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One game smears China's army. Another promotes the assassination of Fidel.
In 2002, Greece banned the playing of all electronic games in public places, in an effort to crack down on illegal gambling. Included in the ban were games that run on mobile phones and devices such as GameBoys. Those caught breaking the ban faced fines of 5,000-75,000 euros and up to a year in prison. The ban was criticized for failing to distinguish between games that include gambling and those that do not.
In 2005, South Korea censored video games that depicted conflict between North and South Korea, including titles such as "Ghost Recon 2" and Tom Clancy’s "Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory," in an effort to avoid raising tension between the two countries. The ban was lifted a year later.
The governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua banned the 2007 game “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2" and ordered copies confiscated because of what he called the offensive depiction of the region in the game. The game features the kidnapping of a U.S. president by Latin American rebels. The mayor of the border city Juarez had earlier complained about the game’s violent portrayal of his town’s citizens.
The hit 2010 game "Medal of Honor," in which gamers participate in the War on Terror, was banned on U.S. military bases because the game’s multiplayer mode gave players the option of playing as the Taliban. The ban remains even though the game’s developer has now changed this option.
In November 2009, as a response to Venezuela’s skyrocketing rates of violence crime and homicide, legislators in the country’s parliament approved a blanket ban on all violent video games. The law places these games in the same category as toy weapons, and bans their import, production and sale. Those who break the law can face three to five years in prison.
Compiled by Spencer Burke.