Venezuela has followed through on a plan to ban violent videogames, passing a law that will slap hefty jail terms on anyone who produces, imports or sells them.

Venezuela, one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden nations on the planet, began taking steps to ban violent videogames and toy guns earlier this year. The bill received final approval in late October and will go into effect in three months; anyone violating the new law faces a punishment of three to five years in jail.

What exactly will constitute a “violent” videogame wasn’t made clear; GamePolitics says the final decision over which games will be banned will rest with the country’s “consumer protection society.” Advertisements for toys of a “military” nature will also be banned.

The plan, apparently, is to cut back on activities that might encourage the development of “aggressive” tendencies in Venezuelan children and youth, which will in turn help bring down the country’s out of control violent crime rate. The government in Venezuela no longer releases regular murder statistics but opponents of President Hugo Chavez claim that over 100,000 people have been murdered since February 1999.

The government disputes that figure, of course, but I don’t think anyone will argue that the situation isn’t bad and getting worse. Will a ban on violent videogames make any difference at all? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Source: RIA Novosti

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