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Soldat_Louis's picture
Joined: 2006-11-08

Months ago, [URL=http://www.gamepoliticsforums.com/showthread.php?t=692]I told you[/URL] about [URL=http://www.bernard-depierre.com/]Bernard Depierre[/URL], a French representative from Côte-d'Or (East of France) who proposed an amendment in order to totally ban "very violent video games". This amendment was based on false allegations about [I]Rule of the Rose[/I], that Mr. Depierre believed to be [I]"about raping a little girl in the most horrible conditions, then killing her with the worst pain"[/I]

Of course, many gamers wrote to Mr. Depierre to explain he was wrong and there was absolutely no rape in [I]RoR[/I]. Fortunately, he listened to them, and he retired all the mentions about rape in this game. He also publicly recognized his mistake. By the way, his amendment was rejected.

It was last november. But today, I learnt, by going to Mr. Depierre's website, that he proposed other amendments on regulation of violent video games, and these amendments have been accepted.

I translated his press release for you (I found it on the section [URL=http://www.bernard-depierre.com/actions.asp]Les actions nationales[/URL]) :

[QUOTE=Bernard Depierre]
Very violent video games : 2 amendments passed[/B]

UMP (*) Representative from Côte-d'Or, Bernard Depierre, who, during 1st discussion about law on prevention of juvenile delinquency, had proposed an amendment to alert public policy on minors' too easy access to very violent video games and on the danger of these games on youth, has just passed 2 amendments on the same topic during second discussion of this law in Parliament.

In particular, Bernard Depierre obtained that "posting in any public place documents that are harmful to youth because of the depiction of crime, violence, incitation, use, possession or dealing of drugs, excessive use of alcohol, as well as discrimination or hate against one person or a group of people; is totally prohibited". Advertising these same documents is also prohibited. However, in order to respect individual freedom, this amendment precises that posting and advertising these documents is "possible" in any area whose access is forbidden to minors.

[B]Waiting for the application decrees[/B]

"Decrees that will officialize application of this amendement will have to precise the ways to prevent minors to access very violent video games. It can consit in forcing retailers to keep very violent, adult-rated video games, in a restricted area inaccessible to minors (perhaps under locked windows). This solution is approved by main video games industry representatives in France, be it the SELL (**) or the AFJV (***)", says Representative from Côte-d'Or. He adds : "decrees will also have to precise mentions to add by game publishers or retailers on game boxes. In my opinion, and indeed game editors agree with me, I wish it could be clearly said "forbidden to people under" or "strictly reserved to adults".

Representative from Côte-d'Or precises that PEGI rating system shows some limits, as age classifications are sometimes mistaken by buyers with difficulty levels, and that small images informing on the description of the games are often misunderstood. By the way actual mentions +16 or +18 don't mean "forbidden for people under 16 or 18", but simply "recommended for people above 16 or 18". "Nowhere on the box, there is a clear mention 'forbidden to people under 16' or 'reserved to adults'. This is why it is necessary to precise things. I'll be especially vigilant on this point", says Bernard Depierre.

[B]One regret[/B]

Bernard Depierre regrets that internet online shopping sites haven't been forced to put control procedures that would be efficient enough to verify the buyers' age.

"Video game is a society phenomenon and a prosperous economic market in which our country has a major place. It is an artistic creation that must be supported. Indeed, because of it, our government decided to give tax breaks in order to support video game creation, therefore giving them a cultural value. But a double statement must be made, by taking care of not assimilating too quickly all video games altogether : on one side, ultra violence becomes common, if not normalized in some video games; on the other side, it is very easy today for minors to get access to some very violent video games normally recommended for people above 16, whether it is in video game stores, in big stores or Internet. The legislator brought interesting first answers."

(*) The UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire -- "Union for a Popular Mouvement") is the main conservative party in France. It is also the party that governs France right now, although not all goverment members come from it. Anyway, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the French culture minister, is UMP too.

(**) The SELL (Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs) is the French equivalent of the ESA. They were in charged of the classification of video games (a bit like the ESRB) until the PEGI ratings were adopted.

(***) The AFJV (Association Française du Jeu Vidéo, or French Video Game Association) is an association dedicated to the promotion of video games in France


- Gaming Since 198X : http://gamingsince198x.fr/
By crazy old men, for crazy old men (in French)
- If you want to know more about the real Soldat Louis (which I'm not affiliated with : I'm just a devoted fan), go there : http://www.soldatlouis.com/

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