Spanish politician seeks ban of video game depicting Basque terrorists

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is made by Valve Corporation, which is based in the US.


The representative of Spain's national government to the Basque Country, a jurisdiction within Spain that incorporates region traditionally inhabited by the Basque ethnic group has called for a sales ban for a video game that offers players the opportunity to role play as Basque separatist terrorists. Carlos Urquijo said that the game is not only immoral but also serves for the role players to "humiliate" their virtual victims in the game. Urquijo said it is "utterly ridiculous" that the game should be on sale in Spain, which has long faced terrorist bombings and assassinations at the hands of the ETA: a Basque terrorist organization that also has a political arm.
Urquijo has asked the American makers of 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' to refrain from selling the game in Spain in its current form. Valve Corporation released the game in 2011 and will offer an update next week. Valve Corporation is introducing into its on-line game product a terrorist group clearly inspired by ETA, who have been labled as separatists in the shooter game. Urquijo said that Valve has made a "error" in labeling ETA as a band of separatists. "It is a mistake that Americans tend to make, who don't know very well who we are talking about," claimed the incensed Urquijo
Urquijo asserts that the game would serve to humiliate the many victims of ETA's terror. This is an "offense", said Urquijo, to the entire Spanish nation, "we who have suffered so much from terrorist violence" should not have to face the frivolity of the Valve Corporation product that turns Spain into a "virtual game." The governor reminded Valve Corporation that the ETA have killed more than 850 people in Spain, demanding that the video gaming industry should show a "little more respect..."
Urquijo appealed to common sense on the part of Valve Corporation, trusting that he will not have to resort to "coercive" or legal measures. He asked that the American company to "open its eyes" to the controversy and resolve the controversy in a "friendly way without resorting to other measures."
Facua, a Spanish consumers group, has asked Valve Corporation to erase any ETA symbols from their game, out of "sensitivity and respect for the memory of the victims and their families." The group asked Valve Corporation to adhere to European standards for such video games that ban images offensive to certain sectors of society, as is the case with the victims of terror. 

Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.


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