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Russia wants to ban Cold War villains from games

Shaun Walker
Saturday 05 June 2010 00:00 BST

Dismayed by the negative way it is portrayed in computer games, Russia is planning to promote itself with a series of patriotic titles based on the heroic deeds of its soldiers in the Second World War.

The country's parliament is also discussing plans to ban "anti-Russian" computer games after MPs complained that games, mostly American, portrayed Russians as Cold War stereotypes, villains and alcoholics.

The Russian version of the best-selling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 game already has a scene cut where gamers shoot innocent passengers at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, but if the parliamentarians get their way it could be banned altogether.

The Ministry of Communications has asked the government for 500 million roubles (£11 million) to fund the development of several games based on the heroic wartime exploits of Russian soldiers.

While the MPs cannot stop offending games being made, some want to ban their import. The Duma is considering setting up a commission to decide which games should be illegal to import.

"The commission should work according to criteria that safeguard Russia's interests, and stop attempts to warp historical facts, if this discredits the country," Pavel Zyryanov, a member of the Duma's Youth Committee, told Novye Izvestiya.

Games that might fall foul of the commission include the German Ulitsa Dimitrova, where gamers play a seven-year-old child in St Petersburg who has to steal, kill and lie in order to buy cigarettes.

Last year Russian President Dmitry Medvedev set up the Commission to Prevent the Falsification of History to the Detriment of Russia's Interests, which could lead to prosecutions of people who seek to "rewrite history".

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