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Venezuela bans violent video games

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In 2009, The Venezuelan National Assembly banned the import, manufacture and sale of violent toys and video games in the country, a process started in September, as a result of considering that these toys and video games are the causes of the high levels of violence and crime in the country. The final vote took place in a few weeks. Grand Theft Auto IV was mentioned by the members of the PPT party (Fatherland for All), as a video game that "promotes violence and also numbs the player in the face of real violence".[1]

It has also been pointed out that this will only serve to boost the already high level of piracy in the country, and that it will overwhelm the consumer protection office, which already has enough work to do with trying to regulate inflation, regulate the price of food, and which has only 163 inspectors. According to Legislator Tomás Sánchez, an opponent of the measure, this measure "is a masquerade that allows them to say that they do something against the crime rate, while hiding the fact that previous policies have failed."

The measure affects games for PC, arcade, game consoles, portable devices, mobile phones and any other electronic or telematic device, including the internet.

In order for a toy to be considered violent, it must meet one of these two requirements: that it affects the development and future actions of minors, or that in the case of toys, that they are exact replicas of firearms, knives or other violent nature.

The latter, said second vice president José Albornoz, promoter of the law, are susceptible to be used by criminals because of their resemblance to real weapons.

"Violence is not a temporary problem but a structural one, "Albornoz added," and we understand that the key elements on which society is based are the Church, the family and education. It is these who must raise awareness."

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