Saudi Arabia Launches Campaign Against Violent Video Games

July 23, 2007 -

We've not got much detail on this one, but The MEMRI Blog, a site which publishes translated political news from the Arab world, reports that:

Government elements in Saudi Arabia have launched a campaign against violent video games, some of which depict war between U.S. forces and Al-Qaeda.


This move is part of Saudi Arabia's struggle against sources of violence, in the framework of which security and media elements are warning against the spread of such games.

GP: By the way, MEMRI = Middle East Media Research Institute, and the site is given high praise by David Kaplan, chief investigative reporter for U.S. News & World Report.


When compared to Saudi Arabia, Iran seems like a liberal country. And yet since Saudis are willing to sell cheap oil to Dubya, he doesn't call them a part of evil alliance. Oh the irony.


First off you seem to be under the impression that we agree with bush and many of the current policies in place in the United states. We here have proven time and time again to be more than happy to criticize our government and our leaders. I would say most of the people on this site have a few issues with him. That alone makes your post rather pointless in my opinion.

Yes, we have the death penalty, its rather hard to get it, seeing as the jury (if i recall correctly) must basically convict the accused twice, first find them guilty, then find them worthy of the death penalty, then a Judge must approve it. Then there are the years of appeals. Since then I think we have tried to make the death penalty rather humane, not to mention the fact that there is still considerable argument on its practice.

Last time I checked apostasy was still a capital crime in Suadi Arabia, the government beheaded a guy for it back in '92 So is the practice of any other religion unless done in private, though the definition of private is rather fuzzy, the Mutawwa'in might visit you for fun though.

God forbid if you are some other sect besides Sunni, the official sect of the country, your really not free to do much in the way of your religion.

You know about the whole execution thing, we at least convict someone first and give them some semblance of due process. We also tend not to engage in public executions and we don't invite people including children to stone people to death.

Womens rights are still almost nonexistent and women are treated like property.

So feel free to tell us what our BS is.

Well, I suppose if it is such a big issue, George Dubbya could always embargo Saudi oil exports to the US to show them the error of their ways..


More serious side note, how is this any different from the current push from various branches of the US government (Local/State/Federal) to bring about increased legislation on games? You can get executed in the US. In a 3 strikes state, you can spend the rest of your life in jail for 3 minor felonies. US armed forces have invaded more countries in the last 40 years than Saudi Forces iirc. The number of people who die to crime in the States would probably dwarf the number of people that die in terrorist attacks every year.

In America, the crime clock continues to click: one murder every 22 minutes, one rape every 5 minutes, one robbery every 49 seconds, and one burglary every 10 seconds. And the cost of crime continues to mount: $78 billion for the criminal justice system, $64 billion for private protection, $202 billion in loss of life and work, $120 billion in crimes against business, $60 billion in stolen goods and fraud, $40 billion from drug abuse, and $110 billion from drunk driving. When you add up all the costs, crime costs Americans a stunning $675 billion each year.

One murder every 22 minutes. That's 22,891 people per year.

One rape every 5 minutes. 105,120 rapes per year.

But yeah, it's good to be able to look down on other countries.

ps. I know the post is a little off topic but I see a lot of blatant BS and fear mongering in this thread which have very little to do with the initial post.

"Jihad Mickey Mouse(i don’t know what they call him)=good"
That's Syria, you fool. And as for the other idiotic misinformed comments, I guess one "rag-head country is exactly the same as the next rag-head country ... they're ALL the same!!". Hooray for simple-minded black and white views on the world!


Don't get me wrong, I've traveled often to the States and 99% of my experiences are positive. Friendly people, very easy going, quite frankly I love it. That isn't really my point with my comments, but I understand they can easily be misconstrued as bashing the country as a whole.

If I were to say "all American's are racist assholes" basing the comments on the actions of a small portion of your society, you would be well and truly correct in telling me to eff off, because making broad sweeping generalisations about another culture is ignorant and stupid.

I'm not of Arab descent, I'm not a Muslim. I've worked in Saudi and found the people to be, by and large, wonderful as well. I object to people making blanket comments about a society they have obviously Google'd up rather than lived in. They display the same form of ignorance shown by the idiots who refuse to acknowledge that games can be something someone over 18 is interested in.


By your logic, Australia is obviously more civilised as we do not have the death penalty at all...

I recall MEMRI's been accused of having a pro-Israeli, right-wing bias...

Should they even be trusted?

This is the funnyest thing I have ever heard in video game politics...ever.

The nation that treats women as dogs, spawns Sunni Islamists, treats rape as property damage, publicly executes for what we call 'low class felonies', chops of the hands of shoplifters, calls jihad on Western influences, advertises terrorist groups in it's media, and wishes for the genocide of Jews........ is banning violent videogames to lower the violence there....

I was shocked enough to learn that videogames at all are allowed in that country...

What is next? Iran banning Justin Timberlake for bringing sexy back?

wow, talk about fuzzy math here!
video games=bad
Jihad Mickey Mouse(i don't know what they call him)=good

that also makes me wonder, if Jihad Micky Mouse got his own video game would that be ok for them? Or would it be like dividing by 0 and the world would implode?

Really it's the same reason they make a deal out of it in the states, it's a scapegoat, a stupid excuse to shift the blame of society problems on something other then the actual problem.

Good point: Saudi Arabia is oppresive and hates violence when it is attacking the people they fund.

Counterpoint: No one cares. This is a country that has no free speech, no freedom of religion and no real rights. Why should we care? It is not like politicians are going to say "look, the Saudis are banning violent games and we should too! They are a model to us all!" Maybe JT or some other fundimentalist nutjob organization pretending to be a media watch group might be so bold as to praise the Saudis, but for the rest of us it wont matter... Ever.

Do they cut off your hands if they find you playing any? :)

So will this be a ban on violent games for adults also or just kids???

I find this really ironic considering that Saudi Arabia has beheadings, whippings, and torture on public television. It's also ironic considering this is a country that preaches hatred for "infidels" and teaches it's kids to become suicide bombers at an early age. It's not surprising though given that they are a police state that has no regard for basic human rights. Though it's still hypocritical given the hate and the support for terrorists and violence that this country endorses.

Oh, Memri!

I have that bookmarked..i like the concept of it, but to be honest it's kinda biased...The editor is rumored to be a former intel guy for the israeli government, and it seems to highlight the negative aspects of the arab world.

Still, it's a small world huh? :)

Funny! They ban violent video games.. yet they pour cash into fundamentalist madrases.. brainwashing their uneducated youth into becoming suicide bombers on some religious crusade in the name of one of the many fundamentalist despots that rule the region. Perfect.

is it still violence if you kill the Jews?

is it still violence if you continue to support and fund terrorist organizations?

is it still violence if you oppress your own women and think nothing about beating them to death for not being entirely subservient to men?

Wow, that's irony at its best.

Would this be the same saudi arabia that still has public executions??

The Saudis sure have their priorities straight. I'm sure the ever-increasing oppression of free expression in that country is, like totally, going to eradicate the radicalists in that country.

Laughable considering that they seem to ignore their extremist religion as a source of violence. Guess its easier to scapegoat media than focus on the real issues.

Hey, they banned Poke'mon because it promotes Zionism and ensnares the minds of children, isn't this the next logical step?

It would be nice to know the details of the campaign and the specific targets.

"Often makes you wonder which cultures are more “civilised”."

The one without public executions perhaps?

I am surprised they don't destroy all technology before them 0-o

I wonder how many numbers for honor killings and honor force marrgies(ie RAPES)... not mention all kinds of book cooking goign on to promote their backwater "status quo" society.

Sure the US is screwed up but we try and not hide anythign..unless we get a drunk for a prez >>


Lol, coming over a little defensive there chum = )

The BS is that for every point you raise re: Saudi, you have parallels in your own country. Sexism, racism, religious intolerance (I'm sure that Muslim US citizens are really enjoying the current climate) etc etc.

That is hypocrisy.


#1 United States: 89,110
#52 Saudi Arabia: 87

#6 United States: 12,658
#48 Saudi Arabia: 105

Even per capita (Saudi has a population of 27 million, roughly 1/10th the population of North America), those figures are obscene.

Often makes you wonder which cultures are more "civilised".

And for the records, I'm Australian. ; )

I believe in justice in the west, I believe in honesty and integrity, I believe in fixing my comunity by communicating & NOT destroying, I believe in people's ability to change the world to a better place with lower killing, raping & steeling rates.

I'm from Saudi Arabia, I was born & raised here. I want to Clear one thing to the patient public reader, PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT. I Never agreed on any form of violence. specially hurting those who can not defend themsleves, what kind of cowrdness is this??. In the states we see the highest raping rate in the world, i would NEVER say that Americans are injustice or lost or unworthy to be trusted, but i would say that those rapists have obviously mislead their way.

Speaking of public excustions in Saudi Arabia, those who are publicly excuted are those who murdered & raped so many in cold blood, not any killer and not anyone. public excustion is for those who are needed to be set as an example for the rest, and i think that the biggest public execution was the one on HEROSHIMA by the United States Government, those people still suffer the conseqeses untill now, they actually set an example to the world, Don't mess with us because ANYTHING GOES IN WAR.

My point, those who ran this campaign against violent video games are the same ones who ran different campaigns against different kind of violence in Saudi Arabia & the world.

I am a video gamer, when i play a game like (GEARS OF WAR) in xbox 360 i play against alliens (that don't actually exsist) those alliens came to earth to ruin it. so i have to fight back to SAVE my planet and to return the PEACE which we lost in all these wars.

No body is objecting on these kind of games because the IDEA is clear " i'm fighting to SAVE the human race " not to end it.

i'm sorry for this long comment, but i felt that i had to write something for everbody to understand that PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT and that no one can judge a country according to what the government is doing.

In God I Trust
The most Powerful
The most Mercyful

To Contact me @ anytime please send an email to i'll be glad to answer any of your questions.


Just one quick comment on the death penalty... is it civilized to let known murders have a chance to get back in society? All other details for either side of the whole war on terror thing are (agreeably fuzzy for the most part) but at least our religion doesn't tell us to kill anyone who isn't part of our religion. That is savage in my opinion, having a bible that says kill all who don't agree with this text. All else, like I said, are too fuzzy to poke at.

should have added a ''/'' between the first sentance and the second... totally different topics... soz about that.
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