Feeds

VAT = Violent Arcade-game Tax?

Threat to public good

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Germany has a somewhat unenviable reputation as the most trigger-happy nation in Europe when it comes to censorship of violent games, with many having to be edited for release in the country or getting banned altogether.

Unreal Tournament, for example, had all of its human characters replaced by robots who "bleed" oil, while many other games are "listed", meaning that they can't be advertised normally and must be kept under the counter by stores wanting to sell them.

So it's perhaps no surprise that the German town of Goettingen has taken the natural next step by imposing a 700% higher tax rate on violent shoot 'em up arcade games than it charges for non-violent ones, in an apparent effort to discourage local arcade owners from using the games.

And last week a court in the city of Karlsruhe ruled that the Goettingen council was within its rights, saying that violent games were a "threat to the public good", according to a Reuters report. The court added that "a higher entertainment tax would help control addiction and reduce the number of warlike games, [which] would do much to stem the increasing brutalization of society".

Whether this precedent will be followed in other cities or extended to cover computer and console games as well as arcade titles remains to be seen, but it's certainly another blow for freedom of speech in Germany. While we support the use of age ratings on violent and explicit games, we certainly don't appreciate censorship, whether by the outright banning of certain titles or by simply taxing them to death. ®

Copyright © 2001, Eurogamer.net. All rights reserved

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.