Greek Law Number 3037 (Video Games)

Date: 2002

Region: Europe

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Electronic Media

Confronting Bodies: The Greek Government

Dates of Action: July 2002

Location: Greece

Description of Artwork: All electronic games across the country, including those that run on home computers, on Game Boy-style portable consoles, and on mobile phones

The Incident: The Greek government has 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. 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.

Results of Incident: has started a news service about the ban and opened a petition to protest it. In addition, it posted English translations of the law and messages of support from around the world.