European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

December 17, 2010 -

Families who have lost loved ones to the Mafia are fighting against Mafia II, One of those people, Sonia Alfano, lost her father to the mob on January 18, 1993. She has come out against the video game Mafia II, saying that it trivializes the violence and murder committed by organized crime. Alfano's words carry a lot of weight because she is a member of the European Parliament. She is fighting to get the game banned in Europe. She is also the president of Italy’s association for the families of Mafia victims.

"It really, really hurts," Alfano, recently said in an interview. "We can’t allow this to happen, our wounds are still too fresh."

Last week she asked the European Commission to consider banning the game.

"These games transform the Mafia, a reality of death and destruction, into a thrilling and hands-on virtual pastime," she said. "Even if momentarily, players identify with brutal killers and for us who have experienced violence firsthand, it’s appalling."

Take Two defends the game and compares it to other entertainment based on organized time:

"Mafia II tells a compelling story about organized crime in America -- a subject that for decades has been featured in award-winning movies, television shows and novels such as ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Sopranos,’" said Alan Lewis, Take-Two’s vice president for corporate communications and public affairs. "We fully and completely stand behind our creative teams and products, including Mafia II."

In Europe, Mafia II is rated 18+ for graphic violence and adult language. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Mafia II uses the "f-word" 397 times.

Source: Bloomberg


Comments

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

Yes, entertainment media trivializes violence. But that's not a reason to ban it. People died in the Napoleonic Wars, but that doesn't make the novel War and Peace a trashy book by an insensitive author.

Some people need to grow up! Life is not a kindergarten in which everyone will be protected from the psychological harm that derives from their own personal traumas. Other people don't need to have their lives impacted by Sonia Alfano's trauma. Life is traumatic enough - we shouldn't need to bear the burden of everyone's loss.

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

Has anyone actually considered the logistics in this ban? If it is proposed to the EU then the ban would be Europe-wide, so no country within the EU would be allowed it.

This was one of the concerns over PEGI replacing the BBFC's limit role (and to make PEGI legally binding) is that each country within Europe has a different culture and what is offensive in one country isn't in another. If one country decides that the game isn't for them then they can potentially force that decision onto all other countries.

It's one thing to call for a ban in your own country, but it's quite another to call for a ban in other countries too. Typical European interference.

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

 I know the man was her father, but 17 years is not fresh. 

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

I can understand when people want to ban video games because they think they make children violent (which I know has not been proven) and then those people think the kids will go on a shooting rampage because of it, but banning a game because it reminds a person of something that happened is something I can not stand. If you don't like it don't play it, but others do want to play it. If no one wanted to play the game we wouldn't need a ban. So really what she is doing is telling those who want to play a harmless game cannot because she doesn't like it.

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

"...our wounds are still too fresh."

Obviously, this is the new catch phrase for tin-pot-dictator-wannabes who want a tool to justify violation of Human Rights, ie. Freedom of Speech/Expression.

Do I have sympathy for her?  No.  Why?  Because she is exploiting the violent and horrid acts committed against her family for nothing more than a tool to violate the Human Rights of other individuals.  She is, in fact, exploiting her family.  So, no, I have no sympathy for what I preceive to be her FALSE "wounds".  I have sympathy for the family members that were harmed, but that is a totally seperate issue from this because what happened to those individuals occurred in the real world.  The product we are talking about is based in fiction.  And fiction and reality are two seperate things.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

Actually, it's more of civil rights that human rights.

I don't recall freedom of speech (especially your definition of it) being a human right.

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19:

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
 

This document was adopted and proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948.  Though, at last check, the US had only signed, but not ratified, the UDHR, and the UK's stance on it I am not aware of, the US has a tendancy to take umbrage with any country that does not abide by the Human Rights which the US has been know to recognize. 

The UDHR is a representation of the Human Rights that ALL individuals should be recognized as having, and not limited to what any individual country recognizes.

And, yes, it should be noted that Article 19 has been under attack for more than a decade in an effort to place limitations, such as religious limitations prohibiting "blasphemy", as well as other departments and organizations within the UN who actively contradicted Article 19 by their very actions, such as the demand to have a computer game, created and commercially sold only in Japan, banned from existance (you recall the Rapelay case?).

Nevertheless, regardless of various contradictions, conflicts, self serving agendists' demands, Article 19 clearly shows Freedom of Speech/Expression to be among a number of Human Rights.  And no national boundary should place a limitation as to the recognition of those Human Rights.  Whether that nation be the US, a member of the UK, or any other nation or other government boundary.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

 Then you'd better raise a stink with the EU.  Free Speech protections fall under human rights protections. 

Also, explain how people living under regimes that restrict freedom of speech are not having their human rights violated?  

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

Just curious: does the Guinness Book of World Records count the f-bomb 397 times during a play-through or how many times it appears as a unique recording? If it's the former, I'm sure there's a character spouting obscenities during a fight or something who could loop forever and break that record, if one so chose.

As for Sonia Alfano: I'm sorry, but her calls to ban the game are most likely an offer we can refuse.

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

"It really, really hurts," Alfano, recently said in an interview. "We can’t allow this to happen, our wounds are still too fresh."

I mean no disrespect or malice when I say this: Not "our" wounds, but YOUR wounds.

I am sorry that Sonia lost a family member to the mob. However this game doesn't make you a member of the mob. It is entertainment like the Soprano's, Godfather, Goodfellas, etc. If Sonia feels offended, that is too bad and I can understand. However she should not push her beliefs unto others...

---------

James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

And ban racing games because they might hurt people who have lost loved ones to car wrecks.

Re: European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

Good idea brinng up other mafia based tv shows and movies. If they want Mafia 2 banned they should try to go after all mafia related products NOT just games.

 
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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
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NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
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Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
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