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Monday 4 January 2010

Patricia Covarrubia

Venezuela: violent video games and toys are banned

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The EFE news agency published a video report on the banning of violent video games and toy weapons in Venezuela. The government of Rafael Hugo Chávez accuses these games of fostering crime.

Venezuela appears to be the first Latin American country to impose a total ban on the "manufacture, importation, distribution, sale and use" of violent video games and toy weapons. Sanctions range from monetary fines ( VEF 110,000 VEF to 220,000 which is approximately USD $50,000 to $100,000) to prison (3 to 5 years). See Articles 13 and 14 respectively for more information. The law may also close some stores, game rooms and Internet cafes.

Other countries have expressed similar concerns about some specific games, but most nations have adopted a rating system to warn parents and users about violent or sexual content. A total ban appears to be out of order.

However, the irony is that the massive illegal sale of pirated video games is not touched. If you watched the video report, after 25 seconds running, you can see two teenagers scattering through a box full of pirated videos. What a shame!

The law can be read here.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia