Venezuela to jail violent-game merchants

National Assembly of Hugo Chavez-led country signs off on bill that would see purveyors of "war" games and toys face up to five years in prison.

A number of states in the US have taken various steps to add restrictions or limit the sale of violent video games. However, thanks largely to the lobbying efforts of the Entertainment Software Association, state legislatures have yet to successfully keep a bill on the law books limiting or penalizing the sale of violent games.

Violent-game merchants may want to get out of Venezuela ASAP.

Venezuela, however, is a different story. The Agence France-Presse reports that the National Assembly of Venezuela approved a law last week that would punish merchants who sell violent games with up to five years in prison. The law, which also outlaws the sale of toy weapons, is reportedly intended to "prevent the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale, rental and use of videos, games and war toys of a violent nature."

According to the report, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a vocal opponent of US foreign policy, has promoted the use of more traditional games, such as yo-yos. The AFP reports that President Chavez has previously railed against games and other electronic toys, saying they promote "egoism, individualism, and violence."

The Venezuelan government has previously taken issue with violent games, particularly Pandemic Studios' Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. In 2006, backers of President Chavez decried Electronic Arts and Pandemic's Mercenaries 2, a game set in Venezuela where players take on "a power-hungry tyrant" in control of the country. At the time, it was decried by one legislator as "a justification for imperial aggression."

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476 comments
weakz
weakz

I rather have a dictator who likes video games than a president who hates video games.

Mercadeo
Mercadeo

hey we venezuelans dont need COD or mercenaries games... you can play all those game but in reall life just by walking every day in Caracas, kill people get robbed and steal things... GRAND theft auto CARACAS (ON REAL LIFE) coming soon.

Mercadeo
Mercadeo

im venezuelan and I know whats living with president hugo chavez.. If you want to know more read my blog Posts "In Venzuela Violent Games have become ILLEGAL", feel free to ask!

Abelius
Abelius

"...backers of President Chavez decried Electronic Arts and Pandemic's Mercenaries 2, a game set in Venezuela where players take on "a power-hungry tyrant"..." Well, it's pretty obvious to me that the only egoist person here is "President" Chavez. This is only a personal crusade against the industry that ridiculized him, and he obviously doesn't give a sh*t about videogames making his citizens more violent... he only wants to take revenge because he can't stand criticism in any form. I'm Spanish, and since our King said to him that famous "Why don't you shut up!", he only lives for making more difficult the life of our companies and citizens there. It's really a sad, sad person... and pathetic.

Ted_Zanarukando
Ted_Zanarukando

I hate Venezuela very much. Hugo Chavez is one of my worst enemies; he is a hypocrite. Like Yaser Said, he looks like a man, but he is a monster. Venezuela is a dictatorship. That law against video games is a passageway to a law much more oppressive. I predict that the prisons will be filled up with offenders of that law. Imposing moral restrictions on video games is oppressive and counterproductive; it does more harm than good. The moral war on video games is not the answer to crime and violence in society; therefore it must be abolished immediately. If they win that war, that will mean the end of video games.

Mercadeo
Mercadeo

IM VEZUELAN I have never got a speed ticket in my life. You can drive as fast as you want (even though its ilegal) and thats a fact. You can buy burn movies and copied games as bread and that also is a fact. Venezuelan people star drinking alcohol at very early age and rarely have trouble buying it, that also is a fact.And you can do a whole far wortsthings without anyother punishment that your own concience, that the real reasson of violence. READ MY BLOG "In VENEZUELA Violent games have become ILEGAL!" if you want KNOW MORE

Mercadeo
Mercadeo

Im vezuelan, read my post to know more about this censure action of our goverment

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

well apparently they do actually enforce this stuff...the military police people go around checking places but most of them will probably just end up getting looked over cause they want a bribe. my friend's parents have a store in venezuela. they sold plastic toy guns and they had a guy go in and say they had to either pay him a bribe or pay the fine...the country is so corrupt.

GameShark9000
GameShark9000

It just comes to show you that you can't say dictator without saying....

GameShark9000
GameShark9000

No Hugo, games don't make people violent, they make morons violent, so I guess that explains why you are ordering war vechicles eh? ;)

GameShark9000
GameShark9000

@wallywallas I think things already got out of hand when I read the yo-yo part.

GameShark9000
GameShark9000

Arresting game merchants that just want to make money and not violence?! I smell a revolutionary war.

AuronTsubaki85
AuronTsubaki85

Um..President Hugo Chavez, this has to be the most stupidest & pointless everyone has ever heard of. There are more important things you need to worry about then brainwashing Venezuela to arrest game merchants for selling Mature rated games on a daily basis

Allan_X
Allan_X

Egoism? Individualism? Just how are those things bad, exactly? Last time I checked, I wasn't joined at the hip with my next-door neighbor. Why should I pretend as though that were the case?

joeboosauce
joeboosauce

@capitalthoughts No, I don't think that the former USSR is democratic. I think you need to read things better. Why the hell would you infer that? Because I do not see the USA as a democracy? So then the conclusion is, "gee, then he gotta think USSR and China are democracies." Sorry the world functions beyond simple dichotomies. Yes, the USA has democratic mechanisms but does not mean that it is democratically run. (Need I bring up the stolen election of 2000?) It is rather an oligopoly or plutocracy. And no, your wife may not be lying, but may believe what she holds on Chavez and Venezuela. Can she remember the actual impact of the neoliberal policies pushed by the West via the BWIs before 2000??? Before many of the leaders of South America broke the stranglehold of the West on them?

joeboosauce
joeboosauce

@imaidiot You are right on some of those programs as far as being more "socialism" oriented BUT they are offered to all citizens, rich or poor. It does not exclude the rich as you state. If they choose not to use this, that is their choice. BUT, what I was saying when I stated that "The US practices socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of us" was in regards to big business. The average person in this country pays a larger percentage of their income towards running this society than, yes rich people, but more specifically big business. All corporations in the Fortune 100 have "benefited from industrial policies, meaning, State intervention in their behalf. And twenty of the hundred had been saved from total disaster, that is, collapse, by just State bail-out." Mind you that this well before the Obama bank bailout program. The quote is from a lecture by Noam Chomsky. Read or listen to this as it brings forward info that most people are unaware of. Check it out and then get back to me if you want. Enjoy!: http://www.chomsky.info/talks/19960413.htm

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

They do know that Yo-yos were originally weapons? xD

slingshot_ylo
slingshot_ylo

You can't fight a revolution with yo-yos...or can you?

Xaviersx
Xaviersx

Well how long before the U.N. takes on a softball issue like this?

Jack_n_Coke07
Jack_n_Coke07

For a country that constantly has a chance of war breaking out, good call.

rtejerof
rtejerof

Ignorance: The people's worst enemy.... I'm venezuelan and I'm ashamed of policies like this... Please, Chavez, our problems aren't the war games or violent games... our problem, is YOU! GET OUT OF HERE.

GrayFox_360
GrayFox_360

Thank God i dont have this crap on my county :)

savetehhaloz
savetehhaloz

I live in Maracaibo and laws arent enforced. Purchasing original software is unpopular is an entire market based around pirated software; games are expensive and are hand carried into the country. So this law will be an epic fail.

skatatay
skatatay

@ Deano, i agree with you and i live in the U.S lol.

chiefenator
chiefenator

i guess that means Chavez is the new villain for MW3

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

@ WTA2k5 I agree, that would be terrible.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

Well, I guess that means it's time to put down CoD 4 and get my yo-yo out :/ It seems though that the Venezuelan government is classifying video games as toys, lol. This wouldn't happen if politicians had even basic understandings of what video games are.

urban_mongol
urban_mongol

haha! this will make conquering venezuela much easier! thank you Hugo Chavez

WTA2k5
WTA2k5

How dare something promote individualism

Chainer323
Chainer323

@Thermador446 That's not technically true. I work at walmart and we are closed for only 1 day a year: about 8pm *CST* Xmas eve to about 10pm *CST* Xmas day. were still open on thanksgiving (black friday prep after all). I thought Mercenaries 2 was a great game, nothing more fun then driving your Diplomat Tank around, using 1 shot to pretty much blow up anything and everything lol. Also, why do they even sell games in that country still?

xerxes5678
xerxes5678

Lol how a video game company scared the **** out of an entire dictatorship. We should make more games about Venezuela (Next location for Battlefield Bad Company 3?)

joder666
joder666

I like Hugo but his gone to far with this Sh****. They're just games. What he should really do is teach every person whats real, so thy don't end up like the german dude who wants to play Unreal. Lol.

Thermador446
Thermador446

#1 Greatest Thing About America: You can go to walmart at 2:00 AM just to buy a video game (except Christmas and Thanksgiving).

Thermador446
Thermador446

Someone should tell Hugo that Mercenaries 2 was a horrible game, and anyone that considered buying it changed their minds after playing the demo. Maybe then he'll let it go.

SimulationStim
SimulationStim

"Egoism, individualism, and violence." In that order? Cause we all know individualism and egoism are a hell of a lot more dangerous then violence.

Deano
Deano

I think it's hillarious people from america think they are able to preach about morality in regards to other countries.you don't even have basic healthcare and people are dying while you spend more on your military than the entire world so you can go invade and kill people in other countries for false reasons. keep up the laughs,chavez is a freakin choir boy compared to the US administration

nakasa5
nakasa5

What do you get when the government becomes a nanny state that tries to be involved in every aspect of citizens lives? Policies like this.

rasco2005
rasco2005

Wrote a blog on the matter already but I figured it would be worth chiming in anyway. It is easy to be detached from the problems of third world countries or countries under the rule of dictators. It is such a foreign concept to Americans or other "free" countries but it is amazing how video games have a history of surfacing bigotry, fear, and oppressive politics. Anyone remember when Mortal Kombat first hit shelves? And here we are again. As a gamer I am saddened but as a humanist I am outraged that so many have their "rights" become privileges that can be stripped away. We can only hope that the people of Venezuela can find a way to overthrow that monster Chavez.

treydawg1
treydawg1

@Dark_Lord777 oboma doesnt have anything against violent video games. he isnt jack tompson or joe lieberman.

boarwar
boarwar

life without MW2.....whats the point?

ascalon94
ascalon94

yo-yo s arent technically a game more like a toy haha jking

chano7
chano7

A person worried for the type of person can be their nation Quit Video Games it´snot a Pananea bottle but certenly a lot of people can´t play video games in a the true form it´s fun end of the story; they after grow whitout feelings and do all they want because think it´s easy to do or terminate leaving studies and a normal life for an Artificial Live

fireflywang
fireflywang

LOL. Translation: Big bad game company made me cry. NO ONE PLAYS GAMES! play pog and marbles.

ttam01
ttam01

@ff_fan2004 i agree

yodoman97
yodoman97

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

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what country, politicians should butt out of the video game industry. FULL STOP.

wonzan
wonzan

edflinkinp is right. The laws are not really enforced much in Venezuela. Besides, the extremely hot women there more than make up for the lack of violent games!

TurboGraphix
TurboGraphix

LOL, Chavez. . You are an idiot. Worry about your country rather video games.