Historically, Switzerland has almost always been a non-violent country, having not been involved in military conflict for almost 200 years. Now it appears that this attitude will be spreading the world of video games.
The Swiss National Council, the country’s parliament, has passed a law which gives the government the power to create rules over “violent” video games. The law doesn’t specify what rules should apply, though it appears the most probable outcome is a complete ban.
Several sites are reporting that a ban would likely apply to any game with a Pan-European Game Information rating of 16+ or 18+. PEGI is a voluntary rating system which applies across Europe and ranks games as being suitable for a minimum age of 3, 7, 12, 16 or 18.
If the ban does apply to 16 and 18-rated games, around one in six games would be banned.
In most countries the ratings are purely advisory, though in six the age limit is legally enforced. Ironically, Switzerland is one of the countries which doesn’t currently give any force to the age restrictions, but the new law will change this. It also calls for retailers to be tougher in checking ID, though this will presumably become largely irrelevant if only 12+ and lower rated games can be sold.
When the law was originally drafted, it specified a ban on any game which “requires cruel acts of violence against humans and humanlike creatures for in-game success.” That’s now been replaced with the government getting powers to decide what, if anything, is banned.