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German Police Union Chief Wants Violent Game Ban After Shooting 518

Posted by Soulskill
from the perfectly-logical dept.
A recent shooting in Germany has raised the ire of many politicians and officials, and they're turning to video games as a scapegoat after it was revealed that the shooter was a fan of Counterstrike and played Far Cry 2 the night before the rampage. First, a major retailer decided to drop mature-rated games altogether, and then the Minister for Social Affairs suggested restricting "addictive games," such as World of Warcraft, to adults only. Despite an unfavorable reaction from gamers and game developers alike, the chief of Germany's national police union has now spoken out against violent games as well, saying, "The world would be no poorer if there were no more killergames."
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German Police Union Chief Wants Violent Game Ban After Shooting

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  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) * on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:00PM (#27304377)
    I can go to Germany, kill a bunch of people, tell everybody I am modeling myself after the chief of the German National Police and then they'll call for a ban on German National Police Chiefs. Sounds like a plan!
    • Sure it would. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The world would be no poorer if there were no more killergames.

      Nor would it be any poorer if there were no movies in which people died, or books containing stories involving violent conflict.

      I also think the world would get along just fine without football, golf, chess, horse races, and many other things.

      But that doesn't in any way justify me taking those things away from people who want them....let alone those who turn a decent profit from facilitating them.

      • Re:Sure it would. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NoobixCube (1133473) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:48PM (#27304995) Journal

        Football: a violent contact sport, frequently resulting in personal injury. Chess: A game in which you are encouraged to send blindly loyal soldiers of varying specialties to their untimely deaths all in the name of protecting a single political figure. Horse races: Involves brutally pitting horses against one another, some choose to include whipping. The horses get nothing but a fresh feed bag, while the trainers get millions in prize money, and book keepers rake in billions from the gambling. I'm sure there's something bad about golf, but all I could think of is "known to cause heart attacks in managers who should be behind their desks", but that's no loss for the world.

        Anything can be portrayed in a bad light by phrasing it correctly.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Idiomatick (976696)
          Are you serious about golf? You have a higher chance of dying playing golf than any sport aside from bare knuckle boxing. Do you know how many people need a hip replacement after a game? Clearly the statistics show golf is HARDCORE.
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 23, 2009 @07:18PM (#27305337)

      Police are supposed to investigate and solve crimes. (among other things).

      How can you investigate and solve crimes if you don't understand the difference between correlation and causation?

      Is anyone else worried that the Chief of Police makes conclusions like this?

      It basically shows that the guy running the police force isn't smart enough to reason properly about simple casual relationships.

      For example, if you turn up bound and gagged at a murder scene, is this chief of police going to conclude you are the murderer?
      Rather than that some third factor (the actual murderer) is responsible for both you and the victim being there?

      It's not good.

  • Oh common... (Score:5, Informative)

    by XPeter (1429763) * on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:01PM (#27304381) Homepage

    Seriously? This is completely ridiculous. There is no way that just video games alone made this person go on a shooting rampage. Several studies by groups such as Harvard Medical, The Journal of Adolescent Health, and the British Medical Journal have shown that there is no conclusive link between video games and violent activities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_controversy). These people don't think that uhm...the media for instance has anything to do with it? Let's get real here people. There is no way playing some Far Cry 2 or any game like it alone contributes to the initiative to do violent things.

    For me, video games are a great way to relax after a long day. It's an unwinding period and I don't feel violent at all when playing. I'm not alone saying this, there are many others who feel exactly the same way. The German police chief should look at the facts and statistics before he jumps the gun.

    Just my two cents.

    • by Threni (635302) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:03PM (#27304417)

      Ban this entartete kunst - it degrades a nation.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      I wonder how significant the market share of the retailer that dropped the Mature games was? Is it a Wal-Mart with market share, or a local chain with only a few outlets?

      • Re:Oh common... (Score:4, Informative)

        by lordtoran (1063300) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:41PM (#27304901) Homepage

        Wal-Mart has no presence in Germany (although they tried). The retailer is in question is Kaufhof, which has hypermarkets in many major cities. Compared with the hundreds of MediaMarkt, Saturn or Medion stores I don't think their decision will have a nocticeable impact on the market. Even among hypermarkets Kaufhof is one of the minor players. This is totally played up by the press.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by KDR_11k (778916)

      The prosecution is charging the guy's father for keeping a gun unsafe when his son was pathologically depressed. Also the father is a gun nut and taught his son how to shoot at a pretty early age.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SBFCOblivion (1041418)

        taught his son how to shoot at a pretty early age.

        I guess I'm confused by this statement. Are you implying this contributed to him going on a rampage? Or is it more of an FYI?

        My father taught my brother and I to shoot at a young age as well and it taught us both about gun safety and handling. But he also kept all his guns locked up in a gun case and my brother and I wouldn't go near it without my dad being there.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by xaxa (988988)

          taught his son how to shoot at a pretty early age.

          I guess I'm confused by this statement. Are you implying this contributed to him going on a rampage?

          It probably caused more deaths, if the gunman was better trained and more accurate. Familiarity with guns could be a factor.

          </speculation>

    • Since when has this had anything to do with facts and logic? Listening to these guys talk about games sounds almost like they're word for word quoting the 40s and just scribbling out racial references for digital ones.

    • 4 words: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:56PM (#27305083)

      External locus of control. The shooter had it. Why do you think 14 out of 15 victims were female? He was gunning for females, because he was blaming all females for his condition. He blamed them for so much that he thought they collectively deserved to die.

      Now the interesting part: pretty much everybody who wants to ban videogames because of events like these believes just as much in an external locus of control as the shooter. Except instead of believing that a group of people is directly harming them, they believe that a group of people is influencing "their" people through violent games. And instead of wanting to shoot the people they accuse, they want to ban their product.

      Granted, it's better to ban a product than to shoot someone. But the fundamental drive is the same. It's also the drive that's behind book burnings and conspiracy theories like the protocols of the elders of zion. It's bullshit that makes people feel better and in control - it's not them that's the problem, and there's an easy solution at hand.

      I despise both the shooter and the idiots who clamor for video gaming bannings equally. One's more harmful than the other, but that's just because the other is a bigger pansy. I'm convinced that under the right circumstances, the head of the state's police union would be just as willing a shooter as the 17 year old kid.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by beav007 (746004)
      "Oh come on" != "Oh common"

      Just FYI...
    • by HeadlessNotAHorseman (823040) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:20PM (#27307121) Homepage

      I have experienced personally the effect video games have on real life. I actually wound up in hospital and with a criminal record after my last visit to the zoo where I:

      • Jumped on several turtles
      • Ate a mushroom
      • Ate a flower
      • Swam in the shark tank
      • Climbed on the roof of the building and jumped to the flagpole in an attempt to steal the flag (I missed)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by purpledinoz (573045)
      This is just a deflection by the gun lobby. The real solution would be just to completely outlaw handguns for people who aren't police or military. Just like in the US, incidents like these invokes a reaction to create new laws... It's understandable. It'll probably never pass.
  • Right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by millennial (830897) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:01PM (#27304385) Journal
    Blame the games. Because we know how many people are killed each year by mice and Dual Shock controllers.

    This is in the same vein as people who blame pornography for rape.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Relax. He's not actually personally blaming violent games. He's just taking a queue from Obama's Chief of Staff and not letting a serious crises go to waste [youtube.com].

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by im_thatoneguy (819432)

        "This is an opportunity where what used to be long term problems whether they be in health care area, education area, fiscal area... tax area, regulatory reform area. Things that we had postponed for too long that were long term are now immediate and must be dealt with. [...] This crisis provides the opportunity to do things you could not do before. The good news, I suppose if you want to see the silver lining, is the problems are big enough they that lend themselves to ideas from both parties to provide t

    • Re:Right. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sackvillian (1476885) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:17PM (#27304605)
      To say that viewing pornography everyday, where women are treated like beautiful objects at best, and dogshit at worst, wouldn't have an effect on one's outlook is rubbish. You can't even watch a romantic comedy everyday without it affecting your views - that is basic psychology, empirically proven. So to say that porn causes rape or anything like that would be silly, but to say that it is totally innocent is equally so. The same is true for video games, violent or otherwise. Whether the probably-small destructive effect of porn and video games warrant a rather large censoring is the question.
      • Re:Right. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:28PM (#27304735) Homepage Journal

        The effect of censorship on people is a thousand times worse than the effect of romantic comedies, which is ten times worse than the effect of pr0n, which is one half as good as the effect of video games. This is basic psychology, empirically proven.

        • by mangu (126918) on Monday March 23, 2009 @07:31PM (#27305513)

          The effect of censorship on people is a thousand times worse than the effect of romantic comedies, which is ten times worse than the effect of pr0n, which is one half as good as the effect of video games

          You mentioned *fiction* works. What about a Book that a significant percentage of people not only claim is NOT fiction, but a work full of moral and ethical teachings? What if that Book has scenes of drunkenness, incest, genocide, murder, prostitution, debauchery? How much worse would be the effect of that?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by artor3 (1344997)

          70% Insightful
          30% Underrated
          0% Funny

          Bravo mods. Bravo.

      • Re:Right. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:31PM (#27304757) Homepage

        To say that viewing pornography everyday, where women are treated like beautiful objects at best, and dogshit at worst, wouldn't have an effect on one's outlook is rubbish. You can't even watch a romantic comedy everyday without it affecting your views - that is basic psychology, empirically proven.

        And, of course, you naturally have the studies which prove this "basic psychology" of yours, right?

        I mean, you wouldn't be advocating censorship based solely on your baseless assumptions and anecdotal evidence, would you? Because *that* would be a really *really* bad idea.

      • Re:Right. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vancorps (746090) on Monday March 23, 2009 @07:28PM (#27305467)

        You're confusing people that enjoy porn on occasion versus people that have addictive personalities and over-indulge.

        The occasional viewer is not harmed in any way shape or form nor are their views towards the world any different.

        Anyone that takes anything too far, even drinking too much water can be deadly invariably leads to problems.

        Naturally the same is true of violent video games or video games in general. When their use is destructive in your life then you need to stop. Just because you can't handle something doesn't mean I can't and so there is no cause for censorship in any form.

  • That makes sense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sargosis (807169)
    ...leave it to a German to take one person and blame a mass of people for that one person's faults. counter-strike and Far cry 2 aren't animate objects. they can't load a clip for you. they can't cock the hammer and pull the trigger. Run a search for violence statistics on google and you'll see that since the creation of violent video games, world-wide violent crimes have gone down, not up.
  • GOOD IDEA. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karganeth (1017580) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:06PM (#27304449)
    It was also found he was breathing the night before he killed those people. We should ban that too.
  • Cops (Score:2, Interesting)

    by McGiraf (196030)

    The world would be no poorer if there were no more killergames.

    or killercops, for that matter.

    If Police would not carry guns, less people would get killed.

    • [citation needed]

      You'd have to offset how many people were saved by the police using their gun (either entirely passively by would-be perps knowing that the cops carry guns, or actively by the police actually shooting the guns as a warning or to incapacitate), by how many people were actually killed by the police using their guns or perps getting a hold of a cop's gun and using it.

      Of course it's impossible to gauge that accurately - how convenient for your statement.

  • Correlation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AI0867 (868277) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:06PM (#27304461)

    You'll find that the vast majority of school-shooters play first-person shooters.
    The vast majority of young males also player first-person shooters.
    You'll even find that the vast majority of young males eat bread.

    What exactly does this tell us?

  • I would say something about violence in Germany, but I am afraid someone might call Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org].

    • by mikael (484)

      I'd say it was more the atmosphere of the school that these people went to. If they became so depressed that they had to be put on medication, there is more likely to be something seriously wrong with that environment. Do the
      schools give everyone a chance to feel that they are good at something, or is it entirely only sports? Are there spelling bee competitions, science fairs, mathematics challenges, robotics, electronics clubs, or other activities?
      Does the school only congratulate the sports teams during d

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thhamm (764787)
        nobody wants to hear exactly this kind of stuff and ask these questions over here.

        the german school system has degraded seriously since i 'enjoyed' it. the kids are under more and more pressure, but if you fail, it's only your fault. because you're lazy. it's never the systems fault. if you're treated unfairly, your fault. you're an outsider and laughed at by the others? your fault.

        this whole systems is becoming more and more a radical filter to push out good portions of our society. the worst thing that
  • So, I'm just wondering...

    Did we export Jack Thompson to Germany or something? Or is that just the end result of bad post-WWII eugenics programs, ideological clones of Mr. Smackywhack himself?

    Who's got the pool going for the next, "Oh noes! It's gonna destroy society!" form of entertainment? It wasn't motion pictures, it wasn't talkies, it wasn't comic books, it wasn't TV (although that's debatable... Yes, I'm looking at you Fox Reality Channel), as much as some would like to think, it's not violent video

    • by headLITE (171240) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:17PM (#27304609)

      Nah, we just have that a lot in Germany. Something bad happens, and politicians jump to it and want to ban violent computer games over it. So, for example, someone shoots some people at a school and the day later, we learn from the press that we need to ban Counterstrike, and also that suspicious pornography was found. Then of course we need to something against child pornography, regardless of no child pornography being involved whatsoever in the shooting or the shooter's private live. You get the idea.

      That said, I would personally appreciate if computer game makers could cut down on the violence a little, I don't like it very much in my games. Of course, other adults who like to shoot pixels should be allowed to do so, and the government should stay out of it.

      • by olddotter (638430)

        As I understand it most of my favorite "violent" games aren't legal for sale in Germany (or France) because they reference the Nazi movement and are variations on WWII simulations or story lines.

        I suppose though that all of the modern and futuristic military campaigns are perfectly legal. I just have preferred things like Wolfenstein, Medal of Honor, and Call of Duty.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Did we export Jack Thompson to Germany or something? Or is that just the end result of bad post-WWII eugenics programs, ideological clones of Mr. Smackywhack himself?"

      The world spent millions of lives and billions of dollars killing off Germans who were comfortable with violence and considerable post-war effort conditioning their society against it. (Ditto Japan BTW.) Now that Germany is mostly neutered and finally has a broad social buy-in to being that, what sort of response do you expect?

    • by pluther (647209)

      It was role-playing games.

      I remember it well. Role-playing games caused the complete collapse of civilization in 1983.

      Some say it was the atomic war, but that's just propaganda put out by our mutant overlords.

  • Many more killers wear shoes when they kill someone than there are those that play video games. And while we are banning shoes, we should ban gloves while we are at it, since those even make it more difficult to identify people involved in shootings. And speaking of adding difficulty of identifying shooters, we should ban hats, sun glasses, face masks, hoodies, and wigs, since they all also help alter the appearance of a shooter and make it harder to identify them...
  • who gets to make that arbitrary decision?
  • Brutal rapist likes chocolate. Legislature in the works to ban chocolate.
  • We are only shooting zombies right?

    Speaking of that, if we ban violent games, it stands to reason we should ban violent films, so what happens to Hollywood?

  • by Bananenrepublik (49759) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:17PM (#27304591)

    This wouldn't have happened
    1) if the guy hadn't had access to inordinate amounts of bullets (you can't kill 15 people with less than 15 bullets)
    2) if the guy hadn't had access to a gun that was stored outside the legally required locked safe
    3) if the guy hadn't been given weapons training even though his diagnosed mental condition (again, this was against the law)

    Once you've addressed these issues, we may want to talk about banning violent games.

    • Ja aber nein aber ja aber nein aber ja, also: Atomkraft nein, danke!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ishpeck (160581)

      He also couldn't have killed fifteen people if the other fourteen had killed him after he shot the first one.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Animaether (411575)

        Yes, but unlike a knife - unless the guy had some mad ninja skills or something - you don't really get a whole lot of time to rush toward the assailant and e.g. tackle them to the floor.

        If you have a knife, you barge into a classroom and.. then what? You go for the person closest to you... STAB, in the jugular.. NEXT! STAB! in the chest if you're lucky.. NE..whoops.. in the half a minute it took you to do that, the rest of the class had a chance to rush toward you, pushed you to the ground, and only if you

    • by wizardforce (1005805) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:40PM (#27304887) Journal

      I think that's the reasoning the UK used to ban guns. If no one has a gun, then there isn't going to be any more killing right? except that now people are killing with knives. some people are even calling for certain knives to be banned to stop the killing. The thing is that they are completely missing the point. If a human being really wants to kill another human being, it is going to happen regardless of what weapons or anything else is banned. The real problem here is that there are murderous individuals not the tools that they could potentially use nor what media they watched.

      • by booyabazooka (833351) <ch.martin@gmail.com> on Monday March 23, 2009 @07:23PM (#27305405)

        I agree mostly with you, but I think you're doing your argument a disservice by intentionally missing the point of these sorts of bans. The intent isn't to make it impossible for people to kill other people. The intent of gun legislation is to introduce hidrances which tend to result in less crime. There must be plenty of incidents which are mostly impulsive, not a case of "a human being really wants to kill another human being", wherein maybe the guy wouldn't have killed if it hadn't been so quick and easy. Obviously gun bans don't eliminated crime - but surely you can't claim they don't help at all. The question is how much they help, weighed against the loss of liberty imposed by the ban.

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:17PM (#27304603)
    Look, the whole world culture is becoming more violent when compared to - say - the 1950s. Comics like Tales of the Black Freighter existed in the 1960s, but they were harder to get instead of say, Archie comics. Television had violence in shows like Gunsmoke, but always with a moral tone.

    Movies like Last House on the Left would have a hard time getting made even in the 1980s. Yes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre existed, but Last House on the Left depicts a violent rape, and the Saw movies are torture porn.

    Responses to web boards (every major newspaper now takes comments to about every single story) depicts a violent world. I took a look at the Entertainment Weekly website, looked at an article about Natasha Richardson's death from head injury. Unfortunately, the sysadmins at EW don't screen comments. It was horrific, with comments that are hard to repeat, many talking about what they would do to her corpse and many being glad that she "got what she deserved".

    Videogames are simply reflecting this culture shift. A game like Bully simply reflects what goes on. It's a deep, and very unfortunate, confusion of the chicken and the egg. Somehow, legislators look at Resident Evil 5 and see something that they don't see in the remake of Dawn of the Dead. They look at Far Cry 2 and they take a pass on Sorority Row, a trailer I saw last night that looked as violent and horrific as anything I've seen from Wes Craven.

    Somehow the interactive nature of video games makes people feel that it "thresholds" behavior. If you fantasize about harming animals, you need therapy. If you actually bind, torture and kill animals - you are quite a step closer to being a human killer. Somehow, this logic is being applied to shooters. That makes playing shooters itself a deviant behavior. I think it signals something deeply wrong with our culture, but it's interactivity alone does not single it out as threshold behavior.
    • by Kemanorel (127835) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:47PM (#27304977)

      You might want to look further back than the `80's. Last House on the Left [imdb.com] is a remake of Last House on the Left [imdb.com] from 1972. Hell, the original was directed by Wes "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream" Craven. Don't forget that Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th had their heydays in the `80's as well.

      You mention that playing shooters signals something "deeply wrong." Could it be that such forms of entertainment appeal to our baser instincts and have for millennia? The Romans sure seemed to enjoy watching gladiators fighting to the death. Violence and violent entertainment are nothing new. Also, as has been said before, perhaps those with violent tendencies are more drawn to violent entertainment because they are already predisposed to enjoy that type of imagery. Does that mean that everyone who enjoys such forms of entertainment is drawn to violence in the real world? I highly doubt it, and for every study that one can find to say there is a correlation between violent entertainment and actual violence, there are several others that say there is no causal link, not even on an "if there's smoke, there's fire," level. Violence is more often borne from desperation of one form or another, I'd be willing to bet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GPLDAN (732269)
        Violence is more often borne from desperation of one form or another, I'd be willing to bet.

        Ok, I'll be unpopular around Slashdot and say you are wrong. First, you fail to quantify the type of desperation. Economic? Social? Political?

        Secondly, there are direct studies that show alteration to blood pressure and sleep habits with violent video games:

        http://www.zampbioworld.org/bionews/index.php/2008/11/15/10883 [zampbioworld.org]

        The relevant question is: We know playing these games stimulates brain pathways, but i
  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:17PM (#27304615)

    It seems that most responses to this sort of article are of the form "violent video games have nothing to do with what he did!" And then when something about a black shooter in a ghetto comes up, most people say "It's his society and location, if we could just get rid of the ghettos/black gangs/whatever, we'd have less violence/shooting/murders."

    So it seems that in general, people do think that the environment one lives in affects one's decisions. Well, video games are part of my environment.

    So instead of simply dismissing video games as having anything to do with decisions (which, IMO, is a ridiculous proposition, the idea you could spend 20+ hours a week playing video games and not have it affect you, whether that's morally, ethically, intellectually, ... grammatically ... what about, oh, say, myspace? no affect?)... I'd propose that we start posting how video games (especially violent ones, since that's this article's topic) DO affect you. How does virtual violence affect someone.

    And preferably more than the curt "Duh, it lets you cool off virtually making you less likely to kill someone in real life." I'm not sure that is any more or less proven than video games causing real life shootings. If it does... then [citation needed]

    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:32PM (#27304765)
      Playing video games is a choice Growing up poor in an environment that continuously subjects you to physical and emotional violence usually isn't a choice... most people would choose NOT to grow up in such an environment. Trust me, getting pwned by a 10-year because you made the mistake to challenge him on line is a lot easier to deal with than getting the crap smacked out of you in real life for no reason.

      That being said, I don't recommend playing a racing game that rewards smashing into other cars for 8 hours, then immediately getting out and driving down the freeway. To a certain extent your automatic reactions are trained by video games. But not your conscious decision-making processes.

      • well, to stick with the car analogy.. if you -are- gonna head out with your head still in a state of Carmageddon, at least it'd be good if you didn't have an M1A2 Abrams conveniently parked right outside your door.

    • So music and movies would be part of the environment as well? In the US, those mediums are protected by freedom of speech. There is no specific reason to think that the medium of video games should be treated any differently than the other two. Nor should specific anecdotal cases like this one be used to undermine the freedoms of many law-abiding people who exercise those freedoms without heavy research based reasons.
  • the chief of Germany's national police union has now spoken out against violent games as well [CC], saying, "The world would be no poorer if there were no more killergames."

    game software houses would be poorer. :-P

  • by zergl (841491) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:21PM (#27304643)

    Crappy journalistic research.

    It's "just" the chief of the Hessian section of the DPolG, not the Chief on the federal level.

    And there's several police unions as well, with the DPolG only being second largest (about half as big as the GdP with a few micro unions not worth mentioning).

    Apart from that, it was pretty clear that everyone's gonna scream BANZOR KILLARGAMES after the little fuckwit ganked his old school, so no big surprise there.

    What is imo most surprising is how careful and diplomatic Christian Pfeiffer is with his statements. He usually was pretty rabid anti-"Killergame" the last couple years and I expected him to gloat and go "TOLD YA" to his critics, but he actually says stuff like games are not the deciding factor, not the original cause for stuff like that, just a small piece of a big puzzle with social issues being the real problem, etc.
    I'm confused. It's like if Jack Thompson would go ahead and offer to become BFF with John Carmack.

  • Guns... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KGBear (71109) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:22PM (#27304661) Homepage

    Sure. Let people buy guns. When they use them to kill people, ban video games. Hey, some crazies have killed people because God told them to! Let's ban religion!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by XPeter (1429763) *
      Hey! I'm Joan of Arc's distance relative you insensitive clod!
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      You know what they say: "Guns don't kill people. People that are pissed off because they suck at videogames kill people!"
  • Yeah, violent video game ban is stupid, and all like that.

    Restricting highly addictive video games to adults is actually worth consideration, in my opinion. Finding an appropriate way to measure addictiveness of a game prior to market release is one obstacle. Quantifying the effect of such a ban is another.

    It would be nice to see controlled study of success metrics for children raised under and without such a ban. Of course that would take decades, but we have decades.

  • by prelelat (201821) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:26PM (#27304711)

    When ever you see a tragedy such as a school or public shooting or anything for that matter the first thing you do is say why, the second thing you do is find the easiest answer. The truth is that if someone does something that people don't understand they tend to blame the thing that person did that they didn't understand. I would agree that violence can breed more violence but it's pretty hard to blame video games when you see it played out in movies, TV, on the streets, and anywhere. The question is, is that when every one I know plays violent video games and not one of them has been convicted of a violent crime what does that prove? Counter-strike has 4.2 million users(just the original not source as there would be some cross over between the users number comes from Wikipedia) world wide. If this game(which is 10 years old give or take a few months) truly breed the kind of violence that made this kid kill people that's 0.0000238% of all people that play are made violent enough to commit a crime, I'm pretty sure that's an anomaly.

    I would hope that things would settle down people would look at it a little more logically and decide that this kind of thing is silly. I would hope parents would be aware of the mental state of their children and be trying to get help if they can, and be aware of what content they can handle. I have heard of kids calming down once fighting games were removed but as a parent you should be watching them instead of letting them socialize on video games alone. If you let them play video games watch or play with them, of course as they get older it's harder to do that besides not giving them money to buy games, and then if they are still violent it's tragic but at least you shouldn't be blaming video games at that point.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...as is evident from the hundreds of thousands of CS gamers who DIDN'T go on a murderous rampage.
  • Does anyone else here find it ironic that a country with such strong anti-naziism laws doesn't use them against politicians who seek to embrace one of its main tenets?

    Government censorship/speech control is never the solution. It is always the problem. Didn't the rise of the NSDAP teach them anything?

  • I don't think .. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SlashDev (627697)
    Maybe they should ban guns?
  • If you're going to blame video games for the shooting, then they need to let the guy go free.

    After all, he is the real victim. How was he to know he'd be "infected" by his video games?
  • Let's ban chess (Score:4, Insightful)

    by memorycardfull (1187485) on Monday March 23, 2009 @06:56PM (#27305095)
    to reduce warfare! Ban Monopoly to reduce greed! Ban Poker to reduce deception! Games don't cause the darker side of human nature...they allow a safe acceptable way to explore it in symbolic simulacrum.
  • Poorer world (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quila (201335) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:39PM (#27306835)

    The world would be no poorer if there were no idiot politicians looking to gain fame and control the masses, and leveraging the bodies of the recently deceased to do it.

  • by hessian (467078) on Tuesday March 24, 2009 @10:00AM (#27311125) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, I know: we're all tired of idiots saying "I blame society."

    However, for smart children, this society is a mess. It has no goals. It suffocates us in platitudes (equality, generosity, compassion) while forcing us into a life of conformity to very basic aims, like money and popularity. While all this public bloviation goes on, commerce destroys everything good by turning it into a lowest common denominator product. The smart kids see this; everyone else is oblivious.

    From my reading of the documents that school shooters like Jeff Weise, Eric Harris/Dylan Klebold, and Pekka-Eric Auvinen leave behind, this more than anything else is their motivation: our society is a monstrous hypocrite that has lost direction, and because it cannot face that, we all serve in boredom and frustration.

  • Comedy Comment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr_Blank (172031) on Tuesday March 24, 2009 @11:55AM (#27312733) Journal

    There's so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
    -- Dick Cavett, mocking the TV-violence debate

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