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Germany Takes Anti-Gaming To New Extreme


James_xeno

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German gov't considers jail time for gamers

Proposed legislation targets pixelated mayhem and virtual violence; legislators consider acts of cruelty against "human-looking characters" as reason enough to fine, imprison.

By Emma Boyes, GameSpot UK

Posted Dec 12, 2006 9:57 pm GMT

Games in Germany already face strict censorship laws--titles such as Gears of War are deemed to be too violent, and the German board of classification (the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbskontrolle) refuses to give them a rating, effectively meaning that the games can be sold only at adults-only retailers.

Nazi symbols are also banned in the country, except for art and educational purposes--so games which use them, including the Wolfenstein series, are also banned from being released in Germany. Even games such as Dead Rising are regarded as crossing a threshold of acceptability since violence towards zombies is considered to be too close to violence towards real people.

Legislation currently being drafted would take these standards a step further. The bill, which was introduced last week by the states of Bavaria and Lower Saxony, proposes a new offence. Those found guilty of "cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters" could face fines or jail time of up to 12 months--and those it applies to include developers, retailers, and consumers, reports UK newspaper The Guardian.

The proposed legislation comes on the heels of a shooting on November 20 where an 18-year-old student went on a shooting rampage and wounded six people in his school before killing himself. Backers of the bill also point to the 2002 Erfurt massacre where another German student shot 13 people, according to the paper. Both incidents have been blamed in the media on violent games, and much has been written about the two shooters' fascination with games such as Half-Life: Counter-Strike.

The proposed legislation makes the future for German game companies unclear. One company, Far Cry and Crysis developer Crytek, has already made known its plans to relocate to another country should any legislation of this kind be made law.

Fucking wow......... Only in Germany/Europe!

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And yet they continue to make some of the finest firearms in the world... I just don't get it.

It seems like every time I go on to play Source games (mostly Dystopia or Battlegrounds) there are German guys, just sort of off in the corner talkin' German to each other. It's pretty cool. Most of them speak English, too, and they're generally nicer than the Americans (same goes for Australians, too, except obviously they don't speak German).

That's pretty stupid indeed. I'm not sure that much discussion is going to happen; if it goes through that's too bad.

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I can't believe governments still take the media seriously. Whenever there's a school shooting the first thing people investigate after finding out who the Hell the shooter was is whether or not (s)he listens to Metal or plays video games. The concept of a person being mentally unstable seems to go over their heads so they immediately latch on to the possible fact that the shooter regularly sat in his/her room and played Counter Strike while listening to Metallica.

Fucking wow......... Only in Germany/Europe!

That's a really ass holeish thing to say, don't you think?

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I can't believe governments still take the media seriously. Whenever there's a school shooting the first thing people investigate after finding out who the Hell the shooter was is whether or not (s)he listens to Metal or plays video games. The concept of a person being mentally unstable seems to go over their heads so they immediately latch on to the possible fact that the shooter regularly sat in his/her room and played Counter Strike while listening to Metallica.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

That's a really ass holeish thing to say, don't you think?

Maybe if meant in a general manner, but not within the context of video games.

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Whenever there's a school shooting the first thing people investigate after finding out who the Hell the shooter was is whether or not (s)he listens to Metal or plays video games. The concept of a person being mentally unstable seems to go over their heads so they immediately latch on to the possible fact that the shooter regularly sat in his/her room and played Counter Strike while listening to Metallica.

?

Damn, I think anyone who ever posted in the music section ever is a possible serial killer then. It's all the damn violence in video games + satan in music. Responsibility? Mental issues? What's that about?

But seriously, too fuckin true.

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