08 December 2006

Is Germany Really Losing It?

I have a great deal of respect for the German nation. More than anyone else, I think, they have come to terms with their recent history - specifically with the Nazi period - and emerged stronger, wiser and more admirable (compare, for example, Turkey's rather sad denial that a genocide of over a million Armenians lies festering in its past). But recently, I've noticed some signs that German society - or at least its politicans, which I concede is not quite the same thing - are really out of touch with reality.

I wrote yesterday about its daft plans to monitor PCs while connected to the Internet - blithely ignoring the near-impossibility of this idea. Now we have something else equally stupid: the criminalisation of violent video games. According to Der Spiegel - probably the best news magazine in the world - the Bavarian minister for internal affairs wants to make the "production, sale and purchase of such games punishable by up to one year's imprisonment."

This is so obviously a knee-jerk reaction by frightened old politicians, unable to deal with the technological changes that are happening around them. What makes it particularly sickening is that it concerns itself with virtual violence, and blithely ignores the rather more pressing issue of all the violence present in this world - as practised, for example, by the US Government in its various torture camps around the world. Get real, people.

No comments: