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German Police Union Chief Wants Violent Game Ban After Shooting

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the perfectly-logical dept.

Games 518

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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oblig tasteless meme (0, Offtopic)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304373)

In Nazi Germany, games play you!

Re:oblig tasteless meme (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304445)

So you're saying he's upset with the subject matter of Wolfenstein 3D?

Re:oblig tasteless meme (2, Funny)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304667)

They started it.

So... (5, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#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. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304753)

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. (4, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304995)

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.

Oh common... (5, Informative)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304381)

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.

Re:Oh common... (4, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304417)

Ban this entartete kunst - it degrades a nation.

Re:Oh common... (4, Funny)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304435)

+1, Obscure Godwin-bait.

Re:Oh common... (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304425)

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... (4, Informative)

lordtoran (1063300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304901)

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:Oh common... (3, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304447)

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:Oh common... (0, Troll)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304493)

Seriously? This is completely ridiculous.

Why on earth are you saying that on slashdot? Do you think you have to convince anyone here? Why preach to the converted?

Re:Oh common... (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304717)

Several studies by groups ... have shown that there is no conclusive link between video games and violent activities

It doesn't matter. When there is an agenda then correlation is the most important statistic. However, it could be that he was just a gun enthusiast...

Re:Oh common... (0, Flamebait)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304727)

There is no way that just video games alone made this person go on a shooting rampage.

Video games didn't exist in 1939, let alone 1914 and 1871, so what was the excuse then?

Perhaps krauts just like shooting people, especially ones who can't shoot back.

Re:Oh common... (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304743)

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.

Re:Oh common... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304989)

If only video games were available in the 30's, millions of Jews might still be alive...

Right. (4, Insightful)

millennial (830897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304385)

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:Right. (2, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304469)

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:Right. (0, Offtopic)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304935)

Cue. Crisis.
You're welcome.

Re:Right. (5, Interesting)

sackvillian (1476885) | more than 5 years ago | (#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. (5, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304735)

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.

Re:Right. (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304757)

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. (1)

William Baric (256345) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304991)

Whether the probably-small destructive effect of porn and video games warrant a rather large censoring is the question.

Before we ask ourself that question, we should try to know if the overall effect is positive or negative. It's highly possible some people will get influenced by a video game, but then it's also highly possible some people will find in violent video games a way to pass their frustration and so not use real violence. Banning violent video games might make things worse.

BTW, personally, I have a stronger emotional response to the idea of censorship than to even the most violent video game (although to be honest I'm not a big fan of "violent" video games).

That makes sense (2, Insightful)

sargosis (807169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304441)

...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.

Re:That makes sense (4, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304999)

And what are you doing by making a general statement about 60 million people based on what some of their grandparents did hmmm?

GOOD IDEA. (4, Insightful)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304449)

It was also found he was breathing the night before he killed those people. We should ban that too.

Re:GOOD IDEA. (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27305047)

I've found a common link between every single shooting that has occurred in my lifetime: I seem to have answered nature's call some time before each shooting happened! We should ban me using the toilet!

Cops (1, Interesting)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304455)

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.

The world would be no poorer if ... (-1, Flamebait)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304499)

I was thinking more along the lines of "no more opportunistic union leaders."

Re:Cops (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304773)

[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.

Re:Cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27305017)

Just look at countries where only sections of the police carry weapons. Also get rid of automatic weapons and handguns for everyone.

Correlation? (5, Insightful)

AI0867 (868277) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:Correlation? (5, Funny)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304489)

Men are a bunch of violent bread eaters?

Re:Correlation? (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304701)

Men are a bunch of violent bread eaters?

Let them eat cake!

Re:Correlation? (0)

piemcfly (1232770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304809)

The cake is a lie :(

Re:Correlation? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304813)

Vönder bread. Helps build dead bodies 12 ways.

Re:Correlation? (3, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304555)

What exactly does this tell us?

The vast majority of all statistics are made up on the spot?

Re:Correlation? (4, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304651)

No, that only happens 34% of the time, a signification minority and not the majority you claimed.

Re:Correlation? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304917)

You'll find that the vast majority of school-shooters play first-person shooters. [...] You'll even find that the vast majority of young males eat bread. What exactly does this tell us?

A minor correction to your title.

The problem isn't that the data is correlative.

The problem is that the implied implication arrow is pointing in the wrong direction; or rather that it's the wrong conditional probability that's being observed ("gamer given violent").

Consider what this would tell us:

Most bread-eaters are young males.
Most young males play FPSes.
Most FPS players are murderous loonies.

How safe would you feel around people who eat bread? Around young males? Around FPS players?

I predict that politicians who want to censor violent games won't be telling us how many FPS players are actually murderous loonies, because the truth would be devastating to their case ;)

Re:Correlation? (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304969)

Well, I drew out a Venn diagram, and my conclusions are something like this:

1. Some school-shooters are young males.
2. Some school-shooters eat bread.
3. Some bread-eaters play first-person shooters.
4. Some bread-eaters shoot schools.
5. Some breads eat young males.
6. The males of some species eat their own young.
7. Jung was a noted psychologist who might have some insight into why kids shoot other kids at schools.
8. Jung would hesitate to imply correlation and causation wrt fps and school shootings.
9. For that matter, so would Freud, who would instead blame it on unrealized feelings towards the shooter's father.
10. At any rate, did you know that Bread released an album entiteled "Baby I'm-a Want You" in 1972?
11. I'm terrible at logical progressions.

I would say something... (2, Funny)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304485)

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

Re:I would say something... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304689)

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 daily class announcements, or do they congratulate students on external competitions?

Jack? Is that you? (1)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304505)

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 games. What's it going to be?

Re:Jack? Is that you? (3, Informative)

headLITE (171240) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Jack? Is that you? (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304853)

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.

Re:Jack? Is that you? (1)

Kharny (239931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304943)

They are legal in their local versions, removing all nazi icons etc.

Re:Jack? Is that you? (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304905)

"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."

Isn't it entirely your choice to acquire such a game, though? Perhaps you didn't know ahead of time that the game would be quite so violent - in which case.. yeah, that happens. Sometimes I don't know ahead of time that a game is going to suck.. even if I enjoyed the demo very much. But there are a plethora of games out there that have very mild violence or even no violence at all. They're not likely to be shooters - or if they are 'shooters' you're going to be shooting with something rather abstract (or not-so-abstract, like a paintball game) - so if you like shooters.. I think 'violence' rather comes with the territory.

Re:Jack? Is that you? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304687)

"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?

Re:Jack? Is that you? (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304801)

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.

Re:Jack? Is that you? (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304937)

Export Jack Thompson? How about deport.

Re:Jack? Is that you? (1)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304997)

Yeah, but who would take him?

Lets ban shoes first... (1, Redundant)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304521)

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...

Ban everything! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304529)

Lets ban violent movies, news messages, songs, and books to altogether. People shouldnt be able to see anything violent...

Why oh why cant politicians show common sense?

addictive? (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304545)

who gets to make that arbitrary decision?

In a related story (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304569)

Brutal rapist likes chocolate. Legislature in the works to ban chocolate.

Is RE series ok? (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304575)

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?

I don't mind the new Germany (0, Flamebait)

Zaurus (674150) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304587)

Given a choice between the Germany of today (ban violent video games!) or the Germany of 70 years ago (Genocide! World wars!), I'm not going to lose any sleep over their current extremes.

Just an opinion.

Re:I don't mind the new Germany (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304815)

Given a choice between the Germany of today (ban violent video games!) or the Germany of 70 years ago

Understandable point of view - I'd be against eugenics if I was at the fucking stupid end of the 'tard spectrum.

Maybe bullets first? (5, Insightful)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Maybe bullets first? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304849)

Ja aber nein aber ja aber nein aber ja, also: Atomkraft nein, danke!

Re:Maybe bullets first? (3, Informative)

ishpeck (160581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304863)

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

Re:Maybe bullets first? (2, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27305037)

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're lucky left you alive.

If you have a gun, however, you barge into the classroom and.. you don't move. You just aim *BANG*, aim again, half a second later, *BANG*. The classroom is already scared shitless at this point but some dude's being a hero and makes a move *BANG!* not anymore.

So for you to kinda shove part of the responsibility to the 'bystanders' - who were victims just as much, I'd say, except that they lived - is woefully negligent of how these things happen.

Note that I don't really mean to single out 'the gun'; anytime the assailing party has the upper hand -by far-, bystanders are unlikely to try anything. Just see the whole biker thing in that Australian airport; there the upper hand was caused by the fact that it was a group of rather muscular burly men that probably wouldn't have any qualms bating the living daylights out of some little old lady that would 'tut tut' them.

You can call that cowardice, I can call that 'shock' or something... whatever it is.. it simply is.. and it's never an active party to killings.

Of course.. you probably meant "but if ALL of them had guns, they could've shot him!".. sure.. if they're fast enough to grab their gun before he offs vics 2 and 3, probably more. On the other hand.. more of these troubled teens would suddenly have guns readily at their disposal.

Re:Maybe bullets first? (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304887)

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.

Re:Maybe bullets first? (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#27305031)

you can't kill 15 people with less than 15 bullets

Sure you can. Some people (can't remember who) tied two living people together, and shot one. Both fell into the water, and the living one drowned.

Re:Maybe bullets first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27305049)

You can kill more than 15 people with less than 15 bullets...

An AK47 can penetrate up to 8 skulls before the bullet is stopped if I recall correctly. G36 can go through about 4.

Pistols are a little different, but bullets DO penetrate things and can end up in other things...

Stop isolating games for their interactivity... (3, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Stop isolating games for their interactivity... (5, Insightful)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Cue correlation != causation... (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#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]

Re:Cue correlation != causation... (3, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cue correlation != causation... (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304847)

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.

Re:Cue correlation != causation... (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304851)

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.

Re:Cue correlation != causation... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304939)

LOL... comparing the psychological toll that living in an extremely under-privileged community where your ability to eat may come down to begging or stealing with the ability to play games in HD.

Re:Cue correlation != causation... (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304947)

what about, oh, say, myspace? no affect?

People probably can get emotional about myspace---isn't it the big emo hangout?

You probably meant to say effect :)

Re:Cue correlation != causation... (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27305009)

The problem is that video games and environments do not affect everyone the same way. The vast majority of people do not play C.S. and then decide to machine gun people in their immediate area. Nor do people who watch violence in the news do violence to their fellow human being. Murder is already illegal but rather than addressing the problem [people feeling like they need to kill someone] we focus on the games they played using shoddy reasoning to justify doing so.

for richer or poorer (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304641)

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

Not the chief of the *German* police union (5, Insightful)

zergl (841491) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304659)

What was the name of the game that Hitler used to play? //David cross

Guns... (3, Insightful)

KGBear (71109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304661)

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:Guns... (2, Funny)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304691)

Hey! I'm Joan of Arc's distance relative you insensitive clod!

Re:Guns... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304729)

I'd trade banning religion for banning violent video games any time.

Re:Guns... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304799)

You know what they say: "Guns don't kill people. People that are pissed off because they suck at videogames kill people!"

Re:Guns... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304871)

In Soviet Russia, they used to say "Guns don't kill people. Germans kill people."

Re:Guns... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304911)

You apparently missed how draconian german gun control laws are. They're attacking videogames because there is nothing more they can do about guns short of barring them outright.

Corruptive Influence Of History. (1)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304679)

It is time for politicians and parents to stand up and take responsibility for protecting their children from the dangers of history. History contains many scenes of violence, aggression, debauchery and foul language. It is a social issue, and one that effects not just our children but our children's children, and our great grandparents.

Whats next? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304681)

I would think movies, magazines and books are next. The real problem today, total lack of future outlooks for our youngs will continue to be overlooked.

People with no hope, future or money are much more likely to give up and some of them want to get revenge on the world and take people with them.

That Other Topic (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304699)

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.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304705)

The fact that he played a video game the night before proves nothing. I usually play a "killer game" or two each night, so do alot of other people...
If your fucked up enough that a video game will somehow persuade you to go kill a bunch of people, you already have issues and it's not the game dev's fault.

I'm tired of this shit, and it's always from people who've never actually played the games. It's like this substitute teacher I had in class today, he went on about how rap music is horrible for kids, so I asked him if he's actually listened to any. While I think rap "music" is crap, he hadn't, and had no right to be saying anything.

This is the same old shit, all over again:
-banning violent games (in the us) completely would be unconstitutional
-if you don't ban them completely, but restrict the age, kids will just play games for older people
-even if you do ban them completely, there are free games, and you can't regulate that without a huge firewall across the internets, which would fuck everything up

Solution?

Parenting.
If your a good parent
a) your kid won't go kill people
b) if s/he has a mental condition, you'll give him proper care as needed

If you as a parent believe your kid shouldn't play violent games, don't buy him/her violent games.

It never ceases to amaze me how little thinking these noobs can do, and still make it into important offices.
What the fuck.

[/rant]

Re:Well (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304913)

he went on about how rap music is horrible for kids, so I asked him if he's actually listened to any. While I think rap "music" is crap, he hadn't, and had no right to be saying anything.

Much as I hait videogame's, at least they don turn decent white kid's into wantabe NIGGERS.

Face it . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304709)

There is no justification or defense for games that glorify killing and death. If you enjoy simulated murder and mutilation that is your business, if you get your kicks from that I feel sorry for you.

Re:Face it . . . (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304961)

If you enjoy simulated murder and mutilation that is your business, if you get your kicks from that I feel sorry for you.

The new generation are decadent and soft.

We should return to the golden age of Germany, when they murdered and mutilated for real.

Tragic == False Blame (5, Insightful)

prelelat (201821) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Clearly, games are the root of the problem... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304745)

...as is evident from the hundreds of thousands of CS gamers who DIDN'T go on a murderous rampage.

Ironic, isn't it? (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304777)

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?

Re:Ironic, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27304983)

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?

No, because that isn't irony. That would be incongruity.

It's easier that way. (1)

geekymachoman (1261484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304779)

It's easier for them to blame games then for the system(Police and other institutions) to do their job.

I played violent games as a kid, and I didn't end up shooting people in my town, and I believe 99 % of kids are the same as me.

The psychological problem of those kids, who shoot people, aren't caused by violent games, but by vast range of other mental factors. Sane human beings can tell the difference between shooting people in real life and shooting them in some stupid game.

Violence, unprovoked/provoked killings where happening long before games where invented. What was the cause then ?

Well, human violence have only one reason. And that reason is mental issues. If you are capable of killing other human being or even animals for that matter, then you will probably do that at some time in your life, no matter if you playing or played violent games or not.

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."

It won't be richer either. Nor it would be safer. It will be more censored and more opressed.

God damn fucking asshole micro-brain fascist.

I don't think .. (2, Insightful)

SlashDev (627697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304827)

Maybe they should ban guns?

Can't have it both ways (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27304867)

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?

Missing the obvious (1)

Spacepup (695354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27305005)

Politicians are great at missing the obvious. The guy didn't go on a shooting rampage because of video games; he went on a shooting rampage because he had easy access to guns.
Don't blame the left hand when it was the right hand was pulling the trigger.

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