In Wake of Rampage, German Pol Calls for WoW to be 18+ Rated

First-person shooters Counter-strike and Far Cry 2 have already come in for mention in relation to last week’s horrific rampage shooting in Germany.

But World of Warcraft, not one of the usual suspects in the video game violence debate, has now been thrown into the mix by a German politician.

Welt Online reports that Germany’s Minister for Social Affairs Mechthild Ross-Luttmann (left) has turned her attention to WoW:

Ross-Luttmann… aims to achieve a general age restriction for addictive computer games. World of Warcraft, for example – available to minors at the age of 12 – might in the near future only be sold to adults. In addition to this, parents need to be further sensibilized [sic]. “Parents must know what danger potential exists in their children’s bedrooms,” Ross-Luttmann said.

Computer game expert and author of "Digital Paradise" Andreas Rosenfelder is rather skeptical about demands like this. “I don’t see a connection between digital role playing games like World of Warcraft and shooting sprees,” he said. World of Warcraft is a game set in medieval times in which the protagonists can take on the roles of dwarfs, elves and wizards. There is no shooting in this game.

"In heated debates there can easily be some confusion,“ Rosenfelder said.

Ross-Luttmann also hopes to begin a secret shopper program in order to evaluate video game rating enforcement by German retailers.

Via: GameCulture

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48 comments

  1. Fenavian says:

    "Video game are deh DEVIL!"

    Yawn. More and more we see scared people trying to place blame on video games for their social woes and not bad parenting. Sad.

  2. Aliasalpha says:

    Hmm, maybe he should do one of those public service announcements, "this is your brain on reactionary hatred"

  3. Austin_Lewis says:

    That is actually a great point.  If you look at Jack Thompson’s life from the viewpoint that he’s an addict, the whole thing fits into the usual pattern.  Addiction leads to loss of job, either by lack of actually coming to do your job or doing your job high or behaving inappropriately at work, followed by loss of licenses (though more commonly, it’s a driver’s license or aviation license in some extreme cases), followed by divorce, followed by the continual dive to rock bottom.

  4. Aliasalpha says:

    So restricting things that are addictive eh?

    Demonising games is clearly addictive, look what it did to jack thompson, he used to have a job and a license to practice law…
  5. Lazier Than Thou says:

    Does this mean Germany is going to get a new bruea for investigating which individual games are addicting?  If so, are they going to be offering positions to various age groups to determine which age groups are addicted to which games?  If so, are they willing to offer positions for such a position to people in the US?

    Long story short, will the government of Germany please hire me to play video games to tell them if they’re addicting or not?

  6. hellfire7885 says:

    Man,  so much flip flopping. First Counter Strike[likely the first version of it], then Farcry 2, now WoW.

    I believe German politicians are just tryign ot use this to run the industry out of their country.


  7. PHOENIXZERO says:

    I think parents should be a lot more worried about letting their stupid kids having unsupervised access to webcams, digital cameras than WoW or any game period…. But of course no one cares about that because it’s something other than BS grandstanding that wouldn’t garner any attention.


  8. BrandonL337 says:

    Man, if Blizzard started just fucking thing up for experiment I might actually start playing again

    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

  9. Chaplain99 says:

    In a way, most children [unfounded opinion] DO have their parents buy everything for them.  Rare is the child who will turn away the money of his/her parents for a shiny new XBox 360.

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  10. Chaplain99 says:

    “Parents must know what danger potential exists in their children’s bedrooms,” Ross-Luttmann said.

    And they said the monsters under my bed didn’t exist.  HAH!

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  11. nighstalker160 says:

    Gotta wonder if they realize just how fricken HUGE WoW is. I really don’t think many of these pols realize that WoW is large enough to practically be considered a small country in its own right.

    I actually am fascinated by the notion of these MMO’s as societies. At what point do you have to view something like WoW as a legitimate society? I mean the CDC models epidemic spreads based on the "corrupted blood" plauge from years ago. THAT’s how much like a society WoW is, you can actually model real world events based on how they took place.

    I mean do we even need simulations anyone? Just ask Blizzard to throw a monkey wrench into WoW and watch what happens

    Take a look at EVE for the best example. Yes, it really is a society in its own right.

    It’s a little scary when you think about it, at what point does a "fictional" world become "real."

    People but in real effort and time for accomplishments in WoW, are those accomplishments somehow diminished because it takes place inside a game?

    Any sociologists on here? I think I just gave you a Dissertation topic.

  12. E. Zachary Knight says:

    You know what would make all of this so much easier? Let’s just amke it illegal for a child to buy anything. I mean Anything. They want candy? Parent has to buy it. They want a toy? Parent has to buy it. They want clothes? Parent has to buy it. They want food? Parent has to buy it. They want an M rated video game? Parent has to buy it. they want an E rated video game? Parent has to buy it.

    Any retailer cought selling anything to a child will be punished with a Felony conviction of a $2 million fine and 10 years in prison. Upon release from prison they must register themselves in a sales offender database and are barred from holding any sort of retail position.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  13. PHOENIXZERO says:

    After many years of only playing Runescape (stop laughing) a friend of mine finally bugged me so much that I gave in and tried WoW with the ten day trail about two and a half months back. I’ve been playing it a lot since. But then again it’s not like I had anything better to do and I don’t really find it addicting, it’s more just justifing that $15 a month by getting my money’s worth, I don’t have an urge to play every waking hour of the day.

    Besides that, it’s no more offensive than anything you might see or hear on TV or being in a crowded public place…. Well, aside from the stupidity of the trade chat and people doing "anal *skill/achievement goes here*" every so often and lack of maturity which could be from anyone. Besides, you don’t know how old someone is unless they say or maybe you use voice chat/vent. Though just because someone might sound young (or female) doesn’t mean they are.

    Anyway, it’s Germany and it’s a politician, so what do you expect?


  14. Austin_Lewis says:

    Ah yes, my favorite part of the school shooting phenomenon; when people begin to call for laws before having all the facts.

    To be honest, last week at the conference in Boston I attended, I gave a lecture on schools shootings (shortly after this whole ordeal), and 8 out of the 15 questions I answered were asking for my speculation, to which I repeatedly said ‘I can’t speculate on the shooting without harder facts. Making speculation based on the original reports has always been a bad practice, it’s like saying a horse will win a horse race because he started out in first.’

     

  15. Father Time says:

    Bully – School Shooting simulator, bully inspirer AND homosexuality.

    It’s the complete package

    Also

    GTA IV -drunk driving (MADD) and murdering cab drivers

    Manhunt -any murder not previously covered.

    Madworld – err what were they saying it was supposed to lead to again?

    also GTA should be cop killers and counter strike is shcool shootings.

    Let it be advised that none of the arguments made any damn sense (except Wow being addicting).

    —————————————————-

    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.

  16. Father Time says:

    No it’s anti women and anti-fat people … somehow.

    When I look at these I can’t help but think of the stupidity of most game crtics. Even the big organizations like Peta … pok Peta’s completely nuts anyway but still.

    —————————————————-

    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.

  17. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "Left Behind: Eternal Forces = intolerance of non-Christians (even JT was against this one)"

    That one very much surprised me. You’d think he would be all "the perfect game," "God was with the people who made this game," simply b/c you’re playing as Christians punishing non-Christians for opposing God. Isn’t that what Jack imagines himself doing to us gamers, or is that a bit too much?

    Every game ever made = Murder simulators that will train children how to massacre friends, bullies, and strangers alike.

    Jack makes me laugh.

    ——————————————————————————

  18. Nocturne says:

    I think GTA and Counterstrike should be the other way around.

    Dont forget Animal Crossing = Pedophilia

    Burnout = Bad Driving

    Doom = outdated politician

    Left Behind: Eternal Forces = intolerance of non-Christians (even JT was against this one)

  19. konrad_arflane says:

    Yeah. I don’t play WOW, but isn’t there a dwarf with a big musket on one of the box covers?

  20. Magic says:

    "World of Warcraft is a game set in medieval times in which the protagonists can take on the roles of dwarfs, elves and wizards. There is no shooting in this game."

    Don’t mention the hunter class anyone!!

    Seriously, WOW was just used as an example since it’s apparently addictive. The actual quote includes " a general age restriction for addictive computer games." which, additionally, I am curious about how broad ‘addiction’ can be applied. From Solitaire to WOW, or both?

     

  21. Stryc9 says:

    Lack of credit card isn’t even a problem in the US, Blizzard sells those prepaid cards here, and if the kid can’t get one of those there’s always the possibility that they’ll just take their parent’s credit card when the parents aren’t paying attention or are asleep and the parents unless they keep a close one the bill or bank statement won’t notice a damn thing, they’ll just pay it and move on.

  22. Afirejar says:

    Credit cards are much less prevalent in Germany than in the US. That’s why most major MMOs offer alternate methods of payment (as do some online retailers, e.g. Amazon.de). Blizzard offers both prepaid timecards in stores and payment by direct withdrawal from your bank account, both of which would be available to minors.

    As a sidenote: An alumni of my university once gave a talk about an MMORPG he co-developed, some older minor product popular mostly in less developed countries (because it would run on almost anything.) The payment methods they offered included physically mailing them cash (with the currency being almost irrelevant). So don’t assume that a lack of a credit card is a hindrance in all countries.

  23. Stryc9 says:

    I’m thinking maybe she has a kid at home who’s under 18 that either in her mind, or in actuality plays too much WoW and is using her position to make a law that would control her little brat because she isn’t a good enough parent to do it herself.

  24. Vake Xeacons says:

     Usually WoW bashings are reserved for the addiction argument…

    I think politicians are just getting tired of referencing GTA everytime they want to bash game violence. 

    It’s like there’s a specific game for each anti-game argument.

    WoW = Addiction

    GTA = School shootings

    RE5 = Racism

    Counter Strike = Street shootings

    Anything else you can think of?

  25. Valdearg says:

    Wait….

     

    What? Of all games to target, why WoW?

    Maybe she is just trying to use this tragedy to achieve some political goal, which, if Politicians in Germany are anything like they are in the US, is not surprising.

  26. gamadaya says:

    Yes, one of Captain Falcon proportions even (bad smash bros. joke).

    ———————————

    Internet troll > internet paladin

  27. BrandonL337 says:

    n64 online? huh?

    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

  28. shamrock says:

    I do know that some countries are way over the top in terms of violence and video games. It’s virtually zero tolerance. One of my GoldenEye n64 buddies online isn’t even allowed to have the game. I mean c’mon. Where is the violence in that? Its Nintendo afterall… 😉

    My sites Vancover & Wireless Security Camera & GTA 5?

  29. vellocet says:

    "In heated debates there can easily be some confusion,“ Rosenfelder said.

    Especially when one side is completely ignorant of the facts.

  30. Dragoon1376 says:

    You know, it’s quite rude to poke holes in her carefully constructed apocalyptic view of WoW corrupting teenie boppers with your annoying logic and realistic world views. 

    Though, I am curious if German credit card companies follow the same age restrictions as the US…. though I can’t really see it being all the different.

    First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

  31. sqlrob says:

    Just make everything, not just games, 18+; can’t have the precious little ones exposed to anything that may harm their development

  32. Cheater87 says:

    Or ALL video games in Germany will have an 18 rating. That is something else I can see Germany doing.


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