Euro game debate gathers steam

Commissioner Franco Frattini and German ministers call for Europe-wide ban on violent video games.

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A two-day discussion in Dresden, Germany, about restricting and banning violent games has led to wider support for plans for a unified system across Europe, reports the Associated Press.

European Union justice and home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini told reporters that he, along with Germany's interior minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and justice minister Brigitte Zypries, had encouraged member states "to prevent, to ban violent video games."

Frattini, who also called for a ban on the horror game Rule of Rose, wants a unified ratings and restrictions system across the EU's 27 countries put in place. He said, "The protection of children cannot have borders."

He added that it was important to raise awareness about the sensitivity of the issue and increase and encourage measures to be taken in a practical way by police authorities, especially on age-checking issues.

Luxembourg's justice minister Luc Frieden joined the debate, calling for the EU to take action by saying, "Access to children should be cut off. We have to ban some games."

The proposal for a unified ratings system was backed by Germany, Britain, Greece, Finland, Spain, and France.

Discussion

213 comments
dommeus
dommeus

Oh good! Why can't they just rate ALL games like they do films, and then go from there?! I mean you can't walk into Blockbuster and rent a softcore movie if youre under 18. Gears of War already carries an 18 certificate, among many other games. Governments need to realise that videogames aren't freaking toys! Jeez...

PMC11
PMC11

why cant the countries that want to ban games just do it!! instead of having to call for a "european ban". it up to the british people if they want games baneed, not some german minister.

Scorpion16
Scorpion16

Germany is slowly turning back into what it was back durring the Nazi era and unfortunitely they are dragging the rest of Europe down with them. Franco Frattini is just another out of touch, old fart, ignorant, moralist blowhard who frankly makes me even prouder to be an American. Isn't it funny how teenagers can drink and street drugs are legal and easy to get, yet they are complaining about videogames warping kids' minds. Japan has some of the most violent and explicit entertainment products out there and yet they are one of the safest countries in the world. Even entertainment targeted at children is very violent there. According to their logic, Japan should be one of the most violent countries in the world. If these idiots would do some research instead of shooting thier mouths off, they would know that juvenile violence(at least here in the states, not sure about Europe) has gone down over the past 20 years.

Benny_is_here
Benny_is_here

Now I'm finally SURE regarding whether or not Norway should join the EU. NO! It's bad enough that I had trouble buying Project 8 from a store because it's rated 16+ by ESRB and I'm only 15. I've played games like GoldenEye 64 all my life, and I can't buy a friggin' skating game?! They're classifying whole age groups as retards.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I guess no specific country has a monopoly on hysteria.

kaedahewson
kaedahewson

this always happens to the newest, growing media form - it was the Cinema just before WWI corrupting the Youth of today. Then after WWII til around the 70's it was TV and now since the mid 90's its been Video Games - soon as gaming went mainstream it was the newest media form for corrupting the youth of today. The BBFC does it right, give games age ratings based on the same criteria as movies and then a parent can decide if they want their 14 year old kid to play games like "Gears of War" (which was an 18) just like they do with DVDs. I am surprised Britain have agreed to anything other than a unified ratings system. After all, Germany has the strictest censorship rules in all of Europe IIRC the words Nazi and Hitler are illegal and from what one of my German friends said they don't teach them about anything from 1914-1945 at school.

cheater87
cheater87

So if you smuggle a banned game into Europe and you are 18 or over what will happen?

ryanstoy91
ryanstoy91

It would be a sad day in Europe if this happens. Most politicians over there probably never have played a video game, which makes me angry about this.

GingeOnGinger
GingeOnGinger

One word for you Germany: Democracy -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Noun The political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them The doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group... MuummmKayyy? COs u kinda tried the whole dictatorship approach before remember and it didnt work...so back off! cos if i cant kill things in a game world, chances are im gonna kill things in the real world...hmmm yes i thought that would get ur attention and thing is, i aint joking.

GingeOnGinger
GingeOnGinger

How Dare they! ANyone reMember 1914...or 1939...well they should! 6.6 million...Zyclon B, Gas Chambers, death camps, Ghettos...and they want to ban videogames F*CK O*F! Its bad enough that America And Japan (Which i love but still) get all the good games first and now they wanna ban games cos there too violent...well smoking kills and alcohol ruins lives...yes and why are they doing nothing about it? Cos the money they earn in taxes keeps all these officials in their cosy, radiator heated duvets, thats why! Do u know i got told that a pack of cigarettes is worth about 50p but the tax adds all the rest...and thats ok...sure...theres some sick people out there...

runelv
runelv

I am not surprised that Germany and England are supporting this, but France? Voltaire would have turned around in his grave if he heard you now! "I despise what you say; I will defend to the death your right to say it." This means that you should allow people to have opinions that are different from your own, and let them express them in books, movies, games etc.

Jermwarfare
Jermwarfare

"Remember that Europe has incredible common sense & nil amount of pretentiousness " lol!i sure hope that was sarcasm. im pretty sure europe's biggest export is "pretentiousness"....followed by ship loads of smug. thats what makes this story even more sad,the hypocracy of it. sometimes i think "progressive" means embracing the latest stupidity that comes along........and horny with a dash of lazy....... come to think of it,im pretty progressive.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

However, I really do hope that the word "ban" doesn't really mean banning some games completely in a country (or even the whole European Union!). alent "If this happens...theres gonna be riots and their economy will lose so much money to imports, what a bunch of ****heads. Gaming smuggling will be bigger than drugs." Han Solo FTW!!! Problem is that almost all of those politicians are from the older generations, and they probably, like my dad, views video games as rubbish & not worth your time. It gets very much on my nerves! It's impossible to get them to respect the games. Bugger. Can't happen. Even my mum wants me to clean up the game boxes. How sad. "Osama bin Laden is still in the wind, the Middle East is in crisis, global warming is being ignored, half the world is starving and record numbers of people are dying of AIDs. But go ahead, elected officials. Waste time trying to ban video games. They're the top priority, obviously" Yes, say it again. Actually, the HIV/AIDS originated in the 1960s or so, when two arch-rival scientists wanted to make their name known, & tested some stuff on the chimpanzees (it was known BY THEN that they ain't helpful as test subjects for the humans. Other monkeys are much better & very, very close to being compatible to the humans for testing). Moreover, those injections were actually contaminated by something, & thus the most stupid man-made disease spread from thereon. The official scientist community in England very rudely cut down the trial, where a journalist wanted to prove it to the world, & indirectly denies it by labelling the journalist as misinformed, and other bad names. So super-sad. Surprisingly enough to me, Australia is progressing better in terms of evolving towards cleaner energy than the whole of Europe. Actually that whole Koyta (or whatever spelling) agreement was just words & no actions. How sad!. Australia, India, USA, & 3 other countries working better towards solutions to the warming problem, and some companies, even in Europe like the BMW, doing a lot about it, because it makes sense in the infinite term. All the while those politicians... Grrr. If only there was an Alexander The Great 2 to sweep 'em up!

SpareJesus
SpareJesus

The Germans are becoming Videogame Nazis now? Ack! History repeating itself!

mmduggans
mmduggans

Let's ban some books while were at it huh? If we want to try and take something away that's harmful, lets try taking away alcohol and tobacco (I bet those European Union Justices would shrivel up without those). Our parents generation had to contend with keeping rock n roll from being banned, games are just having there moment in the heat as well. I do like the EU comment: "Access to children should be cut off".....

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Well, I thought "Ouch". But look, read between the full lines, and you'll notice that they only want to ABSOLUTELY BAN the access of certain violent games to the children. Makes sense. Remember that Europe has incredible common sense & nil amount of pretentiousness unlike certain Americans (Jack Thompson. Remember Hillary Clinton has finally agreed to budge with the ESRB institution). How do I know? I was born in Europe & know my feeling of spiritual unison with them, if you know what I mean. I mean I notice it when I greet with each other of them, & um, read or see some news related to Europe. But I don't like that guy Frattini, coz he was known for wanting to ban that Rule of Rose game without a real understanding of its content. It also possibly unfortunately have had an impact on its non-release to Australia. He's also from an older generation who doesn't want to accept video games, obviously. Curiously, however, that last sentence seems to have been updated into the article. Gamespot, you should put up a notice about that.

thunkin1
thunkin1

Noooooooooooooooooo if germany has its way we won't get half of all the good games in england!

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

I'm not sure why so many people are dogging Europe on this. It's not as if the same proposals haven't been made in the USA. Let's wait to see if this proposal has wings before comdemning all of Europe.

GilHerad
GilHerad

"Oh Europe, you use to be the seat of enlightenment and civilisation. Now, you are infected with the cancer of political corectness. " This is games. Its one issue. If you want to take a chance on the US vs. Europe, who is right issue, then you have already lost.

rezapoc
rezapoc

i live in britain and i'd have to say our rating system is strict enough the staff of a shop can be fined up to £5000 ($10000 (approx)) if they get caught serving someone underage. i think thats enough dont you? by the way Max_Hydrogen is so bloody right

capthunt
capthunt

LOL leave it to the Germans to do something radical.

snarple_basic
snarple_basic

O.K. why dont they have a rating system??? We have had one for over 15 years now, am i missing something??

DarthKalo
DarthKalo

There is nothing worse than someone telling you how to live your life, especially when they really don't care about you.

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

I agree with age-checking and a unified ratings system, but not with banning.

GKBeetle
GKBeetle

Luxembourg's justice minister Luc Frieden joined the debate, calling for the EU to take action by saying, "Access to children should be cut off. We have to ban some games." -- and ban some books, and some TV shows, and some songs, and some movies. Go right ahead, you Nazi

Irve
Irve

Unified rateing system ... backed by Britain .. Pah .. surely that would water down the BBFC rating currently used which is the exact same classification as films with the same legal effects

amogley
amogley

Banning ... knee jerk reaction or reaction jerks ... better parenting, better awareness, better age legislation !!

alent
alent

If this happens...theres gonna be riots and their economy will lose so much money to imports, what a bunch of ****heads. Gaming smuggling will be bigger than drugs.

CidStormwind
CidStormwind

Banning? No thanks. Strict Age Controlling? Sure.

Max_Hydrogen
Max_Hydrogen

"The protection of children cannot have borders." Get the fuk out of here! Politically correct Nazis! If you want people to obey you, just terrorize them by telling them the children are at risk; that's all. Sure, ban virtual violence whilst allowing the real thing to thrive unabated. Why bother voters with REAL issues when you can distract them with smokescreen bullsh*t issues? Oh Europe, you use to be the seat of enlightenment and civilisation. Now, you are infected with the cancer of political corectness.

spelledarn
spelledarn

Collectivism is a disease, and most European politicians are too sick from it to see the signs.

necrophilissimo
necrophilissimo

Only one thing to say; I'm currently trying to obtain cyanide pills. It's up to EU do I have to use 'em anytime soon.

kipue
kipue

et tu, France??

seth6699
seth6699

@wild_world_girl : hhhahaha. You didn't get the irony. USA and Jack Thompson are much more ridiculous than this story which will vaporise immediately. But go on with your baseless arguments. This is a forum for gamers and I can't realy excpect something ingenious on a topic like this. Gamers want to be politicians...ahahahahaha

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

god can't these guys learn how to regulate their stores so kids can't get the games so they don't have to result in a nationhwide ban? c'mon they do it for smut, why not do it for violent video games...they do have a rating system. u.s. is protected from this kind of stuff cuz of the constitution, i hope the europeans have the same kind of document that protects their rights....

gutastef
gutastef

Who elected these morons?

mac_ronin
mac_ronin

"Osama bin Laden is still in the wind, the Middle East is in crisis, global warming is being ignored, half the world is starving and record numbers of people are dying of AIDs. But go ahead, elected officials. Waste time trying to ban video games. They're the top priority, obviously" THIS i so true !!! sooo true

nanometric
nanometric

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jonajacket
jonajacket

"Osama bin Laden is still in the wind, the Middle East is in crisis, global warming is being ignored, half the world is starving and record numbers of people are dying of AIDs. But go ahead, elected officials. Waste time trying to ban video games. They're the top priority, obviously" Amen to that brother!

zintarr
zintarr

Wow, Europe is so sophisticated.

jonajacket
jonajacket

I'm an Englishman living in Asia - I may never go home if this nonsense were to come true :( I agree fully with age restrictions - but to ban games preventing adults from enjoying them is idiotic. I've been playing games for over 22 years, any aggression I've had has been the result of pressure in the real world - games help that dissipate. Lord help us if these fools get their way, I bet they've never played any of the games in question and continue to spout on about DOOM - a game over a decade old which they can actually remember the name of! Rant over

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

Yeah fine idea, lets send some Italians up to freakin Dresdin to stir those folken up. The last time these guys teamed up it was great for Europe. The world turns a blind eye for a year at ever increasing restrictions against the youth of Germany and you now see what its lead to. Now they want to start exporting the idiocy. I feel sorry for people who have to live under the yoke of politicians so stupid that to prove to the world that they are not fascists, they tell their populations what is acceptible to think. Quick put your systems in the attic because I'm sure at this very second the USK is finding a nice place to concentrate all the confiscated game systems so they can be broken down to their component parts and be of more use to the good people who don't play games. Youth of Germany, please, before the borders get locked down, grab all the games you can save and emmigrate to America. We need you, we don't know math or science or engineering. Help us help you. Just keep the infrastructure together and you can play whatever games you like.

botanisk
botanisk

chicken_123_pie Germany's politics are so retarded. I like the country itself but gees. I think that Germany wants people to think that they aren't a violent country because they really are. They are always planning something similar to the holocaust. I would really hate to live in Europe. WTF Chicken I would be cautious of accusing German people of preparing a new holocaust. Where the hell do you get those ideas from. History is history. And were the hell does your statement of Germans being conspiring to make the world believe that they are a peaceful people come from. Go back and play some more Medal of honor or whatever made you so narrow minded in the first place. And guess what, I would really hate to live wherever you live Peace

sailingmanuel
sailingmanuel

The EU is crazy. Gamers over the need to start fighting now before some egg heads ban your games. Then the do gooders here will point at the EU as an example.

kaedahewson
kaedahewson

Britain already has a unified ratings system. Dead Rising and GoW were both released here as 18s I am surprised they are backing a system to say well if Germany ban it we will - Germany has the strictest censorship in Europe and even though it is History they don't get taught about WW2 in schools then again a unified system may very well prevent the ludicrous banning of games in germany.

CyphenX
CyphenX

Wha? Did they clone jack tompson or something?

brittoss
brittoss

If there is a ban on violent video games then will any games get released? Pong - Violence against a square, Fifa/Pro Evo - Violence against soccerballs, Mario - violence by butt-stomping. What games will survive? Maybe Kirby, but that will get banned for promoting something else..... :)