A proposed ban on violent videogames in Germany has been rejected by the country’s federal government.
Democracy appears to have prevailed in a big way here, as the decision comes after a 73,000-strong petition allowed the matter to be raised before Germany’s Committee on Petitions. In place of an outright ban, Parliament State Secretary Dr. Hermann Kues, of the Federal Ministry for Home Affairs will reportedly push for improved public awareness of the PEGI ratings system.
Unsurprisingly, games publishers have celebrated the move. Speaking to GamesIndustry, EA senior VP Dr. Jens Uwe Intat said “The German decision is a very welcome step as we encourage policy makers to better understand the reality of today’s videogame market.”The German petition echoes a similar movement in Australia, where gamers are attempting to persuade the government to adopt an R18+ rating. Although has slowed after a public consulation, progress is nonetheless being made.
In light of these events it appears that, with a certain amount of encouragement, governments are slowly beginning to accept the possibility of education and personal responsibility being the key to videogame legislation.
Yet another test of how far cultural understanding of the industry has expanded is likely to come when the US Supreme Courtof a proposed law restricting the sale of violent videogames to minors.