Venezuela Moves to Ban Violent Games

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Venezuela Moves to Ban Violent Games

image

The government of Venezuela is taking steps to ban violent videogames as part of an attempt to combat out-of-control crime in the country.

Violent crime in Venezuela has exploded over the past decade, to the point that the murder rate in the capital city of Caracas has become one of the highest in the world, surpassing even notorious locales like Mexico City and Bogota, Colombia. Dozens of people are killed in the city every week, according to a Reuters report, and over 100,000 have been murdered since President Hugo Chavez took office in early 1999. Assaults, robberies and kidnappings are also common.

In response, the government has introduced a bill to ban violent videogames and toys. The bill has already passed a first round of voting in the National Assembly, but must pass a second vote and then be signed by Chavez before it becomes law. A date for the second vote has not yet been set, nor is there any indication that what will constitute a "violent videogame" has been defined.

I don't want to turn this into a discussion about the relative merits of the Chavez regime but attacking videogames as a root cause of crime in Venezuela is obviously scapegoating. The country is struggling with some very deep-seated issues and while railing against the evils of games - most of which are probably portrayed as Yankee games - on Aló Presidente might make for some fiery rhetoric, it does absolutely zip to address any real problems.

Permalink

why?

no game markets complete without violence.

Infact why dosen't Venezuela fuck games.

who wants to play Cooking Mama?

Great, now people will get games illegally, thus adding more crime.

Nice.

...I didn't even know there were that many gamers in Venezuela...

That aside, I think the people (read; gangsters) who go around killing each other and the people in Venezuela who are rich enough to afford video games don't mix that much, but I could be wrong.

Wait, wait, wait, wait.... can people in Venezuela even afford a gaming system? I don't mean to stereotype, but isn't that just the reality of the situation? They've got a crazy dictator and a corrupt government and said corrupt government has decided that "violent games" (Way to be concise Venezuela) are the root of the problem. That's either mindbendingly stupid, or the worst attempt at scapegoating that I've ever seen. As I said before, I doubt many Venezuelans can even afford a gaming console.

Grand Theft Venezuela anyone... Guess not.

ThePeiceOfEden:
why?

no game markets complete without violence.

Infact why dosen't Venezuela fuck games.

who wants to play Cooking Mama?

I do. It's awesome.

But really, how is banning violent games going to reduce crime? Gamers can't murder people because we're too busy gaming.

AmrasCalmacil:

ThePeiceOfEden:
why?

no game markets complete without violence.

Infact why dosen't Venezuela fuck games.

who wants to play Cooking Mama?

I do.

But really, how is banning violent games going to reduce crime? Gamers can't murder people because we're too busy gaming.

yes.

and now people don't have a way of venting frustration that doesn't involve:
a) The Board Game
b) Releasing someone from the shackles of their physical body (Kill them)

Nice touch with the Mercenaries 2 screen shot with regaurds to the violence problem.

Hasn't history proven that banning something makes more crime?

That's totally reasonable.

Why do something to actually stop the crime when you can...well, not?

AmrasCalmacil:

ThePeiceOfEden:
why?

no game markets complete without violence.

Infact why dosen't Venezuela fuck games.

who wants to play Cooking Mama?

I do. It's awesome.

But really, how is banning violent games going to reduce crime? Gamers can't murder people because we're too busy gaming.

Manhunt?

But then again thats a criminal offence to own it in New Zealand.

And banned for the Brits.
Can't wait to see a burke who tries to glide or jack helicopters

im afraid this is one time when im gonna have to be for the banning of videogames, cause if crime is that bad there and i was in charge id ban almost anything to try and cut down the crime...if ti doesnt work they could always bring em back...

doubt it tho

I think we all know the real reason behind this: Hugo thinks the games are "American propaganda". That little bugger is like Mahmoud's annoying little brother.

You'd never make a politician Malygirs, you talk too much sense...

ThePeiceOfEden:

AmrasCalmacil:

ThePeiceOfEden:
why?

no game markets complete without violence.

Infact why dosen't Venezuela fuck games.

who wants to play Cooking Mama?

I do. It's awesome.

But really, how is banning violent games going to reduce crime? Gamers can't murder people because we're too busy gaming.

Manhunt?

But then again thats a criminal offence to own it in New Zealand.

And banned for the Brits.
Can't wait to see a burke who tries to glide or jack helicopters

Those aren't people, they're clouds of ones and zeroes.

AmrasCalmacil:

ThePeiceOfEden:

AmrasCalmacil:

ThePeiceOfEden:
why?

no game markets complete without violence.

Infact why dosen't Venezuela fuck games.

who wants to play Cooking Mama?

I do. It's awesome.

But really, how is banning violent games going to reduce crime? Gamers can't murder people because we're too busy gaming.

Manhunt?

But then again thats a criminal offence to own it in New Zealand.

And banned for the Brits.
Can't wait to see a burke who tries to glide or jack helicopters

Those aren't people, they're clouds of ones and zeroes.

What the people who imitate Manhunt. like here

Or Alex Mercer wanna-be's?

This won't work in Germany, and it won't work in Venezuela.
Or anywhere else. Millions of kids around the world spend a huge chunk of their days playing violent games, and only a teeny-tiny fraction of those kids become the terrorists/satanists/kitten-eaters/gangsters that so many parental groups and now, it seems, the Venezuelan government, predict.

If these people are murdering everyone left right and center, I doubt they'll be against owning a few illegal video games.

ThePeiceOfEden:

AmrasCalmacil:

ThePeiceOfEden:

AmrasCalmacil:

ThePeiceOfEden:
why?

no game markets complete without violence.

Infact why dosen't Venezuela fuck games.

who wants to play Cooking Mama?

I do. It's awesome.

But really, how is banning violent games going to reduce crime? Gamers can't murder people because we're too busy gaming.

Manhunt?

But then again thats a criminal offence to own it in New Zealand.

And banned for the Brits.
Can't wait to see a burke who tries to glide or jack helicopters

Those aren't people, they're clouds of ones and zeroes.

What the people who imitate Manhunt. like here

Or Alex Mercer wanna-be's?

Um, were you dropped on your head or being sarcastic? I can't tell since I am not human enough from my caffeine infusion, it is only 50% complete.

"In the UK, the game was linked to the murder of Stefan Pakeerah, 14, by his friend Warren Leblanc, 17, on the 27 February 2004. Giselle Pakeerah, the victim's mother, claimed that Leblanc had been 'obsessed' with the game after he pleaded guilty in court.[12] During the subsequent media exposure, the game was removed from sale by some vendors, such as the UK and international branches of GAME and Dixons, leading to "significantly increased" demand[13] both from retailers and on Internet auction sites. The police denied any such link between the game and the murder, citing drug-related robbery as the motive. The presiding judge also placed sole responsibility with Leblanc in his summing up after sentencing him to life. It was later discovered that Leblanc did not actually own the game, but Pakeerah did."

The victim owned the game and the police deemed the murder to be drug related... So what exactly did Manhunt have to do with it? Owners become victims? As for New Zealand, I gave up hope on them having a grip on reality for a long time now.

Violence is a part of human nature, take it away and people are going to be understandably upset.

People, especially kids emulate everything. It's just that video games are currently a scapegoat. People tried to blame horror movies back in the 1980s, and there was even that european "Video Nasties" list that luckily was done away with (look it up). On top of this all of the same arguements made about video games were at one time made about comic books which is what lead to the "Comics Code Authority" and it's long reign.

Right now, going after video games is simply an attempt to justify greater goverment control over free speech and the spread of information. Once you have your finger in the door to protect the people from the dangers of their own free expression, it opens up all kinds of other possibilities. Anyone who wants a strong federal goverment, and what's more wants to see their principles pretty much stay in power indefinatly, wants to do as much as possible to ensure that opposing sides can't question them.

It seems unrelated, but honestly all of this stuff about wanting to police video games due to "violence" or how they "cause health problems by kids not going outside" or whatever else is simply a smokescreen. Once they can police something for that reason, it can be applied towards anything, at which point they can do things like label any kind of dissent as "hate speech" or liken anything they don't like to another sociological problem "like violent video games".

To an extent Chavez (sorry for making a 'criticism' even if offhanded) is simply bandwagoning. He's got an oppertunity to pretty much grab more power for the goverment directly, and a way to limit speech in his country. He's of course going to grab it, and in doing so he can't exactly be criticized by nations like the US if they are working on doing the same bloody thing at the time he's doing it.

Right now you see this push because we voted Obama and a lot of left wingers into office, with people like Hillary "Hot Coffee" Clinton taking cabinet positions. The video violence issue of course explodes, and the goverment isn't even subtle on a multi-pronged assault all towards letting them regulate/ban media (the exact reason why does not matter). Thus all of the nations that were at one term victims of US criticism for doing stuff like that have an oppertunity to do what they wanted to do and have the abillity to at least point back at the Obama administration and the fact that we even had dialogue on the subject.

It's not Chavez specifically, but if he and guys like him "address the same issue" and then pass the laws given the veneer of it going through their system properly, it becomes a lot harder to criticize the resulting snowball effect that has people getting rifle butts to the teeth for saying or expressing things the goverment doesn't like.

Well, when people who might otherwise be inside playing video games are out murdering each other, I'm sure Venezuala will have a good laugh and... No, they'll probably pass more laws. Because as we all know, laws fix everything!!!

Also, I challenge the assumption that people (especially children) are a bunch of credulous, slack jawed, know nothings, with no concept of fantasy versus reality.

You know what the fucking hilarious thing is?
By banning video games, they're probably going to have more bored people commiting crimes!

Banning games to reduce violent crime?

Wouldn't banning firearms be a more effective measure?

ucciolord1:
This won't work in Germany, and it won't work in Venezuela.
Or anywhere else. Millions of kids around the world spend a huge chunk of their days playing violent games, and only a teeny-tiny fraction of those kids become the terrorists/satanists/kitten-eaters/gangsters that so many parental groups and now, it seems, the Venezuelan government, predict.

Well you see, it's not just about the reality of the situation. As I've said before we've been down this road with other products. The point isn't whether it will address any problems but rather giving the goverment the right to police something based on content. Once a precedent is established it becomes increasingly easier to do it with other things.

Honestly, a lot of the people going after violent games aren't really going after them because of violence. Truthfully the only reason why it seems there is more violence is because with information technology we're far more aware of what is going on, and it seems like a bigger deal than it is because now we can track things we never could before.

South and Central America has always been a chaotic, murderous place, for a very long time. The goverments being tertiary to things like drug cartels in many places.

In the US anyone who thinks we're living in an unusually violent time period is insane. All of these graphs that show escalation and such have the disadvantage of the very fact that we have the abillity to track things enough to MAKE a graph.

People tend to forget that less than a century ago we had an era where REAL Gangsters (not Gangstas) were able to pretty much take over cities, and run around the country side with a bunch of guns and do whatever they wanted. John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and Al Capone are big "names" for a reason. Even when they got Capone for tax issues, one of the reasons why guys like Elliot Ness are still considered to be big time American heroes was that he did NOT surrender and there was a massive, massive city wide war when the goverment came for him and his men:

This video pretty much summarizes the situation, including a number of old photos. Consider also that this song has nearly been banned in Chicago because it brings up bad memories. The point here being is that the US was *never* a peaceful and violence free place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwwaGXcZ6Wo

Stopping things like the above is one of the reasons why J. Edgar Hoover was also a hero. Yes his policies were draconian, but he turned the FBI in a force capable of dealing with the old gangs, and arguably brought order to America. Today people hate on him, but they rapidly forget some of the things that happened in this country. Nothing that is going on today, including incicents like the Branch-Davidians in Waco even remotely come close to things that happened in this country before video games were even conceived.

Also for yucks some time look up some of the things the largest Bike Clubs (Motorcycle Gangs) in the US have been up to and for how long. There have been shows on TV talking about their history and how big a deal they still are. They also apparently took over entire towns for all intents and purposes, and this was well after guys like Capone.


The point here is that goverments, including the one in the US, hate the idea of things like free speech. This is why it was a constitutionally protected right. In the US at least the only way they can get rid of it is to basically convince the people of the US to give up their rights one bit at a time, and estasblish the very precedents that kill our rights.

Tying video games to violence is ridiculous, if anything the US for all of it's problems is actually relatively safe and secure compared to how things have been in the past. Granted we DID have a sort of golden age for a while, but that represented an exception rather than a rule, and part of that was the result of a level of ignorance that can no longer exist because of the way you can hear about stuff happening on the other side of the country instantly with our current technology. Something violent and nasty happens, some dude with a cellphone is going to snap a picture and put it on the internet. It doesn't mean there is more violence, just that we're more aware of it.

My advice (not that anyone is going to listen) is that to get left wingers out of goverment office until they change their tune, and also be VERY careful about who you otherwise elect because there are a lot of right wingers who are the same bloody way and see information control as being one of the "Exceptions" for which they go federalist.

Basically don't vote for, or support, anyone who tries to blame problems in the US on things like violent video games. Also understand that the more we do along these lines the more doors we effectively open (due to our leadership) for abuses in places like Venezuala.

Looks like another thing to add to the long list of reasons not to live in Venezuela... or at least until they get a proper political leader and not that incompetent showboater Hugo Chavez.

Soon the people of Venezuela will learn their lesson but at this rate it will be the long and hard way. I just hope the realise before Chavez removes the democratic mechanism that removes him from power.

ssgt splatter:
Nice touch with the Mercenaries 2 screen shot with regaurds to the violence problem.

Did you hear about the lawsuit the venezualan government held against the makers?

BlueTimberwolf:
Banning games to reduce violent crime?

Wouldn't banning firearms be a more effective measure?

Firearms along with bullets, knives and any other form of offensive weapon.

I personally am far more scared of someone concealing a knife or gun on themself and going onto the streets than someone playing Manhunt or Condemned.

Okay,that's it. It's like Chavez asks to be raided by 4chan. It would be really nice of someone to drop stars'n'stripes top hat on him when he makes another hate speech of his.

ssgt splatter:
Nice touch with the Mercenaries 2 screen shot with regaurds to the violence problem.

I believe he chose that one because Mercenaries 2 takes place in Venezuela after after a military coup.
This doesn't surprise me at all. Oppressive governments always seek to control media and the exchange of ideas as much as possible. They're just using this as an excuse for censorship.

TheBarefootBandit:
Grand Theft Venezuela anyone... Guess not.

We had that already. It's called Mercenaries 2.

Yeah, this is a pretty piss poor scapegoat for the existing problems. Didn't one of the Rockerfellers say that the US army was going there after Iraq? But I guess that's another story.

I'm just struggling to find out what they think this would achieve.

My (ex)step family is from Venezuela!
I think they'd well agree that its most definitely not video games that are the country's problem.

Kollega:
Okay,that's it. It's like Chavez asks to be raided by 4chan. It would be really nice of someone to drop stars'n'stripes top hat on him when he makes another hate speech of his.

You know, that might not be such a bad idea to use 4chan in this situation... But I'm not sure Uncle Sam's hat would necessarily be appropriate.

ChromeAlchemist:
I'm just struggling to find out what they think this would achieve.

Al Capone had alcohol...I wonder who will rise to power once video game are illegal...

hansari:

ChromeAlchemist:
I'm just struggling to find out what they think this would achieve.

Al Capone had alcohol...I wonder who will rise to power once video game are illegal...

Bobby Kotick? It would be wonderfully ironic.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here