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Germany To Ban Violent Games, Paintball, Laser Tag, Gladiator Movies

Well, they’ve backed down from paintball and laser tag, but Germany seems set to demand a halt on the sales and production of “Killerspielen” – violent video games – in the wake of a recent high school massacre. No English-language stories on this yet, but Der Spiegel, a German tabloid, has this (apologies for the mangling of my bad high school German and worse Google translation):

The interior ministers of 16 federal states, at a conference on Friday in Bremerhaven, took a far-reaching decision against so-called “killer games”, with the department heads requesting "an explicit production and sales ban as soon as possible."

Under consideration for prohibition by the interior ministries are games in which realistic killing is an integral part of the plot – or even "other cruel acts of violence against human or human-like beings."

"Playing ‘killer games’ reduces one’s inhibitions to violence," said Lower Saxony Interior Minister Uwe Schünemann in an online message. "Repeatedly, people who have committed these sorts of crimes have played such games." The CDU politician called on the Bundestag to put forward a ban on the production and dissemination on these games as soon as possible.

If I read this correctly, to cast into US political terms, this is essentially a group of state agencies demanding that Congress take action. The CDU is the chief right-wing conservative party in Germany, but it’s unclear from the story if this initiative has multi-party support.

Germany had, until now anyway, a thriving video game production industry, including leading FPS developer Crytek.

Game Politics has more (well, a bit more).