Venezuela Launches Imprudent Assault on Video Games

Lawmakers in Venezuela's National Assembly have given the go-ahead to a law that would abolish violent video games and toys. That's remarkably short-sighted.

Now, there are two schools of thought on violence and video games. Some hee and haw about how virtual killing fields do nothing but give the young a taste for blood, a taste that will then lead them down a murderous path. And, thanks to all those hours glued to the tube, their shot's going to be pretty good, so the public should be scared.

Others, meanwhile, argue these games provide a relatively healthy way to expel pubescent angst and, perhaps, prevent unsavory outbursts. Let's assume for a second that the former's the truth. The lawmakers — who will again vote on the matter — see a link between rising murder rates and video games. Why? Because 100,000 people have been murdered since 1999, when current President Hugo Chavez took office. Video games have become more realistic and, therefore, bloody in that same time period. Thus, there must be a connection.

Fine, okay, but these same lawmakers are forgetting the fact that their army needs the United States' help to contain terrorism and drug traffickers. Rather than trying to stop violence via some bullshit bill, they should harness that destructive intemperance and direct it against the nation's common foes. (Which, according to Fidel Castro, includes the United States.)

But maybe that's just us being glib. Perhaps a better reaction would be to tell the National Assembly to urge parents to be more aware of their offspring's proclivities and address it themselves.