Uncategorized

Brazilian Government Bans Counter-Strike, EverQuest, Fun

brazil_cs.jpgThe South American nation famous for its ability to create great soccer players, attractive swimsuit models and land that used to be rainforests has brought the banhammer down upon two of the world’s most popular online games. Both Counter-Strike and EverQuest, each now nine-years old, were said to promote “the subversion of public order, were an attack against the democratic state and the law and against public security” by the judge enacting the ban.

According to the AFP report on the matter, the prohibition on selling CS and EQ was actually passed in October of 2007, but was only recently enforced by PROCON, the national consumer protection agency. Good work, Brazil. Glad all of your problems are sorted out now that the video game police are tackling the tough issues!

Members of the Kotaku Brazilian Connection wrote in to let us know about the ban. Their letters are after the jump and provide some insight into the local video game market.

From Pinguin:

Since 01/17, Counter Strike and Everquest are banned in Brazil. The decision came from a federal judge, based in the Consumer Rights, saying that it puts in danger the life of buyers. You can see the full decision in this site. (in Brazilian portuguese)

The counter strike was banned because, in experts opinion, teachs war strategies.
Everquest was banned because of their quests. The Brazilian judge, claims that, some quests ask for the user do good things and bad things, leading the user to pscicological problems.

In Brazil, those games were rated to 18+, by the Justice. In the past, before those rates exist, games like Carmagedon, Grand Theft Auto and Postal were banned too.

But, we still can play Postal 2, Manhunt (the complete version) and all the other games. Everquest isn’t even [sold]in Brazil!

From Romulo:

Since 17/01/2008 the games “Counter-Strike” and “EverQuest” are been confiscated in the Brazilian state of Goiás by the PROCON, an organism created to defend consumer rights. The decision is extended trough all brazilian territory, the games were considered “[improper]for consume” and “nocive to the consumer health” offending some articles of the brazilian “consumer defense and protection code”, a law that is usually used to protection the consumer against big companies.

Here in Brazil a single judge can make a decision that is valid in the whole country, this is the case, but other states are not confiscating the game as they think there may be something wrong with such a decision. The judge also classify CounterStrike and Everquest as being “nefast”.

Acording to procon and the judge, Counter-Strike is described as “a game where drug deales sequestram and take to a morro thre UN representatives. Police invades the place and is received with bullets”, the text also affirms, without showing names ou researches, that “in the vision of specialists that game teaches war techniches”. Thats not counter strike´s but user generated content, CS_rio is a very popular map and played a lot in Brazil.

The reason to justify the ban, “violent games ou that bring violece are capable of forming agressive individuals, its evident is strong power of influence, reforcing agressive atitude on some individuals and social groups.”, they go even farther when justifying everquest ban, [everquest]“takes the player to total nonsense and heavy psicologycal conflicts, because the quests he receives may be good or bad.”

EA Brazil released a note claiming the content cited is not from counter strike but user generated, and say it´s waiting for a judicial notification to take legal action.

From Hank:

This is kotaku user HANK-SP, from Brazil, reporting that the brazilian state of Goias has banned the games Counter-Strike and the RPG EverQuest. The decision, taken by a court in Goias, is extented to all Brazil. The federal police IS already taking away copies from these games, altough EverQuest is not officially released in Brazil. Procon, brazilian governmental foundation for consumer defense, argued, on its website, that Counter-Strike is a game where “Rio de Janeiro drug dealers kidnapp and take to a slum three UN representants. The police invades the place and is welcomed with bullets. (…) In the vision of experts the game teaches war techniques”. As for EverQuest, Procon states that it “takes the gamer to complete moral conflict and ‘heavy’ psychological conflicts; for the tasks that are given to them could be bad or good. (…) Violent videogames that use violence are capable of forming agressive individuals, making it evident that is strong its influence on psyquism, reinforcing aggressive attitude against certain individuals and social groups”.

The web site also states that anyone who sees these games being sold, that they should contact Procon for the arrest of the games.

All this information has come from UOL, Brazil’s biggest web portal, owned by Brazil’s biggest newspaper “Folha de Sao Paulo”.

http://jogos.uol.com.br/pc/ultnot/2008/01/18/ult182u7954.jhtm

In another news, UOL reports that EA has already answered that Counter-Strike doesn’t have any Rio de Janeiro, any slums, any funk soundtrack, neither UN comissioners.

http://jogos.uol.com.br/pc/ultnot/2008/01/18/ult182u7956.jhtm

Thanks for taking the time to write in, guys. Keep us informed of any developments, if you have the time.

Brazil bans popular video games seen to incite violence [AFP/Google]


Have you subscribed to Kotaku Australia's email newsletter? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.