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German Politico Calls For Ban On Violent Games 61

Posted by Zonk
from the because-killing-fictional-people-is-wrong dept.
GamePolitics reports that Germany's new coalition government wants to limit the development and production of violent games. From the article: "... Andreas Scheuer, a parliamentarian serving under the banner of the conservative Christian Social Union, told Der Spiegel that violent games 'have no place in Germany's bedrooms.' Scheuer added that parents must be responsible for what their children play, but that the German government could help less media-savvy parents by introducing a 'complete ban' on violent games. Along with movies, games are already subject to a rating process."
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German Politico Calls For Ban On Violent Games

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  • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:43PM (#14054067)
    the German government could help less media-savvy parents by introducing a 'complete ban' on violent games

    They could help my less savvy neighbor tone down his loud stereo. My other neighbor has a less savvy nose and doesn't understand how smelly his bbqs are. I have friends who are less savvy about politics and could use some help. There's the cow-orker who is less savvy about his belching and needs help.

    I sure wish I lived in a country like Germany with such savvy politicians looking out for my less savvy fellow citizens.
  • by Malor (3658) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:43PM (#14054074) Journal
    That's an amazing piece of spin. Saying "Parents must be responsible" and then within ONE SENTENCE flipping that around to "Parents aren't responsible so we're going to ban the things we don't personally like." Even the current American administration would have a hard time topping that one.
  • Err... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Winterblink (575267) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:45PM (#14054089) Homepage
    "... violent games 'have no place in Germany's bedrooms.' "

    Wait a sec... what are we talking about here? :)
  • I was gonna make a comment relating this to the book burnings over 70 years ago, but I thought it was a bit much.

    So, instead of making parents take responsibility for what their children see and do they're just gonna flat out ban violent games? As if the current censorship of games over there wasn't enough, I guess that sane, mature adults who enjoy playing violent games would be just totally screwed.

    "Scheuer added that parents must be responsible for what their children play..." 'Nuff said.
    • It's a tradeoff. Most people here in Germany understand English pretty well - in fact, good enough to play an English video game. So they're banning violent video games, and all it will do is increase piracy. Nice people in the states that have the violent video games will put them on bittorrent, the people here will download. It's a tradeoff - should we try to crack down on copyright infringement and stealing and piracy, or should we try to restrict an activity which has yet to be conclusively proven to ac

      • Currently, we have the occasional lawsuit campaign against filesharers, undertaken by game publishers who want to protect their revenue.
        But if certain types of games can't be sold in Germany anyway, there is no reason for publishers to waste any ressources on prosecution. Which means the police will be on their own in going after pirated versions of DOOM IV or such ;-)
      • People might laugh at this comment, but I think this would be a real cultural loss for Germany. People complain about America dominating cultures, but it is shit like this that feeds it.

        Imagine this, you are a German game designer. You design video games, sell them in Germany in German, and then sell them everywhere else in their respective languages. Some person in America or Japan gets to play your German made games. Through these games they get perhaps a small glimpse into German perspectives and cul
  • I don't mind regulating the sale of various products to those underage. But to state that we need to get rid video games because parents are too stupid to even read, well, I'm floored.

    If parents are too dumb, then obviously they shouldn't be raising the children, or you need to improve education.

    Deciding to impose restrictions on a particular medium is ridiculous. Violent movies are allowed, subject to a rating system. If the violent video games are on that rating system, then they should be allowed, too.

  • Yes, they do (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:52PM (#14054153) Journal
    "told Der Spiegel that violent games 'have no place in Germany's bedrooms.'"

    Let me get this straight, no violent games in German bedrooms?

    Guess we'll have to go back to playing scheisse games.

    Guess what? How about the idea that the German government has no place in their citizens' bedrooms?
    • Re:Yes, they do (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MadMoses (151207) on Friday November 18, 2005 @08:09AM (#14061534) Homepage
      German gamer here.

      How about the idea that the German government has no place in their citizens' bedrooms?

      Amen.

      There are already video games that are verboten in Germany because of their violent content, e.g. Manhunt. This game has been confiscated from video game stores.

      In addition, we have some kind of red list (called the Index), which includes all games that are rated suitable only for adults (18+). Those can't be sold in store areas that minor can access (i.e. they must be in a seperate room). You cannot advertise these games, you cannot print reviews of these games.

      Because of this, some video game companies don't even try to sell some games in Germany. For instance, you can't buy God Of War (!) in Germany. If I want it, I have to import it from the UK or Austria.

      Fuckers.
  • Uh-huh (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Sylver Dragon (445237)
    violent games "have no place in Germany's bedrooms."

    Scat porn on the other hand seems to be just fine.
  • "19-year-old gunman Robert Steinhaueser was an avid Counter-strike player, leading to calls to limit violent games in Germany." There are MILLIONS of counter-strike players but if ONE commits a violent crime then ALL games must be banned? I know I'm going to take some flack for this but this seems like the same logic as: "If one Jew commits a crime then Judaism should be banned so let's have a halocaust." I KNOW it is messed up to say but I hope the point is not lost.
    • I have any even better idea. Forget he is a CS player, he is 19!!! Let's ban 19 year olds from public places without an identifying mark. THEN let's ban violent video-games. Finally, as the youth had brown hair, we must either burn the brunettes for our own safety or intern them somewhere. This kind of generic labeling IS what caused the halocaust. It is sad to see that the Germans have not changed.
    • ### "19-year-old gunman Robert Steinhaueser was an avid Counter-strike player, leading to calls to limit violent games in Germany."

      That argument is old and was very flawed right from the beginning. First of I don't think Robert was an avid CounterStrike player, he might have played it every once in a while, but so far I havn't seen any proof that he played more then every random gamer you might find. Secondly Robert used *real* guns, real guns he *legally* owned and with which he *legaly* trained, yes, even
  • So the government should help "less media saavy" parents by banning games....hmmm...You know, some parents don't know how to drive too well. I know! Let's ban driving to help them with their kids when they are old enough to drive.

    Hmmm....you know, some parents don't know too much about nutrition. I know! Let's ban food to help them with their overweight kids.

    Hmmm....you know, some parents don't understand computers and the Internet too well. I know! Let's ban the Internet to help them keep pornography awa
  • Sour Grapes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skyshock21 (764958) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:55PM (#14054185)
    Could this be because all the good FPS games these days are based upon killing the most Germans you possibly can? [about.com]

    Nah... couldn't be.
    • Re:Sour Grapes (Score:3, Insightful)

      by meggito (516763)
      Yeah, a top-10 list of WW2 games is likely to involved some German killing. For the record, however, most of those games also involve American killing too. Oh, and those aren't necessarily the most popular, just the most popular WW2 games, which means your reference is biased. I would say that BF2 is more popular than either of the WW2 versions of BF you had listed. Your point is well taken, that video games depicted wars involving Germans may, on occasion, depict a German dying. That doesn't prevent u
    • First of all, the list you linked to is called "Top World War 2 First Person Games". There are a lot of other ones, that are very good

      Second of all, killing Nazi soldiers in games, books and movies is pretty much okay for every german. Nobody frowns upon it and actually nobody cares.

      Other than that: The only reason they bring this up now is because they weren't able to form a halfway working government since the elections and need something else to talk about. As soon as every one of these assholes hold
  • by Jtheletter (686279) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:57PM (#14054202)
    I'm not really up-to-speed on politics and laws in Germany but this seems rather draconian, especially in the context of the article quote: Scheuer added that parents must be responsible for what their children play, but that the German government could help less media-savvy parents by introducing a 'complete ban' on violent games.

    So OK, let's pretend for a second that banning games would in fact help 'less media-savvy parents' as intended, have they even done any studies** to show that such parents are in the majority? Or is the German government just assuming that they know better than most parents and/or most German parents aren't media-aware enough to make these decisions themselves?

    Let's face it, even if bans were the answer, no one has demonstrated that even a significant number of parents need this kind of help. And is it really helping society as a whole when the solution to help one set of people completely alienates another group, and leaves them with no choices? Let's hope this fails, and additionally (as unlikely as it is) our government pays attention and learns a lesson and so doesn't waste our time and money trying to implement something similar in the future as the violent games debate continues here in the US.

    (Full disclosure: I tried to read the original article linked from the blog that the /. summary points to but it is blocked by websense, if I've made some wrong assumptions - particularly about ** - then please correct me.)

    • I find it somewhat ironic that you are talking about censorship, but you can't read the blog (about censorship) due to an internet filter. I think it's funny. Probably not ironic, but I'll just throw that out there, so some pedant can correct me.
  • Love the comments in TFA link... someone got a Godwin FP.

    Too bad it was seriously intended, and did not, for one, welcome Beowulf clusters of Nazi overlords.
  • by Shads (4567)
    ...Well it's to know that the US doesn't have a monopoly on stupid politicians.
  • Scheuer added that parents must be responsible for what their children play, but that the German government could help less media-savvy parents by introducing a 'complete ban' on violent games. Along with movies, games are already subject to a rating process."

    Wait, they want parents to 'be responsible' for the games they buy their children or let their children play,
    but in an effort to make sure parents don't make the wrong descision (ie disagree with this wack-job), we'll ban violent video games entirely?
    H
  • Especially the ones that weren't letting their children play these games anyhow, but enjoyed playing the games themselves. Talk about irresponsible parenting.

    Given the demographics of videogame players these days, measures like this aren't so much "think of the children!" as "think of the young adults and middle aged folks!".
  • This stupid Kraut needs to have a few rounds of hot lead pumped into his head, be burned alive with some flaming napalm, and have his limbs removed not-too-gently with a dull butter knife
  • I stationed in Germany at Ramstein AB. I wonder how this ban would affect us military members who purchase video games either online and shipped to our US mailing address or at our local BX/PX. Hopefully the US would step up and say that their ban wouldn't affect us. As an adult it's my decision whether I want to play a violent video game or not. And shoot, I'm in the military, violence is kind of implied in the job at some level or another.
    • I stationed in Germany at Ramstein AB. I wonder how this ban would affect us military members who purchase video games either online and shipped to our US mailing address or at our local BX/PX.

      Just a guess, but I would say that you wouldn't be affected by German law. Similar to how when you step into an Embassy, you are considered to be on that nations land. (So if you step into the Russian Embassy, you are technically in Russia.) Easy way to check, does any German law apply on a US base in Germany? O
      • Similar to how when you step into an Embassy, you are considered to be on that nations land. (So if you step into the Russian Embassy, you are technically in Russia.) That's a common misconception. An embassy is not foreign territory. The myth arises because an embassy does have diplomatic immunity which prevents the host country's laws being enforceable in the embassy and prohibits the host country's security services entering to investigate crimes (or for any other reason), although the immunity can be
  • ... violent games 'have no place in Germany's bedrooms.

    Yeah, cause thats where we tape people shitting on each other during sex.
  • Damn those cursed videogames, they invented violence! Seriously, you'd be better banning Brixton from kids below 18 than banning videogames.
  • Over here in the Netherlands there's also debate about the violence in videogames, well a politician is trying to start a dabate about it anyway.

    We all know already that there will always be people who like their entertainment to be violent, this is never gonna change. And as long as there is violent entertainment around there will be people protesting against it.

    Violent games will not be banned in Germany nor in the Netherlands, and if they are, there's gonna be ways around it(some already exist, like
  • Is this a joke? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Absolut187 (816431)
    The German people managed to massacre 6 million Jews before video games were even invented..

    Do you really think Germans need an instigator to be violent?
    Or any other people, for that matter.
    Did the 'founding fathers' need video games for their genocidal campaign against native americans?

    The history of man prior to video games is a million times more barbaric than our history SINCE the invention of video games.
    Perhaps these violent games provide a healthy outlet?

    The fact that some psychos still go off the de
  • You know the phrase "Where Books Burn, People Burn"?

    I'm coining a new phrase: "Where Games burn, Books will follow."

    After all, once Video Games are banned, they'd begin to blame movies, TV and Books. Will they ban those too?
    • I don't need to coin a new phrase, Canada already has a perfectly good one.

      Here's the article quote:

      [violent games] have no place in Germany's bedrooms.'
      Andreas Scheuer, German parliamentarian, 2005

      And here's a quote by one of Canada's most famous prime ministers:

      There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nationPierre Elliott Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, 1967.

      Of course, Trudeau was talking about a bill he had introduced as Justice Minister (before he became prime minister) that decriminaliz

  • Andreas Scheuer, a parliamentarian serving under the banner of the conservative Christian Social Union, told Der Spiegel that violent games 'have no place in Germany's bedrooms.'


    We have a saying here in Canada, coined by one of our Prime Ministers no less:

    "The State has no place in the nation's bedrooms". He was actually talking about striking down laws banning homosexuality, but, oddly, it appplies equally well in here.

    On another note, I would like to point out that this article is proof that it
  • In germany it is already illegal to sell video games to people below the recomment age for a game (ie. the USK rating). Its also possible to 'index' very violent games, meaning not only it is forbitten to sell them to children blow 18 years, but its also forbitten to advertise those games at all, meaning you can't have them standing around in a shop where they might be spotted by children blow 18 or review them in magzines. So everything is already in place to ban those 'killer games' if needed. I get the f
  • I am sick of people blaming violent video games for real life violence. People make their own choices. If someone tends towards violence, they will be more likely to play violent video games and also more likely to commit acts of violence in real life, but there is not a causal relationship. If violent video games caused real life violence, I would have killed a lot of people by now. But the reality is, the violent impulses a person has can be satisfied in real life or in virtual reality. For some peop
  • Since that coalition formed they have announced that they will disregard the constitution regarding debts, now they're trying to violate the right on freedom of expression (the exception is ONLY for youth protection and a complete ban is NOT youth protection!). Couldn't this be construed as an attempt to destroy the federalistic democratic foundation of the country? I mean, those fuckers openly stated they will disregard the constitution, isn't that enough to immediately and forcefully disband their parties
  • Hmm... so let me get this straight: Video games lead to violence. So there was no violence before video games, right? At least not in Germany anyway? Err.

    IMHO the real cause of violence is religion and politics. Why not try to ban those? Oh wait... those are the people who are trying to ban video games.

    GOOF! One more reason not to live in Germany.
  • You see... there was no violence in Germany before video games... so banning video games will solve the problem.

    Nice one.

    Next they are going to ban free speech to do away with poverty.

  • "... Andreas Scheuer, a parliamentarian serving under the banner of the conservative Christian Social Union, told Der Spiegel that violent games 'have no place in Germany's bedrooms.'

    It just so happens that my girlfriend happen to be into bedroom activities that involve bondage, whips and canes. If he wants to take that away I'm gonna show him violence!

    Ignorant ugly bastard. As if his useless outdated party didn't have worthwhile problems to take on. Oh right, I forgot - they don't have a clue as to whe

  • The German's already banned the years 1939 - 1945 and any content referencing those years. Do they really need to ban anymore?
    We were on vacation... We were invited. They served Punch.
  • Maybe they're sick of all the WWII games. *ducks*
  • I remember when the original Wolfenstein 3D was banned in Germany because of it's WWII/Nazi/Violence content. In contrast, Japanese people were not really upset at all when Medal of Honor: Rising Sun came out a while back. America is fine with shooting down other people in games, but when sexual activity occurs (Hot Coffee mod for GTA: San Andreas) then the proverbial shit hits the fan. It is funny that we (as seperate countries) all have very different viewpoints on the morality of video games because of o

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