08 Jun

In an attempt to prevent any further violence originating from video games, the governors of the 16 German provinces called upon the German Parliament to ban violent games before the reelection late September. Germany has always had rather strict rules concerning violent video games, but politicians still perceive a link between violence depicted in games and violence in the real world.

Direct cause for raising the controversial topic again was the school-shooting in Winnenden, Germany where a student killed 15 individuals, as well as himself on the 11th of March. Apparantly, he had been playing Far Cry 2 for two hours on the evening before he took his father’s firearms to his school.

If the law is passed, it would effectively ban all violent video games, and would force German developers which produce these games to either relocate, or outsource the work to studios outside Germany. Notable German developers include Crytek, known for the first Far Cry game and the Crysis series, Ascaron (Sacred series, Darkstar One), Piranha Bytes (Gothic series) and Blue Byte (Settlers series).

The exact definition of what the politicians classify as ‘Violent’ games is currently unclear. It is also unclear whether such a ban would hold under European Law, as the principles of the European Union forbid the banning of goods that are allowed in other states, unless it can be proven that such a ban would have the intended results. Research linking video games to real violence has been inconclusive.