Venezuela Reportedly Enacts Violent Game Ban

A law introduced last year that would ban violent videogames and toys in Venezuela was enacted last Wednesday, according to various news sources.

Under the law, importers, producers, distributors or sellers of the banned toys and games could face fines and jail time ranging from two to five years. In a story dated March 3, Prensa Latina reported that the law had been passed.

The law, when initially proposed to Venezuela’s National Assembly, proposed that the country’s consumer protection society be granted full power in determining what games and toys were deemed violent, though no indication was given into what criteria might be used to judge the goods.

As it was drawn up, the law also featured provisions for teaching crime prevention classes in school, public campaigns to warn about the dangers of videogames. A government campaign to promote games that taught children “respect for an adversary” was also included, though no word on if this, or any, additional provisions were a part of the new law.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is apparently not a big fan of videogames as witnessed by an outburst earlier this year in which he labeled the PlayStation as “poison.” The ban on violent games and toys is apparently seen as a way to somehow combat crime and violence in the country.

An Overseas Security Advisory Council report on Venezuela had this to say about the country’s level of violence:

The U.S. Department of State has rated Venezuela a critical threat country for crime.  The capital city of Caracas has been named murder capital of the world by many experts and that violence extends to the entire country.  Murder, kidnappings, armed robberies, carjackings and residential break-ins occur with impunity and perpetrators are rarely brought to justice.

While officially banned, handguns are readily available and a common sight throughout Venezuela.  Armed robberies occur in broad daylight including areas frequented by tourists.

|Via SlashDot and Cheater 87|

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  1. Ryno says:

    That would require actual work and effort. It’s much better to blame a boogeyman than confront the real problems a society faces.

    And from what I’ve heard from friends, Venezuela is pretty f’d up already, with cops ignoring what happens right in front of them. So, yeah, this’ll do as much good as pissing on a wildfire as it engulfs your house.


    Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They’ve got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however…

  2. sharpshooterbabe says:

    Why would Venezuela do that to violent games and consoles when the real murderers and rapists and robbers and car jackers are out there on the street not playing games? Shouldn’t the Venezuelian government get ahold of the people doing bad rather than caring about banning violent games?



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  3. Avalongod says:

    Actually this seems like a pretty "classic" example of a moral panic.  Distract the populace from real problems the government can’t solve by giving them a boogeyman to distract them with.

  4. Kincyr says:

    all I can say about Venezuela’s crime fighting priorities is

    Fighting Crime
    you’re doing it wrong

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  5. Longjocks says:

    So, realistically, anyone with any sense will predict no change for the better regarding Venezuelan crime rates. But I guarantee it wouldn’t make a lick of difference to those who are anti-games. I could only see them forming apologetic-style arguments about Venezuela not being an ideal environment to test the idea due to its already problematic crime rate. They’ll probably claim that banning violent games will only work in a ‘real’ country.

  6. hellfire7885 says:

    Hmm, I hardly predict a drop in crim, in fact, my prediction is an increas as youth has little to do but cause trouble and join ganges, and smuggling and black market activity increases to include the banned items, leading to more arrests and fuller jails and prisons.


    But this will work as a nice working experiment to see if such bans will even work, as so many who seek them out assume they would.

  7. Father Time says:

    Yes let’s limit ways for people to escape the reality of their hellish city that don’t involve drugs I’m sure that’ll work out just fine.

    When Venezuala still has crime rates much higher than the US what then?


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  8. Cheater87 says:

    I guess people can have games shipped in different game cases. Such as a football or kid friendly game case but have a violent game in it.

  9. Zerodash says:

    Well, I guess that about wraps it up for the utopian society Venezuela was building.  Too bad all the Chavez fanboys are still drinking the Kool Aid. 

  10. Cerabret100 says:

    “While officially banned, handguns are readily available and a common sight throughout Venezuela. Armed robberies occur in broad daylight including areas frequented by tourists.”

    Maybe they should focus on this instead of violent toys?

    Also: why does my spacing of comments in to paragraph form always get destroyed when my comment is posted?

  11. Magic says:

    I’m very tempted to say: to hell with it, let them very well do it – and let’s see what happens. It can be a neat case study to those who seek similar (Or at least comparable) measures in Western countries. I predict nothing in relation to crime statistics. It’s the same sort of extreme government restriction as China with its regulation of people playing online games.

  12. Mechadon says:

    Good for Venezuela. I couldn’t care less. The country is a shit-hole anyways, as stated by the Overseas Security Advisory Council.

    You wanna put an end to the violence? End the war on drugs.

Comments are closed.