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German politicians propose ban of violent videogames

A coalition comprised of members of Germany's main political parties has proposed that all videogames which depict lethal violence should be banned outright.

A coalition comprised of members of Germany's main political parties has proposed an extension to the country's already strict rules on videogame violence which would mean that all games which depict lethal violence would be banned outright.

The coalition argues that the country's child protection laws should be revised to include violent games as part of plans to reduce the amount of violent media which children are exposed to.

Speaking to Der Spiegel magazine, Andreas Scheuer of the Christian Social Union said that "killing games" have "no place in Germany's bedrooms."

Scheuer added that while parents must take responsibility for the games their children play, the government should help less media-competent adults by bringing in a complete ban.

The new proposal has not been well-received by everyone, however - Grietje Bettin of the Grun party commented:"The laws read in such a way as if the coalition partners are not familiar with the existing regulations at all."

Olaf Wolters, head of Germany's interactive software association, told Der Spiegel: "As far we are concerned, there are no such things as killer games, but adult games." Wolters added that he was willing to work with the government to resolve the issue.

Germany already has some of the strictest censorship laws in the world when it comes to the regulation of videogames. But many politicians argued that these laws do not go far enough after, in 2002, a 19 year old shot and killed 16 people in the town of Erfurt before turning the gun on himself. The gunman was said to be an avid fan of shooting game Counter-Strike, and the game was eventually pulled from store shelves.

If approved, the new legislation will come into effect in March 2008.

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Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.