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Feature: Brazil's Video Game Prohibition Past

In the latest Gamasutra feature, IGDA Rio de Janeiro head Arthur Protasio discusses the current perception of games in Brazil, while also looking at the titles
In the latest Gamasutra feature, IGDA Rio de Janeiro head Arthur Protasio discusses the current perception of games in Brazil, talking about cultural and economic challenges that keep games from being recognized as a vital medium in this developing economy. As part of his discussion, Protasio outlines video game prohibition in the country over the last couple of decades, beginning with the banned game that started it all. "To really understand how we got here, we have to look back in the '90s, when a few decisions paved the way for the debate that is currently taking place in the country," he explains. "In 1997, the first of many 'administrative decisions in defense of consumer rights' prohibited the game Carmageddon." He continues, "Then, in 1998, another decision banned the first game in the Grand Theft Auto series." "The justification for this decision was that the game was a menace to society due to its message that 'crime pays,' and the ideas it nurtured in players were that it was a tempting possibility to go out in the streets and cause mayhem by stealing cars, running over people, and escaping from the police." Protasio goes on to list further titles that were banned in the country, including the likes of Blood, Requiem, Mortal Kombat, Postal and Doom. He also notes that "Duke Nuken 3D" -- spelt with an 'n' -- was listed for prohibition. Unfortunately, while the reasons provided for banning these games were absurd, "there was no one to fight for the rights of developers and game consumers, so laws like these sailed through because of the political gains that could be made by demonizing such an easy target," explains Protasio. The full feature, which focuses on Brazil's gaming past, present and future, is now live on Gamasutra.

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