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|