Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery (Update)

July 12, 2010 -

GP denizen PHX Corp pointed us towards a Netherlands petition started in reaction to positioning from the Dutch Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin (pictured), which indicated that Ballin is seeking criminal prohibition of extremely violent imagery, including videogames.

Ballin seemed to specifically focus on games in his proposed banning, according to an article from Dutch gaming site Bashers (translated). In a letter to the house, Ballin, who intimated that banning violent games would be easier—and draw less resistance— than banning violent movies, wrote (bad translation, sorry):

As in games, unlike movies, no possibilities to identify with other than the aggressor, the player often continuously involved in the violent action and some games more realistic and detailed in the portrayal of violence, lies in the speech any criminal prohibition on the dissemination of certain forms of harm to children confined to these images to computer and video games.

There’s one problem though. According to the site Control (translated), many of Ballin’s ideas in his letter were based on a 2007 book called Media Violence and Children from author Peter Nikken. Nikken told the publication that he found it “strange” that the Minister would say that “games would be worse than movies.” He accused Ballin of using some of his book’s quotes for impact, while shedding other “nuances.”

Nikken added:

I see no salvation in the banning of games. We already have laws which prohibit child pornography and inciting hatred There is no need for additional legislation. I believe there is no reason why games harder to tackle than films is currently in the Netherlands Online films and PEGI.

Gamers appear to have a friend in MP Tofik Dibi, who posed some challenging written questions for Ballin, which also appeared in a Control article (translated). Among his inquiries to the Minister of Justice were:

Is not it a much better idea for your efforts to stop yet another ban and your efforts to focus on empowering children and young people through media education?

What exactly do you mean by your statement that "less resistance" would be against banning a game than against a ban on extremely violent movies?

At the time this article was written, the Stop the Burning Book 2.0 petition (translated) had garnered 2,301 signatures.

Update: We always worry that something gets lost in translation when it comes to foreign stories.

A Dutch reader wrote in to say that our article was not correct and that Ballin wants a ban to apply to games “which are completely or mostly extremely violent" and which "glamorize" or "injure human dignity.”

As the reader noted, this would not ban all violent games across the board, but would be subjective, and result in only a small handful of games being banned, much like what was being proposed in Switzerland recently.

Sorry, but we happen to think that there’s no such a thing as "a little" censorship.

In better news, the Dutch reader also said such legislation would never pass, citing a Socialist Party member as telling him directly that “I wouldn't be worried about it. A ban is not going to happen.”

Our friend reassured us that, “all in all, no reason to be worried.”


Comments

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery ...

Would throwing a pie in someone's face be counted as "an injury to human dignity"?

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery ...

Yes. Pim Fortuyn got a pie tossed in his face after all. No way the 'politically correct' CDA party would let such imagery slide, they'd hate to be labelled as murderers.

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery ...

Do keep in mind that I have a twitter account and retweeted(in additition to Translating it) one of the Statements on another twitter account

http://twitter.com/TrustyGem

 

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery ...

Will the ban on violent imagery include what was seen in the World Cup Final from Holland?

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery ...

Hirch Ballin is a part of the 'Christian Democratic Appeal', a party that heavily lost seats at the last elections after 8 years of delivering the same Prime Minister (whose 3 governments all fell). With just 21 seats left of their original 41, they themselves have little influence over getting such a law approved. They'd need to get quite a bit of support for it, so chances this gets through is pretty minimalistic.

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery ...

Oh the irony. XD

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery ...

This from the very same country that gave us "The Human Centipede."

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery

I wonder if they'll go after TV news organizations too? After all, that's really where the most realistic violent imagery is seen (except in the US, where it's mostly filtered out).

Re: Netherlands Minister Proposes Ban on Violent Imagery

I hope they can stop their country from banning violent media due to fear mongering and lies.

 
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WonderkarpMicrosoft saving Silent Hills is a Hoax. https://archive.is/75pgl05/30/2015 - 6:08pm
MattsworknameI think Ip needs to go watch some Team four star and laugh a bit, he seems to serious at times. I think he'd get a kick outta Hellsing ultimate abridged.05/30/2015 - 5:36pm
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Goth_SkunkAnd those are examples just targeting me specifically. Nevermind targeting others like Mattsworkname or DocMelonhead or WonderKarp.05/30/2015 - 5:28pm
DocMelonheadWhich is why it's fitting to call him/her a troll; bait the GG sympathizer and attack them through guilt of supporting a hate movement05/30/2015 - 5:28pm
Goth_Skunk1. http://ow.ly/NEH62 | 2. http://ow.ly/NEHfW | 3. http://ow.ly/NEHPN | 4. http://ow.ly/NEHWM | 5. http://ow.ly/NEIcR05/30/2015 - 5:27pm
MattsworknameThe being said, Ip loves to demand you answer specific claims and when you do, he then immedately shifts to another tactic rather then address your repsonses05/30/2015 - 5:23pm
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DocMelonhead@InfoPhile true, but it seems like Iron Patriot been shoving his/her opinion down the the throats of GG sympathizer.05/30/2015 - 5:19pm
InfophilePlus, it discusses a movement, not a person. Libel usually only applies to people in the US (though some countries, like the UK, will hear libel cases against organizations)05/30/2015 - 5:16pm
DocMelonheadBut don't have Iron Patriot get to you Goth_Skunk. He/she just wanted GamerGater to GTHO of GamePolitics and back into their basement.05/30/2015 - 5:16pm
InfophileTo be libel, it has to be a statement of fact, not a matter of opinion. That's easily construable as an opinion, as it reflects on the perceived goals of a movement05/30/2015 - 5:15pm
DocMelonheadI think that GamerGate is nothing but a Failed attempt to kick Women out of Gaming is libel enough.05/30/2015 - 5:13pm
Mattsworknamethat out in people.05/30/2015 - 5:13pm
MattsworknameWhile IM no fan of Ip, and think he acts exceddingly dicksh most of the time, I dont know if its gone far enough to be ,abusive, Uncivil yes, of that I have not doubt, but at the same time, there have been moments when Im also uncivil to ip. he brings05/30/2015 - 5:13pm
InfophileGoth_Skunk: Could you point to an example of libel? That is, a statement that's false, defamatory, and made in either the knowledge it's false or with reckless disregard for the truth (that's the definition in US law, at least)05/30/2015 - 5:12pm
Andrew EisenGP staff will take another look.05/30/2015 - 5:11pm
DocMelonheadBecause right now it seems that Iron Patriot doesn't want GG supporters to go on GamerPolitics and spreads lies about the Movement.05/30/2015 - 5:11pm
DocMelonheadPersonally, I suggest that we invite other GamerGaters to participate in the Comment section, and see were we go from here.05/30/2015 - 5:10pm
 

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