyone's every thought or action.

Unfortunately par for the course (2, Insightful)

Eco-Mono (978899) | about 7 years ago | (#20322607)

In general, I've found that the German government is extremely concerned about not repeating the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately, they seem to choose censorship as the way to accomplish that goal time and time again. C.f. laws making it a felony to deny the Holocaust (I don't deny it, but the cones who do still deserve their free speech).

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (1)

Sciros (986030) | about 7 years ago | (#20322879)

Yeah I agree it shouldn't be a felony. Of course to be fair it also shouldn't be a felony to deliver a swift elbow to a Holocaust denier's jaw. :3

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (1)

kalirion (728907) | about 7 years ago | (#20323127)

Of course to be fair it also shouldn't be a felony to deliver a swift elbow to a Holocaust denier's jaw. :3

In the U.S. at least, a swift elbow to anyone's jaw is treated as a misdemeanor assault, isn't it (as long as you don't break the jaw and the assaultee isn't a cop)?

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (3, Interesting)

ShaneThePain (929627) | about 7 years ago | (#20323227)

Screaming at someone is considered simple assault in the US, I would know. Did 32 hours of community service for that bullshit.

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 7 years ago | (#20330083)

I just wanna know whose goofy idea it is to strike first with an elbow rather than a fist? "Nerd fight!"

I keed, I keed :).

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (2, Informative)

Sciros (986030) | about 7 years ago | (#20330293)

Elbow hits harder and hurts the hitter less. Unless you hold your fist at the right angle and connect well you're liable to damage your hand. Far too many people learn this the hard way. So, not so much "nerd fight" as, say, "muay thai" perhaps... :-P

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20335801)

after a couple of elbow strikes, believe you me: you'll be begging for a fist.

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (1)

aichpvee (631243) | about 7 years ago | (#20324591)

Freedom of speech is how we've gotten into most of the big social messes that we have in the last 30 years. Personally I don't think people should have the right to teach ridiculous lies to children so that they grow up thinking that the truth is absurd. Felony seems a little light for these kind of people.

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (2, Insightful)

DerWulf (782458) | about 7 years ago | (#20328053)

Who decides what can be said then?

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 7 years ago | (#20330121)

Who decides what can be said then?
Apparently, the "Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons".

Re:Unfortunately par for the course for aichpvee (1)

Catmoves (1136147) | about 7 years ago | (#20331959)

If you'd like to be shocked (as I was) pick up an American History textbook from a teens history class. You'll have to dig through a lot of other facts in records to even understand how the "historians" could get so screwed up. Garbage in, garbage out.

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (2, Informative)

koi88 (640490) | about 7 years ago | (#20327939)


Unfortunately, they seem to choose censorship

While I certainly don't agree with this kind of law, I don't this this could be called censorship. Violent games would not be forbidden. From tfa: "These may then no longer be advertised and sold to youths."
Adults (over 18 years) may still purchase these games.

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20328459)

It's a bit hard to buy such a game because putting them on shelves where minors can see them counts as advertising and many major chains won't carry something they can't put on shelves. Indie game stores will probably work, though as well as rental shops since those have 18+ sections anyway.

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (1)

PastaLover (704500) | about 7 years ago | (#20330777)

Not to question your credentials (I don't know if you're german) but are you sure this applies to germany? I live in belgium (where porn is regulated in a similar way) and it is perfectly legal to put porn on the top shelf above a bunch of video games, for instance.

Re:Unfortunately par for the course (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20331245)

Germany's laws differ. I'm not sure about porn but putting indexed games on shelves is pretty much illegal. It may be allowed but noone wants to risk it.

Is the air that thin high up on your horse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20322691)

Organizations and laws which regulate the media with regard to protecting minors from harmful/disturbing content exist almost everywhere. Try to say "shit" or show a nipple on American television. Ask Rockstar how they feel about hot chocolate.

Re:Is the air that thin high up on your horse? (1)

Sciros (986030) | about 7 years ago | (#20322779)

Am I saying they're OK in the US but bad in Germany? No... in fact much of my point was that Germany *is* socially progressive (in the sense you're talking about) -- more so that the US.

So, yeah I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, or why you assume there was something self-righteous about what I stated earlier.

Re:Is the air that thin high up on your horse? (1)

DerWulf (782458) | about 7 years ago | (#20328075)

It's not that liberal vs. conservatives means to ban or not to ban. Both are equally keen on shaping society through law according to their world view. Conservatives will try to ban matierial they consider 'pornographic' and liberals would want to outlaw violence in the media. Two sides, same coin. Consquently, being suprised about such an insitiution in a 'liberal' country only shows a flawed understanding of what 'liberal' means.

Re:Is the air that thin high up on your horse? (1)

Sciros (986030) | about 7 years ago | (#20330369)

I wasn't basing my assessment of Germany on someone else defining it as "liberal." Rather, my personal experience. Also, you are confusing "liberal" with "Democrat" in the political party sense. There's nothing "liberal" about outlawing violence in the media; that's just not how the word is defined.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (4, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | about 7 years ago | (#20323275)

Meh. At least Germany wears its totalitarian nomenclature on its sleeve. In the USA, the same department would be part of the Department of Commerce, created by part 79, paragraph 34, section 5(b) of the Oil Drilling and Cuddly Puppy Recognition Act.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (2, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | about 7 years ago | (#20325137)

Sure, but the Department of Commerce would be lynched by the courts if they tried to even think about this level of bullshit. In fact, that is exactly what has happened. Various regulatory branches and legislators made up of in-bred idiots who have apparently never read the constitution have tried multiple times to pull such worthless crap and been shot down.

Say what you will about the US, but that Bill of Rights is a mighty fine thing to have. It certainly has been eroded over time, but it did just fine smacking down another handful of anti-video game laws this year.

Personally, I find Germany a nice to place visit, but considering the crap going on there, I wouldn't want to live there.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (2, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | about 7 years ago | (#20325339)

This attitude is somewhat ironic. In Germany, content with nudity and some sex are not banned but violence is, while in the United States you're not allowed to see an exposed breast as a kid but you can buy a game in which you blow people's heads off and have their blood splatter everywhere. It's not really about the degree of regulation, but about the values of the society.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (2, Informative)

koi88 (640490) | about 7 years ago | (#20327907)


In Germany, content with nudity and some sex are not banned but violence is

That's exactly the point. There would be no nipplegate in Germany.
Whenever American friends come to visit here in Germany, they are surprised about the "level of nudity" you can see in public TV. You can see completely naked women in shower gel ads in the afternoon, but nobody would be shocked about that.
However, there is this tendency of some politicians to blame violent video games for everything that goes wrong with a young guy. I think this is stupid, but I know a lot of people who agree with these politicians.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

mjhacker (922395) | about 7 years ago | (#20333733)

Maybe they're so sensitive about violence because of WWII? And they're afraid of not looking like they're doing enough to make Germany a peaceful country?

Just speculation on my part.

It's lonely at the top. (1)

remmelt (837671) | about 7 years ago | (#20327759)

"Various regulatory branches and legislators made up of in-bred idiots who have apparently never read the constitution have tried multiple times to pull such worthless crap..."
Ah, you're talking about George W. Bush!

"...and been shot down."
Oh wait, you weren't.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

nuzak (959558) | about 7 years ago | (#20332181)

Various regulatory branches and legislators made up of in-bred idiots who have apparently never read the constitution have tried multiple times to pull such worthless crap and been shot down.

Shot down again and again and again and again and again and ....

Eventually, they get some kind of "compromise" that sticks, but it always pushes in their direction. Then they start over again.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (2)

icedcool (446975) | about 7 years ago | (#20323399)

You'd think they would have learned from certain incidents back in the 1940's. Any censorship in general is bad.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (2, Interesting)

Clazzy (958719) | about 7 years ago | (#20323471)

I think they're under the impression that censorship in the "right areas" will prevent that kind of thing from happening again. Your guess is as good as mine on this, though.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20328585)

Or they learned that where there's a will there's a way and all the anti-censorship laws in the world won't stop a dictator from censoring things.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

sykopomp (1133507) | about 7 years ago | (#20323423)

The US isn't the only country that's suffering a conservative revival. Even in France, the cons are making a big fuss (and taking over the gov.) It seems to be a pretty widespread phenomenon in the western world atm. At least good ol' Scandinavia is still liberal and awesome. Fuck Canada, I'm moving to Norway.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 7 years ago | (#20330221)

Fuck Canada, I'm moving to Norway.
I wonder what the best option is among English-speaking countries.

I basically just want somewhere that won't bother me for owning a gun, hunting, playing any type of video game I want, and whose government won't bitch about porn like it's the epitome of all evil. Cheap broadband and low cost-of-living wouldn't hurt :).

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

PastaLover (704500) | about 7 years ago | (#20330829)

I basically just want somewhere that won't bother me for owning a gun, hunting, playing any type of video game I want, and whose government won't bitch about porn like it's the epitome of all evil. Cheap broadband and low cost-of-living wouldn't hurt :).
Uhm... Texas?

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | about 7 years ago | (#20332789)

All English speaking countries are a pretty bad bunch on this. I'd recommend learning another language. But if you MUST choose an English speaking country, I think New Zealand probably meets the most of your above criteria - just stay out of Auckland. Preferably somewhere much further south like Dunedin is good for the "do what you want as long as you're not hurting anyone" attitude.

(please note: attitude, not law. The law isn't too bad there, but there's still some pretty screwed up ones)
(second note: live on a farm, it's easier to get a gun then)
(third note: I grew up in NZ, but I live in Germany these days - and I'm LOVING IT HERE. Stupid laws exist everywhere. Overall, the only place I've ever been happier with life and a feeling of personal liberty than here in Germany was when I lived in the Netherlands (which I'm only a few hours drive away from now anyway (I don't live there anymore, but only because I have a job here)))

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

sykopomp (1133507) | about 7 years ago | (#20333375)

Scandinavia is basically English-speaking. Pretty much everyone in the cities is fluent in English, and they do a lot of business in English. I'm not sure about Norway, but I know Finland (aka Winland) actually has some local TV stations that broadcast in English with Finnish (or maybe it was Swedish...) subtitles. Plus, after 2-3 years living in a country and being immersed in a language, it's not too hard to learn it fluently.

Why is Germany such a scapegoat, still?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20323589)

Well, the mishaps of the (in alphabetical order)

Chinese
English
French
Japanese
Mongols
Portuguese
Russians
Spaniards

and many many other over the centuries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Most_lethal_wars_in_ world_history) and then repeated by the Germans sixty years ago, which apparently cannot be forgotten and forgiven unlike the other? Why on Earth is the WWII repeated in games over and over again? There are more interesting and more technologically advanced battles to render, if the gameplay itself is the motif:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1945%E2% 80%931989 [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1990%E2% 80%932002 [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_2003%E2% 80%93current [wikipedia.org]

Why is Germany such a scapegoat, still?! It makes no sense. Yet, do you think that the "Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons" is a self-imposed institution? Probably it is, after all. Introspect is not that uncommon.

- - -

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#20323947)

What are you surprised about more? The idea that a liberal country would be like this or that your understanding of liberal might be wrong?

There have been some conservatives out for a while claiming the liberals are like that. I personally expected something like that from Germany but never expected it to go as far as it did. However, I have looked past the liberal is this and conservative it that rubbish people attempt to force us and look to what is actually going on. You see the friendly liberals wanting to Vchip your TV and Flag the broadcasts, They wan't to censor music, movies and videos and all that.

Don't get me wrong, It isn't a case or the conservatives being innocent on this. It is just that I expected it from them. Kipper Gore or whatever her name is, along with the liberal hillary (Mrs. clinton) have led the charge at stuff like this. Step far back and take a look. I'm willing to be that a lot of things you think about liberal/conservative/fascist/whatever are different in practice.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (2, Insightful)

aichpvee (631243) | about 7 years ago | (#20324613)

No, liberal means what we think it means. These people just aren't liberal. Anyone who thinks that Hillary Clinton is a liberal in any sense is a fool.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20330533)

Why? It fits our general populace mindset pretty good. Most of Germanies "social progression" (whatever that is) is just another facette of a population that almost generally trusts authorities and thinks those could solve almost anything.

It's a pity and I have the feeling that this country is slowly turning into the old GDR.

Re:This should not exist anywhere (1)

hauntingthunder (985246) | about 7 years ago | (#20331337)

oh and the banning of ww2 models with swaticas on has been so sucsessful in curbing neo nazi parties. BTW Crytek come to Bedford in the Uk its a nice town near to london 35 min on train (ill get the local MP to open your new offices :-)

I'm gonna coin a new word here: (3, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | about 7 years ago | (#20322511)

Nannyfascist.

Re:I'm gonna coin a new word here: (3, Informative)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 7 years ago | (#20322749)

Nannyfascist.
Somebody already beat you to the punch... [google.com]

Re:I'm gonna coin a new word here: (1)

Stanistani (808333) | about 7 years ago | (#20322851)

...seven results on Google means I came close. ...except that one of the results was two years old. Drat!

How about NannyNazi? Nope. Four results. Snick.

NannyFürher? There we go...

Re:I'm gonna coin a new word here: (1)

necro2607 (771790) | about 7 years ago | (#20327769)

Yeah dude, like 3 people, according to Google... in this case he came up with a pretty fucking original phrase, I'd say. ;)

Got you now! (2, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 7 years ago | (#20322817)

Godwin'd in less than half an hour

NEW RECORD!

Re:I'm gonna coin a new word here: (1)

BUL2294 (1081735) | about 7 years ago | (#20323689)

Nannynazi?

I can't believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20322525)

There are authoritarian governmental forces in Germany?! What's this world coming to?

Piss people off enough and they move (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about 7 years ago | (#20322575)

This really shouldn't be much of a surprise. If a government essentially makes your business illegal, you've got three options. Close shop, move, or go underground.

I have empathy for the Germans, but, let it happen. Let the gaming entertainment industry leave. Let the nanny-state take over. Then pay attention as crime doesn't go down, as youths don't magically become better adjusted, as tax receipts go down due to industry lost.

Look how long it took for Prohibition in the US to be tossed out the window. Look at what the War on Drugs STILL hasn't managed to succeed in. And, compared to gaming, these two examples are MUCH more important.

Re:Piss people off enough and they move (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 7 years ago | (#20322811)

Look at what the War on someDrugs STILL hasn't managed to succeed in.
Fixed.

Re:Piss people off enough and they move (3, Insightful)

Corporate Drone (316880) | about 7 years ago | (#20322837)

This really shouldn't be much of a surprise. If a government essentially makes your business illegal, you've got three options. Close shop, move, or go underground.

Agreed. However...

I have empathy for the Germans, but, let it happen. ... Then pay attention as crime doesn't go down, as youths don't magically become better adjusted, as tax receipts go down due to industry lost.

Ahh, yeah, right. Tax receipts will go down over this? Not likely, at least not in any measureable way.

Look how long it took for Prohibition in the US to be tossed out the window. Look at what the War on Drugs STILL hasn't managed to succeed in. And, compared to gaming, these two examples are MUCH more important.

Prohibition got tossed 'cause mainstream, voting Americans made it happen. The "war on drugs" isn't getting anywhere 'cause mainstream, voting Americans... don't really care about it. Gaming? Not even on the radar...

Re:Piss people off enough and they move (1)

Khaed (544779) | about 7 years ago | (#20325421)

Tax receipts will go down over this? Not likely, at least not in any measureable way.

If every video game publisher closed up shop in Germany, they'd lose any sales tax revenue, and any corporate taxes the companies paid.

It might not be much, but if other media companies followed? It might sting enough. Never underestimate how much governments value other people's money.

Dude, the nanny state sux! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20324233)

[Applekid [slashdot.org] wrote]: Look how long it took for Prohibition in the US to be tossed out the window. Look at what the War on Drugs STILL hasn't managed to succeed in. And, compared to gaming, these two examples are MUCH more important.


Yo, I agree completely!

While we're at it, let's legalize rape, theft and burglaries, and drunk driving.

Theft and burglary have been around since the dawn of man. Even that old dusty book called "The Torah" (or "Old Testament") mentions something about stealing, and the United States wasn't even a country when that shit was written. Doesn't look like any laws are going to stop this habit, so let's legalize burglary and theft; then people can steal your crap without having to worry about some stupid nanny law!

In the year 2006, there were 17,602 alcohol-related car crash fatalities in the United States (source http://www.madd.org/stats/1112 [madd.org] ). Of those fatalities, 13,470 deaths were caused by drunk drivers. It's clear that laws that punish drunk drivers are not working, because they still happen by the thousands every year. Let's abolish penalties for drunk drivers; then drunks can slam their cars into you without having to worry about some stupid nanny law!

Rape has been around for thousands of years; heck, the concept of "marriage" and "sexual consent" does even exist among wild animals. Rape is as natural as the sex drive, which -- if you know anything about the "birds and the bees" -- means that rape is encoded in our DNA. Rape has occurred for millions of years, and United States lawmakers are idiots for trying to legislate against the Laws of Nature. Let's legalize rape; then people can rape you without having to worry about some stupid nanny law!

Let's legalize murder. Even that old dusty book called "The Torah" (or "Old Testment") mentions something about Cain killing Abel. Since laws that penalize murderers haven't worked for thousands of years, let's legalize murder. Then people can kill you without having to worry about some stupid nanny law!

Nanny state sux (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20324561)

Applekid [slashdot.org] wrote]: Look how long it took for Prohibition in the US to be tossed out the window. Look at what the War on Drugs STILL hasn't managed to succeed in. And, compared to gaming, these two examples are MUCH more important.


Yo, I agree completely!

While we're at it, let's legalize rape, theft and burglaries, and drunk driving.

Theft and burglary have been around since the dawn of man. Even that old dusty book called "The Torah" (or "Old Testament") mentions something about stealing, and the United States wasn't even a country when that shit was written. Doesn't look like any laws are going to stop this habit, so let's legalize burglary and theft; then people can steal your crap without having to worry about some stupid nanny law!

In the year 2006, there were 17,602 alcohol-related car crash fatalities in the United States (source http://www.madd.org/stats/1112 [madd.org] ). Of those fatalities, 13,470 deaths were caused by drunk drivers. It's clear that laws that punish drunk drivers are not working, because they still happen by the thousands every year. Let's abolish penalties for drunk drivers; then drunks can slam their cars into you without having to worry about some stupid nanny law!

Rape has been around for millions of years; heck, the concepts of "marriage" and "sexual consent" do not even exist among wild animals. Rape is as natural as the sex drive, which -- if you know anything about the "birds and the bees" -- means that rape is encoded in our DNA. United States lawmakers are idiots for trying to legislate against the Laws of Nature. Let's legalize rape; then people can rape you without having to worry about some stupid nanny law!

Let's legalize murder. Even that old dusty book called "The Torah" (or "Old Testment") mentions something about Cain killing Abel. Since laws that penalize murderers haven't worked for thousands of years, let's legalize murder. Then people can kill you without having to worry about some stupid nanny law!

Re:Piss people off enough and they move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20327145)

Look how long it took for Prohibition in the US to be tossed out the window.

Can they tax the games instead of banning them? [pittsburghlive.com]

Re:Piss people off enough and they move (1)

yoprst (944706) | about 7 years ago | (#20327289)

Then pay attention as crime doesn't go down, as youths don't magically become better adjusted
This (paying attention) never happens
What really happens is that after "major advancments in protecting our youth" "we need to put more effort" because crime doesn't go down and youths don't magically become better adjusted. Nanny-state is like gas, it expands unless confined by sitizens. It's a form of power. They can't kill you and rape your wife, but still they can decide what you can or cannot do. That's satisfying. A moral empire is still an empire.

Re:Piss people off enough and they move (1)

KlausBreuer (105581) | about 7 years ago | (#20333519)

And the interesting (and quite unsurprising thing) is: in 2005 more germans left their country than ever (since WW2, that is).
145,000 people. And those are merely the ones who *say* that they're leaving - an estimate 250,000 people are simply leaving without comment. Over half of them are under 30.

2006 there were more. The 2007 numbers will be even higher.

Germany is not particularly evil (I know, I live here). The politicians are morons like everywhere else, so this doesn't count either.
But they're a) amazingly bureaucratic (the lawbooks, stacked on each other, make a much higher pile than *any* other country) and
b) they're more and more crawling into the USAs arse (which the population does *not* consider amusing).

And now we're probably loosing an interesting company as well. Wonder where they'll really move to - not many people here want to move into the USA, as it'll probably collapse rather irritatingly in the near future...

Dieter (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 7 years ago | (#20322679)

game developer and makers of the much-anticipated upcoming title Crysis, Crytek, are considering leaving the country in anticipation of a new restrictive law. Said one local, "I am so filled with anticipation that my genitals have sucked up into my body cavity."

Google it. I can't make this shit up.

Re:Dieter (1)

notamac (750472) | about 7 years ago | (#20332089)

I feel spent, like a man who is forced to wear his genitals around his neck like a pendant.

Parental responsibility, anyone? (5, Insightful)

llamalad (12917) | about 7 years ago | (#20322739)

Why do we need legislation to protect children?

Isn't that what parents are for?

Parents should know their kids and what their kids are doing.

Outlawing lazy/ignorant parents, I think, would be much more productive than banning video games and porn.

More important... (0, Flamebait)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 7 years ago | (#20322989)

Why don't legislators ask for actual evidence of harm to children or society in general before chasing economically-productive companies out of their country?

Is it one of those "socialism" things, or what? Somebody help me out here.

Re:More important... (1)

Duffy13 (1135411) | about 7 years ago | (#20329529)

Besides their not being any, they are either:

a.) looking for a new scapegoat

b.) realize that if they pursued a true investigation that would eventually reveal it's actually bad parenting, which in turn would indicate they are bad parents since they did not realize this

I have the strangest feeling if B is ever true it's a minority case.

Re:Parental responsibility, anyone? (2, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | about 7 years ago | (#20323165)

Why do we need legislation to protect children?

Isn't that what parents are for?

Parents should know their kids and what their kids are doing.


You realize the same argument can be made against child molestation laws, right? I'm not trying to compare the two, just saying that you should modify your argument a bit ;)

Re:Parental responsibility, anyone? (1)

WhyDoYouWantToKnow (1039964) | about 7 years ago | (#20323757)

You realize the same argument can be made against child molestation laws, right? I'm not trying to compare the two, just saying that you should modify your argument a bit ;)

I realize that your point was likely directed at the statements "Why do we need legislation to protect children?" and "Isn't that what parents are for?". But I believe you chose a poor comparison (yes, I know you didn't mean to compare the two).

Child molestation (and child abuse in general) is a very damaging crime with far and wide reaching consequences. Child molestation is often perpetrated by someone close to the family and quite often the commission of the act is done very subtly and the revelation of the act comes as a surprise to others. Laws are needed to prosecute people who commit these crimes, which can be read as legislation to protect children.

Enacting a law to prevent the sale of violent video games because some dimwitted mother decided to purchase a game rated as adult or 17+ or mature for her eight year-old and who then complained about the violence in the game is inane. This is not legislation to protect children, this is legislation to protect zoned-out, out-of-touch, uninvolved parents. If a parent doesn't want their child to play violent video games, then don't buy them. If a parent doesn't want their child to be exposed to violent video games outside of their view, get to know their child's friends and the parents of their child's friends. That is called responsible parenting.

This law is nothing like child molestation laws. Child molestation laws are there to punish those who have committed the crime and to prevent that person from repeating the crime; thereby protecting the children. This law says "we don't think children should see this type of media so we're going to ban it"; thereby protecting the children and removing the responsibility from the parent to decide for themselves if they think it is appropriate for their child to be exposed to this type of media and taking the appropriate measures as a parent to ensure their decision is enforced.

Re:Parental responsibility, anyone? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 years ago | (#20324247)

Except that video games don't go stalking your children in the park. They sit there on the shelf waiting for you to buy them. They don't download and install themselves on your computer, and then hold the child down and make the child play the game. See the difference?

RTFA (1)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 7 years ago | (#20325499)

Did you bother to RTFA? This law simply forbids companies from advertising the games directly at kids ("stalking" them, to use your analogy) and shops from selling the games directly to kids (picture your own analogy). See the similarity?

Companies are still free to develop the games and kids are still free to ask their parents to buy the game for them.

Re:RTFA (1)

DerWulf (782458) | about 7 years ago | (#20328115)

Actually the law would mean that any game centered around any form of violence could not be advertised for AT ALL. Neither could it be on shelfes (cause thats also advertising). We all know how keen retailers are to carry products they would have to hide from customers ...

Re:RTFA (1)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 7 years ago | (#20331427)

Cigarettes can't be advertised in most places but just about every coffeshop throughout Europe sells them. Porn can't be advertised, either, but the porn industry makes more money than Hollywood. So what was your point...?

And I believe the keyword in your first sentence is "centered". Is it too much to ask that games have a plot and some gameplay beyond pressing the trigger and killing anything that moves?

Germany has some really stupid "anti-violence" laws (which led to silly things such as changing the colour of blood from red to green in Doom), but IMO limiting the advertising and sale of "violence-centered" games to children is a good idea (let's see if they don't screw it up in the final draft of the law). Not only does it force the parents to take responsibility for their kids' education, but it also puts some pressure on developers to come up with more original, more constructive and more challenging forms of gameplay.

Re:Parental responsibility, anyone? (1)

llamalad (12917) | about 7 years ago | (#20324437)

You cannot possibly equate publishing Doom with accosting children. That's absolutely ridiculous and more than a little offensive.

Legislation is no substitute for parents' being actively involved in their childrens' lives. If you don't want your children to play violent games, don't buy such things for them. If you're concerned that they'll play them at a friend's house, ensure that your childs' friends' parents' values are similar to your own. YOU are responsible for raising your children.

Here's a better way to accomplish the desired result- make it illegal for children to possess/play such games and have consequences for parents who fail their children in this regard.

What "desired result"? A fascist state? (1)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 7 years ago | (#20325721)

> Here's a better way to accomplish the desired result- make it
> illegal for children to possess/play such games and have
> consequences for parents who fail their children in this regard.


While you're at it, why not prosecute parents that fail to indoctrinate their children with the state-approved worldview or religion? Surely they are "failing their children" by letting them see or think about something the Beloved Leader doesn't approve. Yes, let's turn parenting into the KGB.

If my kids want to play Doom, and if I think they're mature enough to play Doom, it's none of the government's fucking business. But since I can't (and have no desire to) control what my kids see 24/7, I expect sane limits on what can be advertised and sold directly to them. That is what this law does; it prevents marketing departments from undermining parenting, by forcing children to buy violent games through their parents.

Your notions of parenting and capitalism (not to mention freedom) must be seriously screwed up if you think that it should be legal to advertise and sell a certain product to children, but then it should be illegal for them to own it, with consequences for the rest of their family.

Re:What "desired result"? A fascist state? (1)

llamalad (12917) | about 7 years ago | (#20328265)

Sarcasm doesn't come through well over the 'net.

My "better idea" was meant to show how ridiculous the situation is. It's intended to put responsibility where it should be (on parents) but also points out the degree to which it restricts parents in how they raise their children

Re:What "desired result"? A fascist state? (1)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 7 years ago | (#20333553)

How does requiring parents to know which games their children play "resctrict the way they can raise their children"? Unless your definition of "raise" means "let them do anything they want and not even be informed about it".

If anything, forcing parents to act as intermediaries between their children and commercial corporations will force them (and, eventually, the corporations) to act more responsibly.

I'm strongly opposed to any law that bans or criminalises access to any kind of information, but the issue here is that companies are actively marketing (potentially harmful) products to children simply because that increases their profits. And when a company has millions in marketing funds and easy access to the media, 24 hours a day, things get a bit skewed against the parents, no matter how "responsible" they are.

Do you also think that it's "ridiculous" that kids can't buy whisky or cigarettes, in most countries?

Re:Parental responsibility, anyone? (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#20324007)

Most parent don't know how to be a parent. And some who think they do never become a proper parent. It is because we have a generation of kids raised by kids attempting to raise kids. They are just burdens and tax write offs now. Whenever someone offer to take part of the parenting role away from parent the majority of them say "OK, less I have to do now" or they had never even though about it long enough to know someone should have been doing it.

The guberment needs to raise your kids because it takes a village and even if it doesn't, they can.

False premises, false logic, false conclusion (3, Insightful)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 7 years ago | (#20325447)

Unless you give up your job and homeschool your kids, it's kind of hard to know (let alone control) what they're doing 24/7. And I'm not sure that's desirable, either.

I'm sure you wouldn't like to see explosives manufacturers (for example) targeting your 8-year-old kids. Buy a stick of dynamite, throw it at your friends, it'll be a blast! (add footage of cartoon character covered in soot, but still in one piece, and then everbody laughs).

Likewise, some people think that certain kinds of games (or certain kinds of movies, powertools, guns, junk food, industrial chemicals, cigarettes, liquor, etc.) should not be advertised or sold directly to children. It's a crazy notion, I know...

Your talk about "banning videogames" suggests that you don't know what this law says, and didn't even bother to RTFA (in fact, it looks like you didn't even read the fucking summary, let alone the fucking article). The law doesn't "ban" any games and doesn't even forbid children from playing those games. All it says is that the games can't be advertised or sold directly to children. If your kids want to play it, they can simply ask you to buy it for them.

So you see, this law is exactly what you were asking for: it "outlaws ignorant parents" by making sure they are informed, and forces them to make a conscious decision.

What Crytek is doing here is called "getting free publicity". Their "threat to leave the country" is nonsensical, for two reasons:

1. The place where the game is developed makes no difference; the law applies to all games marketed and sold in Germany. They could move to Mars and that wouldn't make any difference.

2. All this law does is force kids to buy the games through their parents. Is Crytek's target market "kids who buy and play games without telling their parents"? Even if it is (which I find hard to believe), there's still #1.

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 7 years ago | (#20326509)

If that's the law then it sounds fair enough to me.

Just like the many other laws preventing minors from doing/getting stuff unless their parents/guardians approve.

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

DerWulf (782458) | about 7 years ago | (#20328135)

Actually, the parent's wouldn't be allowed to let their kids play such games. Secondly, the law prohibits advertisments so no TV spots, no posters, no standup figures, no games convention booth and no copies on retailers shelfes. This might harm them, don't you think?
I'd act the same way: why the hell pay the high taxes if the country effectivly prevents you from selling you product?

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 7 years ago | (#20331283)

gt; Actually, the parent's wouldn't be allowed to let their kids play such games.

Can you please post a link to the part of the law that says that?

gt; the law prohibits advertisments so no TV spots,

TV spots would probably be allowed after a certain time of day, as happens with ads for alcoholic drinks, for example. The current draft of the law does not forbid advertising; it forbids advertising targetted at minors. I don't remeber any TV spots for FarCry, anyway, so even if they couldn't run TV spots at all, that would make very little difference.

> no posters,

Nothing prevents them from making posters as long as those aren't ads for the game.

gt; no standup figures, no games convention booth

They're free to have a games convention booth, as long as they limit access only to people over the legal limit (ex. 16 years of age). This is already true for games with explicit sexual content. And, inside that booth (or any other space limited to adults), they can even have all the ads and stand-up figures they want.

and no copies on retailers shelfes.

Of course they can have copies on retailers' shelves, just as restaurants are free to have whisky bottles and cigarette packs on their shelves. They simply cannot sell those products directly to minors.

This might harm them, don't you think?

Yes, I think it will (not much, though - there are still game review magazines and the internet, which is how most people learn about new games), but I don't feel the least bit sorry for them. I feel that advertising targeted at children is harmful (to the children and, indirectly, to their parents).

This might also force game developers to be a bit more original with their future games and come up with something that's isn't just a repetition of the same "shoot everything that moves" formula. I don't mind if my kids want to play violent games, but am concerned with advertisers brainswashing them into buying and playing dumb, repetitive games, when they could instead be playing something that stimulates their intellectual abilities (regardless of whether it's violent or not).

I guess it will boil down to the details in the final draft and on how the law is applied. If it's used to limit access to every game that shows a drop of blood, that's obviously stupid, but I don't think that limiting the marketing of games that revolve exclusively around violence is a bad thing. First-person shooters have become the junk food of the games industry, and I don't want marketing departments trying to get my kids "hooked".

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

nefertari (240766) | about 7 years ago | (#20329719)

1. The place where the game is developed makes no difference; the law applies to all games marketed and sold in Germany. They could move to Mars and that wouldn't make any difference.
No, the new law which some politicians propose would also forbid to make such games in germany.

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 7 years ago | (#20331557)

In every country, "some politicians" will propose very stupid things. But this is what the Heise article says:

"The responsible Federal Ministry of Family Affairs is presently working on a less drastic draft of a law for the protection of children and youth. Instead of only the previous "violence glorifying" games, also the "violence dominated" games should be indexed by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM) in the future. These may then no longer be advertised and sold to youths."

If this is what the law does (limit advertising and sale of violent games), I have absolutely no problem with it, and in fact think it could be a good thing. There is far too much advertising targeted at children, nowadays, and the gaming industry has been losing originality and repeating the brainless FPS formula ad nauseum.

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20330271)

It's still a retarded law that's only introduced because they want to look like they're doing something (yeah, bringing back the Reich!) while the laws are already set up to prevent minors from getting violent videogames. All they're doing now is try to get more games forced under counters and into 18+ sections because the authorities doing that part aren't willing to obey every whim of the govt and don't just file a game as 18+ becasue some retarded wannabe Nazi needs to get some more voter support from the soon-to-be-dead.

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20333213)

Godwined before the end for the first sentence. Impressive.

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 7 years ago | (#20334427)

So it doesn't bother you (or the idiots who modded you +4, Insightful) that throwing dynamite at a kid will actually harm them, while exposing him to violent videogame content will not?

Other than that, yeah, good argument. Dumbass.

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 7 years ago | (#20336205)

So you equate "targeting explosive ads at children" with "throwing dynamite at a kid" ? In that case, maybe you should compare it with "beating kids to death with a stack of Doom 3 CD-ROMs".

It's perfectly possible for kids to handle explosives (or guns, alcohol, etc.) correctly. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea to advertise and sell those things directly to them.

As to your claim that "exposing kids to violent games does not harm them", good job posting all those supporting links.

Study after study has demonstrated that violent games make children and teenagers less sensitive to violence (not necessarily more agressive, assuming they're stable to begin with, but less likely to intervene in situations where others are victims of violence, and more likely to consider violence as an appropriate solution to problems). It has also been shown that more agressive people are naturally drawn towards violent games, which means the games can be used as an early warning sign - if the parents know their children are playing those games (which is the whole point of a law banning direct sales to children).

Here:

http://www.apa.org/releases/videogames.html [apa.org]
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8449 [newscientist.com]
etc.

On top of that, the time that kids spend playing Doom 3 (for example) is time they do not spend doing other, more intellectually stimulating activities (which can include playing other videogames, coding, reading, playing sports, plotting world domination, etc.). In my personal experience, people who play FPS games obsessively and exclusively tend not to be very smart. Maybe they play FPS games because the other games are too complex for them, or maybe it's the other way around. More liklely, it's a self-reinforcing loop.

While I wouldn't have any problem with my kids playing FarCry, I definitely want to know that they're playing it, and I do not want marketing departments and retailers conspiring to undermine my parental responsibility just so they can increase their profits (at my cost, no less). I don't have any problem with kids being "exposed" to violence, but I do have a problem with companies trying to shove it down their throats.

Re:False premises, false logic, false conclusion (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 7 years ago | (#20337905)

So you equate "targeting explosive ads at children" with "throwing dynamite at a kid" ?

Um, no, you did that. Read your own opst.

Study after study has demonstrated that violent games make children and teenagers less sensitive to violence...

Call me when one of those bogus "studies" actually uses the Scientific Method.

Hint #1: that means the conclusion comes at the end of the study, not the beginning. "Here's a grant, go find some evidence for effect XYZ" is not a valid study.

Hint #2: it also means using a meaningful control group. Find some kids who've just come in from a rough game of Cowboys And Indians, and compare their responses to the Doom 3 fans.

germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20323103)

Well it makes sense, Germany has always, through out its history been a peace loving nation.

Re:germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20323197)

stay - go - just as long as Crysis gets released

Jews consider leaving Germany over genocide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20323199)

Ach du lieber!

Germany destroys games (1)

koinu (472851) | about 7 years ago | (#20327209)

First I want to mention that I consider games as art. Many people put much effort into the production process with graphics, sound and gameplay. Each game is individual (has its special character). I am German and I won't buy any games in Germany that were originally produced for adult gamers. Why? Because they all have been changed until "child-safe". Wtf should I do with such a game? I give you one example... one of the worst things I've ever seen. Remember the game Commandos [wikipedia.org] ? Sometimes when you want to silently kill a soldier you have to take him on your back and pull him somewhere where you can hide the corpse. What did Germany do with this game, you ask? Well, when you kill the soldier he instanty becames a grave with a tombstone. Well you can imagine how idiotic it is to see someone carry a grave around. Then there are "war glorifying games", like Commando [wikipedia.org] (not Commandos!). It's one of the first games that have been restricted here. What the hell is war-glorifying in this simple shooter with 8x8 pixel sprites? They are INSANE here in Germany. I warn you not to care about selling games here, because it is expensive to alter graphics and sound to make it "Germany-compatible". Forget it simply. Adults will buy games in foreign countries and hope that the expensive art pieces won't be discovered by the customs. And to the games industry: please don't alter games. Don't release them here, if you can't. We gamers are adults and can use our credit cards, if we really like something.

Re:Germany destroys games (2, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20330435)

1. The censoring went down as time passed. Try Company of Heroes, it has bloody, severed limbs flying everywhere and its rated 16.
2. Customs doesn't give a shit what games you are importing. Well, unless it's Manhunt or something because that's banned. They don't care about indexed or unrated games though.

So what about Nintendo? (1)

payndz (589033) | about 7 years ago | (#20327329)

Nintendo Europe is also headquartered in Germany (I've been to their offices; it's weird, because they're on an industrial estate on the outskirts of this little village in the middle of nowhere) - what happens if this creeping nannyism spreads to include killing creatures with a sword or a bow (Zelda) or shooting aliens (Metroid) or jumping on turtles (Mario)?

damn video games! (2, Funny)

arse maker (1058608) | about 7 years ago | (#20327973)

Hitler played too many PS1 games back in Austria, look what happened to him! War and violence is a new phenomenon, lets burn everyone at the stake till the issue goes away. Oh and for people surprised germany has so many totalitarian laws, the funniest part is they create them to counter Nazism, apparently strict over reaching laws will stamp this issue out, oh, the delicious irony :)

A new generation of political refugees ? (1)

skahshah (603640) | about 7 years ago | (#20328133)

Crytek leaving Germany because of a law prohibiting them to advertise and sell violent games directly to kids ? That would give the expression "political refugee" a whole new sense.

Seriously, we already have had examples of that kind of laws. I can't remember now in which country it has been prohibited to sell and advertise some product to minors, causing all the industry, for that reason, to emmigrate, staff and employees and their families. The product was alcoholic beverages, I believe...

I bet that law will be as efficient. The kids already know about the game, they'll be more interested in having it, they'll love the challenge, and they'll find young adults to buy it for them.

Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young P... (1)

Moniker42 (1131485) | about 7 years ago | (#20338721)

I'm not sure how this is any different to the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) or the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). I'm not opposed to violence in film just because they are violence but I don't like the idea of children growing up with the idea that it's okay to run around a city shooting people where the worst thing that can happen is you are shot by police and wake up outside the hospital without your weapons. It's a fine line between over-the-top-censorship (like Wal-Mart's beeping out of expletives in all their music) and rightful prevention of exposure to the kind of violent ideas that might influence a child (a nine-year-old playing Hitman: Blood Money or Bully).

I remember being around age 13/14 when GTA San Andreas was released, I had some contrasting thoughts. On the one hand I was fed up listening to people at school go on about gratuitous violence and it seemed to me they were becoming de-sensitized to it on some level; on the other, i enjoyed playing the game as much as they did as soon as it came out on PC - and it hasn't made me a violent person. As far as I know no-one at my school has went on to kill people for money or for the sake of it, surely realising the distinction between fantasy and reality, but I wouldn't find it hard to believe that some people were influenced by it. I think what we need is an objective study by some reputably psychologists into the way teens distinguish between reality and what happens in video games, there surely is evidence out there but I'm not aware of it...
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