Switzerland Considers Tougher Rules for Game Sales

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Switzerland Considers Tougher Rules for Game Sales

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The government of Switzerland is pursuing efforts to impose tougher restrictions on the sale of "mature" videogames in the country and is also considering the possibility of banning them outright.

Two resolutions that seek to tighten the restrictions on videogame sales to minors were recently passed in Swiss Parliament. The first would outlaw the sale of games rated 16+ or 18+ by PEGI, the Pan-European Game Information rating system, to minors and imposes stricter requirements for identification on retailers. It would also become illegal for anyone in the country to purchase a videogame that hasn't been rated by PEGI.

The second resolution is simpler but also far more potentially troublesome: It seeks to ban "violent and adult" videogames in the country outright. Fortunately, while the first resolution passed unanimously, the second met with some modicum of resistance and only passed with a 9-3 vote, still a troubling majority by any measure but also a sign, slight though it may be, that at least a few people are thinking about something more than just the children.

The resolutions were originally filed back in December 2007 by Norbert Hochreutener of the Christian Democratic Party after a 21-year-old army conscript shot and killed a 16-year-old girl at a bus stop. While videogames don't appear to have been cited by officials as being at all connected to the case, at least one media report managed to work them in anyway, writing, "The man then took aim at the 16-year-old victim, a trainee hairdresser, who just happened to be waiting at a nearby bus stop, as if in a computer game, reports say, and fired a fatal shot."

Swiss game sellers currently operate under a voluntary "code of conduct" which recommends against the sale of mature videogames to minors, but some members of the government believe the regulations should be codified into law to ensure they're properly enforced.

Sources: TechEye, MCV

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What happened Switzerland? You used to be cool.

OK I can see and understand the first part, that is just some common sense legislation... But banning violent games outright? I am sure that it was the games that caused that soldier to shoot that girl, not the mandatory military service the Swiss impose; cause he learned how to shoot playing FPS games right?

GTFO Swiss fundamentalists. I am gonna enjoy watching our boys crush you on the ice even more tonight.

/sigh

We're following the leader, the leader, the leader, we're following the leader whoever it may be...

Ok, I can certainly agree with the first one... we do need to impose stricter regulations to assure that minors don't get their hands on adult-orientated videogames (something should probably be done about the "mummy, can you get me Gears of War 2?" problem as well).

But banning videogames outright? First Australia, now possibilities of Switzerland... I hope this whole war against videogames doesn't become a global thing =\

"The man then took aim at the 16-year-old victim, a trainee hairdresser, who just happened to be waiting at a nearby bus stop, as if in a computer game, reports say, and fired a fatal shot."

Um....WHAT?

I don't get it, is it saying that all videogames have bus stop situations or what..? =/

Dudeakoff:
What happened Switzerland? You used to be cool.

We're still cool. We're still cool! It's not our fault! Oh well, at least we aren't Australia.

Besides, I thought the first thing was already law. They won't give me the damn games, anyway. I'm not sure how I'd react to the second one. Does the PEGI simply refuse to rate some games or what? Otherwise...who cares?

I actually think putting a legal restriction on games is the right thing to do. Setting the bar so low for banning them, however, isn't.

WrongSprite:
"The man then took aim at the 16-year-old victim, a trainee hairdresser, who just happened to be waiting at a nearby bus stop, as if in a computer game, reports say, and fired a fatal shot."

Um....WHAT?

I don't get it, is it saying that all videogames have bus stop situations or what..? =/

Well GTA has bus stops, but in those situations you mow down the people with a sports car instead of shoot them. It saves bullets.

Wait, is it the sports car that causes the violence?

WE MUST BAN VEHICLES SO THEY CAN'T RUN ANYONE OVER! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Andy Chalk:

"The man then took aim at the 16-year-old victim, a trainee hairdresser, who just happened to be waiting at a nearby bus stop, as if in a computer game, reports say, and fired a fatal shot."

This sentence doesn't make a whole lot of sense. "the man took aim at the victim, as if in a videogame, and fired a fatal shot." As in, the man held down the left trigger, tapped the right trigger and went "BOOM headshot!"? Or if he's a right handed PC gamer, held down the right button of the mouse and clicked the left?

The man did not aim "as if in a videogame". He aimed as he would in real life.

The first law passed was good. Necessary too. Too many pre-teen kids playing stuff that they probably shouldn't. Second law is irrational. A knee-jerk reaction to... nothing, actually.
EDIT: On second thought, part of that first law can potentially be pretty bad. Isn't it kind of like saying "You can publish whatever you want, but if the government doesn't approve then nobody can buy it"?

Wow I thought the aussies had some week stuff for banning games but...

The man then took aim at the 16-year-old victim, a trainee hairdresser, who just happened to be waiting at a nearby bus stop, as if in a computer game, reports say, and fired a fatal shot

As if? Are they just placing the game because they can now? thats pure BS.

Well, first off: " The first would outlaw the sale of games rated 16+ or 18+ by PEGI, the Pan-European Game Information rating system," That isn't a stupid idea.

Banning them outright is.

Jebusetti:
GTFO Swiss fundamentalists. I am gonna enjoy watching our boys crush you on the ice even more tonight.

Wow, if I gave half a shit about the Olympics, I might be offended by that.

"The man then took aim at the 16-year-old victim, a trainee hairdresser, who just happened to be waiting at a nearby bus stop, as if in a computer game trained to do by the army in which he was a conscript, reports say, and fired a fatal shot."

Fixed.

There's grasping at straws, and then there's this utter bollocks. You can't seriously blame videogames for the gun related actions of (a member of) the army, since soldiers have been shooting people since ranged warfare was invented, hundreds if not thousands of years before videogames.

I agree with the first resolution though, since stricter age controls would be beneficial to the image of videogames, yet the second resolution, especially if it's based on the same kind of nonsense as that news report, I don't agree with.

gee i thought switzerland was a neutral country , oh well i guess any country that gives its soldiers a multi tool knife (swiss army knife ) with a corkscrew has to show some ballz by controling vid game sales to minors

Well, banning mature games outright is just about as stupid as the reason the appeal was originally filed, but I do agree that they shouldn't be sold to minors... if you're a clerk in a game store, what's so difficult about asking for an ID?

The First part that's what supposed to be enforced now and its understandable as will get little kids away from playing with adults (Not in that way, clean up your mind).
But the second part, I cant describe how far that should fuck off.

Banning the sale of games not rated by PEGI? Wow, nice way to kick indie developers in the nuts there Switzerland.

PEGI is legally enforcable in most (or all, not sure) EU countries and what I think they should do is force an ID check at the point of sale.

Woodsey:
Well, first off: " The first would outlaw the sale of games rated 16+ or 18+ by PEGI, the Pan-European Game Information rating system," That isn't a stupid idea.

Banning them outright is.

This times 10^300.

I really am starting to consider just shunning all government and labeling myself an anarchist.

I'd post my thoughts, but I could easily summarize by saying that I agree with everyone else, basically. Restricting adult games to adults is a good thing. That's why the ratings are there. Because of the ratings, we don't need to ban things. It's pretty simple.

I suppose it's only logical that violent games get banned, since violent movies, books, television shows, music, plays, zoetropes, and flipbooks have also been banned, right? I mean, otherwise the government's just a bunch of double- standardizing hypocrites.

Jamash:
You can't seriously blame videogames for the gun related actions of (a member of) the army, since soldiers have been shooting people since ranged warfare was invented, hundreds if not thousands of years before videogames.

Well, it's a bit trickier than that, because while the service weapon is a common suicide weapon as far as I understand using it for murdering others (and others that aren't practice cardboard targets) is a fairly recent trend (been happening, say, mostly around the last ten years), and having that young a perpetrator is a really recent trend (usually it's more of a midlife crisis thing). Since there's otherwise about a quarter of the population possessing the same rifle they're naturally trying to find some other factor that set the guy apart.

Plus it's easier to pick on videogames, which are probably frowned upon or at least misunderstood by most citizens over 30, than the army, a federal institution in which most of said citizens served and one of the symbols of the country.

This is so full of stupid, that it has changed my perspective on life...

Resolution one deserves an applause. Resolution two on the other hand needs to be taken off the table completely unless they also ban mature movies, song, books and comics ...

Dudeakoff:
What happened Switzerland? You used to be cool.

Switzerland was never cool; its been sitting on the fence for so long its arse has got splinters, and its blaming video games for them.

In all seriousness though, the thought that this kind of legislation so close to home is getting me jumpy.

Ugh. Can we, as a species, get over the whole "videogames will destroy society" thing? The people who say this sort of thing are the same type who said that TV would be the death of the film industry, and look how that worked out.

And why can't people see things from Penn and Teller's point of view? Lemme see if I can find a link...

EDIT: Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlSIqJpXI5A&feature=related

Spread the word, people!

So they think that an ARMY CONSCRIPT with MILITARY TRAINING learned to aim his gun at people FROM A VIDEO GAME? First of all, while we might have a few light gun peripherals, the wiimote and that cannon for the SNES, there is no sniper rifle video game peripheral that teaches you to shoot a gun like in real life (although there IS an iphone app for that). When you are in the ARMY they DO teach you how to shoot a gun, and actually provide you with weapons while on duty. As to WHY a 21 year old guy would shoot a 16 year old girl, it's not that hard to actually piece together something even without any facts. They were probably involved together romantically, then she cheated on him, so he shot her in the face. This story isn't even original. OJ Simpson made it a little more fun by not getting caught and a slow speed car chase down the freeway, but it's happened so many times in history that it's a constant universal truth.

That's what always gets me about politicians that go on and on about how they're doing this "for the children": they, for some damn reason, fail to realize that being a child is TEMPORARY.

There have been some interesting developments in Switzerland recently, like the possible banning of burqas. It brings up the old question of how much violence in media effects (young) people or not. If they decide to ban these computer games it more than likely wont solve anything as the forbidden appeals even more and besides, if they want to avoid hypocrisy they would also have to ban most TV programs.

Ok, I'm getting reallyyyyyyy sick of this crap. People don't understand video games, so they freak out and ban them.

WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP

Again they don't go to the source...Stop the bloody parents!!!

I don't see this going over well. Atkinsons ideals are spreading...

Funny... I live in Switzerland but that's not a topic here. What kind of news is that?

Odjin:
Funny... I live in Switzerland but that's not a topic here. What kind of news is that?

Actually got a small paragraph in "Le Temps" this morning. No one's really paying attention because as long as the parliament hasn't debated it it's not really that notable an item, plus all the attention was given back in 2007 when the projects were first submitted.

Premonition:
Resolution one deserves an applause.

I think you forgot the " It would also become illegal for anyone in the country to purchase a videogame that hasn't been rated by PEGI" bit. Effectively outlaws importing games. Wanna play that great american or japanese game no european company wants to buy he rights for? Too bad!

Gahuh!? What the fuck? I'm glad my parents moved to Canada before having me, then! I can't wait to get my referenda papers in the mail and vote against this shit. But considering all the old conservative people that live there, I wouldn't be surprised if this gets passed.

Edit:

Odjin:
Funny... I live in Switzerland but that's not a topic here. What kind of news is that?

You know, one time there was this article in my newspaper about some black guy being attacked by a guy with a chainsaw in the Swiss mountains. It was a giant story here, with lots of name-calling against the Swiss as a nation of xenophobic racist pricks. When we asked our relatives living there, they hadn't heard anything about it. Including my grandfather who listens to the news all day.

FFFFFFUUUU-

This is why all politicians must be shot and replaced with people who actually know what the fuck they're doing!

Dudeakoff:
What happened Switzerland? You used to be cool.

*Throws sword into the ground*

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not you to!!!!!

We have to save the Swis, it may be too late for Australia, but dammit I won't lose Switzerland!!!

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