Greek govt bans all computer games

Better ban hallucinogenic drugs, too

The government of Greece is making heroic efforts to humiliate the nation in front of the entire world, by banning all electronic games. That's right; something as innocent as playing computer chess on your laptop in a hotel lobby is now a crime with penalties of up to three months in stir and a fine of 10,000 euros.

The purpose behind this charming legislation is to crack down on Internet gambling (which already was illegal) -- or, rather, to enable legislators to enact their little public dance of righteous aversion to Internet gambling.

Improved enforcement of existing law is all that was needed, but there's a problem. Unfortunately, the Greek government is "incapable of distinguishing innocuous video games from illegal gambling machines," according to an older article from the English-language Kathimerini newspaper, written while the bill was under consideration.

Now it's official. The legislature has concluded that all electronic games have got to go because the bureaucrats they're maintaining on the public payroll aren't swift enough to figure out the difference between video poker and TuXkart. Perhaps enforcing literacy requirements and sobriety regulations for government workers would have been a more productive approach, but it's too late for that now. ®

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