Feeds

EU to look at violent video games

Producers invited to one-way debate

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

European authorities have agreed to harmonise the laws that govern the sale of adult computer games to minors, following a call from EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini for violent video games to be banned.

Speaking after an informal meeting of EU internal ministers in Dresden, Frattini called for EU-wide cooperation in the banning of computer games.

"An important decision was made to launch a public request for knowing about different legislation and criteria that are enforced to try and improve the common level in order to ban and to punish," he told journalists.

Ministers at the meeting where unanimous in their agreement that they should harmonise the means by which the sale of adult computer games to minors is prevented.

There was no agreement on the need for an outright ban of violent video games, but the informal decision should at least encourage European governments to cooperate with the Commission's fact-finding mission.

The Register was told in December that Frattini had conceded his efforts would lead to something akin to the UK model being applied across Europe.

Frattini's spokesman has since denied there is any truth in this report.

In some European countries violent games are, apparently, sold to kids willy-nilly. The UK is as keen as other EU countries to see the laws harmonised so children don't return from school trips with their satchels stuffed full of adult-rated video games.

Frattini's public comments on the matter do indeed to go further than UK law, which merely punishes retailers who sell adult games to kids with fines and prison sentences, by demanding outright bans on violent computer games.

He called for a dialogue with games producers yesterday "in order to explain to them that we won't tolerate that children are under threat of violent computer games".

"It's in their interest to participate and to contribute to the EU dialogue to eradicate violent video games rather than punish," he said, explaining that it was better to prevent their publication in the first place rather than react after they were in the shops.

But he wasn't working on anything more than a belief that violent games were bad for society. He admitted his campaign was merely "personal" as scientific evidence had both found and denied a link between violent video games and bad behaviour. "My personal opinion is, yes there's a certain degree of link between growing violence in the younger generation and growing diffusion of horribly violent video games." ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.