September 3, 2002 11:18 AM PDT

In Greece, use a GameBoy, go to jail

In Greece, playing a shoot-'em-up video game could land you in jail.

The Greek government has banned all electronic games across the country, including those that run on home computers, on GameBoy-style portable consoles, and on mobile phones. Thousands of tourists in Greece are unknowingly facing heavy fines or long terms in prison for owning mobile phones or portable video games.

Greek Law Number 3037, enacted at the end of July, explicitly forbids electronic games with "electronic mechanisms and software" from public and private places, and people have already been fined tens of thousands of dollars for playing or owning games.

The law applies equally to visitors from abroad: "If you know these things are banned, you should not bring them in," said a commercial attach? at the Greek Embassy in London, who declined to give her name.

Internet cafes will be allowed to continue to operate, providing no games-playing takes place. If a customer is found to be running any sort of game, including online chess, the cafe owner will be fined and the place closed.

The Greek government introduced the law in an attempt to prevent illegal gambling. According to a report in the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Greek police will be responsible for catching offenders, who will face fines of 5,000 to 75,000 euros (about $4,980 to $74,650) and imprisonment of one to 12 months. "The blanket ban was decided in February after the government admitted it was incapable of distinguishing innocuous video games from illegal gambling machines," the report said.

The Greek gaming community has reacted with a mixture of shock, disbelief and anger. One Web site, www.gameland.gr, has started a news service about the ban and opened a petition to protest it. In addition, it is posting English translations of the law and messages of support from around the world.

A test case is to come before the Greek courts next week, and the Greek gaming community is already planning protests in the event that the defendant is convicted.

"We are trying to organize a protest against this law," said Petros Tipis of Thessaloniki-based gaming company Reload Entertainment, which has had to cancel a gaming tournament that was to be held this week.

If the prosecution of the defendant next week is successful, said Tipis, the Greek gaming industry will take the case to the European Court.

In the meantime, Tipis told ZDNet UK, a lot of people in Greece are very worried about the new law. "They are taking it very seriously," he said. "It even affects the games that come with Windows. This law isn't the right one," he added. "It is unfair. It was introduced too quickly."

Reload's tournament, which was to be held Fridah, was a qualifier for the CPL Oslo 2002 gaming tournament. "Now we are trying not to lose the two slots we were given from CPL for the tournament," Tipis said. "This was the first time for a qualifier (for this tournament) in Greece."

ZDNet UK's Rupert Goodwins and Matt Loney reported from London.

20 comments

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BIG LIE
This is a lie. I live in Greece and that's not the law. The law was done for illegal gaming machines (arcade games) in shops etc. Video games are normally sold in shops for every platform.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
BIG LIE
This is a lie. I live in Greece and that's not the law. The law was done for illegal gaming machines (arcade games) in shops etc. Video games are normally sold in shops for every platform.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what a load of lies
what a load of crap! There is no such law in Greece and there will never be one!! If this is true my business would be illegal.The only thing that is illegal is electronic gambling machines. The only country i know having cencorship laws on certain games is U.S.A. & i think also the U.K. i think you should check your source before printing. i believe in freedom of the press & i hope there is no other reason behind printing these lies!!!
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what a load of lies
what a load of crap! There is no such law in Greece and there will never be one!! If this is true my business would be illegal.The only thing that is illegal is electronic gambling machines. The only country i know having cencorship laws on certain games is U.S.A. & i think also the U.K. i think you should check your source before printing. i believe in freedom of the press & i hope there is no other reason behind printing these lies!!!
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
WHAT???
Are you serious, or just trying to blame Greece for anything you like. We have a lot of problems here, BUT we don't have the stupid laws of internet and videogames, like expecting the police if we download something from Kazaa or go to jail if we get cought with tons of craked and copyrighted programs we do not own. Like the cops here will annoy anybody in the streets who play gameboy! They wouldn't bother catch the "blackman" who sells copies of music CDs and video DVDs.
Posted by Dominator7 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
WHAT???
Are you serious, or just trying to blame Greece for anything you like. We have a lot of problems here, BUT we don't have the stupid laws of internet and videogames, like expecting the police if we download something from Kazaa or go to jail if we get cought with tons of craked and copyrighted programs we do not own. Like the cops here will annoy anybody in the streets who play gameboy! They wouldn't bother catch the "blackman" who sells copies of music CDs and video DVDs.
Posted by Dominator7 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Way too blow a story out of proportion!
The greek governent did not ban electronic gaming counsoles such as the Game Boy you mentioned, they blocked arcades. Often the system was a dual game. It was Mortal Kombat or something durring the day, and by night it was spun around, for example, and was turned into video gambling games. Get it right before you post this. In fact everyone who reads this report the falsity of this article to Cnet so it can be taken off.

I know Greece has it's problmes, but let's be realistic guys. You make it sound like we are falling back into a gustapo era where everything is banned. Get your facts right. Moron.
Posted by Brewcrew922 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Big Lie!
Who says those things? That's a big lie!
Posted by grmel0dy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Big Lie!
Who says those things? That's a big lie!
Posted by grmel0dy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Way too blow a story out of proportion!
The greek governent did not ban electronic gaming counsoles such as the Game Boy you mentioned, they blocked arcades. Often the system was a dual game. It was Mortal Kombat or something durring the day, and by night it was spun around, for example, and was turned into video gambling games. Get it right before you post this. In fact everyone who reads this report the falsity of this article to Cnet so it can be taken off.

I know Greece has it's problmes, but let's be realistic guys. You make it sound like we are falling back into a gustapo era where everything is banned. Get your facts right. Moron.
Posted by Brewcrew922 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
for the ones saying mostly of the crap above i will say only a thing, i m Greek and i work in net cafe. yes the law was true and in Greece yes they arrested kid for playing game boy and a mobile phone only in purpose to saw to judges how wrong the law was.
The law 3037/02 is ABOUT TO RE PASS IN AUGUST 2008. I cant help u more except letting u know all about it by giving the page of European Commission site with the dates that Greek comity gave it:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?iYear=2008&#38;sCountry=GR&#38;" target="_newWindow">http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?iYear=2008&#38;sCountry=GR&#38;</a>

and the same law written in Greek also in the same site:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=getdraft&#38;inum=1407779" target="_newWindow">http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=getdraft&#38;inum=1407779</a>

and if u cant translate it just to tell u the 4 new changes that Greek democratic politicians made to fight the DIRTY MONEY and the SLOT MACHINES:
1) Under 18 years old , don't aloud to enter in the net cafes
2) Net cafes will work from 9 the morning till 1 the night
3) Net cafes must pay the fee of 1000 euro per computer in em
4) Doesn't aloud any type of game in the internet cafe

So with a few words if u have a slot machine store and u pay , u don't have underage people and u keep the hours being told, u are LEGAL
If u have a net cafe and a 17 year old or even a 20 years old come and play WoW or Pro , u re ILLEGAL with him too ! People that will go in net cafes are criminals but in slot machine store are ok !

As for the smart that wrote above about the store that uses remotes i can say 2 things: Or he has some kind of slot machine store and he need the law to pass smooth, or he lives in the same age as my grandma if she and he think that u need remotes and night in Greece of 2008 to change secretly the pc's to slot machines.
Simple enough , politicians are making RIDICULOUS laws just to make slot machines LEGAL, so they can earn their personal fees and they don't even care about hardworking people or even penny fighting businessman.
Maybe in Greek but here some interesting sites but written in Greek's
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.netcafe.gr/articles/about-game-ban-in-greece-law-3037.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.netcafe.gr/articles/about-game-ban-in-greece-law-3037.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.adslgr.com/forum/showthread.php?t=210568" target="_newWindow">http://www.adslgr.com/forum/showthread.php?t=210568</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://parthenis.gr/3037-02.html" target="_newWindow">http://parthenis.gr/3037-02.html</a>
above all Cnet never made wrong by posting this facts. Morons are the ones that like to talk and judge by their personal thoughts and not by trying to learn the facts.
Posted by Coyotoras (2 comments )
Link Flag
for the ones saying mostly of the crap above i will say only a thing, i m Greek and i work in net cafe. yes the law was true and in Greece yes they arrested kid for playing game boy and a mobile phone only in purpose to saw to judges how wrong the law was.
The law 3037/02 is ABOUT TO RE PASS IN AUGUST 2008. I cant help u more except letting u know all about it by giving the page of European Commission site with the dates that Greek comity gave it:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?iYear=2008&#38;sCountry=GR&#38;" target="_newWindow">http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?iYear=2008&#38;sCountry=GR&#38;</a>

and the same law written in Greek also in the same site:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=getdraft&#38;inum=1407779" target="_newWindow">http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=getdraft&#38;inum=1407779</a>

and if u cant translate it just to tell u the 4 new changes that Greek democratic politicians made to fight the DIRTY MONEY and the SLOT MACHINES:
1) Under 18 years old , don't aloud to enter in the net cafes
2) Net cafes will work from 9 the morning till 1 the night
3) Net cafes must pay the fee of 1000 euro per computer in em
4) Doesn't aloud any type of game in the internet cafe

So with a few words if u have a slot machine store and u pay , u don't have underage people and u keep the hours being told, u are LEGAL
If u have a net cafe and a 17 year old or even a 20 years old come and play WoW or Pro , u re ILLEGAL with him too ! People that will go in net cafes are criminals but in slot machine store are ok !

As for the smart that wrote above about the store that uses remotes i can say 2 things: Or he has some kind of slot machine store and he need the law to pass smooth, or he lives in the same age as my grandma if she and he think that u need remotes and night in Greece of 2008 to change secretly the pc's to slot machines.
Simple enough , politicians are making RIDICULOUS laws just to make slot machines LEGAL, so they can earn their personal fees and they don't even care about hardworking people or even penny fighting businessman.
Maybe in Greek but here some interesting sites but written in Greek's
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.netcafe.gr/articles/about-game-ban-in-greece-law-3037.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.netcafe.gr/articles/about-game-ban-in-greece-law-3037.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.adslgr.com/forum/showthread.php?t=210568" target="_newWindow">http://www.adslgr.com/forum/showthread.php?t=210568</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://parthenis.gr/3037-02.html" target="_newWindow">http://parthenis.gr/3037-02.html</a>
above all Cnet never made wrong by posting this facts. Morons are the ones that like to talk and judge by their personal thoughts and not by trying to learn the facts.
Posted by Coyotoras (2 comments )
Link Flag
this is about games and it is used very funny nd interesting game
==================================
123jhon
<a href="http://www.wow-gold-price-list.com">WoW Gold</a>
Posted by 123jhon (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
that is insane. If I lived in Greece, I would've been out of that country by now. How can you possibly pass a ridiculous law like that? My greatest addiction is now &lt;a href="http://war.tumeroks.com"&gt;Warhammer Online&lt;/a&gt; and if they take that from me my life is like in jail.
====================================
Tumeroks
Posted by tumeroks (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The law has been overturned already, so now you can play as much video games as you want in Greece now. Then listen to what BIG LIE said.
Posted by sega31098 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
"Thousands of tourists in Greece are unknowingly facing heavy fines or long terms in prison for owning mobile phones or portable video games."
------------

I loled. I wonder why this article is still up ... cnet needs to apologize for this and take the article down ... that all had to do with arcade standalones and slot machines ... it dint even pass as a law, only for the slots.

I now wonder if more articles are that much of invalid.
Posted by mobytech (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"Thousands of tourists in Greece are unknowingly facing heavy fines or long terms in prison for owning mobile phones or portable video games."
------------

I loled. I wonder why this article is still up ... cnet needs to apologize for this and take the article down ... that all had to do with arcade standalones and slot machines ... it dint even pass as a law, only for the slots.

I now wonder if more articles are that much of invalid.
Posted by mobytech (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I happen to know some more facts that CNET misleads its audience, so yes, we better find a real news agency to get informed about the truth.
Posted by cyberwalkingguy (2 comments )
Link Flag
What a bunch of crap... This law was never registered or applied.
Posted by cyberwalkingguy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thats true.. and if u play Game Gear you go in jail twice because in the old days Game Boy didnt had color. As for the other all the people in the world who have similar jobs trying to drink your colourfull blood with propaganda and other practical ways like kid dracula..
Posted by pantelos2 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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