The Tokyo gubernatorial race continues to go from bad to worse with one of the candidates publicly stating he will ban “violent” games if elected, saying they create murderers.
Kanagawa governor Shigefumi Matsuzawa has previously banned games he objects to, but his bid for Tokyo’s governorship sees him explicitly saying that he sees the position as the key to eradicating violent games and so eliminating the scourge (admittedly a rather mild one in Japan) of youth crime:
Of all harmful information, the worst is that containing violence.
Games like ‘Grand Theft Auto III’ award points and allow advancement for murdering people, and there are cases of these games lowering inhibitions to killing and ultimately stimulating people to murder.
To stop this scourge spreading through the youth of Kanagawa, I reformed youth protection ordinances to ban the sale of these games.
If possible, I’d like to bring restrictions in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama into line with each other. It’s not right for us to ban these games in Kanagawa only to have youths able to buy them in Tokyo.
It should of course be noted that in Japan games are already under the heel of a fairly draconian “voluntary” censorship regime.
With any ban in Tokyo a de facto national ban, Japan’s troubled gaming industry may soon find itself under even more pressure.