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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 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.

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