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Censorship Government Games

Switzerland Pursues Violent Games Ban 276

Posted by timothy
from the brutal-crackdown-on-violence dept.
BanjoTed writes "We hear lots about the issues facing violent games in Australia, but the anti-games bandwagon is gathering pace closer to home — in Switzerland, to be precise. The Swiss government is gearing up to consider a total ban on mature games in the country."
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Switzerland Pursues Violent Games Ban

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  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday February 19, 2010 @02:35AM (#31196198) Homepage
    Switzerland has very little regard for free speech. Very little regard for things that are unpopular or disliked and has an aging, reactionary voter base. Frankly, I got far more worked up over the ban on minarets that they enacted last year. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/world/europe/30swiss.html [nytimes.com] That was a much more serious violation of basic rights. This? This is small potatoes.
  • by golden age villain (1607173) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:03AM (#31196314)

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

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

  • on positive side (Score:5, Informative)

    by jarkus4 (1627895) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:20AM (#31196390)
    Switzerland has more direct democracy than most countries. Even if the legislation passes parliament, if someone gathers 50k signatures against some law (in 100 days), he can cause national vote on this matter. In this vote all citizens decide whether the law should stay or be rejected. So to get rid of it they just need to convince normal people (and not politicians) that this is a bad idea.
  • by Kolargol00 (1177651) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:44AM (#31196504)
    Of course this stupid idea has been bundled with some child porn legislation to ease its way into the parliament. :/ Here is the original press release [parlament.ch] (in French, also available in German and Italian).
  • Re:"Mature"? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Asic Eng (193332) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:58AM (#31196570)
    It's shorthand for "for mature audiences". But you knew that.
  • by Radtoo (1646729) on Friday February 19, 2010 @04:09AM (#31196594)
    Agreed. Free speech is not really in danger in switzerland:

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

    Freedom house [freedomhouse.org]

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

    Whether a human right has been dented with the minaret law is (potentially) still to be determined by some court. But I think it would sure be a tough case for the court. Determining whether towers in certain shapes can't be prohibited by a democratic and fair election isn't easy by itself, I bet. Add to that that these towers are not necessary, but only somewhat (modern-)symbolic for a certain religion...
  • by biovoid (785377) on Friday February 19, 2010 @04:41AM (#31196752)

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

  • by zarzu (1581721) on Friday February 19, 2010 @05:22AM (#31196960)

    this quote needs to die, now.

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

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

  • by lukas84 (912874) on Friday February 19, 2010 @05:30AM (#31197014) Homepage

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 19, 2010 @05:53AM (#31197116)
    Over here in California we have a more direct democracy and it results in tyranny of the majority.
  • Turnout of voters (Score:3, Informative)

    by goto_break (1749078) on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:35AM (#31197368)

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

    This is just wrong: http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/17/22/publ.Document.89803.pdf [admin.ch] Turnout of voters by age (in 2003): 18-24: 33% 25-44: 35% 45-64: 52% 65-... : 57% (and average age is 31)

  • by CisJokey (1625407) on Friday February 19, 2010 @08:21AM (#31197908)
    I agree at your base argumentation. But the same problem is containing in any indirect democracy (there will be few guys, telling al other guys what they should do, not do). So regardles what you could argue, its at least not that big problem in a direct democracy because millions of peeps have to vote yes or no (not a small elite). Or do you think all poeple in america did like to bomb Iraq down, this was an idea of few's... I think the real problem you describe (which describes your fears) is facism. And this can be a true problem, this was discussed in our country since the minaret thing happend (should all the peeps in switzerland really have that power). A lot of propaganda in tv, "the evil terrorists" combined with Islam and so forth. Generally swiss guys can only vote for things that are not violating basic human rights defined in the geneva convention or provided by organizations like the UN. So the minaret thing is still in discussion, if it gets treaded as violating basic human rights, the vote gets discarded and will be removed. (We can not vote for eating babies, killing black peeps). This was the one reason they voted against the minarets (which is useless and stupid), because voting against islam in general would not be allowed or is illegal. For two reasons; - It violates basic human rights - It violats the freenes of religion in basic. (At this point there was a huge discussion if voting against minarett is vioalting) I'm swiss and in my personal opinion, even as swiss voter, you are not allowed to ban that, because it harms the freenes of religion and a minarett does not itself brake any laws. They also can not put speakers on it (because they are to loud, as the christ. churches bells). But if your religion forces you to do something considered as illegal in here, you are not allowed to do so. There is another discussion at the moment about the jews and kosher meat.
  • Re:Slipperly slope (Score:5, Informative)

    by radish (98371) on Friday February 19, 2010 @10:31AM (#31198904) Homepage

    Why aren't we seeing any games manufacturer try for a push in games that aren't quite as destructive?

    You're right! Those damn game makers should try making games which aren't violent. Maybe someone could make a game where you're in a band [metacritic.com], or maybe you're a DJ [metacritic.com]. How about sports? Someone should make a football game [metacritic.com], or a snowboarding [metacritic.com] game, or skateboarding [metacritic.com], or bowling [metacritic.com]!. If only someone had thought to make a game to tie into the Winter Olympics [metacritic.com]! There's such a lack [metacritic.com] of imagination [metacritic.com] in games these days.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday February 19, 2010 @10:39AM (#31199018) Homepage Journal

    Also, women in Switzerland didn't had the right to vote until as late as 1971.

    So that's 39 more years than in most muslim countries - and still counting.

  • Re:A great sign! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jedi Alec (258881) on Friday February 19, 2010 @10:45AM (#31199128)

    Switzerland...a country full of mountains where the majority of households has an assault rifle and 2/3's of the male population has military training [wikipedia.org].

    I was rather surprised the first time I got a mail from a business associate saying he wasn't going to be available for a few weeks, on account of him going off to crawl through mud, shoot heavy weapons and other fun activities. Not quite something you'd expect the typical porsche driving hot-shot business exec to do, let alone enjoy.

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