In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German School Massacre

March 12, 2009 -

Following the shooting rampage carried out yesterday by 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer in Southern Germany, calls have been renewed for government restrictions on violent video games.

GamePolitics is thankful to longtime European GP reader Soldat Louis for steering us to German language sources, including this Google-translated segment from Heise:

The President of the German Foundation for Crime, Hans-Dieter Schwind, calls... for a total ban on violent computer games, and a further tightening of the arms law. The criminologist said that the 17-year-old on the run even further to have done is a behavior the young people in games like Counter-Strike or Crysis could learn...

The Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann has... expressed demand for a ban on so-called killer games renewed... he said, it generally must be clearly said that the games were available, the obvious just in young people cutting inhibitions...

Soldat Louis also reports:

"I've just learnt that in Strasbourg, European representatives voted a resolution in order to prevent retailers to sell adult-rated games to minors."

Romandie News has the story in French. GP's Google translation follows:

In a report prepared for a long time and voted Thursday by an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament calls for common strategy is developed at EU level providing for "severe sanctions" for retailers who sell adult games to minors, or owners of Internet cafes that allow children to play games unsuitable for their age group...
 

"Of course there are also many games of great pedagogical value. The important thing is to avoid the frigid bad games in the hands of children", commented at the end of voting the Social German Democrat Evelyne Gebhardt.


Comments

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Let's see...

He had violent computergames on his computer. He was seventeen. He had experience with guns. I'd consider fact nr 2 and nr 3 to be the causes of fact nr 1. How that means he had a passion for them, when he also played table tennis a lot, is beyond me. Sounds more like he had a normal hobby, like most other teens around.

I got perhaps a hundred different low-quality RPGs lying around my place. If they'd assume from those I got a passion for those, they'd be horribly wrong. Yes, I like them. But 90% of them I got from a discount bin and never got around to playing.

I also got nearly 500 manga in my place, of which over two third was bought by my bro. Violent games on the other hand? Nope, the only game that would count is Hitman: Blood Money and Strangehold, both of which I haven't played in over a year.

If I were to ever go out and shoot people up, they're gonna have a field day on me. o_o

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

In other news, water is wet, the sky is blue, farts are stinky, and guns kill people.

Woops, sorry, I forgot, video games kill people :D

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

The European report is not so  against videogames. But the thing is that the PEGI is not a legal institution, but a self-regulated one. The report want to legitimize the PEGI as the unique institution, with no executive legal power, but at the same time salers will be responsible. This legal responsability would be established by national legislation. It seems to be quite messy. Wait and see, but be sure the "moral panic" will get stronger.

Game in Society http://www.gameinsociety.com

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Germany does already have a legal institution for rating video games called the USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbskontrolle). They can rate a game 6+, 12+, 16+ or deny classification. Since 2004 all those ratings are binding, so retailers may not sell a 16+ game to a 6 year old kid without risking a lawsuit. Games without classification may not be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Furthermore, another institution called BPjM (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien) may put any unclassified game on the "index" if they want to. A game that is listed in the index may not be sold openly to anyone under 18, and it may not be advertised, which already includes mentioning the title in a report.

That said, movies had a legal rating board for many many years now in Germany, and for some reason it works better for movies than it does for games. Which, in my opinion, shows that it's not the current laws that are the problem, but making sure that they are enforced. In my opinion, if they keep passing new laws without making sure the older ones are enforced, then it's surely not going to work, no matter how many violent games are banned. If anything it would only cause more anger among the adult gaming community in Germany. After all, we're full of age and responsible for our own well-being. As of now, we may play any violent game we want to, while children aren't meant to play those games anyway, even with current laws. I feel that banning violent games would only take a right from adult gamers, but it wouldn't help to keep these games away from children if they can't make sure to enforce them.

Greetings from Germany,

 Botskiz.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Yet they claim violent video games are the cause of problems, Let alone europe, germany has often next to thailan being the biggest distrubutor of Hard/Soft core porn,Not to mention they often show nudity on Kid's shows,Commercials and Even Their own version of Crime/drama/Comedy shows.

 

 

Magic Taco

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

I second Geoff's question.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

What's wrong with nudity?  Or even porn for that matter?

 

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

The Germans have the tightest control over violent video games yet still they can't keep people from killing one another?

I recommend they patch every version of Counter Strike to replace weapons with walkie talkies and have them...oh wait, that was already done in E.T....

Nevermind.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Bloody hell... Did these people even bother to read the police reports?

What's the term again... "The Confirming-Evidence Trap."
In other words, people tend to seek out information that supports their existing point of view, while avoiding information that contradicts it. It doesn't only affect where they look for evidence, but also how they interpret information they receive.

Or to translate to normal talk: They refuse to see anything but their own 'truth'.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Kinda like Creationists only they can't find anything backing up their views so they just make shit up.

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

I think the term is cherry picking.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Once again the Germans prove a superb ability to firmly grasp the wrong end of a very long stick and then thrust it up the arses of the law-abiding videogame-playing public.

Way to go Jerry. I suppose the facts that he was mentally unstable and that he had easy access to unsecured firearms had NOTHING to do with it.

 

Check out my blog - http://serveratcapacity.blogspot.com

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Thats exactly the point. By all acounts, he was fairly normal kid, described as "not aggressive". There haven't been any studies conclusively linking games to increased violence, let alone causing an average, normal teenager to kill a load of children.

Seriously though, I don't know why people don't take firearms more seriously: people just spout the old rubbish about people killing people, not guns. How on earth do these vulnerable and unstable kids get access to these things - surely thats the real probem?

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

The Columbine kids got their guns illegally (and not from their parents). If kids are really determined they'll get guns from the black market or if not they can make explosives (which the Columbine kids tried but their bombs didn't work although others have been successful).

Although let's say they didn't have acsess to weapons what's to stop them from being arsonists?

Taste?

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

The sad thing is, games get drawn into a debate like this on a wave of misinformed nonsense, obscuring the real reasons which led to such a tragic event. The drive for cheap political capital to be gained means people just see the shooting as a way of puching their own agenda. Surely, if anything, it is far far to early to possibly comment on what drove this boy to do what he did, even if games had something to do with it, and any commentators who were actually concerned and trying to make the country safer would wait until a full report and investigation.

Shouting "Ban these Games" the moment the event has happened is not only stupid, it's actually countre productive and, frankly, shameful.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

And here we go.

Thanks to the insane actions of a single individual, we get to suffer months (at least) of this shit. 

At least Dennis won't have to worry about any slow news days now. 

 

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Hey germany, you already have one of the most restrictive game laws in Europe, no need to make it the world because some guy said the shooter play Counter Strike.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

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