Vote on Venezuelan Game Ban Looming

Venezuela’s National Assembly, at the behest of President Hugo Chavez, will vote in the next few weeks on whether or not to enact a ban on violent videogames.

The proposed legislation received initial approval in September and would grant the country’s consumer protection society full power in determining what titles would be banned. The law would encompass violent toys as well as games, and could result in fines as high as $128,000.

The Associated Press also reports that the bill would further order crime prevention classes to be taught in schools, campaigns to warn about the dangers of videogames and would require the government to promote games that teach children “respect for an adversary.”

The article also notes that “the country’s thriving market for pirated video games will likely be untouched by the law.”

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  1. 0
    Ciro Durán says:

    Hello Pete,

    Long time reader in Gamepolitics, first time commenter. I live in Venezuela, and I represent a group of local videogame developers and videogame enthusiasts. We have studied the proposed law, and we have successfully contacted the National Assembly (you would call it your Congress) to discuss the law.

    Last week we had the opportunity to attend the public presentation of the law. Deputy Wilmer Iglesias presented some violence statistics together with some videogame trailers. The first thing you will note in the first discussion of the law, which I translated to English here, is that:

    1. There is no distinction between toys and videogames. Everything is treated like goods that are consumed by children only.

    2. There is a lot of ignorance on the subject of videogames. We have brought to the Assembly enough documentation regarding several classification schemes (e.g. ESRB, PEGI, CERO, etc.) and they have received this information gladly and in good terms. Also, the deputees in the presentation declared themselves as no experts in the subject of videogames. I think this is a good thing, and we can bring some light to the discussion.

    3. Despite the polarization that goes around here when the government wants to create laws, this particular law was approved unanimously. This means that we cannot oppose to the law "just because". Hence, we have adopted the position that we share the worries of these deputees regarding how to raise children, and thus approve that a law about videogames has to be created. We, though, want to discuss with them about how to improve the law, specifically moving it away from prohibition to a regulation of use. This view has been welcomed by the group that proposed the law.

    Moreover, in the presentation, Dep. Juan Mendoza said that war games should be a policy of the State and the Army, and thus prevented to be played by civils. This affirmation was rather said on the side of real-life shooting games, such as Paintball or Airsoft, but we are aware that such an ample definition of war games could cover videogames that treat war or war-like strategies.

    We had the chance to speak directly to Dep. Iglesias and he was eager to talk to us and to know how videogames are created and used. Today we were going to have the first session to discuss the law, but it was posponed. We expect to have this meeting next week.

    I happen to have very good information regarding the law, as I’ve been close to the events that surround it. I have created a special section in my site that covers this issue, although in Spanish only (no time to translate to English now, sorry) in If you’d like more information regarding the progress of this law, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

  2. 0
    ZAR says:

    All the silly Chavez-bashing aside (yeah, yeah, he’s the bad guy, I get it), I just wonder on what scientific studies they *actually* want to base this upcoming ban on. Not that they need a reason (most conservatives don’t need any either).

    Have they done any studies or is this just another attempt to doctor on some social-related symptoms?


  3. 0
    PumaFau says:

    Waste of money and time, I mean jesus christ he’s proabably all pissed off  cause he played Mercs 2

    Never underestimate the power of idiots in large amounts.

  4. 0
    Ratros says:

    There are no banned games in the U.S., we just got a bunch of whiney activists with nothing better to do than bad mouth anyone who doesn’t do what they want till even the most user oriented saler is to afraid to list a game.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  5. 0
    Doomsong says:

    The aqueduct?

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin

  6. 0
    Erik says:

    Respect for the enemy?  I seem to recall Hugo Chavez standing in front of the UN and speaking from a pdium that Geroge W spoke from and making jokes to it smelling like sulphur.  Mind you I really don’t disagree with a lot that he has to say about George W.  But I will not then try to say that I have respect for Geroge W.  I have none.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

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