School Shooting In Germany Immediately Leads To Calls To Ban Violent Video Games

from the you-knew-it-would-happen dept

A few people submitted stories about a German school shooting this week, noting that the AP report on the shooting spoke to a friend of the killer, talking about how they used to play video games together, and that some of them were violent. I decided not to post it initially, because it was a small part of the story, and there was nothing saying anyone was actually responding to that aspect, yet. But... of course... it didn't take long at all. Politicians are leaping on the bandwagon and already some are calling for a total ban on violent video games, despite no actual evidence that violent video games had anything, whatsoever, to do with the killings.


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  1.  
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    Slackr, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:01pm

    Regardless of other comments

    I'm sure everyone here agrees on one thing at least. This is a tragic event. Our condolences to all those affected.

     

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    ToySouljah, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:10pm

    Was it really the games?

    I read in one article that he suffered from depression. Was he on any medication? I've warned a few people I know of about the dangers in the so called anti-depressant meds being fed to people and their effects on the mind. I used to take them, but did not like how they affected my thinking and so weened myself off of them...it is dangerous to abruptly stop them. I think instead of blaming the video games, music, and movies...they need to look at the medications these people were on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:18pm

    I bet this kid also saw violence on TV, that needs to be banned too. Oh, and music with violence can't forget about that. Oh, and there's so much violence in history, we should stop teaching that in schools.

     

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    Easily Amused, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:23pm

    The kid had obvious problems, was on a suicide watch for some time, and has apparently either gone off his meds or just stopped going to therapy. He had personal issues with at least one specific teacher at the school and was recently spurned by a female student. The root of his outburst seems to be a very deep-seated misogyny. He chose to shoot only women (but hit a few men along the way either in a hurry or bad aim). The game he played was Counter-Strike. Anyone who looked at the game being played for even the slightest amount of time can infer no misogynistic message from it. This is simply more sabre-rattling from the morons.

     

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    Easily Amused, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:26pm

    Re:

    I would also say that it would be quite difficult to find a male currently graduating from college that has not played Counter-Strike or one of the other shooters in the genre.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:31pm

    Politicians are like everyone else

    Politicians are like everyone else. It is easy to blame things that you are not involved with personally. Video games are unfamiliar to most politicians. Therefore they are easy to blame for the next generation going to pieces, as every generation tends to do.

    Besides, it is so much easier to blame video games than to address the real problems underlying violence.

     

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  7.  
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    DL, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:33pm

    The recent shootings in Alabama are said to be over a family bible... should we ban bibles now too because of that?

     

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    TechNoFear (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:34pm

    Ban GUNS not GAMES

    Why is it that after these incidents the most vocal crowd asks for games to be banned, not GUNS?

    Without the guns this would not have been any where near as horrific, no matter how violent (if at all) playing a game had made the shooter.

    I suppose it is because the game critics are scared the gun nuts might get violent if you try to disarm them...

     

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  9.  
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    ScytheNoire, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Ban Bibles

    Actually, banning Bibles, and all religion, would do the world a lot of good. So yes, they should.

     

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  10.  
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    Will, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re: Ban Bibles

    Also, if you ban freedom too we'd never have this problem or any other like it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:53pm

    the military is violent! Lets get rid of them too.

    If violent video games made people kill, There would be no more humans left. MORONS!

     

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  12.  
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    inc, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:05pm

    Let's ban freedom of choice as well. Who the fuck needs that anymore these days? Just because some fucked up little turd goes nuts doesn't mean the video game caused it. He was fucked in the head and would've gone off the deep end sooner or later. I mean come on, "He wrote to his parents that he's suffering and he can't go on". Does that sounds like a video game caused that? How come he killed mostly girls, and how many games do you go around shooting them?

    European Union's politicians would do better to educate parents for warning signs for this kind of behavior in their children rather then scapegoat video games.

     

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  13.  
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    Rodney, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:11pm

    Hmmm...

    So the country that slaughtered over 6 million people wants to ban violent video games eh? WTF?

    Do we have a conscience now Germany? Remember, you guys went from Barbarians to mass murders, and now you think banning video games is a good idea?

    The only things worth a crap in Germany are the babes, beer, porn, and some pretty countryside, oh and their invasion and subjugation of France.

     

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    talking head, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:49pm

    and in related news

    I read an article the other day about the UK wanting to tax the hell out of video games because it would (somehow) reduce the use of knives in violent attacks.

     

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  15.  
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    Hugh, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Hmmm...

    Ok this is from someone that doesnt know history, and has never been to Germany.

    I know this is off the issue but id like a chance to redirect someone, Germany as a whole didnt kill over 6 million people, It was a mentally disturbed person from another country, that was able to get the extreamist that were in power to listen to him. Most of the German army did not agree with the powers that be, but considering what the SS was doing, it was better to follow orders than to question those orders. This is almost like trying to say all Muslims or everyone that lives in the middle east wants America gone, not true, its only the extreamist that do.

    Now for the issue of video games, yes once agian its the old redirection of blame at issue here. Games no matter what the form is not the blame here, the persons mental status, his status with his friends, the peer pressure from others his age, his relationship with his parents these are the issues here. If he only attacked women and not the men, it shows reason that maybe a girl rejected him or scorned him and caused him to not think about why he shouldnt just come to school with a gun and harm them. Human emotions have a very strange play on how we think. Look at all the people that are usually calm and meek and let things slide, but when they get cut off by that jerk on the phone on the highway and suddenly they come off like Bruce Banner. Its easy to see how things like this happen.

    You cant just go oh he played a game that involved killing other people, and say that is what caused it. Ask any gamer and they will tell theres a difference in killing pixels and killing a real person. No matter how life like the game is, its just a game. The real question here is, why are kids now a days so prone to want to vent their anger so viloentlly. We cant ban the ownership of guns, so why not just take the proper security percautions and keep schools safe, just as parents shouldnt think that their kids wont do drugs, then schools shouldnt think that they wont become the next news story for a school shootout.

     

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  16.  
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    Yosi, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 12:49am

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    Yea, right. Germans didn't kill 6M people. I guess aliens did it.

    Especially for nutpicks like you Israel have stock of "non-conventional" stuff, just in case.

     

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  17.  
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    Dan, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 1:01am

    I don't think the boy shot those people with a Coleco game pistol, I'm pretty sure it was a real gun. So by what stretch of the imagination does games become the sole causal element here. It sounds like someone is just trying to shoe horn this tragedy into a long held political agenda.

     

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  18.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 2:14am

    Re: Hmmm...

    Wow, some people really are this stupid it seems...

    No, Germans didn't kill over 6 million people. Nazis did. A great many of the people who were killed were Germans and the man who ordered the killings was not. (yes, that's oversimplified for the historians out there, but far more accurate than what I'm replying to)

    It's funny... nobody brings up *your* military history when discussing your country, even though from some points of view you're participated in massacres of similar scale.

     

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  19.  
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    MadJo (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 2:41am

    Video games are just this generation's Rock'n'Roll.
    Same happened then (Rock n Roll causes our youth to worship the devil)
    And with comic books (mysogyny is rampant among our youth, because of those comic books)
    And with violent movies (Our youth are immitating those heroes, we should ban violent movies)

    Sadly, it's just a symptom of time, and I, for one, am sick and tired of the 'get off my lawn'/'think of the children' mentality that we see in our society today.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 4:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    You should actually read the comment before you reply to it...

     

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  21.  
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    Matt T., Mar 13th, 2009 @ 4:18am

    Re: Hmmm...

    I never thought I'd ever see so much racism and ignorance on a technology blog. I'm going to go lie down.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 6:30am

    Re: Ban GUNS not GAMES

    And we would too. try to take my guns and bad things WILL happen.

     

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  23.  
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    Sergio, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    Things will get worse, not better

    Without violent video games as a release, won't these types of shootings become more frequent? Humanity has a long history of being incredibly violent and savage. Now, I'm not saying that it's the only factor, but it seems that ever since things like radio, movies, tv, rock and roll, and video games came along, humanities violent tendency's have gone waaaaay down (at least in countries and areas that have these things).

     

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  24.  
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    Uh, yeah they do, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    Points of contention:

    1. Nobody brings up your military history...Uh, as a former member of the US Navy who was stationed overseas, yeah they do. Actually, I would say that American citizens have the subject of their military exploits brought up far more frequently than Germans, and in many cases rightly so.

    2. The Germans didn't kill 6 million people, Nazis dead...Well, OK, but that's like saying that America didn't invade Iraq, the American government did. At some point, save some extremely rare cases, amongst which Nazi Germany does NOT count, the populous is responsible for their government. The German people, Nazis or not, by and large knew what was happening, and by and large they did NOTHING. Mein Kampf was one of the most despicable pieces of hate ever written, right up their with The Elder Protocols of Zion, and it was the best selling book in Germany throughout the 30's and most of the 40's. Hitler may have been a terrible fire, but he couldn't have burned without the German people feeding him fuel. Well, that and amphetamines. Lots and lots of amphetamines.

    3. Hitler wasn't German...Again, OK, technically you're right, since he was originally from Austria. But is Arnold Schwartzeneggar Austrian or American? I hope to God that he's American, being as how he's atop the political ladder in the 3rd largest state in our country. Hitler was the LEADER of Germany. He was German.

    Having said all this, I understand that Germany as a whole isn't evil. Hell, I'm of German ethnicity. But it is very important that we do NOT excuse the people complicit of those crimes, and that includes a great many Americans: The Dulles Bros., Rockefellers, Fords, etc.

     

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  25.  
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    Duh Mass, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Ban Bibles

    Overpopulation is getting a little crazy too. I vote for a ban on children. Which, btw, would also solve the education funding crisis.

     

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  26.  
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    Rob1138, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 6:40am

    Just look in the past

    Here are a few people who never played violent video games.

    Ed Gein, he liked to kill large women and wear their skin. Charles Manson, you should know what he did. And Charles Whitman, he shot and killed 14 poeple from a tower in Texas. With those examples maybe we should lock up all people named Charles.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, and all 800 million of us around the world are planning a massive, coordinated attack. It's going to be like Hell on earth, it's going to be....Ohhhh look, the new Halo is coming out.

     

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  28.  
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    hegemon13, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Re: Ban GUNS not GAMES

    Because it is not even remotely feasible. (Neither is banning the video games, but that's another point.) If guns were a rarity, banning them might be feasible, but they are everywhere. You ban them, and you create a black market. Then, only the most dangerous element of society has access to guns.

    Besides which, I am a hunter. I view guns as a tool to get meat. Yes, I could go to the grocery store for farm-raised beef. But, I can get much healthier, better-tasting, more humanely-raised meat by hunting a wild deer. It is lean, tasty, and the animal has lived a free and natural life, not been confined to a feed lot. I am not willing to give that up because someone somewhere might commit a crime with a gun. I don't, therefore I should not be stopped from owning one.

    Last, people should have the right to defend themselves in their homes. As long as guns exist in the hands of criminals, I should have the right (though I have chosen not to exercise it) to own a gun for the protection of myself and family. Again, like many dangerous items, guns are tragically fatal in the hands of the wrong individual. So are cars, and knives, and bombs, and freakin' screwdrivers. It is not the government's job to ban everything with the potential to be dangerous. It is there job to punish those who misuse such items. Unfortunately, if a person is going to commit murder, there is not much you can do to stop them by passing new laws. Murder is already illegal.

     

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  29.  
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    hegemon13, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Ban GUNS not GAMES

    ack, the grammar nazi screwed up. In the third-to-last sentence, it should say "It is their job..."

     

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  30.  
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    SunKing, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 7:09am

    BASILLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Somebody HAD to mention the war, didn't they?


    Basil: Is something wrong?
    German guest: Will you please stop talking about the war?
    Basil: Me? You started it.
    German guest: We did not.
    Basil: Yes you did, you invaded Poland.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 7:30am

    Correlations... ?

    They should run a news story about people who play violent video games and are either normal or have even put their game on pause to help an old lady take out her trash or something.

    I watched Silence of the Lambs and I never ate anybody.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 9:18am

    This is just big pharmas way of deflecting attention from the drugs this kid was on. All the kids that have done this all over the world were medicated.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    Or had just stopped taking the crap

     

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  34.  
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    Guy One, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    I am fat... i blame beer

     

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  35.  
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    Shawn, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    THEY ALREADY DO

    I dont even see how this tragedy is possible, Germany already bans video games as too violent . . . so the problem should already be solved . . . right?

     

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  36.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    Banning violent video games

    Right on! I agree. Another case of inductive reasoning; in the class of "I heard that X, so we should make Y illegal".

    More and more I am reminded of the Star Trek T-shirt; "Beam me up, Scotty, there's no intelligent life here".

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2009 @ 12:38am

    oh shit technology gave us guns AND video games LETS BAN SCIENCE....seriously people need to get a grip.

     

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  38.  
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    sdg, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 4:33am

    asdf

    wjegvowiefuh iurh iuh erp9uh uoh u 87 87 8 i huh uh h h h

     

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  39.  
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    Pepper, May 18th, 2009 @ 5:17am

    found good article

    Murderer kill for occasion, school shooter have their subjective justifications. The society has to unfold the enigma of WHY they do that. Paintball, Weapons, FPS, mental disorder or gender – falls to short for an explanation. Everyone could be driven into violent behavior – if your existence seems to be at stake you would run amok. Quest to understand school shootings

     

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  40.  
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    ZR, Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 6:27am

    Re: Was it really the games?

    Videogames are a new thing, and they affect the mind a good bit. However, they do not affect the mind violently, instead they spark imagination and start a new realm of thought, but that last part is off topic. Since videogames are in fact a newer invention, and murder is a timeless invention, I would argue that videogames couldn't have caused school shootings because violence has gone down drastically since systems like the Playstation 1 (or x) and the Nintendo 64 have been released and enjoyed by a decent sized population. Videogames have been an outlet for anger and frustation, and many people who play them feel quite the opposite of violent; they feel happy. I know after playing 4 hours of Metal Gear Solid 2(it was a marathon, I do this with everytime I get MGS games, since they can be beaten in that time period) I felt happy. My entire bad day was obliterated and rebuilt as a happy day. Sorry for the long post. In conclusion, I would contribute less to videogames and more to the destruction of the psyche, as I personally have had this happen to me...

     

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