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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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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
quote:
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
"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il














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