Three of the Strangest Video Game Laws You’ll Read About This Week

Statutes of california

Believe it or not, the legislative history of video game law is bigger than you might think. There are tons of legal statutes, federal statutes and regulations that control who can buy what type of game, and what type of content games can even have. Here’s what we found out about these odd, niche legal statutes through our own law research.

China Bans Football Manager 2005 Because of Tibet and Taiwan.

If there’s one thing that’s a touchy subject in China, it’s the subject of Tibet and Taiwan. Video game producer Sega made a special China-only version of its game, Football Manager 2005, which included the two countries as being part of China. International versions, though, had the two countries as independent. Consequentially, China drafted a legal statue banning the game — even the China-only version — because they perceived it as a threat to China’s “sovereignity and territorial integrity.”

Denmark Bans EA Sports MMA Because It Promotes Energy Drink Consumption.

Denmark was one of three countries in 2007 that created a legal statutes deterring the marketing of energy drinks because the health risks associated with their high caffeine content, and was also the most staunch on the subject. So tough was their stance that when video game EA Sports MMA included in-game sponsorships of energy drinks, the country tried to censor. Instead of simply replacing the ads, EA cancelled the Danish release, saying that it stood behind the game’s “authenticity.”

Greece Bans Video Games Altogether.

Then there’s Greece, who in 2002 passed a legal statute banning video games altogether. The legislative intent behind such a harsh ban was that the country wanted to crackdown on illegal gambling. Just over a year later, Greece extended the ban to all electronic games, because lawmakers had too hard of a time distinguishing illicit gambling games from the harmless ones, like electronic chess.

And to think, these are just a few of the weird legal statutes out there telling gamers what they can and cannot play. If you know of any other legal statutes like these, feel free to share in the comments.

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