A coalition of German citizens has published an anti-game violence position paper that is being referred to as the Cologne Declaration.
The news comes by way of David Ziegler, a longtime GamePolitics reader from Germany. Ziegler writes that the declaration was issued in response to the German Culture Council’s recent recognition of video games as cultural assets.
The Cologne Declaration argues that violent games are harmful to children as well as to the building of a peaceful society. Several prominent German social scientists have signed on to the edict, which specifically refers to Counter-strike, DOOM 3, Crysis, Call of Duty 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV as "killer games" and "landmines for the soul."
The document revives the notion that shooting games were developed by the U.S. military in order to condition recruits to kill and asserts that violent games further the aims of the "military-industrial-media complex." Researchers who have defended games are labeled as "collaborators and accomplices" of the video game industry by the declaration, which calls for the government to end state support for game development and ban violent games. The document concludes with:
We won’t allow our children to be turned into killing machines on real and virtual battlefields.
GP: The "landmines for the soul" line has been used before by the German Society for Scientific Person-Centred Psychotherapy (GwG). The Cologne Declaration appears on the GwG website.
The claim that violent games are used by the U.S. military to desensitize recruits to killing was originally put forth by violent game critic Lt. Col. (ret.) David Grossman. ABC newsman John Stossel disputed that notion in his 2006 book Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity.
The GwG’s assertion that violent games are designed to further the aims of the "military-industrial-media complex" sounds similar to the views of fringe political figure Lyndon LaRouche here in the United States.