Mexico’s gamer community is up in virtual arms after the Green Party introduced a bill that would impose a $123,000 fine on companies or individuals who distribute or sell violent video games to minors.
The legislative initiative seems to be inspired by the murder of a six-year-old boy who was beaten, stabbed and buried by five kids in the northern state of Chihuahua last May.
“[Violent video games] can generate excessive and repetitive conduct, especially in minors,” Congressman Antonio Cuellar Steffan stated in the initiative, according to Mexican daily El Universal. He warned that immersive video games with violent or sexual content represent a clear and present danger for the healthy development of future generations.
Others dispute the claim that video games cause violence.
Juan Martin Perez Garcia, director of the Network for the Rights of Minors, told the Associated Press that the Chihuahua murder was more likely a “cultural reproduction of violence” from witnessing or experiencing real crime.
Though it’s unlikely the bill will pass — the Green Party doesn't have the votes to approve it on its own, and the measure doesn't seem to have found much support from other parties— the nation’s gamer community is not taking the initiative lightly. Mexicans on social media are criticizing the bill as an attempt to impose a nanny state while diverting attention from real causes of violence. They have also mocked the Green Party's signature tactic of giving out free goodies in exchange for votes.
"The Green Party does everything backwards, instead of winning over the people with free videogames for everyone, it seeks fines and censorship."
"This year's stupid Green Party proposition # 23461538: ban violent videogames."
The bill comes as the latest in a series of bizarre legislative initiatives promoted by the Green Party. Last month, a local congresswoman from the northern state of Sonora unleashed a wave of social media backlash after attempting to fine people $1,600 for making offensive memes.