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Venezuela to ban violent videogames?

Bill gaining political support

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An end to the sale of violent videogames in Venezuela has moved one step closer to becoming a reality.

Venezuela’s National Assembly recently considered the Prohibition of Video Games and Toy Weapons bill, which it subsequently approved after just one debate.

The bill’s exact details aren’t widely known, but the title suggests that all videogames – violent or not – could face sales restrictions in the country.

Before the bill can be written into Venezuelan law, it must be debated and approved during a second National Assembly session - and then rubber-stamped by President Hugo Chavez.

Exactly how the bill’s supporters envisage a ban on violent videogames contributing to a reduction in the country’s colossal crime rate is a mystery. A link between the violent crime and violent games has never been proven.

In August 2008, Electronic Arts released Mercenaries 2: World in Flames,a third-person shooter set in a war-torn Venezuela. Unsurprisingly, the country’s lawmakers and Chavez weren’t too thrilled about the title, but it’s unknown if the game is available locally.

Venezuela isn’t the first country to try and pass a blanket ban on the sale of violent videogames.

Politicians in Germany recently banded together in an effort to demand that the country’s national parliament introduce a similar ban prior to the country’s next election, scheduled for 27 September.

A date for the second debate of Venezuela’s videogame bill has not yet been set. ®

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