Your life experiences will be unique no matter where you come from, but growing up in the land of opportunity leads Americans to become accustomed to certain ways of life. Like it or not, it’s no surprise to see a McDonald’s on almost every corner, ads for the latest video games at bus stops, and more ketchup packets than you could ever use coming with your fast food.
It’s easy to get so used to seeing these things that we only really notice them when they’re absent. Yet depending on where you go in the world, you may start to notice that sights you always saw in the States are nowhere to be seen.
Oftentimes, this simply boils down to different cultural preferences and customs. Sometimes, however, there was a specific act of government keeping that familiar thing out of reach.
Today, we’re going to be looking at 13 examples of bizarre bans from other countries. Many have since been lifted, but it’s still odd to think that governments throughout the world would have such a serious problem with something we all but take for granted.
COMMENT and tell us what you’d ban if you had the chance.
1. Greece banned all video games back in 2002.
The law was intended to crack down on illegal gambling, but legislators apparently didn’t know the difference between electronic gambling devices and video game consoles, so citizens were prohibited from playing any electronic game in public.
Fortunately for Greek gamers, the law was declared unconstitutional before the year was out in a landmark case that would have seen two internet café owners face three months of jail time for letting customers play Counter-Strike.
2. China banned video game consoles for 15 years.
The move was apparently supposed to “protect Chinese youth from wasting their minds on video games” but seemed to only create a $100 million market for online gaming.
The Chinese government finally lifted the ban in 2015 after a successful “economic reform” experiment in Shanghai but maintains a watchful eye over any content that would “harm national unity … [or] violate public morality.”