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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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I'm swiss
By Murloc on 3/23/2010 5:49:55 AM , Rating: 3
and medias from other nations don't understand anything.
It's just one of the two chamber that wants the governement to regulate.
There were 2 initiatives: one to avoid minors to play violent video games, and one to ban violent games tout-court (initiative from the socialist party of course).
The first was accepted with 27 yes and 1 no, and that's fine. The ERSB rating are useless as you can just walk in and buy.
The second with 19 yes and 12 no.
All the parties of the young were against this, and the government will not ban violent video games.
They know it's not feasible, they know it's plain stupid, and they will just make new rules, because now the swiss states can decide indipendently what they want to do.

the swiss don't keep rocket launchers in their home, just the assault rifle.
Military service is mandatory, but just 40% of the people do it, the others have to pay a stupid tax for 20 years.
This is plain stupid, because if you don't get excluded because you aren't fit for the service, the military service will just break your study schedule, delay your bachelor etc.
they should just abolish it.
It's useless now to have an army of this kind, they could just make it volontary, and enough ppl will still do it.

RE: I'm swiss
By icanhascpu on 3/23/2010 12:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, at least they just tax you. In America, they can and will force you to join if needed. No choice about paying a tax you just get tossed in jail.

Ironically a government that would do something like that, is exactly the type of government I want to fight AGAINST .

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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