Switzerland votes to ban violent games

Law could result in the withdrawal of games rated 16 and above by PEGI

Switzerland's parliament has passed a law that could lead to the outright ban of violent games in the country.

An initial proposal was put forward last month, calling for the banning of any game that "requires cruel acts of violence against humans and human-like creatures for in-game success", and that motion has now been passed by the Swiss National Council.

According to a GamesMarkt report, while the request has now been formally accepted, the government still needs to decide on the specifics of the law.

Now that parliament has voted in favour of the move, it is free to decide on the specific legal text - although citizens are able to challenge any new law passed by parliament if they can show sufficient opposition to it.

One motion, put forward by the Christian Democratic Party has called for the ban of all first-person shooters rated 16+ or 18+ by PEGI.

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Latest comments (12)

Thomas Bahon Head of Payment Services, Ankama Games11 years ago
The President of the Christian Democratic People's Party, Christophe Darbellay, said last year (May 2009) that Switzerland must consider euthanasia as an option to reduce health care cost (see [link url=

Maybe they will ask studios to replace terrorist, soldier and others ennemies inside video games by elder people? Who knows. :D
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Philipp Nassau Student - Business Administration (M. Sc.) 11 years ago
Similiar motions werde made in germany, so far nothing has come of it...but considering how switzerland sometimes votes for ridiculous ideas (minaret issue) this might mean a hard time for the swiss gamers.
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Martin Jungkunz Localization QA, Activision Blizzard Ireland11 years ago
It's just not funny anymore how stupid the whole "Games cause violence" discussion goes. In Nuremberg they canceled Intel Friday Night Game article (just in German, sorry)because of Winnenden but one of the worlds largest weapon fairs was absolutely no deal.

Mad world %)

[edit: got the links working]

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Martin Jungkunz on 22nd March 2010 1:32pm

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Show all comments (12)
It seems like it's the case of older politicians who don't play games themselves, kinda like that attorney in Australia who was blocking rating reforms that would allow for sale of 18+ rated games to adults.
Any such change could be easily changed later on by popular initiative (get enough signatures and you can get changes to be voted on in Switzerland), I'd be surprise if you couldn't find enough gamers to sign.

And if you look at actually academic studies of aggression and violent video games they cannot come to a consensus (looked at several papers the other day on psych databases), it's as bad as global warming.
Most of them study levels of aggressiveness during play and in controlled environments and there doesn't seem to be any studies about the long term effects of violent video games (probably because there isn't any). Saying there's a link between violent video games and aggressive people is really like saying there's a link between Christians and people that attend church every Sunday.
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Leon Green Political lobbyist & Gamers Voice Director 11 years ago
I'm so bored of this nonsense, what next banning horror movies? Or Stephen King books?
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Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts11 years ago
@Leon: Yeah Stephen King should definitely be banned. No way should kids be reading that psycho's work. Haha.
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Alex Jones Editor-in-Chief, Pixel Fist11 years ago
Whatever happened to the golden age of progressive politics?
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany11 years ago
Censorship and Bans; the resource of a society unable to accept they own incompetence in solving a problem. Also a way of preventing it#s own citicens the freedom of choice.

If this is not uncovered fascism you tell what it is!
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Private Industry 11 years ago
"cruel acts of violence"

That`s not very specific and a ban of all FPS games rated 16 or 18 does mean virtually a ban for all FPS games because I don`t know any FPS that has a rating lower than 16 even the not really violent Mirrors Edge has a 16 rating.

A bit surprised that this is coming from Switzerland given that I didn`t hear anything of someone running amok since this is usually the point where politicians try to enforce such laws (see Germany).

All in all I don`t think too highly of such ideas, if someone is mentally unstable it can cause the person to become violent, but so can other things like movies and so on. What concerns me more is that people always try to ignore that there was any kind of psychological issues and instead jump on the games as scapegoat. It is horrible for the parents if the kid runs amok, but that should not make them free of any judgment and usually you never hear anyone questioning if the parents did a good job raising the kid.Instead you hear that kid was perfectly and had no issues at all anywhere and was regularly taking part in outside activities like sports or SHOOTING CLUBS.

I wish those countries would nurture game development no mater of what Genre instead of taking games as scapegoats. Because after all banning a game is useless in this time and age where you are just a click away from a fast and reliable online shop.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 11 years ago
Obviously we're all massively biased, but it is a pretty ridiculous notion - surely with proper re-enforcement of age ratings and responsible acceptance of the gaming industry, there is no need for a far-reaching ban such as this. After all, video games are a multibillion dollar industry and probably the most diverse and fastest-growing entertainment medium in the world, and to restrict their growth rather than encourage it just seems very archaic and close-minded in this day and age.

How about tougher rules for retailers and parents/guardians pertaining to allowing minors to play violent games?

(And I realise this is an older news story, but it passed me by first time).
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Private Industry 11 years ago
Unfortunately not many Parents are tech savvy, so they lack the knowledge of how to set up the parent control system that each PC and console now includes.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 11 years ago
That's fair enough Werner, but I was more thinking along the lines of either not buying their 11-year-old son Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, or just passively monitoring what their children are playing, and making sure they haven't borrowed BioShock or Gears of War from a friend.

I just think that there are alternate solutions, rather than restricting what games everyone can buy.
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