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March 28, 2007

Redefining first-person shooter

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 4:50 PM

Here's ammunition for any sarcastic contrarians arguing that video games reduce violence in the real world: In Mexico City, Reuters reports, the new mayor is trading Xbox video game consoles for guns as part of a broader crime-fighting effort.

Details from the Reuters story:

Launching the program Tuesday in the notorious inner-city barrio of Tepito, which police stormed last month, city police chief Joel Ortega said anyone who turns in a high-caliber weapon like a machine gun will get a computer.

Owners can swap smaller guns for cash or Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox video-game consoles under the plan. ...

Organizers say they have 100 computers ready for the first wave of the program, each worth 8,500 pesos ($769) and equipped with software donated by Microsoft. On the first day, Olayo said the city received 17 guns, including 12 from Tepito.

The police action there of late sounds like the stuff of a first-person shooter: "Last month police stormed Tepito, a warren of scruffy homes and market stalls a few blocks north of the capital's main square, seizing a tenement complex known as 'The Fortress' -- reputedly a major cocaine and marijuana distribution center."

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