26 August, 2008
GTA IV Banned? Ministry Of Information moves against Videogames
Around an hour ago, at 2 PM today, two inspectors from the Ministry of Information raided a "Euphoria" shop in Seef Mall and confiscated all Grand Theft Auto IV titles, Both PS3 and Xbox 360.
Two men, wearing traditional dress, came in, identified themselves to the man behind the counter, took his CPR and started writing down his details in an official inspection form. They also wrote down what they took (Around 4 or 5 titles of GTA IV for PS3 and the same for X360). They gave the receipt to the man and walked out with the titles in a plastic bag.
Now this does not necessary mean that GTA IV is banned in Bahrain, but it means at least that someone (individual or the ministry it self) complained about the title and the ministry is looking into it.
Given the nature of the title and the notion that games are (still) for kids, I expect the title to be banned very soon.
The title was banned for some time in neighboring Saudi Arabia. Saudi gamers have always came here to get their GTA fix. it seems that will continue no more.
I am appalled at this movement especially since other types of media (Video, Audio) are not dealt with in this manner. I do agree there are some questionable materials in the game, however, I would suggest that age ratings are enforced as they should be rather than simply banning the thing altogether.
This blog will keep an eye out on the matter.