Bavaria and Lower Saxony, regions in Germany, are pushing through legislation to ban all remotely violent computer games, after Counter-Strike was blamed for encouraging a teenaged boy towards murder.
reports that acts of violence in a game world against another could attract prosection from German police.
The proposed law would ban "cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters" within a game, and could provide for up to a year in jail for gamers or games companies engaging in or promoting in-game violence. Can you imagine going to jail for fragging someone?
Günther Beckstein, a senior Bavarian politician, recently asserted that there is a direct connection between games and violence, after a student gunned down 37 people in a local school, injuring them, before killing himself. The student was a big CS fan. "It is absolutely beyond any doubt that such killer games desensitise unstable characters and can have a stimulating effect," Beckstein said.
The point we repeatedly make at bit-tech
is that games do not make killers out of kids - mental problems
make killers out of kids, and addressing the issue through banning games rather than mental health treatment simply addresses the symptom, not the cause.
Now is also probably a good time to mention that Penny Arcade's annual Child's Play
charity drive is on right now, which brings gamers together to suppot sick kids in hospitals. Let's prove to these people that games can be a force for good, not violence.
Discuss gaming laws and Child's Play over in the forums.