Attempts To Ban Violent Games In Venezuela ProgressS

The Associated Press reports that the Venezuelan government's attempts to ban violent video games such as Counter-Strike, is weeks away from passing, though it isn't likely to affect widespread sale of pirated games.

While the arguments for and against the ban of violent video games are familiar, they are set against a more violent state of affairs than is seen in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

From the AP report:

[Venezuelan president Hugo] Chavez's government stopped releasing complete annual murder figures in 2005 amid rising concerns. But last year, the Justice Ministry said homicides averaged 152 a week, or roughly 7,900 for the year. That's more than five times the murder rate in Texas, which has roughly the same population as Venezuela.

As manager of the [Internet] cafe in San Augustin, Jenny Rangel struggles with a moral dilemma as she stands beneath a "Scarface" movie poster and watches the virtual shoot-'em-up. Like many of her neighbors, Rangel rushes home at nightfall before gunshots begin echoing through the barrio.

"The message for them is that you must shoot and kill," Rangel said.

Opponents say that the government's efforts to ban violent games may shutter some Internet cafes but it won't curtail the playing of violent games nor have any effect on the country's crime rate.

Venezuela to outlaw violent video games, toys [AP, via Detroit News]