Townsfolk in the embattled town of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico want the upcoming Call of Juarez: The Cartel banned.

Mexico is not a very safe place right now, with drug-smuggling cartels and gangsters often wielding more power than the lawmakers and civilian government. But people in the town of Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, don’t exactly want the violence that they live with every day to be rubbed in their face. The state legislature of the Mexican state of Chihuahua unanimously voted to ask the Federal government to ban Ubisoft’s Call of Juarez: The Cartel for its videogame depiction of violence. More than six thousand people were killed in Juarez over the last two years, and Call of Juarez: The Cartel‘s tagline allowing players to “experience the lawlessness of the modern Wild West” hits a little to close to home. Of course, politicians claim the proposed videogame ban is for the children. Call of Juarez: The Cartel is slated for release this summer on PS3, Xbox 360 and the PC.

“It is true there is a serious crime situation, which we are not trying to hide,” said Congressman Ricardo Boone Salmon. “But we also should not expose children to this kind of scenarios so that they are going to grow up with this kind of image and lack of values.”

The children of Juarez have already been taught to take cover when gunfights erupt, and playing this videogame will only exacerbate the problem, according to politician Enrique Serrano. “Children wind up being easily involved in criminal acts over time, because among other things, during their childhood not enough care has been taken about what they see on television and playing video games,” Serrano said. “They believe so much blood and death is normal.”

I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to grow up in Juarez, nor have I yet played the game in question, so I can’t say whether this ban is justified. All I do know is that it’s rare for a piece of art to have the detrimental effect that these politicians are supposing. Does Faranheit 451 promote book burning? Is reading Huck Finn really going to bring back slavery? Will watching Star Wars allow me to move stuff with my mind?

Well, I hope that last one is true.

Source: Associated Press

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