Gamezine has published a report out of Germany that they plan to ban ALL violent video games. Violent video games being defined as titles “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.”
Germany has had very strict controls over games and other media in the past. It’s illegal to display Nazi symbology there for example (for obvious reasons.) Previously they attempted to tone down the blood in violent games by requesting that it be turned green. They have also outright confiscated games such as Manhunt and Dead Rising. Most recently, they even required the alteration of the cover art for Left 4 Dead:
But this is the first time they’ve gone wholesale after an entire genre of games. The worst part of it is, their argument that violent games cause violent behavior is specious at best. In the United States at least, crime statistics show that violent crime rose continually until 1992/1993 and then dropped every year until 2005. It ticked up a bit in 2005/2006 but that was because crime rates were already at 40 year lows. Crime rates dropped again in 2007 and 2008 despite having quite a few very violent games available (chart here.)
If violent games beget violence to the point where they are ban-worthy then why is the rate of violent crime currently at the same level it was in 1974? That’s a question the ban advocates don’t want to answer.