All violent video games to be banned in Germany
(GAMEZINE) German ministers have today agreed to ban the production and distribution of all violent video games, with the law only having to go through parliament in the next few weeks.
According to german website Chip Online and supported by Spiegel Online, ministers of the interior of all sixteen German federal states came together for a conference today in Bremerhaven where they agreed to forbid the production and distribution of all video games “where the main part is to realistically play the killing of people or other cruel or unhuman acts of violence against humans or manlike characters.”
The country has been infamously hard on violent video games before now, but an outright ban would result in a huge loss for the video games industry in one of its most successful European countries.
The law would result in no Call of Duty, no God of War, no Crysis, no World of Warcraft, no BioShock, no Uncharted, and no Grand Theft Auto.
Moreover, since a ban on the production of violent games would also be included in the law, German studios, such as Crytek, would have to outsource development to other countries.
The law is hoped to come into effect before the country’s federal elections in September. The minister of the interior of Lower Saxony commented:
“Violent games lower the inhibition level for real violence and spree killers have again and again played such before they did the crime.”
Note the second part of that sentence: “spree killers have again and again played such before they did the crime.” That’s quite a statement; one we expect they’d like to support with the German school shootings on March 11th, which were linked to Counterstrike and Far Cry 2.
For the law to become a reality it must go through parliament in the next few weeks or months. We’ll keep you posted and hope the ministers are just blowing smoke.
[UPDATE] – It has been pointed out that our translation of the minister of Lower Saxony’s comment is not entirely accurate, where “spree killers always played such games before they did the crime” should be changed to either “spree killers have again and again played such games.” We apologise for the mis-translation.