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
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.