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German Social Affairs Minister wants WoW classified 'Adults Only'

James Egan
James Egan|March 18, 2009 3:00 PM

We've been reporting more and more lately on MMO censorship and legislation abroad, most recently with the troubles World of Warcraft faces in China. The latest news that we've come across comes to us from Germany where the Minister for Social Affairs in Lower Saxony, Mechtchild Ross-Luttman, wants to restrict sales of violent video games to minors in general, imposing fines of up to €50,000 for those caught selling these titles. She also wants to give MMO titles like World of Warcraft an "adults only" rating. This reaction to violence in video games comes in the wake of the tragic school shootings which occurred recently in Germany.

GameCulture reports: "The proposals come on the heels of a survey by the Kriminologischen Forschuginstituts Nidersachsen (the criminal research institute of Lower Saxony), which reported that 14,000 9th graders in Germany are addicted to videogames, particularly World of Warcraft and first-person shooters."
While the need for those in power to do something -- anything -- to prevent more shootings is understandable, it's unfortunate that once again video games are pegged as the root of adolescent social problems. The Minister for Social Affairs isn't alone in her assessment of video games and motivation to take action against them, however. According to GameCulture, the acting chairman of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party in Brandenburg, Sven Petke, would like to see violent games banned from Germany altogether.
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