Italian Idiocy
January 19, 2009

Michael Samyn from the wonderful Tale of Tales brings my (and others') attention to the proposed piece of legislation that led to Sony cancelling their EU release of lackluster horror title Rule of Rose. Its quality aside, there's an issue here. Beyond the link below is the body of a motion by an Italian MP. I don't know if it actually passed, but the controversy led to Sony deciding it wasn't worth the hassle of releasing Rule of Rose anyway, and the proposed EU release was canned.

Here you go.

I can't get over how monumentally stupid this is, driven by a barage of convoluted half-truths, plain fabrication, and the complete removal of context. The only way to even try to understand is to assassinate it, very carefully, point by point.

"in Europe a lot of violent video games for children are on sale"
Yes, definitely aimed at children. Note how this one carries an enormous "R" rating in the bottom corner on the US version.

"the aim of the video game is to bury alive a girl who has undergone psychosexual and physical violence"
No, that's partial content of the game, removed entirely from the context of the mature narrative. Not its aim whatsoever. Not even a significant portion.

"the latest of a series that has become increasingly popular with the younger generation and whose only end is the instigation of violence, bullying and abuse of the weakest"
The latter half is simply not true, but the fact that it's backed up by no evidence makes it difficult to argue against. Still, actually finding any evidence for it would be a hard task, since it's bullshit. He does try though, later on, bless him.

And anyway, if these games are becoming more popular with children, then perhaps we should be thinking about a motion to help regulate their sale and play, not banning them outright. Mm-hmm?

"there have been serious episodes of violence among minors including the harassment of a disabled boy (which the perpetrator filmed and posted on the Internet)"
Not even slightly relevant in any way. An attempt to provide evidence for the previous point? You're usually supposed to show a link between the two events when you do that.

"Community institutions have always protected and safeguarded the rights of minors"
Very true. But exactly why the sale should have been permitted in the EU. Europe continues to support the safeguarding of both minors and adults through the ELSPA classification system, and in cooperation with various official national bodies. It's the perfect place to release a game like Rule of Rose, in terms of potential safety.

"[we should] define a single code of conduct for the sale and distribution of children's video games"
...which underpins everything: the entire motion is based on the completely false assumption that videogames are, by definition, for children. It all makes sense now. Kids intentionally exposed to graphic violence.

Except, y'know. It carried an R rating. So you're just phenomenally wrong.

Everything here demonstrates a completely moronic lack of understanding of the issue. I can't believe it held any weight whatsoever. What kind of regime censors art in this way, without even trying to understand it at a base level? Worse than that: without even trying to understand the medium in any meaningful way? No, fuck it, scratch the word 'meaningful' out. It just doesn't even try. Full stop.

This made me really angry, even though it's a few years ago. Utterly, utterly bizarre, and thoroughly revolting.

Most recent blog posts from Lewis Denby...

wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - January 19, 2009 (02:13 PM)
Don't come here then! =D

That sort of shit happens here, too. It's really annoying. Senator Self-Righteous-Uninformed-Asshole will try to ban video games for much of the same reasons without looking at any of the evidence or alternatives. Like, worry about something else, Congress, like children's education or something.

Granted, I haven't heard any recent attempts here lately. Thankfully. Usually it's Republicans or the Religious Right that try to do it (I think).
Halon Halon - January 19, 2009 (02:33 PM)
The older generation who try to create these bans aren't familiar with games. They just hear "ZOMG GAMES ARE EVIL!!!11!1!" and don't know enough about games to make the assumptions they make.

I don't want to get too political since it usually turns out ugly but today we live in a society that generally believes stricter rules and bans is the way to stop social problems when they in fact cause a lot of them. We're on the brink of facism (if not already there) which is kinda scary.
zippdementia zippdementia - January 20, 2009 (03:05 PM)
I used to get really worked up over stuff like this.

Then I realized that most video games that get banned suck anyways.

But I'm still against banning ANYTHING. I'm for free expression in all its sordid forms.

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