Brazil Go Crazy

By Jim Rossignol on January 19th, 2008 at 1:10 am.

This is Everquest, you know

I’ve just seen this over on gaming hyper-blog Kotaku: Brazil has banned Counter-Strike and Everquest, as if to demonstrate how behind the times their judiciary system actually is. Okay, be insane, but ban Bioshock and Manhunt 2 or something, I mean get with it, angry legislation types! Other brain-poxed judges around the world are laughing and talking about how they wanted to ban that Doom game, last week.

There’s a bunch of game-witness reports:

This is kotaku user HANK-SP, from Brazil, reporting that the Brazilian state of Goias has banned the games Counter-Strike and the RPG EverQuest. The decision, taken by a court in Goias, is extented to all Brazil. The federal police IS already taking away copies from these games, although EverQuest is not officially released in Brazil. Procon, brazilian governmental foundation for consumer defense, argued, on its website, that Counter-Strike is a game where “Rio de Janeiro drug dealers kidnap and take to a slum three UN representants. The police invades the place and is welcomed with bullets. (…) In the vision of experts the game teaches war techniques“. As for EverQuest, Procon states that it “takes the gamer to complete moral conflict and ‘heavy’ psychological conflicts; for the tasks that are given to them could be bad or good.

Heavy psychological conflicts. Could be bad or good. You know, I’ve found that the psychological conflicts that games deliver are light, or medium.

While my mocking is also light, or medium, it’s probably worth mentioning that the problem isn’t really with Brazil as such, but with the fact that they’ve allowed their judges to make decisions that are valid across the entire country, once judged. It’s that whole checks and balances thing that Mr HistoryFace talked about at school. I shouldn’t worry kids, Uncle Electronic Arts will probably sort the whole thing right out by dinnertime. Probably.

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18 Comments »

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  1. Chemix says:

    Brazil is an odd place, San Paulo having 1 kidnapping per day and there being shortages of silicon in their costal cities and all the while the Amazon is their back yard. I honestly couldn’t care less about banning Everquest and Counterstrike, it’s “why” they banned them that worries me.

  2. No Picnic says:

    It may seem like their late in banning CS, but Brasil’s gamers probably aren’t as affluent as Americans. They probably can only afford lower-end systems, and CS is probably widely popular over there for that reason. I live in China, and CS is still popular there.

  3. Servitor says:

    To be fair the Brazilian state of Goias banning EQ and CS is a lot different than *Brazil* banning these games. I dunno about the UK, but in the U.S. our states enact a lot of crazy laws that then get knocked down.

  4. BonSequitur says:

    Goiás is the Brazilian equivalent of places like Nebraska or Wyoming – It’s backwards and covered in farmland. We people living in the relatively civilized southeastern states try hard not to pay attention to those sorts of places. The chance of that court ruling actually “sticking” is next to nil, (I’m not exactly fearing a police raid to hit my Steam account any time soon) and I can see from where I’m standing that as of now the slew of Brazilian Counter-Strike: Source (Sorry, I don’t have the original) servers are still standing.

  5. Nick says:

    Ahh.. Plane of Growth flashbacks.. *sighs*

  6. Bobsy says:

    Hm. I’m sure a Brazilian could enlighten me on this point, but how are games generally retailed over there? The image I have (admittedly entirely unaccompanied by facts) is that a large amount of games bought and sold over there would be bootleg copies anyway, in which case surely this slice of lunatic legislation is going to have little impact.

    I’d be interested to find out if that was in fact the case.

  7. Zeh says:

    Original story (in portuguese):
    http://www.procon.go.gov.br/procon/detalhe.php?textoId=001092

    That’s the kind of shit that makes me ashamed to be a Brazilian. The original prohibition text is so full of flaws, you wouldn’t believe. It’s going completely backwards.

    @Bobsy: piracy is rampant, but yeah, games are retailed over here. CS specifically is distributed by EA Brasil (plus Steam), which in my opinion is a hero/model publisher. Dealing with games around here isn’t easy. Not only is piracy an issue due to many cultural, historical, financial and political reasons, but this kind of stuff makes it even more frustrating for the industry. It’s as if it’s everybody against them.

    @Chemix: São Paulo is an odd place, but I’d say it’s much of an odd place as anywhere else. But with a population of over 19,000,000 people just in the urban area of the city of São Paulo, I wonder how well that “1 kidnap a day” index fares. I also wonder how can that be related to the issue.

    And while I agree with BonSequitur, this was a *federal* decision, taken by a judge from Minas Gerais but valid for the whole territory. The Goiás Procon was just the first to enforce it. The Procon of São Paulo says it’s still thinking on what to do.

    I’d honestly suggest people write to the judge’s dept (yes, in English if needed).

    Dr. Carlos Alberto Simões de Tomaz
    Phone: +55 11 2129-6755
    Fax: +55 11 2129-6751
    e-mail: 17vara@mg.trf1.gov.br

  8. Chemix says:

    I didn’t read the article, so I didn’t know it was limited to just one region so I went over a few odd facts about Brazil. As for Sao Paulo, there’s a documentary coming out about the kidnappings, which are mostly of tourists.

  9. Zeh says:

    What?

    If you’re make such a bold claim, please back that with links or names, because I’ve never heard of anything like this around here.

  10. Chemix says:

    I can’t quite refer to a source other than documentary site,
    http://www.mandabala.com/
    though after thinking about it, it might be sensationalist, but I’d still be wary about taking trips to Brazil after looking into it.

  11. Zeh says:

    I don’t think it’s too sensationalist (although it’s plainly visible that there’s a lot of acting going on; I doubt that’s a real documentary from reading the synopsis).

    But I think you’re doing an one-sided reading of the information; for example, it doesn’t even mention tourist kidnapping, but you automatically assumed this “1 kidnap a day” figure was “mostly of tourists”.

    I understand why you’d have that kind of bias; people are always afraid of what they don’t know about and assume the worse, specially if it comes from an unknown country which is not a global economical leader. I also understand stupid backwards decisions like these from the original post doesn’t help. But I assure you most people have a very, very misled view of the country, and this seems to be the case now. It’s not all soccer and samba, but not all murder and kidnapping either. :)

    PS – And sorry RPS for the tangent. I’m over now.

  12. Chemix says:

    I watched a longer trailer on the apple quicktime site that I recall being a minute longer and including the tourists figure, but ah well I can’t find any archive so I assume that they take trailers down for

  13. Hypocee says:

    Kudos for good information and excellent diplomacy, Zeh. Thanks.

  14. Axela says:

    The biggest problem with the retail market in the big cities like Sao Paulo is the incredible markup and the exceptionally weak dollar. Guitar Hero 2 for PS2 which retails for $80-$90 in the US sells for the equivalent of about $350-$400 retail in Brazil. A new Wii will run you about $1,000. It’s truely dizzying how expensive the stuff is over there. All my friends in Brazil have modded PS2s and buy their games pirated. Every time I visit I bring them games from here. In fact I’m going back in March and bringing Rock Band with me, hehe. They would probably sell it for about $600 over there.

  15. Psychodad says:

    They banned Doom in 99!

  16. Doug, the judge's son says:

    BOOM HEADSHOT!
    1) There’s no point on banning CS, EQ or any other game, or a video in a website (remember that Daniela Cicarelli video?), or even a service provided outside brazil. Because there are legal ways of buying these games outside brazil and then sending it here, or legally downloading the game (I’m sure EA has such a service) and then – again, legally – buying a CD-Key to validate it online.
    Or accessing a website or a service hosted outside brazil through a proxy.
    Then, first of all, that “ban” was just a waste of time, money and patience.
    Piracy is the other side of that, which is boosted by that decision, and remember that (brazilian) government propaganda: “the more piracy, the less employees”. Then this time, Mr.Judge (Mr. Carlos Alberto Simoes de Tomaz), “Terrorists win”. Noob.
    2) That arbitrary decision is typical of that of an average accomodated brazilian: every harm is made by society, guns, games, but NEVER by human being (how can it be society’s fault and NOT human being’s? Depressive.). Then again, Mr.Judge, if human beings are so nice, why don’t you order all inmates to be released? They’re so nice off of your desk, aren’t they?
    3) Better being violent at a game than in real life. But I guess that judge doesn’t think that way. He probably prefers kids on streets carrying weapons available only for trained policemen and the Army. But a game? Noooooooo, a game kills hundreds of thousands every day on a single city; not in real life, of course, but I guess he prefers reality (away from him), huh?
    4) If the game “teaches war tactics”, as they say, then let no game be played in brazil (except, perhaps – I said PERHAPS – Tetris, which “helps people fit their vehicles in heavy traffic conditions”, I’d say (lol?)). Not even chess! Imagine your “queen” being raped/killed by a “horse”! No, no, don’t! That’s too violent! BAN CHESS TOO? C’mon…that’s ridiculous.
    If the goal is to keep criminals from obtaining knowledge that could help them in their crimes, then, following that line of thought, they should ban every educational institution and every means of communication here. That’s not interesting for anyone, I guess.
    If you want, I could list some features of that game that make it non-realistic (no, I don’t like CS, but I played it a lot and I do and I could [b]NOT[/b] support that decision anyway), or not so realistic as they think (get shot in your leg and try jumping, let’s see..). Oooops, will they ban paintball games, too?
    5) cs_rio is not original content from the original game. Hey, CS isn’t even a game (while CSS can be considered one), but a MOD from Half-Life. So both aren’t original content from the original game. Period.
    6) In case “Mr.Judge” doesn’t know, the following video (link) is not just a joke, but even if it wasn’t, it would be a result from some kind of education given to him:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JdEONx9_Tg

    Ah, and by the way, we have a lot of work worrying about cheaters (the real losers, the digital scourge, the potential criminals, etc) to have to worry about the decision of some loser judge (the judiciary scourge, etc)
    And hey, we’re here (%*#&)ing the judge, but what about the lawyer who should defend the gamers (assuming there was one)? Did he really make any effort? Did he research anything, to defend this cause from some ridiculous and based-in-nothing argumentation?
    5 minutes of chatting with a gamer and you’ll see that their mind is so full of things (as anyone else’s: college, shop, work, etc.) to think about commiting a crime. I mean, a real one (now we must specify, right?).

    BOOM HEADSHOT!

    by Doug, “the judge’s son”

  17. Serondal says:

    I actually see Brazials on counter strike ALL THE TIME. I never knew they were training for to shoot at the police as they attempt to resuce UN people as a welcome for to their doom O.o

    This seems like a Borat Joke ” Borat walks into an internet cafe and notices men playing counter strike and asks “Are you training for warfare with dis games system? Are you Columbian terrorist striking heart into the fear of the civilizaed worlds, HIGH FIVE”