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Germany considers banning violent games

Germany considers banning violent games

Sixteen Interior Ministers in Germany have asked the Bundestag to ban the production and sale of violent games.

In response to a recent school shooting in Winnenden, Germany sixteen Interior Ministers have asked the Bundestag to put a ban on violent videogames within Germany - one which would totally prevent the distribution and development of violent games within German borders.

GamesPolitics reports that the ministers are hoping to get the ban fully enforced before the next German elections, which take place on September 27th.

If the proposal is accepted then any developers making violent games within Germany would be forced to either relocate entirely or to outsource all development to other countries - the biggest of the potentially affected developers being Crytek, who only just announced a new game, Crysis 2. Oh dear.

While a proposal of this type might not gain much of a following in most countries, it's worth remembering that the German rating system is already pretty strict with violent videogames - with the German ratings body going so far as to require alterations to the cover art for Left 4 Dead.

The proposal is also gaining a lot of attention as it comes in the wake of a school shooting in which sixteen people were killed, with the killer being revealed as a Far Cry 2 and Counter-Strike fan - though our personal feeling is that, if a widely-played computer game was enough to make you go on a killing spree, then it's likely there was a deeper problem to begin with.

What are your opinions on violent computer games and censorship? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

62 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
D3s3rt_F0x 8th June 2009, 13:26 Quote
Lets ban violent, movies, books, art and pictures as well now shall we.
Icy EyeG 8th June 2009, 13:31 Quote
Germany's rating system may be strict, but apparently isn't effective. This is the easy way out, and it won't solve the problem: gamers will get the game, even if they have to resort to "European eBay import".

On the other hand here's something I don't get: If a game is rated 18+ because it has sexual content, the parents will be all like "ZOMG I won't buy it for my kid". However, if it is a violent game with the same rating, they won't even bother, until something bad (and probably unrelated) happens. When it does, no one questions home education, only the game. I mean, how many people have played the game and haven't gone berserk?
Arkanrais 8th June 2009, 13:43 Quote
Yay, more scapegoatism. Do anything but fix the actual problem. It is always easier to point a finger than to lend a helping hand.
Tyrmot 8th June 2009, 13:55 Quote
ridiculous, absolutely
NuTech 8th June 2009, 14:00 Quote
Good to see during this worldwide recession that a government is trying to reduce jobs.

Just baffling. :|
UrbanMarine 8th June 2009, 14:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3s3rt_F0x
Lets ban violent, movies, books, art and pictures as well now shall we.
That was already done in the 1940s.
I-E-D 8th June 2009, 14:08 Quote
I doubt games when you kill non humans (zombies + aliens) actually make you angry. I actually find it quite calming. I don't think it will do anything, seeing as you can order from anywhere else in europe.
MB-Fan 8th June 2009, 14:08 Quote
Our german politics...I´m from germany, and our government just don´t know what to do. They think that Tim K., the boy who has done the killing spree in Winnenden, has done it cause of CSS. That he was maybe ill, had no friends und was beingt mobbed, that don´t care them! That was allways like this, and it will be allways like this....
Jamie 8th June 2009, 14:11 Quote
Can we ban war in Germany too?
MB-Fan 8th June 2009, 14:13 Quote
I don´t know^^
MB-Fan 8th June 2009, 14:15 Quote
If Counter Strike was the reason for war, i think they would.
sear 8th June 2009, 14:33 Quote
One time I played a delightful game called Cooking Mama. I was so thrilled and entertained by its non-violent gameplay and sense of humour that I decided to become a chef right then and there. Unfortunately, I also began to love sampling my food; thus began a long downward spiral into obesity and, eventually, heart disease. I now have only weeks to live, according to my doctors. Before I go, I ask of you, our nation's finest, to ban the atrocious cooking game genre so that this never happens to anyone ever again.
Paradigm Shifter 8th June 2009, 14:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sear
One time I played a delightful game called Cooking Mama. I was so thrilled and entertained by its non-violent gameplay and sense of humour that I decided to become a chef right then and there. Unfortunately, I also began to love sampling my food; thus began a long downward spiral into obesity and, eventually, heart disease. I now have only weeks to live, according to my doctors. Before I go, I ask of you, our nation's finest, to ban the atrocious cooking game genre so that this never happens to anyone ever again.
:)

Nice one!
Icy EyeG 8th June 2009, 14:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sear
One time I played a delightful game called Cooking Mama. I was so thrilled and entertained by its non-violent gameplay and sense of humour that I decided to become a chef right then and there. Unfortunately, I also began to love sampling my food; thus began a long downward spiral into obesity and, eventually, heart disease. I now have only weeks to live, according to my doctors. Before I go, I ask of you, our nation's finest, to ban the atrocious cooking game genre so that this never happens to anyone ever again.

Perfect post. :D

*Added to sear's reputation. May the relix be with you.*
paisa666 8th June 2009, 14:52 Quote
great, take the easiest way to "solve" the problem -_-

Obviusly there were even deeper reasons to do something like that, not videogames, Germany already has Violence in-game rules that are pretty hard. wich sucks big time for us the non psychopats :P(since it doesnt help in anything).

BTW, watch this video, its the future of video games in germany :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB6fq9Aadwk
thehippoz 8th June 2009, 15:01 Quote
kBVmfIUR1DA
tejas 8th June 2009, 15:03 Quote
I find it hard to accept that a country which perpetrated the Jewish Holocaust is now banning "violent" video games. Who are they kidding?? Sound like compensating for war guilt and the holocaust to me tsk tsk
airchie 8th June 2009, 15:51 Quote
Another half-baked and ill-advised law brought about by clueless politicians who want to be seen to be doing something so they can stay in power as long as possible and keep riding the gravy train. :(

No wonder the world's going to **** tbh :(
BLC 8th June 2009, 16:48 Quote
I refer you to prohibition in the USA. This will not fix the problem, but will criminalise the innocent. This subject has literally been done to death, so I really don't think I can be bothered with a longer reply...
perplekks45 8th June 2009, 16:51 Quote
I'm German and I just don't get it. In the last 5-10 years we've had a couple of politicians approaching the end of their political career trying to find a way to become invincible by being the ones who "saved our kids from becoming sociopaths". They tried to achieve that by banning violent computer games.
We all know (including them) that games are not the cause but merely a trigger if anything at all. But, as mentioned before, it is way easier to blame something like games or movies than to actually spend money on something so "useless" as schooling for parents of kids who show aggressive behaviour or who live in brutal environments.

And there's something else I don't understand:
How has that ANYTHING to do with Nazi Germany or the Holocaust?! I was born in 84, 39 years after the war and I still hear people ranting about "the Germans" being Nazis and what we did. ****ing hell, yes, it was bad! Most likely the worst thing anybody ever did since the settlers in America had their own genocide with the natives.
But please stop these amazingly stupid comments! The kids born today are 4th or 5th generation after the war! My father was born in 46, my mother in 52. What do I or my generation have to do with these Nazi pigs?

Sorry for the rant but it just makes me angry...
ParaHelix.org 8th June 2009, 16:59 Quote
At least give us some credit lol, we have enough imagination to think about shooting people, we don't need games for that. If anything, such games make me feel less stressed out, a good innocent few mouse clicks to move some pixels. Grow up Mr. Government.
Cptn-Inafinus 8th June 2009, 17:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45

What do I or my generation have to do with these Nazi pigs?

+1

Bringing something like the holocaust as a politicians reason for their decision (Even if it a incredibly mis-informed one) isn't appropriate.
k4p84 8th June 2009, 17:12 Quote
They have just tried to ban paintball, airsoft and laser tag as they simulated killing. They have relented on the paintballing front for now. I dont think the germans will try to raise the Forth Reich. Never forget what has happened in the near past but put faith in your people to have learned from their past mistakes.
tejas 8th June 2009, 17:28 Quote
Please don't get me wrong.

@perplekks45 I love and respect Germany, Germans and German culture and I meant no offence. I am sorry if it was taken like that. My vitriol is at the politicians not the German people who I have more respect for than the British, thats for sure. The politicians in Germany and the UK for that matter need to stop with this blaming of video games. It is a cheap shot and I am sure Germany would rather have the taxes on games than not? I reckon Gordon Brown will try to follow suit.. that is if he still has a job by the end of the week ;)
gilesy 8th June 2009, 18:11 Quote
lmfao,just typical blame video games for everything
did this guy never do anything else in his life .if somebody is a boxer or mma fighter and he shoots a guy is it because of his hobby

i think not its just away to blame something or somebody for someone else`s problems .there must be apart of them that wants to kill and nothing to do with his hobby (ie gaming)

i game and i`m not looking to shoot anybody does that make me wrong (i hope not)
pendragon 8th June 2009, 18:20 Quote
oh dear :( hopefully this does not pass .. poor Germans
Jipa 8th June 2009, 18:31 Quote
Germans should know better than to ban the "wrong" stuff.

Surely there are a couple more people playing Far Cry and CS in a country of some 80 M people, how come there isn't a school shooting every day? Because the games don't make people go nuts!

Now if only the politicians didn't have their heads too high up their arses to see the fact. Too much asked, I'm afraid.
tron 8th June 2009, 18:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by k4p84
They have just tried to ban paintball, airsoft and laser tag as they simulated killing. They have relented on the paintballing front for now. I dont think the germans will try to raise the Forth Reich. Never forget what has happened in the near past but put faith in your people to have learned from their past mistakes.

Ridiculous!

If they go too far with these bans, then who will join their army and protect their country and the freedom they live in, if their population become over sensitised to any violence? Their army will become softer than the futuristic film Demolition Man. That's IF it will have an effect on the population and people's mentallity. :)

On a serious note, who are they trying to kid? Are they really saying that the video game made the person commit the crime? Don't they think the crime would have been commited regardless. If a natural born psychopath is found with a game on his PC, such as, Left 4 Dead, you can easily argue that the game vented his frustration on a daily basis and saved lives. What these politicians should do is focus on the real job of dealing with certain persons mental or social problems etc instead of looking for scapegoats and fooling the public to oversimplistic ways of analysing problems.

When the live action TV series of Batman and, later, Spiderman first ran on TV, people tried to ban them after certain 'copycats' decided to jump out of tall buildings, convinced they were said superheroes. Nobody in their RIGHT MIND would ban a TV show for this kind of reason. The route problem needs to be dealt with rather than trying to spoil the 'show' for the majority audience that know the consequences of putting on a cape and jumping out of a 12th floor building. What are they teaching people by banning the show? They would be teaching them that the show is the evil thing and that 'responsible' and intelligent humans should pass their responsibility for their own actions onto the makers of a TV show.

A video game is the same. You're unlikely to see a natural psychopath with 'My Little Pony' game insttalled on his PC. Instead he will have violent games. So will 'normal' people have violent games. Normal people don't walk outside and kill people because a videogame made them do it.
ZERO <ibis> 8th June 2009, 19:12 Quote
We should ban anyone with a bad thought. I motion for the inquisition to be recreated to determine that everyone thinks purely. Anyone with an evil thought can then be reeducated or put to sleep for the preservation of the nation!!!!!11111111
Faulk_Wulf 8th June 2009, 19:16 Quote
We all know this is scapegoat-ism so I won't preach to the choir.
We all know that usually there are deeper psychological issues when something unfortunate like this occurs (mental illness, loneliness coupled with being bullied, horrid home life, etc/et all).

My question is-- what are the gun laws in Germany? How did the shooter obtain their weapon? Per chance the authorities should be pursuing that question?
lp1988 8th June 2009, 19:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faulk_Wulf

My question is-- what are the gun laws in Germany? How did the shooter obtain their weapon? Per chance the authorities should be pursuing that question?

It's pretty strict, The gunmans farther was a member of a gun club and therefore he had a pistol, unfortunately not properly secured. I don't know the specific weapon used, but I doubt it was bought for competition shooting as those mostly are a low calibre 22.
tech3312 8th June 2009, 19:33 Quote
Hey Germany heads up! studies show that violence games doesn't provoke us, but studies does show that out stress level decrease if we play violent game.... were not here to cause violence we just want a way to be out of the wear and tear in our everyday life. also IMO germany can try to limit as much as possible but we as people will rebel and us rebelling are far more superior than your laws ;D so get ready one hell of a fight Germany.... (even though i live in US i know how they feel)

p.s there also trying to get rid of Paintball another supposedly violent game that were protesting for the same reason... it's just people link violence game to guns and crimes... if your trying to limit the violence restrict the gun laws....
naokaji 8th June 2009, 19:41 Quote
Ban violent games? Seriously, the news on TV are more violent than what you see in most games.
Chocobollz 8th June 2009, 20:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
Germany's rating system may be strict, but apparently isn't effective. This is the easy way out, and it won't solve the problem: gamers will get the game, even if they have to resort to "European eBay import".

On the other hand here's something I don't get: If a game is rated 18+ because it has sexual content, the parents will be all like "ZOMG I won't buy it for my kid". However, if it is a violent game with the same rating, they won't even bother, until something bad (and probably unrelated) happens. When it does, no one questions home education, only the game. I mean, how many people have played the game and haven't gone berserk?

I do, especially when Mario keeps falling into the hole in the same spot! Oh well, that's Mario Bros.. sorry, wrong game! :p
Woodspoon 8th June 2009, 20:35 Quote
What exactly do they define as a violent video game?
all the usual shooters yes, but then there are others that could be included as violent like, boxing games, ultimate fighter games, wresteling games, driving games like burnout (rewarded for causing huge accidents), even games like World of Warcraft can be viewed as violent and how exactly would they plan to ban that?
The banning of violent games could easily see 50% of games being taken of their shelfs, I cant see manufecturers being too happy about that.
I'm not sure it's something that will ever happen, it's just too absurd, even for politicians
ZERO <ibis> 8th June 2009, 20:57 Quote
Simple, any game that is not approved by the government is violent.
yakyb 8th June 2009, 22:56 Quote
they immedatly blamed one of the shootings in america on a video game until they went through his room and didnt find so much as tetris there (there have been so many i forget which one it was)
Altron 8th June 2009, 23:01 Quote
maybe they just have their panties in a twist over the 1.7 million FPS shooter games where the object of the game is to kill as many germans as possible

wolfenstein, medal of honor, call of duty, etc...
Veles 9th June 2009, 00:33 Quote
Boo! I have no idea why Germany is like this on computer games, very odd.
DXR_13KE 9th June 2009, 00:44 Quote
the political party that pushes this will lose thousands of votes....
leexgx 9th June 2009, 02:44 Quote
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBVmfIUR1DA (seems he was acting :P read the More info button)
Otto69 9th June 2009, 03:14 Quote
Zey haf vays of finding your violent games....
bridgesentry 9th June 2009, 03:59 Quote
Now Game Industry in Germany is dead
Otto69 9th June 2009, 04:40 Quote
Good :) Maybe the jobs will go back to the U.S. :) And the Germans can continue to supply us with first class board games which few others seem capable of doing well.
1ad7 9th June 2009, 06:26 Quote
who taught the kid to be angry its there fault if he didnt know how to be angry this wouldn't happen!! this **** is retarded Im glad I live in the US for now that is.
wiak 9th June 2009, 07:59 Quote
well they should ban guns not games
no more leipzig games convention

games dont kill people, guns do

btw they should also ban violent MOVIES, have they ever seen a horror movie?
wiak 9th June 2009, 08:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
maybe they just have their panties in a twist over the 1.7 million FPS shooter games where the object of the game is to kill as many germans as possible

wolfenstein, medal of honor, call of duty, etc...
nah they dont kill germans in those games only nazis, there is a diffrent
Rebourne 9th June 2009, 08:10 Quote
No offense to Germans intended, but I would think that they of all people should understand the dangers of such fascism.
BLC 9th June 2009, 09:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiak
games dont kill people, guns do

No, people kill people - the gun is a tool that can be used or abused, like any other tool. A person with violent tendencies does not need a gun to kill someone - a pipe, a baseball bat, a piece of wood or even your fists are all capable of killing someone. If you ban firearms, then people who are inclined to kill will find a different way of doing it, or just obtain firearms illegally.

Don't blame the tools, blame the people.

Edit: I'm not a particularly "pro-gun" person, either.
tron 9th June 2009, 10:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiak


btw they should also ban violent MOVIES, have they ever seen a horror movie?

They should ban the bible ( one of the most senselessly violent books known to man )
Trefarm 9th June 2009, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
No, people kill people - the gun is a tool that can be used or abused, like any other tool. A person with violent tendencies does not need a gun to kill someone - a pipe, a baseball bat, a piece of wood or even your fists are all capable of killing some... ONE
.

Everything you've said is true... But give a murderer a more effective tool and he/she becomes a more effective murderer... Guns enable the weak (mentally or physically) to dominate the strong.
perplekks45 9th June 2009, 14:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tejas
Please don't get me wrong.

@perplekks45 I love and respect Germany, Germans and German culture and I meant no offence. I am sorry if it was taken like that. My vitriol is at the politicians not the German people who I have more respect for than the British, thats for sure. The politicians in Germany and the UK for that matter need to stop with this blaming of video games. It is a cheap shot and I am sure Germany would rather have the taxes on games than not? I reckon Gordon Brown will try to follow suit.. that is if he still has a job by the end of the week ;)
Sorry, this rant wasn't directed at you but merely tried to point out the fact that whenever anything like that comes from Germany people start relating it to something that has nothing to do with today's Germany.

I didn't mean to offend anyone, I just felt like I had to say something.
*mat-ster* 9th June 2009, 16:04 Quote
GUNS, BULLETS AND SHARP KNIVES KILL PEOPLE NOT boxes of disc shaped plastic..............

THEREFORE take the guns and bullets away and control the use of Knives. (mobile metal detector stations all over the place) or even......

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8089959.stm

* Stop the gun and bullet being in public places and you stop violent gun crime......
* Remove the confidence that walking around the streets with a knife is unlikely to be detected and you also reduce the potential for knife crime...
* Remove the use of glass bottles and glasses in all pubs with plastic bottles and drink glasses and guess what you stop a further 50 people loosing and eye, being scarred for life or killing someone...
* Control the (abuse) of alcohol in public places and you aslo remove the main casue of violance.
* Allow a drug addict to be prescribed and consulted by a Dr and remove the Drug economy (instead of killing loads of Afgans).
* Because the Police are "thick" when it comes to Cyber traffic of guns, bullets and knives - fine eBay and the like "BiG STYLE" for selling sh1t and turning a blind eye....

One idea I have is give people who are searched a £5 voucher to spend on a charity.....!

WHY is the situation like it is.....?

1) Money (people who make and sell guns, knives, alcohol and drugs)
2) Incompetent politicians and the PC brigade (searching people is not nice - Bollocks I say)

FREEDOM............
naokaji 9th June 2009, 18:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC

Don't blame the tools, blame the people.

QFT.

Besides, you can kill someone with a spoon if you want to, so should we not be banning spoons?:D
Otto69 10th June 2009, 03:42 Quote
G. Gordon Liddy claimed he was trained to kill someone with a pencil stub :)
BLC 10th June 2009, 08:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trefarm
Everything you've said is true... But give a murderer a more effective tool and he/she becomes a more effective murderer... Guns enable the weak (mentally or physically) to dominate the strong.

Indeed, but making firearms illegal doesn't mean that no one can access them. All it does is force firearms solely into the hands of criminals. I'm not naive enough to think that there will never be an illegal arms trade, but the hand gun ban in Britain hasn't stopped criminals from obtaining and using them anyway. In fact if anything it's glamorised the use of hand guns, so more people will want to try and get hold of them.

Guns do make for more effective murderers, but the chances are they were always inclined to murder anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
QFT.

Besides, you can kill someone with a spoon if you want to, so should we not be banning spoons?:D

Your keys might be next - you could probably kill someone with a car key, if used effectively (not sure if that's really the right term!).
tron 10th June 2009, 10:18 Quote
You can strangle someone to death with a HDMI cable.
So if 5 murders take place during a bad year, all making use of HDMI cables, would they ban HDMI cables?
Did the cable turn the attackers into murderers? Or did the 'murderers' make use of a HDMI cable?
perplekks45 10th June 2009, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tron
You can strangle someone to death with a HDMI cable.
So if 5 murders take place during a bad year, all making use of HDMI cables, would they ban HDMI cables?
Did the cable turn the attackers into murderers? Or did the 'murderers' make use of a HDMI cable?
It was clearly the violent game they played on their console that did it.

Right? Right?! RIGHT?!?!?!? WHO THE FU*K SAYS I'M WRONG?!?!?! IT'S THESE GAMES THAT MAKE YOU A SOCIOPATH!!!! FU*KING KIDS ARE GETTING FU*KING AGGRESSIVE DUE TO THEM!!! WE SHOULD BAN ALL FU*KING GAMES TO SAVE OUR FU*KING CHILDREN!!!

Or maybe I should just try one of the games before I try banning something I don't even understand...

:(
Jipa 17th June 2009, 13:08 Quote
Oh btw. A bit too long fuse, but it just occurred to me, I guess they'll also ban all racing games? Surely games like Burnout Paradise cause more trauma to more people, as the player feels like he has godlike car driving skills, and then puts them in action on the real-life streets.
perplekks45 17th June 2009, 22:05 Quote
Nope, they just don't like blood. But porn is okay. :D
naokaji 17th June 2009, 22:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
Oh btw. A bit too long fuse, but it just occurred to me, I guess they'll also ban all racing games? Surely games like Burnout Paradise cause more trauma to more people, as the player feels like he has godlike car driving skills, and then puts them in action on the real-life streets.

And don't forget to ban tetris, someone might assume they can acquire building skills with it and try to build a house (that would end up collapsing just like the blocks fall down in tetris).:D
Aterius Gmork 17th June 2009, 23:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
Right? Right?! RIGHT?!?!?!? WHO THE FU*K SAYS I'M WRONG?!?!?! IT'S THESE GAMES THAT MAKE YOU A SOCIOPATH!!!! FU*KING KIDS ARE GETTING FU*KING AGGRESSIVE DUE TO THEM!!! WE SHOULD BAN ALL FU*KING GAMES TO SAVE OUR FU*KING CHILDREN!!! :

We should ban the kiddie gamers instead. Problem solved.

Oh wait, we did that already. :|
I've never got the concept behind banning M rated material to protect children who are not supposed to get hold of it anyway. Duh, it's called mature for a reason. Oh well, time to move on. Switzerland is supposed to be beautiful, or so I've heard.
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