It escaped our attention on Sunday - and Monday, but you'll forgive us for that, won't you - but news of Mexico's proposed ban of the recently announced Call of Juarez: The Cartel is most certainly worth a mention, however belated. As you might know, Mexico is in a state of panic right now, with the law enforcement embroiled in a bloody war with the drug cartels, threatening to destabilize the region. And the state of Chihuahua, where the border town of the titular Ciudad Juarez can be found, has asked the government to ban the release of the game. Over 6,000 men and women died in Juarez due to drug-related violence in 2010 alone.
You might be forgiven for asking why such a game can be banned when Mexico itself is an ostensibly lawless, violent country. But so is America. A congressman for Chihuahua state admitted it's "true there is a serious crime situation, which we are not trying to hide", and went on to explain that the game's slogan, Take Justice Into Your Own Hands, isn't what they want to expose their children to.
With gunfights between police and cartel enforcers rampant in Mexico at the moment, children are being forced to learn 'duck and cover' maneuvers if they hear shots fired. Not only that, the likes of state congress leader, Enrique Serrano, believes "during their childhood not enough care has been taken about what they see on television and playing video games", and that they know believe "so much blood and and death is normal".
It's a topic rife with debate, and one I doubt we've heard the last of. It reminds me of the hubbub around the Medal of Honor reboot, which included the Taliban as a playable faction. The uproar was so intense EA was forced to remove the name from the game, military stores refused to sell the game, and once again videogames were thrust in the spotlight of media scrutiny. Already, Juarez's proposed ban has been unanimously approved by the state legislature for Interior Department consideration, so you can count on us to watch this news very carefully as it develops. [MSNBC]