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Switzerland has passed legislation which will likely ban violent video games like Grand Theft Auto IV. Perhaps its a small consolation that Switzerland enforces mandatory conscription and demands its citizen soldiers to store real rocket launchers in their homes.  (Source: GTA IV TV)

Switzerland's neighbor Germany just passed its own unique take on censoring violent content. It has banned mixed martial arts events like the UFC from German cable. The UFC is suing German regulators.  (Source: USA Dojo)
China appears to be on the bleeding edge of censorship trends

China drew much criticism for its ongoing censorship of "objectionable" materials such as violent video games or pornography.  However, recent legislative efforts in the European Union and elsewhere indicate that it may merely be on the bleeding edge of a new worldwide trend.

France and Australia are both pondering legislation that would enact nationwide internet filters, similar to China's.  Now two other European nations have pitched in their own unique censorship policies on objectionable content.

In Switzerland, a nation with mandatory conscription, whose soldiers maintain rocket launchers (M47 Dragon anti-tank guided rockets, to be precise) in their homes, the government has decided that it will not tolerate violence -- in video games.  The government has passed a law that will likely prohibit the sales of games rated PEGI 16+ or PEGI 18+ by European regulators (corresponding to ESRB 'M' and 'AO' ratings in the U.S.).  The original motion calls for banning any game that "requires cruel acts of violence against humans and humanlike creatures for in-game success."

Meanwhile in Germany, the local independent government-endorsed FCC equivalent, the Bavarian Regulatory Authority for Commercial Broadcasting (BLM), has banned mixed martial arts from being broadcast on the Munich-based cable network German Sports Television (DSF).  This in effect bans the sport in one of the most populous parts of Germany.

Zuffa, parent company of the sport's biggest league, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is appealing the decision.  They point out that the ruling was handed down amid a storm of misinformation, including German media reports that the UFC and other MMA leagues permitted "fights to the death".  In reality MMA fights are relatively kosher -- despite allowing strikes to opponents on the ground, the fight ends as soon as an opponent is stunned (unable to defend themselves), unlike boxing which typically allows competitors to recover twice after being stunned by a knockdown before calling the fight on the third knockdown.

There is a chance that Zuffa will succeed in its suit to overturn the censorship decision.  The WWE -- one of America's popular staged professional wrestling leagues -- was banned by the DLM and then won its own suit, allowing it to return to German cable television.

While those in the U.S. may scoff at such developments in Europe, one must remember that individuals like disgraced attorney Jack Thompson and certain members of the U.S. House and Senate have battled to ban violent video games.  Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) comments, "Common sense should tell us that positively reinforcing sadistic behavior, as these [violent] games do, cannot be good for our children."

And many in the U.S. government have fought to ban mixed martial arts matches from U.S. arenas and from broadcast televisions, despite condoning the violence of boxing.  Senator and former U.S. Presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ), who reportedly regularly receives ringside boxing tickets, at one time campaigned to further regulate or ban the UFC, which he described as "human cockfighting".  Sen. McCain has since recanted that position, but pressure to ban MMA events remains in many states.

These diverse initiatives all point to a growing trend of global censorship.  China, apparently, isn't alone on its path.

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By ClownPuncher on 3/22/2010 5:30:35 PM , Rating: 5
The Swiss are losing their long time neutrality, taking up polarizing positions on censorship and freedom of religion while Germany is being nanny-ed to the point of homogeny.

Come on!

RE: Terrible
By HotFoot on 3/22/2010 5:33:48 PM , Rating: 5
My impression is that much of western Europe views violence the way the U.S. views sex (and vice versa). Just replace every instance of violence in the above article with explicit sexual content and I think most would say it should be 18+ rated.

But banning altogether for adults - no thanks on either category.

RE: Terrible
By Samus on 3/22/2010 5:54:59 PM , Rating: 2
Banning MMO? You've got to be fucking kidding me. Coming from an empire than not even 80 years ago had one of the most ruthless military forces in human history, now saying you can't watch a one-on-one cooperative fight match involving two skilled warriors on the tele, I can't help but laugh at the irony. Maybe it needs to be a fight to the death in order to tickle their fancy.

RE: Terrible
By messyunkempt on 3/22/2010 8:27:57 PM , Rating: 1
lol, i misinterpreted your comment initially and thought that you were referring to the swiss. Was gonna say, that would have been the first time I'd heard 'Switzerland' and 'ruthless military force' in the same sentence without a negative.

RE: Terrible
By MadMan007 on 3/22/2010 8:36:20 PM , Rating: 3
Dunno...ever seen The Swiss Guards? You have to be pretty badass to wear a uniform like that.

RE: Terrible
By afkrotch on 3/23/2010 12:10:45 AM , Rating: 3
Or pretty gay.

RE: Terrible
By AssBall on 3/23/2010 1:21:35 AM , Rating: 5
Or as utterly usless as the their army.

RE: Terrible
By safcman84 on 3/23/2010 5:25:42 AM , Rating: 3
lol, you are joking right?

It would take a hell of an army to beat the Swiss in armed combat (in their country).

Why do you think Hitler left it alone, even though it had all the money?

It is the only country I know that has completely hollowed out entire mountains to turn into nuclear bunkers, straight long tunnels through the mountains that can be turned into runways (they have big metal doors where they store fighter jets, fuel and ammunition), every household has a fully automatic weapon and 1/3 have some kind of heavy weaponry......

In short, the Swiss are mental. and one of the best trained armed forces in world. And they always have been. Which is why the swiss were banned from providing mercenary troops all those years ago, except to the Vatican. Anyone who could pay the Swiss mercenaries, won the war.

RE: Terrible
By dark matter on 3/23/2010 7:16:51 AM , Rating: 2
Hitler left it alone because it used its banks and because of the swiss refusals to disclose who uses its banks regardless of the reason. He might have been crazy, but he wasn't mad.

RE: Terrible
By BushStar on 3/23/2010 9:11:32 AM , Rating: 3
I'm believe they made sure they were prepared for an invading force after World War II and that the above statement is right in that Switzerland was the place to bank your money. There is still a lot of gold sitting in Swiss banks that came from WWII put there by Nazis and Jews who perished and never made it to get their gold. Many attempts by Jewish family members for years have been made to gain access to the accounts but because of the Swiss bank secrecy are unable to. There is a lot on the Internet about this, in June 1997 Switzerland made a $5bn humanitarian fund available. I'm not sure what for. However in 2001 and 2005 a list of unclaimed Swiss accounts was published and there were channels open to make claims to those accounts.

RE: Terrible
By BushStar on 3/23/2010 9:13:23 AM , Rating: 2
The site with the list of unclaimed accounts is linked below.

RE: Terrible
By kachonga on 3/26/2010 4:27:47 AM , Rating: 2
"There is still a lot of gold sitting in Swiss banks that came from WWII put there by Nazis and Jews who perished and never made it to get their gold."

this is BS... there were at MAXIMUM CHF 24 million (1999) in dormant accounts. the lawsuit was a shakedown/extortion scheme by the World Jewish Congress

RE: Terrible
By Ammohunt on 3/23/2010 2:08:16 PM , Rating: 2
a conscript ARMY? you are kidding right? Take it from someone who knows most of what you heard about the Swiss ARMY is romantic drivel. Spend some time researching another conscript ARMY's deployment to the middle east; the German Bund they are absolutely worthless.

RE: Terrible
By MadMan007 on 3/23/2010 1:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
I guess that works well then since they are guards at the Vatican. At least they're of consenting age!

RE: Terrible
By zinfamous on 3/23/2010 12:52:59 PM , Rating: 4
Those are only found at the Vatican, and act as a "traditional" regiment for tourists, more or less. The swiss guards that you see at the Vatican shouldn't be mistaken for the Swiss military, at all.

and criticism of Swiss military...funny. Yes, it's not like they've had much combat experience, I'm sure...but just try and invade that country. Every rocky hillside and mountain face potentially hides a 50mm gun, heavily armored bunker that can hold regiment and civilians for weeks on end. Regular old parking decks can be quickly converted into command centers and defensive posts. ...and every male is armed, and at least trained for defensive combat.

Plus, they have knives. Oh, and lots of cheese.

Don't mess with the Swiss.

RE: Terrible
By far327 on 3/23/2010 3:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
LOL!!! @ Banning MMO

The Swiss declared that they feel WoW is creating a generation of good for nothing over weight badly complected smell people.

Not a bright future, hence the ban on MMO

RE: Terrible
By TerranMagistrate on 3/22/2010 5:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
But they get to keep rocket launchers in their homes. You can't beat that. Smuggling those games into the country shouldn't be all that hard.

On a separate note: Switzerland must have one of the most polite societies in the world.

RE: Terrible
By Souka on 3/22/2010 6:21:05 PM , Rating: 5
I'd be polite to my neigbor...especially since he may have a rocket launcher in the hallway coat closet!

RE: Terrible
By jonup on 3/22/2010 7:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
On a separate note: Switzerland must have one of the most polite societies in the world.

Of course, they'll put you in jail other wise. I've heard thay you go to jail for minor speeding.And as Souka said, I am sure the rocket luncher helps.

RE: Terrible
By Strunf on 3/23/2010 9:28:51 AM , Rating: 2
You don't go to jail for minor speeding, and unlike what is is stated the army is not compulsory, you can do some civil service instead.

I don't even know why AMERICANS should be talking about having a rocket luncher at home , at least in Switzerland it's the military that has the weapons be at home or not, in the US even civilians have weapons... and still that doesn't help much your criminality ratio.

RE: Terrible
By The Raven on 3/23/2010 9:54:01 AM , Rating: 2
I am American and no we do not all have guns. I don't know where you got that idea. And those who do have guns, for the most part, only have rifles and shotguns for hunting and sidearms for self-defense or just a good feeling ;-).

From Wikipedia (with references):
"Switzerland has mandatory military service for all able-bodied male citizens, who are conscripted when they reach the age of majority,[14] though women may volunteer for any position."

And it also appears that there are no RPGs stored in the closet. But what is in the closet is the following:
-Sturmgewehr 90 assault rifle
-Sturmgewehr 57 battle rifle
-Pistole 75 semi-automatic pistol
-Pistole 49 semi-automatic pistol

When I took German in HS (a long time ago), I was told that the Swiss were conscipts and that they were all required to have a (1) rifle stored in the closet. Hmm... I like Switzerland. Maybe I'll go get a Swiss starter kit for my own home.

RE: Terrible
By Strunf on 3/24/2010 9:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
That's what wikipedia says but the reality is that you have the choice to do it or not, you can either state why you don't want to do the army and in that case you can do some other thing or you can just pay a % of your salary and that's it. It's not like in other countries where you have to do the army or you get arrested for not doing so.

RE: Terrible
By Lerianis on 3/23/2010 10:53:58 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, yes, it does help the criminal ratio. Need I remind you of Great Britain and Australia, where after guns were made almost totally illegal, their rates of violent crime (rape, home invasion, murder) SKYROCKETED!

The fact is that keeping a weapon in your home is a good way when, if some asshat who wishes to be what we call a 'criminal' and break into your home does that, you can defend yourself against him!

RE: Terrible
By gamerk2 on 3/23/2010 12:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect; the highest rates of violent crime in the US is in the deep south/bible belt. That kinda undermines the "Guns reduce crime" argument, since the areas with the highest gun populations are the same areas with the highest crime rates.

RE: Terrible
By The Raven on 3/23/2010 12:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
Neither of you are necessarily correct.

No one knows the magic combination that reduces crime. There are countries with low gun/low crime ratios and others with high gun/high crime ratios. There are other factors that make people go boom.

Just look at Michael Moore's 'Bowling for Columbine'. He attacks Wal-Mart and an octagenarian Chaz Heston (whether rightfully so or not) but lets Switzerland off the hook.

He theorized (I think) that it was guns and racism that fueled the gun related crime in the US. But don't think it is that simple either because of all the the "black on black" or "chicano on black" or "black on chicano" crime that is rampant in the most dangerous cities in the States.

Not to mention that the TITLE incident at Columbine had nothing to do with race...

RE: Terrible
By clovell on 3/23/2010 11:43:14 AM , Rating: 1
Civilians in Switzerland have guns, too. The country has a higher proportion of gun-weilding citizens than the USA.

Next time, get your shit straight BEFORE you decide to be a jackass about it.

RE: Terrible
By porkpie on 3/22/2010 11:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
On a separate note: Switzerland must have one of the most polite societies in the world.
An armed society is a polite society.

Robert A. Heinlein.

RE: Terrible
By The Raven on 3/23/2010 10:10:09 AM , Rating: 2
I love that quote. I've used that quote in reference to people who are 'armed with lawyers' because we are all so afraid of being politically incorrect and being sued (or being stabbed in the neck with a meat thermometer). So we are polite.

But the truth is that Heinlein is not necessarily correct (as I indicated above) but guns ARE definitely good for putting ourselves our of our misery if we are rangled into a courtroom.

Joking aside, I think people are polite because they choose to be because they respect the rights of other people. But then again, a well kept gun might help with that ;-)

RE: Terrible
By MrBlastman on 3/22/2010 5:48:53 PM , Rating: 2

demands its citizen soldiers to store real rocket launchers

Nothing makes swiss cheese better than my own swiss rocket launcher.

I can totally see why they'd ban video games. With that kind of firepower sitting around in households across the country, they certainly wouldn't want their people to know how to use them!


RE: Terrible
By lightfoot on 3/22/2010 6:06:22 PM , Rating: 5
If their Swiss Rocket Launchers are anything like their Army Knives, they probably can do just about anything other than things you'd need in actual combat.

RE: Terrible
By BZDTemp on 3/23/2010 6:55:15 AM , Rating: 3
The great thing is that there is never case of people abusing those weapons. Considering the amount of guns they have and comparing with the US the difference in gun deaths is like night and day. It really says something about what difference culture makes (or maybe it is something in the water).

RE: Terrible
By Strunf on 3/23/2010 9:35:41 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is that in Switzerland it's the military that take the weapons home, we are speaking of people that have been trained to handle weapons and have been under observation for some time, in the US weapons are "given" to almost anyone much more easily.

RE: Terrible
By Lerianis on 3/23/2010 10:57:28 AM , Rating: 2
'Given' to almost anyone? No, people have to buy them. And the fact is that you are comparing a country with a SMALL amount of people in a LARGE area, with the United States, who has a large amount of people in a SMALL area.

What, you say? 90% of America is unpopulated? Yeah, but in the populated areas, everyone is SMOOSHED together today! That leads to people getting on each other nerves, butting into other people's business, etc.

Thereby leading to more violence. And our unemployment and 'poor but employed' rate doesn't damned well help. It's KNOWN that people who are poor are more likely to be stressed and more likely to snap and become violent.

RE: Terrible
By BZDTemp on 3/23/2010 12:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
Switzerland a large area? When was the last time you looked at a map?

In Switzerland the population density is 6 times higher as in the US and while much of the US is uninhabited the same goes for Switzerland. They have big lakes and lots of mountains so most people live in cities.

If you theory about living close together plus unemployment and poverty explained the gun violence in the US then explain how people are not killed left and right in much of Asia, south America and the former Soviet?

For me the explanation is the "Right to bear arms" which guns are all over. Sure you may have to buy them but they are cheap and then they are all over like in peoples cars, desks they even get carried around by people for protection. In most countries the only people carrying guns are the police plus hunters and the like (which are then only to transport weapons back and forth from hunting). Plus outside the police those that have guns have either hunting weapons or special target weapons - in the US people have anything from hand guns over assault rifles to high powered sniper rifles. It's bloody insane!

RE: Terrible
By mmntech on 3/22/2010 6:20:02 PM , Rating: 4
It's becoming a disturbing trend among so called "liberal" western nations. Australia for example is now listed as "under surveillance" by Reporters Without Borders for their internet filtering. The group considers it a potential "internet enemy". That's pretty much unprecedented for developed nation in this day and age that's not in wartime.

This is where the truth about socialism starts to rear its ugly head, much as the religious right has done in other countries such as the UAE and Italy.

Even if someone agrees that violent video games are bad, this kind of censorship should worry everyone. The games themselves do not directly harm anyone, so you cannot make illusions to child pronography. It's not the same thing.

It opens up Pandora's Box. Once they start censoring one thing, it becomes easier for the government to censor others. It makes it easier for the public to accept it. Censorship only serves the purpose of creating an ignorant society that governments can easily exploit.

RE: Terrible
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/22/2010 6:32:12 PM , Rating: 3
From a comments section in the linked article.

"I know the swiss system is complicated. But there is NO ban and there won't be anytime soon. The lower chamber asked the government to recommend a law. The government has long said a ban was not applicable. They will come up with a draft law that will be discussed, anyway, long process, and the young representatives from right to left have already spoken against a ban. This won't happen. Games +18 will be completely forbidden to younger players (much like porn magazines), that's the only visible outcome." -Arthur Berger

RE: Terrible
By SmCaudata on 3/22/2010 6:42:28 PM , Rating: 3
Your mention political leanings detracts from the rest of your argument, which I feel was otherwise quite solid.

Years ago it was primarily conservatives that were pushing censorship. It has nothing to do with political leanings. It is the fact that people in power are hearing complaints from parents that want the government to parent for them or that the people in power feel inclined to push their own moral agenda on the populace.

Morality != Political compass.

RE: Terrible
By shin0bi272 on 3/22/2010 10:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
Your right but I think he was generalizing to make a point that socialist countries with large central governments and stringent laws about everything (which is what the progressives are "fundamentally transforming" us into btw) are prone to limiting their citizens to things that the bureaucrats agree is bad or get paid to say it's bad.

Both parties in this country are to blame because both sides have their progressives. Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, LBJ, carter, bush 41, clinton, bush 43, and now obama all were/are trying to evolve our nation from its founding principles to an oligarchy. There are more on the left but the right has their share too look at Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

Republican progressives are people who get elected by representing themselves as conservative then go to washington and bend over backwards to work with the other party rather than stand up for their principles. Im not saying some compromise isnt necessary but you dont compromise EVERYTHING you stand for to get a new law passed if you are truly a conservative.

Or on the other side look at clinton and obama... they run as centrist moderates then govern as far left liberals. Clinton was put in check by the first republican congress in 40 years before doing any more damage than a tax increase. Obama well we all know the crap hes pulling (next up is amnesty and then expansion of the newly passed health care bill to cover the 12-20 million new citizens).

That's why Im a Libertarian :)

RE: Terrible
By clovell on 3/23/2010 11:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't detract at all - it makes a point - censorship is something that comes about at both extremes.

RE: Terrible
By ClownPuncher on 3/22/2010 7:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
Rather than a liberal or socialist viewpoint, I see it as a progressive populist viewpoint opposite of those that fall under classical liberalism.

RE: Terrible
By eddieroolz on 3/23/2010 12:37:10 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Australia's decision to control its citizen's lives is simply despicable in my opinion. Like banning violent games or small breasts. Seriously, banning a human feature is just not right. It's not like the Australian PM is God or anything, he has no right to ban a human feature.

No government should entirely control what the citizens view, hear, and experience. Australia is quasi-China with their censorship and seems like these Western European nations are heading the same way.

RE: Terrible
By StevoLincolnite on 3/23/2010 5:43:21 AM , Rating: 3
Australia is quasi-China with their censorship and seems like these Western European nations are heading the same way.

There is no Filtering going on in Australia right now, heck Australia approached Google to see if they would censor Youtube! Well they ended up with a "Get stuffed" remark and continued on. (The current Filtering technique proposed would degrade Youtube's performance).

However I doubt Censorship will become reality in Australia regardless if the current administration remains in power or not, I honestly don't think that Steven Conroy could ever get away with it.

I for instance would have his guts for garters!

RE: Terrible
By Lerianis on 3/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: Terrible
By EglsFly on 3/22/2010 8:09:22 PM , Rating: 3
No Soup For You!!!

RE: Terrible
By Gungel on 3/23/2010 10:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
I assume you're freedom of religion statement is referring to the recent vote on the minaret initiative. It is a mere change in the building code and restricts the construction of new minarets. It has nothing to do with freedom of religion. The Muslim community in Switzerland is still allowed to build new mosques but without the minaret towers.

RE: Terrible
By kachonga on 3/25/2010 6:07:14 AM , Rating: 2
neutrality is the foreign policy of the Swiss government. censorship and freedom of religion are not foreign policy.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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