Say hello to the Swiss Jack Thompson

If you thought it was just the USA, UK, Germany, China, Brazil, Australia and Singapore that had to deal with ridiculous scaremongering and nannying when it comes to games, you’d be dead wrong. Switzerland is currently embroiled in its own storm of videogame controversy, thanks in no small part to the efforts of left-wing politician Roland Näf.

Näf is Switzerland’s answer to Jack Thompson, who started a campaign to completely ban the sale of “violent” videogames back in March. As part of his campaign, he sued the manager of a local branch of Media Markt just because it stocked John Woo’s Stranglehold. Now, I’d love to sue the store that sold me that awful game, but come on — that’s just a little bit ridiculous.

European customer electronics retailer Media Markt was sued by a Swiss politician for selling John Woo’s Stranglehold. To be more precise, Roland Näf sued the manager of a local branch of Media Markt…

Now, the reason Mr. Näf is doing this is that he wants to see how effective this law is when used against video games. He states that Swiss law isn’t strict enough in that respect…

So Mr. Näf wants to ban [violent] video games from being produced or sold at all… Actually, he already tried to change the law but was turned down by the parliament. They said that the law as it is now was good enough and that no connection between video games and violent minors was evident.

In Switzerland, the violent games debate is a very big issue right now, and is apparently top of the agenda for all major political parties out there. You know, one thing that annoys me about the violent game debate that I don’t often mention is how politicians place such importance on a non-issue. With taxpayer’s money and time being spent on this worthless argument, you wonder how much actual good work could have been done in the meantime. Oh well.

So, Switzerland isn’t safe from the anti-game lobby either, and I have a feeling we’ve not heard the last of Thompson’s Swiss counterpart.

Jim Sterling