Velasquez has put his name on a bill in Panama’s National Assembly that wants to ban the sale and distribution of all violent video games. And he doesn’t mean violent in the “Grand Theft Auto” sense. He means violent in the “any kind of violence will get this game banned” sense.
Thus, games showing any kind of physical or mental harm to a person, or damage to property, are out. Games that have you using a military weapon or object intended to harm people are out. And games that makes violent or criminal behaviour “entertaining” are also out.
That’s, well. Most video games ever released.
Before you go saying silly things about Panama, remember, this is a bill put forward by one man. A man who, last year, tried to have Halloween banned from schools on the grounds it was an American holiday that tempted children to dress up as demons.
While there’s certainly political capital to be had in cracking down on violent video games, it’s tough seeing such an extreme bill having much chance of passing.
Last year, nearby Venezuela went a lot further than simply proposing a ban on violent game sales, enacting a law that could see importers of prohibited games jailed for up to five years.