One of the politicians behind the recently-passed proposal to ban violent videogames in Switzerland says it's likely that only a few games would be prohibited, but hopes that in long run it will encourage developers to move away from the worst excesses of videogame violence.
Two resolutions seeking to restrict videogame sales in Switzerland were passed last month, one banning the sale of games not rated by PEGI and the other calling for an outright ban on all violent videogames. The details are apparently still being thrashed out but Social Democrat Evi Allemann, who sponsored one of the laws, said the final result would likely result in only a handful of games actually being banned.
"The absolute prohibition should only apply to individual games," she said in an interview with 20 Minutes Online. She estimated that only about "a dozen" games would be affected, comparing the new Swiss laws to those already in place in Germany, where Mortal Kombat and Manhunt are banned but Counter-Strike isn't.
PEGI is insufficient to properly rate games, she claimed, because it's too closely linked to the videogame industry. "It takes an industry-independent federal agency, which sets age limits for certain games or [classifies] other games as harmless," she said.
A bit surprisingly, perhaps, she admitted that there's no actual proof of a link between videogaming and violent behavior, adding that as long as kids are in a "stable social environment," gaming is "usually not a problem." Nonetheless, she wants games that involve "cruel acts of violence" kept away from Swiss gamers and hopes that game developers, particularly those in the U.S., will eventually begin to focus on "other types of games" and move away from the worst of the violent content.
It's a bit of a tricky to follow (made a little easier by alternating between Google and Yahoo translations) but in the end it seems to come down to Allemann telling everyone that there's nothing to worry about because the government has only the best of intentions. How about it, folks: Is that good enough for you?