Germany to ban ze violent games

Written by Andrew Clark

December 8, 2006 | 11:05

Tags: #change #controversy #counter #counter-strike #ethics #germany #law #prison #punishment #strike #violent

Companies: #games

Today, the competitive gaming community was stunned by an article on the Financial Times website. New recommendations have been added to Germany's legislation regarding violence in video games after a school shooting last month. Local newspapers blamed the shooting on the game Counter-Strike, claiming that the person involved was an avid fan of the game.

The new law could see developers, retailers and players of violent video games being jailed for up to a year. Germany already has some of the strictest censorship rules for games in the world and many believe that these latest recommendations could have an impact on their economy.

Frank Sliwka, head of the Deutsche E-Sport Bund and spokesperson for a number of online gaming teams said:

“We have among the most drastic censorship rules for games. Now we are being labelled as a breeding ground for unstable, dysfunctional and violent youngsters.”

Germany has the third largest market for computer entertainment, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and boasts 40,000 online gaming teams. Despite this, many games like Counter-Strike, have been changed so that they don't feature any blood. Despite these precautions Germany has suffered a steady flow of school attacks, most of which have been connected to games in some way.

Holger Scherff, head of a-Losers.MSI a top German gaming clan, feels that this bill could destroy electronic sports within Germany, even if it fails. He feels that corporate sponsors may review their policy regarding the sponsorship of gamers and gaming organisations in the country.

Could this do more harm than good to the German gaming scene? Let us know in the forums.
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