According to German media reports, language introduced into a proposed revision to Germany's child protection laws targets violent video games in specific, and would place a ban on any game that depicted lethal violence.
A coalition made up of CDU/CSU and SPD party members has drafted an updated version of the child protection statutes, originally put into effect in April 2003, part of which demands that violent games be banned for the sake of Germany's youth.
As with several cases underway in the U.S. and Japan, the legislation would impose government controls above the existing German ratings classification. The anti-game language in the laws, according to comments made by parliament member Andreas Scheuer, is part of a wider effort to remove violent media from children's lives. The topic has been a hot issue in Germany since a high school student in the town of Erfurt staged a Columbine-esque shooting spree, resulting in the deaths of 16 before the student shot himself.
The passage in question is so far a very minor part of the larger coalition effort, but has already come under criticism from several critics within Germany. Grietje Bettin, of Germany's Grün party, said that "The laws read in such a way as if the coalition partners are not familiar with the existing regulations at all." Olaf Wolters, head of Germany's interactive software association, said to Der Spiegel
magazine that "As far as we are concerned, there are no such things as killer games, but adult games."
The draft of the legislation is still not yet final, but whatever is enacted and approved is due to go into effect in March 2008.