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View Full Version : German Politician Calls for "Complete Ban" of Violent Games


RobertoOrtiz
11-19-2005, 04:52 AM
Quote:
"It may have happened more than three years ago, but the bloody 2002 school shooting (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1952869.stm) in Erfurt remains on the minds of many Germans. 19-year-old gunman Robert Steinhaueser (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_10-6-2002_pg9_3) was an avid Counter-strike player, leading to calls to limit violent games in Germany.

Boris, a German GP reader, informed us this week that Heise.de (http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/66142), a leading tech news site, reports that the country's new coalition government wants to measure the development and publication of what it calls "killer games.""

>>link<< (http://www.livejournal.com/users/gamepolitics/132737.html)

-R

A. Wright
11-19-2005, 06:50 AM
How could they ban all violent games? Couldn't they just download the game or buy it online from another country?

DoubleSupercool
11-19-2005, 07:49 AM
Weird, I just called for a complete ban of German Politicians! What are the chances?

General Midi
11-19-2005, 08:14 AM
I shrudder to think of all these millions of people who play violent games...
ALL just an inch away from starting a schootout at their schools, stores etc.

Darn, I wonder when I will become a mass murderer.
Shouldn't be too long now, as I've been playing violent games for about 12 years...
Someone come arrest me!
:surprised

thomaspecht
11-19-2005, 08:23 AM
total exaggeration here. i suggest to edit the thread title. killer games does not include all "violent games", it's specific to games that revolve around killing of human beings and feature explicitly violent scenes. this kind of games has been made unavailable for people under 18 for as long as i can think - definitely this kind of censorship has been in place since the days of the early homecomputers. same kind of censorship happens with movies and music, btw.

as for examples: "soldier of fortune", "doom", "wolfenstein" and similar stuff.

the only difference now is that they apparently plan to prevent the distribution of those titles completely - as of now if you're 18 or older you can still purchase the games in stores, but it's not allowed to advertise the titles - or have them on display in public stores.

anyway, this is not even negotiated, nor is even clear if, what and when they are planning to do something about it. we shall see how long that new government manages to stay united, anyway. :D

scrimski
11-19-2005, 08:35 AM
It's a discussion that repeats every few years.
At the point where "somebody" from an whatever lobby brings in the fact that this is also creates jobs in Germany (Far Cry for instance) in a techology related sector of the economy, it usually calms down.
If you create jobs in germany, you can do everything - just like Hitler did. Sure, "he" (not the Germans, they only did their jobs, they were all innocent) started a war, killed the millions of people, but hey, c'mon, he built the Autobahn and he eliminated the unemployment and maybe some of the unemployed, too.

antweiler
11-19-2005, 10:49 AM
ah, the ever popular bashing of the "money sucking games industry".
in politicians heads here in conservative germany, only building cars and machines are considered as realistic economic areas. Creation of games and entertainment at all is only taken serious as "kids stuff" and therefore deserves only "kids money". Thats the reason why the situation of producers of games and animated movies is so bad here. maybe things change in 20 years or so...

gunslingerblack
11-19-2005, 12:36 PM
interesting policy, i've heard something similar to this by the germans before......in the 1940s


cough...nazi.....cough.......

yann22
11-19-2005, 01:22 PM
and I've heard people bringing up Germany's past in contexts totally unrelated to matters at hand before, but frankly I didn't expect to see this at cgtalk

Srek
11-19-2005, 01:26 PM
interesting policy, i've heard something similar to this by the germans before......in the 1940s


cough...nazi.....cough.......

Please read a good book on history and politics to get an idea what you are comparing here. Also better check the forum rules while you are reading.
- Politics or political propaganda in any form
If you wish to discuss politics, kindly find an appropriate forum for such discussion. Topics of this nature resort in lengthy and unnecessary arguments that are nevertheless totally unrelated to the subject of computer graphics or visual effects.



Thanks
Björn

Hawke
11-19-2005, 03:19 PM
hmmmmm.....if there is one less language for the European release of a game to be translated into it might be released quicker in the UK ;)

RobertoOrtiz
11-19-2005, 03:24 PM
Keep it light people.


-R

Srek
11-19-2005, 03:26 PM
hmmmmm.....if there is one less language for the European release of a game to be translated into it might be released quicker in the UK ;)

You are missing Austria and Switzerland ;)
Beside that chances are this was only proposed to show that they "care", actual chances of success for a bill like this aren't very high at the moment. The new government is just starting and this issue is much to controversial. Also they have much bigger fish to fry.

Cheers
Björn

Hawke
11-19-2005, 03:33 PM
You are missing Austria and Switzerland ;)
Beside that chances are this was only proposed to show that they "care", actual chances of success for a bill like this aren't very high at the moment. The new government is just starting and this issue is much to controversial. Also they have much bigger fish to fry.

Cheers
Björn

LOL - curses :)

It does seem a bit of an extreme response - if someone over 18 (i.e. an adult) can be influenced to such a degree by games that they would go and and kill someone (or do anything else violent for that matter) then I'd suggest they probably had issues to start with :S OR is it possibly that after the act blaming the games becomes a v convenient excuse?

animateddave
11-19-2005, 03:37 PM
OR is it possibly that after the act blaming the games becomes a v convenient excuse?

Ofcourse it has and to add to that game developers have deep pockets to sue.

toonman
11-19-2005, 04:14 PM
Ah, well... we all know that "violent" video games have little or no relation with actual violent events, but to the less-educated, this might seem logical, and serves politicians as a vehicle to get popularity brownie points, stay in power, and therefore push their own agendas. I've been dreaming of a day where people truly have power (a thing we never will unless we educate themselves).

As a sidenote, and I don't mean this in the wrong way at all, I am a bit surprised to read this coming from Germany... I guess it just shows that politicians are politicians, no matter where.

thomaspecht
11-19-2005, 04:33 PM
As a sidenote, and I don't mean this in the wrong way at all, I am a bit surprised to read this coming from Germany...

why is that? for certain historical reasons, the public is very (sometimes overly) sensitive to some things over here, including the display of violence. i remember when i was small, my parents even tried to take away the little plastic soldiers i used to play with outside ;)

gunslingerblack
11-19-2005, 04:42 PM
roflmao i didn't know everyone all of a sudden got so serious on me, if i wanted to discuss politics i would definitely go to another forum, being as how i hate politics however i will stick to humor that is lost on you people

XP

ps

the fact that the nazi's did a similar thing with certain books and whatnot this call for a ban on videogames was, i thought, comparable.

oh well

oh yea, and if another political figure in my own country tried doing the same thing, i would call them a nazi too...tack jompson...

pokoy
11-19-2005, 05:27 PM
interesting policy, i've heard something similar to this by the germans before......in the 1940s


cough...nazi.....cough.......

^^^ this is bad style, honestly. ^^^

back to topic: the party which had this idea is known for being conservative, so don't be surprised. i think there's always a tendency to judge new technology by its worst effects. the pitty is that many people will loose jobs if this restriction will be practiced. and, as stated above, every kid can download any game at any time - it's just a matter of what the kid wants. and that leads us to the fact that many parents are not able to give attention to their kids nor can they imagine which world their children live in...
i think this point of view will also find a voice in germany soon.

Nazirull
11-19-2005, 05:33 PM
Ban on violent games huh?

How about a ban on violent real wars huh people?

Which kills more huh?

Anyway....im just another minority babbling nonsense

ashakarc
11-19-2005, 05:51 PM
Things are related, in fact everything could be related to everything else. The questions are how?why?what?when? etc..

If those politicians have research data backing them up, then good for them. If these decisions are based on personal opinions, then the country is in deep ..

I second the opinion that politicians should focus more on justice, peace, and environment and stay away from their kids game consoles.

Why parents suck at understanding their kids fun games ?!!

eks
11-19-2005, 06:08 PM
interesting policy, i've heard something similar to this by the germans before......in the 1940s
cough...nazi.....cough.......
so what would you call (cough) Jack Thompson (http://www.gamesindustry.biz/news.php?aid=12360) (cough cough) and Hilary (cough cough) Clinton (http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/07/14/news_6129040.html)?

;)



eks

eks
11-19-2005, 06:11 PM
while we are at it, again, another related news:

http://www.joystiq.com/entry/1234000997068547/




eks

gunslingerblack
11-19-2005, 07:43 PM
so what would you call (cough) Jack Thompson (http://www.gamesindustry.biz/news.php?aid=12360) (cough cough) and Hilary (cough cough) Clinton (http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/07/14/news_6129040.html)?

nazis?

oh yea, and if another political figure in my own country tried doing the same thing, i would call them a nazi too...tack jompson...




ahem, i guess u couldn't have possibly gathered that tack jompson is jack thompson cough cough...

and no bad style is a matter of perspective, and from my perspective it's just misunderstood humor

psps on a serious note this world of warcraft story about the chinese kid, im kindof getting sick of hearing about people blaming gaming companies for things like this when they were never responsible for thier children to teach them things like, the difference between reality and a video game, or to just take responsibility for thier kids, parents are so ignorant these days it's not even funny. when i used to work in retail, an old grandma asked me for bmxxx, i said ma'am who are you buying this for? she said, her 13 y o grandson, i said im sorry but this is bmxxx because it's xxx rated. run one by the grandparents yeah but parents dont check up on this shit. i woulda never been able to get away with something like that when i was a kid.

DoubleSupercool
11-19-2005, 09:41 PM
He, I thought you were referring to Godwin's Law. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law)

bluemagicuk
11-19-2005, 09:57 PM
LOL ... but seriously LOL

gunslingerblack
11-19-2005, 11:29 PM
godwins law is pretty funny, im glad i had no intention of ending the thread with that comment.

instinct-vfx
11-19-2005, 11:50 PM
gotta say that i tend to find it bad style too...besides beeing a little offensive. But as the rules say that politics is a no-go i´ll try to stay on-topic :P

They just had to enforce current laws instead of a complete ban...Those games are rated 18+ here wich also means companies are not allowed to do commercials of any type for them besides that they may only be sold to 18+ ppl. Would work just fine if it was enforced. But it´s no problem for a 10Year old kid to run into a store and buy the game, because a) nobody checks the stores, and b) even if they would be checked the fines would be no problem for them and sales pretty sure higher then a fine here and there. Sadly the same is true for for other rated things, like hard alcohol etc.

Regards,
Thorsten

E_Moelzer
11-20-2005, 01:42 AM
I think that banning those games is ridiculous. I have been playing games since my youth and many of those were these so called "violent games". I even played the game Wolfenstein which was not just on the index in Germany and Austria, but even prohibited (because of Nazi symbols). I have never comitted any crime, I am not a fascist. So what?
Even though reading what politicians have to say here, makes me get some pretty agressive feelings somehow...
Wonder whether violence is actually related to politicians. Maybe the guys that went amock at those schools saw a speech of one of them on TV. I am for a ban of politicians in Germany as well, just to make sure ;)
CU
Elmar

Nazirull
11-20-2005, 07:15 AM
Wonder whether violence is actually related to politicians.

YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH BAAYYBEEEEEE!!!.........ehemm....sorry guys

olijosman
11-20-2005, 07:44 AM
Unfortunately we are unconscious with the violence...we see violence every day, with cruel wars without sense , terrorist attacks ..etc we are lost empathy.Video games is something insignificant compared with our violent society, and it is a reflection of our world... but is a little sad, we need to "kill" for fun too

bobtronic
11-20-2005, 07:51 AM
... but is a little sad, we need to "kill" for fun too

I guess that's unfortunatly the nature of men. I don't know many women that enjoy
"killing" games.

grau
11-20-2005, 08:00 AM
Maybe the guys that went amock at those schools saw a speech of one of them on TV.

Actually the reason seemed to be that he didn't get his degree. There are 3 kinds of degrees in germany, Abitur being the best and Hauptschulabschluss being the worst. At that time the state of Thueringen (unlike most others) didn't give a second chance if you failed and he ended up with a Hauptschulabschluss (or even without any degree, don't remember now). Of course this is not a reason to do somthing like that but they (politicians!) changed the law after the event.

The funny thing was that the media blamed counterstrike for training him. The fact that he was member of a shooting club got rarely mentioned but I guess that's because real shooting is just sport.

Buexe
11-20-2005, 08:25 AM
grau is right. This kid got hold of heavy rifles LEGALLY!!!

A Banning of shooting clubs should also be considered besides
a banning of politicians who make ridiculous proposals to
gain popularity points.

scrimski
11-20-2005, 08:37 AM
Wonder whether violence is actually related to politicians. Maybe the guys that went amock at those schools saw a speech of one of them on TV. I am for a ban of politicians in Germany as well, just to make sure ;)


Totally agreed.
Ban that Merkel thing from outerspace. She makes me wanna throw things out of of the window when I see her on TV.

This whole discussion is an excellent example of the bigottery of (not only) conservative politicians here in Germany - as everywhere I guess..

GregRinaldi
11-20-2005, 08:56 AM
I guess that's unfortunatly the nature of men. I don't know many women that enjoy "killing" games.

Agreed. Violence is in our nature. That's why it's so important for us to confront it in our art. I remembered this quote posted in another thread, and I think it's relevant to this discussion as well.


"Thought I needed to respond to this, and the background ideology that informs it. There is a school of thought that basically states that there is moral and immoral art, and that one uplifts society and the other degradates it. Adherents to this belief crusade against violence, profanity and sexual themes in all media. They state that if this trend is not combated, that we will eventually become a profane society of Machiavellian mercenary minded thugs. They expound political correctness in the best case, and outright censorship or censure in the worst.

At the core, they miss the reality of the situation. Art is a thing. It is neither moral or immoral, it is an object. Only something capable of choice can make a decision between right and wrong. Only an agent with will can determine to do this or that. People who blame their surroundings, their environment, their society, their media for the actions of their populace live in a state of denial. Men and women choose to be this way. Art reflects the choice, it does not engender it.


The concept of denial seems central to this society. Denial of violence, denial of sex, denial of evil. All of it put off on some mythical foe, corruptor instigator. Yet again and again it bubbles to the surface. The fact is that history shows, the nature of man is not benign. You need only look to Auschwetiz, the Balcans, Darfor, Somalia, our own history, the Trail of Tears, the Japanesse internment camps. The truth is that man is not simply a noble soul strugglling against evil. It is part of what man has been all through history. Evil is part of man.


And this is why I would propose to you that these games are one of the most positive things I've seen to be created in the modern age. These games are a type of mental cathartic therapy. In these games all the darker sides of our nature can be given free reign. It can be released and acknowledged and accepted without a single human being injured. Instead of supressing it, denying it, you own it. You accept it. Then and only then does it lose it's power to control you. And then you can truly choose."


.

Nazirull
11-20-2005, 09:29 AM
Greg Rinaldi...........great quote there man. Where is that from?

GregRinaldi
11-20-2005, 09:41 AM
Greg Rinaldi...........great quote there man. Where is that from?

Not sure. I saw it posted in a similar thread, and thought it was worth reposting. :shrug:

Emmanuel
11-20-2005, 12:57 PM
This is were worlds collide, actually.
My opinion is that the community should be responsible for its members.
"The nature of man" is surely a factor, but I guess that making these games available for adults only is a good direction, because no one would deny that the power of choice can be lethal in the wrong hands of an undevelopped mind, like a child.
I mean, there are several cases per year were children take the gun of their dad and play with it, resulting in at least one dead child.
I doubt anybody would say everybody should have the right to play with weapons, some people can handle it, some can not, and I think its egocentric to say that because *i* can handle it, everybody should have the same access to violent games.
Its not like violent games are a vital part of life.If someone has the desire to cool down his "violent nature", he should go to a gym and do some honest and fair boxing.
There are alternatives to violent games, and let's face it, the "ooh my god how cool I can shoot his head off"-factor is for people who are not very clever.
My problem with violent games is that they make it far too easy to accept violence as a solution.Violent games are mostly stupid without any entertainment except for killing.
If there are people who need this to feed their "natural desire to kill", well, these guys are psychos and *games*, as innocent as they are, should not actually "help" these people.
Games should be fun, and gaining fun from stupid violence is sick.
I mean, there are people with no social life that sit in front of the machine and kill virtual people.Is that a future we want to live in ?

mrloco
11-20-2005, 01:35 PM
How about a ban on violent real wars huh people?


When has germany ever started a war? what are you talikng about?

this reminds me of when they banned swastikas from computer games, and several bf1942 mods (Forgotten Hope) had to be released in two versions....sad

antweiler
11-20-2005, 03:41 PM
The use of swasticas and other NS symbols is banned completely, not only in games.

instinct-vfx
11-20-2005, 03:45 PM
They are not banned completely. They are of course allowed to be used and showed in any scientific or historical context. We care, but we dont censor :P

Thorsten

Boone
11-20-2005, 04:05 PM
Maybe they should take it one step further - BAN ALL GAMES! :lightbulb

Just imagine youngsters picking up a copy of HAMLET, going out to play or even helping Mother with the Dishes... :cool:

Ahhh...those were happier days... :arteest:

Hawke
11-20-2005, 06:59 PM
This is were worlds collide, actually.
My opinion is that the community should be responsible for its members.
"The nature of man" is surely a factor, but I guess that making these games available for adults only is a good direction, because no one would deny that the power of choice can be lethal in the wrong hands of an undevelopped mind, like a child.
I mean, there are several cases per year were children take the gun of their dad and play with it, resulting in at least one dead child.
I doubt anybody would say everybody should have the right to play with weapons, some people can handle it, some can not, and I think its egocentric to say that because *i* can handle it, everybody should have the same access to violent games.
Its not like violent games are a vital part of life.If someone has the desire to cool down his "violent nature", he should go to a gym and do some honest and fair boxing.
There are alternatives to violent games, and let's face it, the "ooh my god how cool I can shoot his head off"-factor is for people who are not very clever.
My problem with violent games is that they make it far too easy to accept violence as a solution.Violent games are mostly stupid without any entertainment except for killing.
If there are people who need this to feed their "natural desire to kill", well, these guys are psychos and *games*, as innocent as they are, should not actually "help" these people.
Games should be fun, and gaining fun from stupid violence is sick.
I mean, there are people with no social life that sit in front of the machine and kill virtual people.Is that a future we want to live in ?

What about car crashes in racing games? Should they be banned as well? - people die in car crashes you know. How about RTS games like Dawn of War? Ico carries a sword is that allowed? Not all games that contain violence in some form revel in it and they start by banning one thing but they'll work down the list. Games are rated according to their content just like movies with legally binding certification - it is a criminal offence (In the UK at least) to sell an BBFC 18 rated game to anyone under that age. If a retailer sells an 18 cert game to a minor then how can that be blamed on the manufacturer of the game? Do you blame the beer company when a shop sells some to a minor? How about if an adult goes out and buys alchohol for a minor? Whose responsible there?

lovisx
11-21-2005, 02:58 AM
though I do agree that the brutal side of human nature shouldn't be censured in art, I'm far from ever agreing that it should be indulged, and given protection and rights.

GregRinaldi
11-21-2005, 05:05 AM
This is were worlds collide, actually.
My opinion is that the community should be responsible for its members.
"The nature of man" is surely a factor, but I guess that making these games available for adults only is a good direction, because no one would deny that the power of choice can be lethal in the wrong hands of an undevelopped mind, like a child.

I don't think anyone here is arguing that small children should have access to ultra-violent material. The point is that a "complete ban" is the wrong message to send in a "free" society. No government should be allowed to have complete control over any medium. Whether it's games, films, books, television, etc. The comparisions to oppressive, tyrannical regimes are valid in the sense that those sort of governments exercise and enforce thier will in the name of right-wing puritanical interests.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I mean, there are several cases per year were children take the gun of their dad and play with it, resulting in at least one dead child.
I doubt anybody would say everybody should have the right to play with weapons, some people can handle it, some can not, and I think its egocentric to say that because *i* can handle it, everybody should have the same access to violent games.

I think you're losing credibility in your argument by comparing gun control with the censorship of art. There's a big difference in each item's function. Guns, by nature, are designed to inflict harm. Violent games are designed to entertain. If Little Johnny gets his hands on Daddy's pistol, he may accidentally hurt or kill himself or someone else. If he accidentally gets his hands on Daddy's copy of GTA, nobody gets hurt and nobody dies. At the most, it means Daddy is going to have to chat with Little Johnny about the differences between "make-believe" and "real-life." Which actually isn't such a bad thing when you really think about it. In fact, more parents should deal with those kinds of issues as early and as often as possible.

Its not like violent games are a vital part of life.If someone has the desire to cool down his "violent nature", he should go to a gym and do some honest and fair boxing.

I'm confused. So you're suggesting that instead of playing a game like Tekken, where someone can beat up imaginary people to take out frustration; he should go to a Gym and do physical harm to a real, live person? :surprised

Don't get me wrong, I personally think physical sports like martial arts and boxing are great hobbies, but I'd never want to spar with someone who's trying to cool down his "violent nature." Something tells me that could get really ugly, really quickly. I'd much rather he took out his frustrations in a game of Soul Calibur, then bring them into the ring with me.

itsallgoode9
11-21-2005, 05:58 AM
things like this make look forward to the day when I am old and dead so I don't have to hear about bullshit like this anymore

MuseSyndrome
11-21-2005, 06:32 AM
Yeah, news like this makes me want to shoot people...:D

Limbus
11-21-2005, 08:01 AM
Quote:
"It may have happened more than three years ago, but the bloody 2002 school shooting (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1952869.stm) in Erfurt remains on the minds of many Germans. 19-year-old gunman Robert Steinhaueser (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_10-6-2002_pg9_3) was an avid Counter-strike player, leading to calls to limit violent games in Germany.


Robert Steinhaueser was not a CS palyer. The police did find CS on his computer but he did not have internet access. The whole relationship between his assault ont he school and CS was made up by certain medai-companys.

I dont think that video games will be banned here in germany since there is a good rating system already in place which works somehow like movie ratings. If a game is rated 18+ stores are not allowed to advertise the game. THis makes the game pretty much unsalable. Any more banning would not alter anything on the german game market and it most certainly cant help to get parents to do their job: watch what the kids are playing.

I think this initiative is made by some politicians who wnat to get their names in print.

Florian

mlanser
11-21-2005, 09:51 AM
Florian is right. This is just some sort of PR to show people, who don't play these games and know everything about them through the media, where the message is: violent games are evil!

The new government is about to do a lot of changes here, and wants to give you the impression of sorting things out, so this seems to be a good opportunity for some politicians.

GregRinaldi & Emmanuel: i think emmanuel is talking about cooling down the violent nature on the punching ball or something. otherwise i qould agree, that this would get ugly.

i don't have a problem with making violent/killer games unavailable or hard to get for kids. but as mentioned by GregRinaldi, a complete ban is absolutely the wrong way.

ekah
11-21-2005, 03:02 PM
Greg Rinaldi...........great quote there man. Where is that from?

It was a quote from someone at another 3D forum, not CGTalk. The thread was also about violent video games. I thought that he put it so eloquently that I had to save what he wrote. I quoted him without giving away his name.

Anyhow, Greg probably quoted it from my post in another thread at CGTalk. http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=2750480#post2750480

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