Venezuela to outlaw violent video games, toys
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Last Updated: Sunday, October 04, 2009, 23:19
  
Caracas (Venezuela): Shouts of "Kill him! Kill him!" ring out as the preteens train their virtual assault rifles on the last remaining terrorist and spray him with bullets. Blood splatters. The enemy collapses. And they cheerfully wrap up another game of "Counter-Strike."

The most popular video games among kids often imitate life outside this Internet cafe in San Augustin - one of the many crime-ridden slums in Venezuela's capital, where residents say too many of the young players easily trade joysticks for guns.

In a bid to curb that trend, Venezuela's National Assembly is on track to prohibit violent video games and toys. The proposed legislation, which received initial approval in September, is expected to get a final vote in the coming weeks.

Parents applaud the proposed ban. But critics argue the bill is little more than a public relations stunt by supporters of President Hugo Chavez to camouflage his government's inability to deal with Venezuela's rampant violent crime - the country's most pressing problem according to public opinion polls.

Bureau Report


First Published: Sunday, October 04, 2009, 23:19


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