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The village of Salawag, located in the Philippines, decided to ban Dota in the wake of recent murders where two teenagers were stabbed to death. The reason for the murders was reported to have stemmed from a dispute relating to the online game. While Dota may have fallen in popularity in the west in favor of more recent games such as Dota 2, or LoL, Dota still has wide popularity in many Asian countries because it can easily run on the older hardware that is common in poorer countries.

The village council defends their decision to ban the game claiming that the game was causing their children to become more violent and even causing them to commit murder. This is similar to the arguments made in the past in America, when moral authoritarians blamed school shootings on violent video games like Doom, despite a lack of supporting evidence. The council claims it is doing what is best to look out for the future of the village’s children.

Before making its decision to ban the game the council consulted with the owners of computer shops in the village. 29 out of 30 shop owners agreed with the ban on the grounds that they were unable to deal with the violent demeanor of teenage Dota players. Any shop owners who violates the ban by selling the game could face a one month suspension operations, or on a repeat offense they could lose their business permit.

While numerous parents and school administrators are very pleased with the ban, some commenters are less than happy. Many have pointed out that the ban will do nothing at all to address the real causes of violence, while others have raised concerns about their country becoming a global laughingstock for passing such a law. Although the ban only applies in one village, the council says they would endorse a city-wide ban, which would encompass a larger area. If that is successful they may gain momentum to push for a ban across the country, or to ban a larger number of games.

Do you think the village council made the right decision by banning Dota, or is this a blatant act of censorship? Leave your comments below.


Max Michael

Senior Writer

I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.



  • Azure

    Here is a fun fact:

    It is the Parents Fault. It is ALWAYS the Parents fault. They have a duty of care to make sure their children do not cause or come to harm. The Parents need to take responsibility for their Child’s action. They are the ones that influence the way their own child act.

  • Whoa, that’s near where I live.

    Still stupid to blame it on the game. Usually the kids who frequent internet cafes have parents who do not really get involved. Typically lazy parents who probably get in unsavory activities themselves.

    On the other hand, internet cafe owners can talk to these kids too but that’s probably too much work.

    Hopefully, such law won’t spread in the Philippines because we’re supposedly strong on family. I can expect to see people call for better parenting especially with the internet.

    That sad, the Philippines is corrupt as fk.

  • 33

    “while others have raised concerns about their country becoming a global laughingstock for passing such a law”
    If it makes them feel any better: every country is a laughingstock because every country has passed some incredibly stupid laws that make ‘banning one game in one village’ seem sensible.

  • dsadsada

    If it’s not Dota or videogames in general, it’s going to be something else. Kids fight over the stupidest reasons all the time, even sports. Let’s ban basketball too, shall we? I’ve seen kids fight over that after all. Violently at that. Their friends usually break it up before it gets too serious though.

  • Jake Martinez

    The way I look at it, these two stupid kids had a fight over Dota. They could have had a fight over ANYTHING – a job, friends, a girl, whatever. The one who did the stabbing would have still done the deed regardless of what the motive for it was because obviously he is a violent little shit.

    Are we going to pretend now that teenagers have never been violent with each other before video games? Seems somewhat retarded to me for people to make that claim.

    And before people get too crazy blaming the parents, I think it should be stated that *some kids are just rotten* Evil is a real thing and it exists and some people are just evil and no amount of socializing will stop them from being evil. It may make people sleep better at night to believe in the fairy tale that all it takes is a good society and upbringing to make the darker human impulses go away, but it’s not true.

  • Yeah, possible. I’ve just seen many parents neglect their kids. It’s way easier for people to blame something else. Sad because banning DOTA isn’t the answer.

  • vivianjames

    They did the same thing during Counter-Strike’s peak.

  • Heavy Mettle

    Asians take their video games way too seriously. Didn’t a man from Korea die playing I’m a cafe recently?

  • Pablo Hernández

    Are they autonomous enough to do that in a village? I expect the central government to remove that ridiculous ban soon.