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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 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.

http://www.crt-ii.org/index_en.phtm


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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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!


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