Update: Venezuelan game ban passed

By Hans Wuerflein


A Venezuelan anti-violent game and toy law, as mentioned in a previous post, has passed and will go into effect within three months.

The law, supported by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, seen above ordering a $5 foot long, outlaws the sale, production or import of any toys or video games the country’s consumer protection society deems objectionable.

BoingBoing has run an article written by a Venezuelan gamer named Guido Núñez-Mujica, which knowing Venezuela’s past concerning critics, is not without its risks.

In the article Núñez-Mujica writes about the corruption, poverty, and social problems plaguing the country, and how this is yet another effort by the government to suppress dissent and push the blame off on another scape goat.

Here is the full article, but I’ll highlight a few passages below:

First, to put this more in perspective.

While Venezuela burns, our authorities are busy criminalizing those who protest, rather than those setting the fires.

Let’s put this in perspective. Last year, we had almost 14,000 deaths due to crime, out of a population of about 27 million people. Let’s round it up to 28 million, and make some calculations: If Bangladesh had our murder rate, there would be 125,000 murder victims there every year, if the US had our murder rate, we would be talking about 150,000 deaths due to crime, if Japan had our problem, there would be 60,000 Japanese dead due to crime every time our pretty planet goes around the sun. If China and India had our levels of violence, we would get rid of 1,100,000 people every year.

Also, he explains why banning video games really does matter, and isn’t just a symptom of something bigger.

These games are a cherished part of my life, they helped to shape my young mind, they gave me challenges and vastly improved my English, opening the door to a whole new world of literature, music and people from all around the world. What I have achieved, all my research, how I have been able to travel even though I’m always broke, the hard work I’ve done to convince people to fund a start up for cheap biotech for developing countries and regular folks, none of that would have been possible hadn’t I learned English through video games.

Now, thanks to the tiny horizons of the cast of morons who govern me, thanks to the stupidity and ham-fisted authoritarianism of the local authorities, so beloved of so many liberals, my 7 year old brother’s chances to do the same could be greatly impacted.

Probably most shocking is how strong the punishments for breaking the law could be.

This law makes selling video games to anybody actually worse than giving real guns or cigarettes to a minor, or even forcing him or her to work, as you get less jail time and lower fines if you do any of those things.

So, if anyone out there still liked Hugo Chavez, for some strange reason, you might want to reconsider.


2 Responses to “Update: Venezuelan game ban passed”

  1. […] Venezuela proposed and then passed anti-video game legislation.  Now Brazil seems to be getting in on the […]

  2. […] looks like Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is intent on keeping video games as his scapegoat of choice for at least a little while […]

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