January 19, 2010

Chavez: Video Games Poisoning Today’s Youth

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez won't spare a kind word for video games, calling them 'poison' and accusing them of being proxies for capitalist warmongering, reports AFP.

According to Chavez, "educational" toys should be manufactured and distributed to children to replace toys such as Barbie, which he believes has nothing to do with our culture.

Chavez went on in his address to link Western games to slick propaganda vehicles, implying that scenarios in which players "bomb cities or just throw bombs" exist to incite violence against countries like Venezuela so that capitalist countries can "later sell weapons" to the country's opponents.

The outspoken critic, who notoriously referred to George W. Bush as 'the devil', feel games promote the need for cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.

"That's capitalism, the road the hell," he says.

Venezuelan lawmakers in October passed a law outlawing the sale of "bellicose" games and videogames that can be punished with up to five years imprisonment. This law should be in effect by the end of this month.

However, Chavez says not all games are bad.

This isn't the first time the Venezuelan president has criticized the gaming industry. AFP reports that Chavez once slammed Nintendo for promoting "selfishness, individualism and violence."

One suggestion for President Chavez: If you don't want the U.S. electorate to judge you and your country based on punditry and propaganda, then get this much straight: Don't do it to them.