According to a report in Spiegel, a bloody school shooting in Germany last month has led to renewed calls for action against violent games.
As reported by GamePolitics, an 18-year-old Counter-strike player assaulted his former middle school in November, wounding a reported 37 people before taking his own life.
The rampage led Minister of the Interior Gunther Beckstein to propose amendments to German law which would authorize prison sentences for those who create or distribute game content which features “cruel or otherwise inhumane acts of violence against humans or humanlike creatures.”
The real shocker is that Beckstein would lock up violent game players as well.
Penalties proposed by Beckstein include up to one year in jail and/or fines.
GP: The translation of original web page was accomplished via Google, so it’s rather imprecise. I have made small edits to the Beckstein quotes which seem contextually correct.
UPDATE: MSNBC has more, including a quote from Frank Sliwka, head of the Deutsche E-Sport Bund, which coordinates online gaming competitions:
Now we are being labelled as a breeding ground for unstable, dysfunctional and violent youngsters.
MSNBC also reports that Interior Minister Beckstein has reached his own conclusions about violent games:
It is absolutely beyond any doubt that such killer games desensitise unstable characters and can have a stimulating effect.
The article further speculates on what such a ban might mean for the March, 2007 PlayStation 3 launch in Europe. Top titles for the beleagured system include shooter Resistance: Fall of Man and Call of Duty 3.