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Banned Video Games…

Am I the only one who sets out to research something on the Internet I'm interested in learning about only to get waylaid by something more interesting. By the time I remember I was supposed to be looking up something else, I've often forgotten what it even was. Such is the case with tonight's blog - not the blog I had planned - but one I will go ahead and post anyway. I sort of stumbled upon this Wikipedia page about banned video games listed by country. Naturally, I had to read the article. Who wouldn't? If you want to, you can find it here.

I don't know about you, but when I think about banned video games, I naturally assume it's because of the violence or it's because of the sexual content.  Games like Manhunt come to mind. The only game I really remember being questioned about sexually explicit content was the Hot Coffee mod for Grand Theft Auto. Maybe Mass Effect.

Anyway...sex and violence, well that's a given. But what I discovered after reading this article is some of the other *ahem* almost amusing reasons why video games have been banned from certain countries.

Now, I'm no attorney, although I did play one before in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I'm no expert on whether these laws are still on the books or even true for that matter. I'm simply reading them off the website, sharing the content here, chuckling about it a bit, and leaving a comment or two. You know, kind of like when you read about old laws that are still on the books, but nobody ever enforces them.

For example, I live in Washington and...the harassing of Bigfoot, Sasquatch or other undiscovered subspecies is a felony punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment (unless his name is DJH, then I think its okay).

Okay, so here goes...banned video games, the countries they are banned in, and the reason(s) why...

Brazil

Bully (including Scholarship Edition) - Banned for showing violence and harassment in a school setting.

*Um, how about banning bullying in school?

Counter-Strike - Banned because of a user map simulating a favela.

*In case you don't know, a favela is a shanty town...and the government of Brazil apparently doesn't want you thinking the country is a shanty town.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City - Banned because it uses music by the Brazilian composer Hamilton da Silva Lourenço without permission.

*Seems like something they'd ask for before producing the game, no?

China

China bans several games that make them look bad, like Battlefield 4 and Command & Conquer Generals, but the real kicker is...

Football Manager 2005 - Banned for recognizing Tibet as an independent country.

*How dare those football managers recognize Tibet as an independent country.

Cuba

Apparently Cuba hasn't banned any video games (I actually thought they did ban Ghost Recon Island Thunder, but maybe not) but they weren't very pleased with Call of Duty: Black Ops.

*Why would the Cubans be upset with Black Ops? I thought it made Fidel Castro look cunning.

Denmark

EA Sports MMA - This game was not released in Denmark because of a law prohibiting marketing for energy drinks, which is a central part of the game.

A law...prohibiting the marketing...of...energy drinks? No EA Sports MMA for you people of Denmark!

Germany

Germany has all sorts of rules. Pretty much if it has a swastika or mentions Nazis, banned. I wonder if this means they don't have Indiana Jones in Germany. That would be tragic.

Greece

Now, Greece is hardcore. Sex, violence...forget about it...

A law banning all electronic games was passed on 2002, but it was eventually disregarded.

*Could you imagine if the USA, EU or Japan banned all electronic games? Hah. World War III.

Indonesia

Far Cry 3 - Banned because of derogatory remarks about living in Indonesia.

*I wonder if these derogatory remarks about living in Indonesia included comments about Indonesia's overreaching censorship and lack of a freedom of speech clause in their constitution.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow - Because an organization called "Darah dan Doa" was considered as a threat by the President of Indonesia.

*So, there's an Indonesian movie (in Indonesian) titled Darah dan Doa they show at festivals, and that's okay...but a video game based on a fictitious story and made up characters can't mention Darah dan Doa? Seems legit.

Japan

Fallout 3 wasn't banned (Japan doesn't really seem to ban games) but it was edited in Japan due to a weapon in the game called the Fat Man. Because of its relation to the real historic event, the weapon was renamed to the Nuka Launcher in the Japanese version of Fallout 3.

*I'm actually surprised this was included in the game and wonder if the developers knew and didn't think it was that a big deal or they just didn't realize the "Fat Man" was the codename for the type of atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, by the United States on 9 August 1945. I think I agree with Japan on this one.

Pakistan

Call of Duty Black Ops II and Medal of Honor Warfighter - Both banned for portraying Pakistans negatively. Consequences for selling these two games may include jail time and/or community service.

*Wow, jail time? Crikey. If I was in charge of Pakistan, I'd be more worried how several prominent countries portray them negatively instead of worrying about how video games make them look.

Russia

Dare I say it? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - the game wasn't banned but the No Russian mission was removed.

*I guess the Russians, didn't want their countrymen shooting other Russians.

Saudi Arabia

Red Dead Redemption - Banned due to nudity, prostitution, violence and cruelty.

*Hmm, somebody must have thought tying a nun to the railroad tracks was a bit too much.

Pokémon Trading Card Game - Banned because it promotes Zionism and involves gambling.

*Gambling and Zionism? You just can't make this stuff up.

United Arab Emirates

Heavy Rain - Banned likely due to a sultry seduction scene.

Seriously, Heavy Rain has a sultry seduction scene? Oh well, I probably couldn't complete the Quick Time Event to get my clothes off anyway.

Venezuela

In November 2009, the Government of Venezuela announced that it would ban all video games in which the objective was to shoot people. The ban was due to widespread violence in the country.

*Are there games that don't involve shooting something (I'm kidding of course)?

And there you have it...a bunch of countries, the video games they have banned and the reasons why.  I hope you've enjoyed this little government lesson. Sure am glad we don't really have to be subjected to all of this...at least not yet.

Friday is nearly here (by the time you read this it will probably be here.)

Peace.

 

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