Brazilians explore banning “offensive” and violent videogames

New reports of 11,000 people killed by Brazilian police over the past six years are perhaps one indication that violence in the super-star Amazon country has gotten a wee bit out of hand. Never fear, there is a long term solution already under consideration: prohibit “offensive” video games, with the option to punish their distribution ...

575735_091209_videogame2.jpg
575735_091209_videogame2.jpg

New reports of 11,000 people killed by Brazilian police over the past six years are perhaps one indication that violence in the super-star Amazon country has gotten a wee bit out of hand.

Never fear, there is a long term solution already under consideration: prohibit "offensive" video games, with the option to punish their distribution with jailtime. In all honesty, Brazilian Senator Valdir Raupp probably did not have human rights violations in mind when he proposed the bill, which was recently approved by Senate's Education Committee. It follows on the ban last year on violent computer role-playing games "Counter-Strike" and "EverQuest," and Venezuela and China's bans on warlike and mobster-glorifying games respectively.

New reports of 11,000 people killed by Brazilian police over the past six years are perhaps one indication that violence in the super-star Amazon country has gotten a wee bit out of hand.

Never fear, there is a long term solution already under consideration: prohibit “offensive” video games, with the option to punish their distribution with jailtime. In all honesty, Brazilian Senator Valdir Raupp probably did not have human rights violations in mind when he proposed the bill, which was recently approved by Senate’s Education Committee. It follows on the ban last year on violent computer role-playing games “Counter-Strike” and “EverQuest,” and Venezuela and China‘s bans on warlike and mobster-glorifying games respectively.

CNET’s Dave Rosenberg has lambasted Brazil’s move, suggesting they deal with “larger social issues, including lack of parental oversight,” instead. They praise the US system of industry self-regulation, which relies on ratings to isolate children from violent games.

The Brazilian law is probably overkill, but lets not get all starry eyed about the glories of free-market entertainment violence. Did nobody notice a few years back when U.S. generals begged Hollywood producers to stop showing torture in a favorable light, since troops were getting inspiration on prisoner treatment from 24?

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Jordana Timerman is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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