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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Frau Chancellor, Tear Down This Wall!

Tonight, as conference-goers settle into their hotel rooms in Leipzig, news filters through the binary-vine that Crytek's Avni Yerli cannot envision a future for his development team in Germany should the state enact proposed legislation against violent games. A tougher law is needed, according to the German government, because of the (disputed) risk that the playing of violent games may lead increased aggressiveness in a gamer's behaviour.

I have sympathy for the German people. I think the state is acting out of concern for the individuals under its charge, yet I fear it may have 'set up the bomb' on this one: somebody's going to get hurt before the round is over, no matter where the truth lies in the video games violence debate. If the legislation does not come to fruition, the government will disappoint the 59% of German people who feel that a ban on violent gaming is appropriate (see 'proposed legislation', above). Yet, if a ban is enacted, the economy is guaranteed to suffer. The existence of Crytek and the Leipzig conference within Germany provides onlookers with strong evidence that the German people value gaming in their lives and with their wallets.

I think that I've yet to reach the core of the issue: should the state halt their proposal at draft, this will happen because of coercion. The German people are in majority consensus that violent games are bad for society, so a decision to halt legislation would be a demonstration of the state putting economy above welfare in its priorities. My ideal solution would be for everyone involved to have a stein of bier and an academically-supported chit-chat which would (of course) result in all the skeptics agreeing that they were wrong and that Manhunt 2 and all its companions should become part of the school syllabus. Failing that, I'd simply like the German state to agree that, due to insufficient evidence either way, video games are not a risk to peoples' sanity and should therefore not be restricted any further. The ratings system is, after all, a restriction, and it should be tailored to meet the opinions and sensibilities of the people.


The_B said...

Hotel rooms? I like to think maybe some of them are on the campsite!

Games Journalism: GUERRILA STYLE!

DuBBle said...

I think you may still have a little mud in your blood after your festivities at V :)

Lysa said...

You write very well.