Report: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, Movies

The fallout from this month’s horrific school shooting in Germany continues with President Horst Koehler (left) backing a call to ban violent video games and movies, according to AFP.

The news service reports that Koehler made his comments on Saturday at a memorial service in Winnenden, where the rampage began. More than 7,500 people were in attendance, including families of some victims of the shooter, 17-year old Tim Kretschmer.

From Koehler’s remarks:

All Germany mourns with you… Each child is born innocent, and when a child dies, it is hope and the future which dies too… [there should be restrictions on] the innumerable films and videogames of extreme violence, with their display of dead bodies…

Earlier, families of five victims had written to Koehler and Chancellor Angela Merkel, demanding that violent video games be banned and teens restricted from access to guns:

We want something to change in this community, and we want to help so that there can be no second Winnenden… We want killergames to be banned. Games, whether on the Internet or on the PC, in which the goal is to kill as many people as possible deserve to be forbidden. The same goes for all violent games which are, in their structure and presentation, very realistic and very bloody.

GP: Thanks to GamePolitics Forum mod Hannah for the translation of the remarks by the victims’ families.

UPDATE: A German-speaking GP reader believes that Kohler’s remarks do not go as far as to call for a ban on violent games, although the AFP report indicates otherwise. There is a lively discussion on this in the comments section – worth a read.

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195 comments

  1. 0
    the1jeffy says:

    http://www.amazon.com/Gun-Occasional-Music-Harvest-Book/dp/0156028972/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237984506&sr=8-1

    This book has a similar take on the future.  The crux of the story is that the government starts issuing legal drugs to keep the populace docile, and part of that is banning media, going to far along as you’ve detailed above, to outlaw the asking of questions, for fear of offending the person who is asked.  You have to have a licesnse to ask a simple, What’s up?"

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  2. 0
    the1jeffy says:

    I didn’t say they were motivated by fame.

    They receive justification in the form of the glamorous media frenzy that inevitably ensues after any type of under-21 rampage.  Their justification is -before- they act out.  For example, take the case of VT, the killer sent a packet of media to NBC (I believe) -before- his rampage (not early enough to thwart his designs, of course).  He knew he would live on in infamy, just like the other school shooters, helping him to justify his actions.  It’s not a sole motivation, but it -is- a very powerful one. 

    Also, you are mis-reading what I linked, go read the whole review to get a better context.  That quote specifically says that these shooters are NOT simply looking for revenge.  They lack the ability to cope with any type of rejection, perceptions of inequity, and simple real-life day-to-day issues.  The shooter’s targets are typcally random, any type of revenge killings would be very much more focused on a few individuals.

    However, it is worth noting, that "Getting back at the world," does factor into their distorted worldview, for sure. It’s just another piece of the puzzle that all too often we have to put back together post-humously. 

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  3. 0
    Deamian says:

    If I was a poltician…

    -Dream state transition here.-

    "Hmmmmmm… overwrought troubled kid shoots people in school! Nobody’s going to defend video-games now! PEOPLE! BLAME VIDEO-GAMES! -Mutters.- And certainly not the familial context and ridiculously easy access he had to guns…!" 

    One day, politicians will allow competent people with the real skills/knowledge to deal with what society throws at society… Till then, they’ll suck up every last itty bitty inch of power there is to have from the pain of families affected by this event.

    Fucking opportunists.

     

  4. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Haha, I haven’t played Halo 3 as much, but back when I used to play Halo 2 obsessively, I would get up to level 49…then take a bad loss and be back down again. I never got to 50 in team snipers before Halo 3 came out and I stopped playing =( Sooo aggrevating

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  5. 0
    Raziel5150 says:

    As long as there is violence in media, whether it be movies, music, videogames, etc., one of these forms of entertainment will be subject to the "blame game" for a violent act that occurs.  Trouble is, violence existed long before these forms of entertainment were ever introduced into modern society.  Violence will continue to exist even w/ them being banned.  People who are mentally disturbed & let their mental illness take control will commit acts of violence no matter what.  Having access to violent media isn’t going to make them anymore dangerous.  Having people ridicule them, look down on them, not listen to them, push them, etc., is what eventually will make them snap.  I’m sure this 17yr old boy had a much darker past than just sitting around in his room & playing videogames or watching movies.  No one cares to look into that though because as long as there’s some easier way of something or someone taking the blame, then that’s how it’ll continue.  What always amazes me is when the media does find some sort of damning evidence that’s not related to violent media entertainment, they just shrug it off as if it’s nothing.  I mean, if someone was raped & bullied for years & then acted out on those haunting images of the past, it’s a sentence you’ll hear a reporter say before moving on to the next story.  Find out that this same person played GTA IV though & that’s ALL you hear about & how games like it & other forms of media are ruining society.  Give me a break & take what happened for what it actually was.  A mentally ill teenager who had clear cut signs of killing others, but no one took any action, because "he would never do something like that".  Guess what, he did.  Others will too.  Even if you ban violent movies & videogames that’s not going to stop people from killing who already have it in their mind that it’s the only solution.  Maybe we should go back & re-analyze "Jack the Ripper".  He might have played tiddleywinks…

  6. 0
    Chaplain99 says:

    You forgot the part where a prominent member of the political super-structure ends up being a closet-gamer.  -GASP!-

    That’s the plot twist, in case you were wondering.  ^^

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  7. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    Not going to say anything, it’s just too sad and depressing that these people full of fear, anger, hate and suffering and getting all the media exposure and no one is even listening to the people who are talking sense.

    Sad life is.

     

  8. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    It’s pretty clear that you go there (and yea, sage has moved beyond trolling newfags, onto gaming news sites, eesh.), but saying l2context isn’t exactly "elegant" =p

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  9. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    My dad has several guns and I was recently dumped…am I gonna be a serial killer too? I played Far Cry a month ago…Oh no, I need to hide myself from society before I hurt someone! (living in a house with responsible gun usage/safety would arguably make the kid less likely to use it for harm, and should have no effect on their mental state)

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  10. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    I’m gonna say "maybe" on your second sentence. lol.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  11. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Eh, I might’ve smashed a controller or two back in the day…it was the game’s fault, I swear. Freaking lag… =p

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  12. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    http://lemmycaution.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/successful-troll-is-successful.jpg

     

    (and actually, I think if I was raised in a 100% indifferent household, I’d probably be bisexual instead of heterosexual, but that’s just me. Though my dad isn’t specifically homophobic, I was taught like a normal boy that boys like girls, and that that’s the natural way of things. Hell, if you would’ve asked me a couple years ago, I thought being gay was incredibly wrong/unnatural. Then, I grew up.)

  13. 0
    JC says:

    Cmon Nightwish, I love your comments. You could’ve made more of a story out of it.

    They ban games by passing ordinances or what have you to make owning violent depicting intereactive material to be illegal. People still play it underground and shootings still happen, so politician concludes we must witch hunt the people who simply want to play it solitary. These people are then chased down and ridiculed and or has their adobe burned/destroyed by the witch hunt mob and may then be subject to abuse and ultimately death at the hands of their fellow man. It repeats until they come across an individual that is able to defend themselves with a small armament. The witch hunt proposes the police get involved and deploy a swat team to take down the individual.

    Underground enthusiasts only play very rarely and when discovered may even be prone to commit suicide or flee their oppressors. It is then learned that many were useful members of society and some damaged is done to the local area for killing or forcing some of their taxpayers to leave. Shootings still happen and parents suspect their children’s friends. At some point, it’ll lead to the witch mob to killing children who probably were only playing simple cartoon violence that has no blood involved.

    All the while, mass media portrays everything as a victory and that all the gamers died from suicide instead of cold blooded murder. They’ve started genocide and laud it, and people like Jack Thompson have killed more people in a few months than multiple school shootings ever had.

  14. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Welll you know how much sense Common Sense Media has, maybe some people are taking after them!

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  15. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Rapid farting of rainbow lights could lead to epileptic seizures in some people, causing people to feel bad. Having feelings shows human emotion, therefore, we must blame the statue!

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  16. 0
    Chaplain99 says:

    Whoa whoa there.  I agree with you on Sage being a troll and all, but just because someone believes in one thing that you disapprove of doesn’t invalidate ALL of their other opinions.

    That’s just cold.  ^^

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  17. 0
    Chaplain99 says:

    I’ll admit, every now and then Halo 3 riles me up.  But I get frustrated, not murderous, and I certainly don’t throw stuff around or hurt anybody.  Self control, people.  Self control.

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  18. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    So, let’s say for the sake of argument, you ban vilolent video/computer games and there’s a tiny dip in the stats a year later.

    Ok, so in your mind, that worked.

    But, there’s still violence.

    So, you pick something else to ban, believing it’s causing the remaining elements of violence.

    So, you ban violent music.  A year later, the numbers appear to drop a bit more.

    Ok, so in your mind,  that also worked.

    But, there’s still violence.

    So, you pick something else to ban, believing it’s causing the remaining elements of violence.

    So, you ban violent movies.  A year later, the numbers, having waivered up and down throughout the year, appear to drop a bit more.

    Ok, so in your mind, that worked.

    But there’s still violence.

    Gee, maybe books containing violence are causing the continuing violence.

    Then, the news (TV, newspapers, magazines) because they contain violent images, reports of violence, reports of injustice, so on and so forth.

    So you ban all those things.

    But, violence still occurs.  Moreover, violence begins to rise.  You’re sitting around wondering what else you can ban to reduce violence.

    But, in so doing, you ignore WHY the violence is occurring.  The oppression the population is feeling is leading some individuals to commit violence.  And while you banned some things that may affected some individuals one way, those individuals still found reasons to be violent which, at the heart, were the real cause for those individuals to be violent in the first place.  In other words, they were going to be violent, and the ignition point still found them and set them off, even if it was something other than what you banned.

    Do you just keep being blind to the fact that people who will eventually be violent will be set off by ANYTHING, or do you finally realize that there are other reasons than the things you personally, religiously, and/or politically don’t like that set individuals off?

    Keep banning the things YOU don’t like.  Eventually, those things will be gone, violence will still occur, and what will be left to ban are things YOU like or participate in.  Making YOU the cause of the violence that occurs then.

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  19. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    "Maybe those couple of people who WOULD have committed a school shooting never never got the idea or knowledge to do so via violent games."

    On the other hand, maybe violent folks play violent games in an attempt to find a safe outlet for their violent tendencies.  Maybe making violent games less accessible would INCREASE the violence.  You don’t know what will be the result and neither do I, but neither of us should be making assumptions based on no evidence whatsoever.

  20. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    " can only say that obviously watching violence would increase violence."

    Based on what?

    Does watching The Godfather increase one’s membership in the Mafia?  Does watching motor racing increase one’s tendency to drive fast on the highway?  Does watching the Olympics make one a faster runner?  Clearly not.  So how on God’s Earth can watching violence make a person violent?

    I’ll save you the bother of spluttering some nonsense.  The answer to the above is "It can’t, and you’re an idiot!".

  21. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Ok so you ban media you do not like whats next ensuring the hardline fascist party takes over government for life?

    You get one the other is not far to follow and neither is repression of public rights and war becuse once they "fix" their contry whos going to be "fixed" next?

     


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com

  22. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    Your claims about what the Traitor John Bruce showed you negates your supposed "evidence" as the Traitor John Bruce has been proven, time and again, to make false and fraudulent statements.  And they have been enumerated over and over again.  If you want to ignore the Truth, The WHOLE Truth, And Nothing But The Truth, go right on ahead.  That shows the quality of your own honor, ethics, and intelligence.

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  23. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    And yet I CAN provide evidence that shows that violence DID exist prior to interactive media, movies, even books.  For centuries if not thousands of years.  Can YOU prove that ONLY the existance of interactive media, movies, and even books CAUSED, not became another peripheral element that was added in addition to other existing peripheral elements (such as bigotry, hate, religion, revenge, passion, temperature, genetics, and many other factors), but CAUSED these acts of violence.  If not, then you have NO facts whatsoever to back up your claims and are, in fact, as so many other Anti-Freedom Of Speech individuals and organizations do, using false supposition, fear mongering, and smoke screens to justify banning those things which you personally, religiously, and/or politically oppose.

    You’ve suggested others provide evidence otherwise their arguments are without value.  The same, in fact, applies to you.

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  24. 0
    Meohfumado says:

    Even if you could prove, categorically beyond a reasonable doubt, that a given rampage killer like this guy only did what he did because "video games made me do it" that would be 1 out of what….30-50 million people worldwide?

    That is called a statistically insignificant number.  So even taking your very big "IF" and giving it to the anti-game lobby….they still don’t have a logical leg to stand upon

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  25. 0
    Alex says:

    4chan was the first and last entity ever to use the term "sage," ever.

    True story.

    I agree that the guy’s a troll but I’m sorry, that is the flimisest argument against anyone I have ever seen…

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  26. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Yes, not all people, but still enough. When goverment bans something they don´t like, basically, THEY ARE OPENING A NEW MARKET.

    When you ban racism or sexual discrimination, I understand, because those actions affect the rights of many people.

    But there is not any reason to ban videogames just because people in power don´t like it.

    And again, you don´t ban something because two sick persons open fire against people on a school. If the start to attack prostitutes with rocks, should be banning the Bible, too?

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  27. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Holy shit.  You just gave me a headache.  That has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read- even on the internet.  Now it’s possible to "catch" gay?  

  28. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    "Sagt uns nicht der gesunde Menschenverstand, dass ein Dauerkonsum solcher Produkte schadet?" [Doesn’t common sense tell us that constant consumption of such products is harmful?]"

    Actually, Mr. Koehler, no – it doesn’t.  Common sense tells us to look at the EVIDENCE before we arrive at conclusions.  Maybe jumping to conclusions BEFORE weighing the evidence is what counts as common sense in Germany, but if so, then I imagine that sort of common sense is what got Germany onto the losing side in two world wars and made Germany, which was a cultural mecca in the 19th century, into a a genocidal embarassment in the 20th.  Instead of learning from the mistakes of its past, it seems, Germany is more than willing to resort to the same LACK of common sense that caused its earlier problems.

  29. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "Well think about this. They ban violent media…and violence goes down."

    Eh?  Really?  Where are you getting that factoid from?

     

    Andrew Eisen

  30. 0
    Doom90885 says:

    Theoretically I wish all forms of "bad" media can be banned games movies, etc. I just would love to go to these parents, politicians and other "champions for the people." I’d have to ask so….where would you like to put the blame now? Are we FINALLY gonna start holding people accountable for their actions and the parents who fail to supervise their kids? No more violent games no more violent TV can’t use that as an excuse anymore! 

  31. 0
    Marley42 says:

    "He also says "da ist nicht nur der Staat gefordert," which to me implies that he does want the state to play some sort of role in controlling such material, even if that role is only minor.  Otherwise, he would have left out the "nur", wouldn’t he?"

    I would actually interpret this differently. At the moment a lot of minor politicians and some German media are calling for stricter rules and blame everything on the state. This "nur" can be very easily interpreted as a response to those people. Like in: "Only the state is responsible for this!" – "No, not only the state."

    I would agree though that he thinks that the state should play a role but that’s actually already the case in Germany. Germany has the strictest age rating rules of all of Europe and the US. So I wouldn’t see this "nur" as an indication towards your interpretation. It looks still pretty neutral to me.

    But well… of course this too is only an interpretation :-)

  32. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    wait what?

    you are SERIOUSLY saying that if you hang around with somebody gay.. that you can become gay too? um they arent homosexual vampires of zombies y’know. IT also isnt a disease you can catch. It also isnt a ‘lifestyle choice’ or any other label you want to put on it, no matter how much you say it. Your either gay , or your not. Its that simple.

    Geez, i havent heard such a load of utter rubbish in ages. The idea that just seeing somebody gay will ‘make’ you gay is just so ridiculous!.

     

     

  33. 0
    nekusagi says:

    That logic fails like crazy.

    You can’t "turn" gay. Maybe someone who had repressed homosexuality might come to terms of it and come out of the closet, but they don’t "turn" gay.

     

     

  34. 0
    Elegant says:

    Listen, troll, you had a 9/10; you did your thing.  Now let it die. The more effort you put into your trolling, the more you fail.

    *looks below his comment*

    goddammit, guys

    — XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

  35. 0
    gamadaya says:

    Sounds like ulix was right on the money about how this guy talks.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  36. 0
    gamadaya says:

    *sigh*

    Maybe I need to get something to eat. My fingers keep jittering, and I keep hitting post comment twice.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  37. 0
    gamadaya says:

    I agree with that second source, but you shouldn’t say they are motivated by fame. I thought you meant that they were just looking to make their names known. And I think the article also states that they want to strike back at people who the believe (incorrectly or not) want to do them harm. Yeah, they aren’t taking direct revenge against bullies or anything, but I’m sure some of them believe that they are fighting back against the kinds of people they despise.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  38. 0
    Hannah says:

    Thanks ulix.  I think the part that mostly strongly implies that he’s seeking a ban is the part where he says "Eltern und Angehörige von Opfern haben mir gesagt: "Wir wollen, dass sich etwas ändert." Meine Damen und Herren, das will ich auch, das sollten wir alle wollen," because the families of the victims have called for a ban, and in this sentence, he suggests that he supports them in this initiative.  Of course, he doesn’t quite say that, but I can see how someone might interpret it that way.  

    He also says "da ist nicht nur der Staat gefordert," which to me implies that he does want the state to play some sort of role in controlling such material, even if that role is only minor.  Otherwise, he would have left out the "nur", wouldn’t he?  

    So… although I agree that it’s not quite the same as calling for a ban, it does look like he’s leaning in that direction in this speech, or at the very least, he being very careful to keep such options open in the future.

  39. 0
    gamadaya says:

    Yeah, sorry again. If I had known his background, I wouldn’t have defended him.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  40. 0
    Marley42 says:

    Being German (and therefore a German native speaker) myself, I back up this translation of ulix. afp has taken the quotes somewhat out of context and hasn’t really marked their interpretations as such.

    And ulix is right: of course you can still interpret that he wants to ban those games even though with all his calling on people to act responsibly it doesn’t seem to me (personal interpretation!!!) as if he would consider a ban of all games containing violence as the solution of the problem.

  41. 0
    Elegant says:

    Regarding the user "Sage"

    Everyone, ignore this CONFIRMED troll.

    1)"Sage" is what you type in the email field of 4chan when you want to show contempt for a post by taking up a slot in its limited number of "bumpable" replies, without actually bumping in back to the first page.

    2)He claims to be sympathetic with the "godhatesfags" Westboro Baptist Church, the one who protest at the funerals of soldiers for so-called "religious" reasons.  "Thank God For IEDs!" has been on signs they wield before.

     

    He’s a troll. Ignore Sage

    (it goes in every field)

    — XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

  42. 0
    Sage says:

    Yes, I would. I never said I was Christian or a supporter of WBC, just that I follow their general non-violent traditions and views. And I don’t believe gays are evil, but I do believe that showing amounts of homosexual activity to someone could do the same as showing violent media to someone. As in, not everyone will go on a school shooting, just like not everyone will become gay, but some will. And I personally disapprove of homosexuality.

  43. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    I can state for a fact that I play a lot of violent games, and have done for OVER 20 YEARS!

    yet i havent been in a fight since i was 5 years old (when I was the victim not the agressor)

    I havent got ANY criminal convictions.

    i HATE real world violence (i mean absolutely hate it… it makes me feel so sick to my stomach if i see soembody getting hurt)

    i HATE HATE HATE the sight of blood. If my cats bring in a mouse or other small creature i have to get a LONG shovel to scoop it up. UGH.

     

    Yes ive played violent games for 20 years. And (up until recently with my university degree piling work onto me) I played as a hardcore gamer, for hours and hours at a time.

    Wierd that im not at all desensitised to violence then, n cant stand the sight of blood isnt it. I mean apparently its ‘obvious’ that playing violent games has this effect.

     

    Hmm.. well i guess i must just be superhuman to resist the effects.  Perhaps i should donate my DNA so they can start some military supersoldier clone project.

  44. 0
    the1jeffy says:

    http://www.fbi.gov/publications/school/school2.pdf

    Page 26 make mention of this.  I’d give the whole thing a read, it’s a fairly good tool.

    http://www.jaapl.org/cgi/content/full/36/4/544

    Another interesting resouce.

    "The most prevalent misconception about school shootings, Langman contends, is that they are perpetrated by loners or outcasts striking out against classmates who bullied them. In reality, most shooters were teased no more or no less than their peers, most had friends, and most of the victims were targeted at random.

    But to a public grasping for easy answers, "retaliation makes sense. Kid’s picked on, comes to school, gets revenge. There’s a clarity to that that we can all relate to," Langman says in an interview in his small, sterile office north of Allentown, its shelves packed with thick diagnostic manuals and books on therapy, psychology and child-rearing."

    — Source:

    http://www.ktla.com/landing_entertainment/?Book-Columbine-shooters-mentally-ill-not=1&blockID=236629&feedID=14

    So, in short, it’s not revenge.  It’s about changing the way the world views them, and the mass media plays a large role here – both by demonizng these shooters, and by eulogizing them.  It’s not that simple, of course, but the mass media, being a social power, plays a role.  I am positing that the role of mass media is larger than violent media.  BUT, it’s still not to blame, which is why I asked if he/she wanted to ban it.

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  45. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Banning anything will cause more problems than it will solve.

    Prohibition for example. ALcohol was banned, so people went underground with it, and people began distilling illega liqour that was far more dangerous than the legal stuff.

     

    Furthermore, banning games will not magically make school shootings or violence in general stop.

    Say video games are banned, and a school, or any puiblic venue, is still shot up. What will be blamed then?


  46. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    I’m assuming Thompson only told you about those documents, not actually showed you, as despite his crowing and bragging he’s never shown us anything, either that or he knows it’s all bunk.

    And just because we happen to disagree with you doesn’t mean we’re full of rage or are violent.

    And, supporting the WBC, I’m sorry, but supporting people who celebrate death and genocide…. that’s just low.


  47. 0
    Yellowchposticks says:

    so they ban violent video games, soon, millions of gamers who had no violent tendencies start suffering withdrawal symptoms, then start rioting (probably on motorized couches and office chairs), suddenly the truth is revealed: lack of violent games causes violence!!!

  48. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Zerodash plz stop it for the last time(conspircy theorys don’t work, period)

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  49. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Let’s throw this back in your face.  The Westboro Church, and the ENTIRE CHRISTIAN RELIGION should be BANNED because of all the violence people like them (and you, as a supporter) encourage with your hate speech.  Would you go along with a ban on Christianity in order to save lives?  Oh wait- gays are evil (God says so), so its OK to kill them.

  50. 0
    ulix says:

    To summarize and for a better overview here is my translation again, but this time of the whole relevant section regarding violent media – and hopefully without any more mistakes from my side:

    [First the German original]

    *************************************************************************
    Doch es bleiben Fragen an uns alle: Tun wir genug, um uns und unsere Kinder zu schützen? Tun wir genug, um gefährdete Menschen vor sich selbst zu schützen? Tun wir genug für den inneren Frieden bei uns, den Zusammenhalt? Wir haben uns auch alle selbst zu prüfen, was wir in Zukunft besser machen, welche Lehren wir aus dieser Tat ziehen müssen.

    Zum Beispiel wissen wir doch schon lange, dass in ungezählten Filmen und Computerspielen extreme Gewalt, die Zurschaustellung zerstörter Körper und die Erniedrigung von Menschen im Vordergrund stehen. Sagt uns nicht der gesunde Menschenverstand, dass ein Dauerkonsum solcher Produkte schadet?

    Ich finde jedenfalls: Dieser Art von "Marktentwicklung" sollte Einhalt geboten werden. Eltern und Angehörige von Opfern haben mir gesagt: "Wir wollen, dass sich etwas ändert." Meine Damen und Herren, das will ich auch, das sollten wir alle wollen. Und da ist nicht nur der Staat gefordert. Es ist auch eine Frage der Selbstachtung, welche Filme ich mir anschaue, welche Spiele ich spiele, welches Vorbild ich meinen Freunden, meinen Kindern und Mitmenschen gebe. Zur Selbstachtung gehört es, dass man "Nein" sagt zu Dingen, die man für schlecht hält – auch wenn sie nicht verboten sind.

    Die meisten von uns haben ein Gespür für Gut und Böse. Also handeln wir auch danach! Helfen wir denjenigen, die sich in medialen Scheinwelten verfangen haben und aus eigener Kraft nicht mehr zurückfinden. Helfen wir auch Eltern, denen ihre Kinder zu entgleiten drohen.
    *************************************************************************

     

    [Now the translation]

    *************************************************************************
    But questions remain for all of us: Do we do enough to protect us and our children? Do we do enough to protect endangered people from themselves? Do we do enough for the inner peace in us, the cohesion [?] ? We must all test ourselves: what we can improve in the future, which lessons we can learn from this deed.

    For example we’ve long known that countless films and videogames are dominated by extreme violence, the exhibition of destroyed bodies [weird word-choice in German, too] and the humiliation of human beings. Doesn’t common sense tell us that constant consumption of such products is harmful?

    My opinion is: this kind of ‘market development’ should be curbed. Parents and relatives of the victims have told me: ‘We want that something changes.’ Ladies and gentlemen, that is what I too want, everybody should want that. And there not only the state is called for. It is also a question of self-respect which films I watch, which games I play, which example I am to my friends, my children and my fellow men. Self-respect includes saying "No" to things that one consideres bad – even if they aren’t verboten [banned].

    Most of us have a grasp of good and evil. So lets act accordingly! Let us help those who have entangled themselves in media illusions [media illusory worlds] and who cannot find back on their own. Let us also help parents whose children threaten to slip [from their grasp].
    *************************************************************************

    [End of translation]

     

    While it is clear here that he is not comfortable with some kinds of violent entertainment-media, he does not directly call for a ban and doesn’t even directly advocate it.

    I mean what is he supposed to say? As I said, he is someone who, in his speeches, is a master of the double-entrende, you never know what he is actually thinking, because he only says things in a way so everybody can agree.

    So what you read into it is your thing, the speech is probably designed specifically so that everybody can interpret his or her own view into it. Just like all of Koehler’s speeches.

    One also has to keep in mind that the German president dosn’t have much to do with everyday politics. He is somewhat outside of the regular political sphere. He is supposed to be impartial in party-disputes (although he is part of a party). The only "real" poltical power he has is to sign laws (and to pardon criminals). Thats about it. He is therefore supposed to be the highest representative, an impartial ambassador of all Germans, not of his party. His political function is mainly representative.

  51. 0
    Zerodash says:

    I know some people accuse me of being too broad with this opinion, but I am certain that a major Western government banning violent media is the beginning of the end.  Should a total ban like this happen in Germany, a precedent will be set that will spill over into the rest of the "free" world. 

    UK already has tons of politicians and media types who are itching to ban violent games (and movies to a lesser extent).  All they need is another so-called Demorcacy to point to as an example and then, with the right amount of moral panic, institute a ban. 

    The US, already with a strong anti-games presence on both the right and the left will be next.  The end for videogames is beginning.  Just you watch. 

  52. 0
    Shoehorn Oplenty says:

    So if they ban games and no more shootings happen, that proves the games were responsible? Suuuure. This little pebble I brought into my house and placed on my desk keeps tigers away. There have been no tigers, it’s PROOF!

     

  53. 0
    gamadaya says:

    You should use the reply button located under each comment.

    But yeah… I didn’t really know about Sage’s background. I don’t mind too much if somebody is religious or anything, and I try not to let that prevent me from listening to their opinions, but when you support something like the WBC, the gloves come off. I don’t blame anybody for calling him an idiot. People who believe homosexuality is a sin instantly invalidate all of their opinions.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  54. 0
    Shoehorn Oplenty says:

    Do you honestly believe that someone who is psychologically damaged enough to commit a school shooting would not do so if they had never played a violent game?

    The recent German shooter was said to have mental problems, was recently turned down and rejected by a girl and lived with a parent who had over a dozen firearms around the house. Now, if you are trying to put forward the theory that the only reason this guy did what he did was because of playing Far Cry or Cs, then you are seriously deluded.

  55. 0
    Shoehorn Oplenty says:

    "I wish I had the documents that Jack showed me at my disposal so I could show them to all you, but I don’t."

    Now there is proof that you a are a troll. Thompson has never shown ANY proof to ANYONE. He rants on about "dozens" of studies, yet the only one he ever mentions is the APA one which was shown to be flawed.

    Humour us, were these documents in the style of his "picture book" filings?

    "But you cant state for a fact that violent games don’t increase violent tendencies, just like I can’t say for a fact that they do."

    I can state for a fact that I play a lot of violent games, and have done for several years. I can also state for a fact that I have no increased violent tendencies whatsoever. So, I guess I CAN state for a fact that violent games don’t increase violent tendencies, they certainly have not in my case.

  56. 0
    Wormdundee says:

     Way to contradict yourself within two sentences.

    "I can only say that obviously watching violence would increase violence." And then, "…just like I can’t say for a fact that they do." In the first sentence you say that it is a fact that watching violence increases violence, and then 2 sentences later say that actually no it isn’t a fact. Get it straight.

    Plus, every time you post you mention some vague "documents", "studies", or "experiments" but can never seem to come up with anything. Noone is going to take you seriously if you can’t provide sources for what you’re saying. Just to mention it again, there have been no studies done that side with your opinion that haven’t been shown to have some sort of bad practice that skews the results to show what they want to show. You can look back through the article history on GP to see this.

    Not to mention, you don’t look too intelligent when your argument is that it’s "obvious" that watching violence increases violence. When other people present their opinions, they have data to back them up. You should try it sometime.

  57. 0
    gamadaya says:

    Damn, 2 double posts today. I have to cool it with that post comment button.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  58. 0
    gamadaya says:

    You mean that maybe saves the lives of so many people.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  59. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    I’d like to have a real debate

     

    you would? thats strange, because every time ive seen somebody make (or i have made) a counter point to your argument, you ignore it.

    Not the best ‘debating’ skills there. ‘Ignore what i cant argue, and keep saying the same things’.

  60. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    ”. I don’t think I should be harrassed everytime I come here stating my views”

     

    harrassment?

     

    What?

    you VOLUNTARILY come here.

    you VOLUNTATILY post here.

    you VOLUNTARILY respond to posts here.

    Saying your being harassed is like getting a restraining order on somebody, only to purposely seek them out, go into a place you know they will be, and then claim they are harassing you.

  61. 0
    Vash-HT says:

    @Sage,

    If you are generally aligned with the WBC then you believe all gays and pretty much most people in this country should be killed, and you say you’re against violence? Also, Jack Thompson has threatened the GP community before and not only that suggested we all be sentenced to death and also mocked gamers who have killed themselves and suggested that every other gamer should follow.

    How do you expect anyone on here to take you seriously when you align yourself with people like that. Seriously you call us bad because we play violent games and then go and align yourself with people who wish REAL WORLD violence on others.

  62. 0
    gamadaya says:

    How do you know that’s true? It seems to me like they are motivated by the desire to kill those who they believe have wronged them.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  63. 0
    Erik says:

    I’m fairly sure that people got the idea to kill people they don’t like LONG before video games were ever fathomed.  Open a history book sometime.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  64. 0
    Erik says:

    And what is your proof that violence would go down?  Oh thats is right you have none.  What is the evidence that the current violence is caused by violent media? Oh right there is none.  Ergo if there is no evidence that violent media is the cause for current violence then logically speaking the violence will continue without the media.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  65. 0
    the1jeffy says:

    School shooters, and most other rampage style shooters, are more motivated by the fame the mainstream newsmedia grants them, and others like them, than anything else.  So do you want to ban the free press, too?

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  66. 0
    Sage says:

    Of course people will try to get around it, but not all people. Maybe those couple of people who WOULD have committed a school shooting never never got the idea or knowledge to do so via violent games. That saves the lives of so many people.

  67. 0
    Sage says:

    My opinion. I stated my view and referenced where I was coming from. I know the WBC isn’t widely accepted and even I think they take things overboard, but their general message is what I believe in. If you think i’m just "trolling" then please stop addressing me and let me speak with the people who don’t see the coin one sided. I’d like to have a real debate instead of just being insulted for offering a different view on violent media.

  68. 0
    gamadaya says:

    Wait, Jack? You talking about Thompson? Because when you bring that guy up, all credibility flies out the window.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  69. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    You are the one who compared homsexuality with violence and cited the Westboro Church to backup your believes.

    Do you want to be taken seriously with all that? Sorry if you get offended, but I won´t buy your opinions. I think you are just trolling, anyways.

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  70. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Because banning videogames is not to solve anything. Sage asked "what if", but you can´t ask for a ban just with a "what if". At least, not people who are really concerned with real life issues and not with people looking for the easiest scapegoat at hand.

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  71. 0
    Sage says:

    Thank you gamadaya, Rodrigo seems to have pent up rage for people who have differing opinions, along with alot of other violent game players here.

    I can only say that obviously watching violence would increase violence. I wish I had the documents that Jack showed me at my disposal so I could show them to all you, but I don’t. But you cant state for a fact that violent games don’t increase violent tendencies, just like I can’t say for a fact that they do. Although it’s my own opinion that they do and my own opinion that they should be banned. I don’t think I should be harrassed everytime I come here stating my views. It’s called GamePolitics, not ProViolentVideoGamesOnly.

  72. 0
    DavCube says:

    Violence has been going down without bans to violent media, if you haven’t noticed.

    Could you at least try to sound genuine when you troll?

    Dennis, please, i don’t know how this person here could be any more blatently unneeded. Sure, he’s not going off-topic, but he’s clearly purposely drawing attention upon himself.

  73. 0
    gamadaya says:

    So why is he an idiot? That seems to be what he’s saying. Nothing has been banned, and nothing has been proved one way or the other.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  74. 0
    Hannah says:

    All I did was translate the comments from the victims’ families.  I am not a native German speaker and am merely a student of the language, so… if I made a mistake, I apologise.  I just hope I did a better job than google translator (Dennis’s usual Plan B) would have done.

    As for the Koehler quotes, I think Dennis was just referencing the AFP article, which said that he called "for curbs on the kind of violent video games believed to have influenced the teenage gunman" and that "he said there should be restrictions on the spread of ‘the innumerable films and videogames of extreme violence, with their display of dead bodies.’"  The article also stated that "Koehler backed families of the victims who appealed in an open letter for tighter gun control laws and a ban on violent video games of the kind which Kretschmer regularly played."

    So… thank you for pointing this out, but please don’t blame Dennis.  He was merely repeating the speculations of others, and due to the language barrier, he was unable to check his sources as thoroughly as usual.

  75. 0
    gamepolitics says:

    Just to be clear:

    Hannah only translated the lower section, regarding the call for a ban by the families of the victims.

    The section regarding Kohler’s comments comes from the AFP article, which is in English. Here is the full text of the relevant section from AFP:

    "Each child is born innocent, and when a child dies, it is hope and the future which dies too," Koehler said, calling for curbs on the kind of violent video games believed to have influenced the teenage gunman, Tim Kretschmer.

    All flags across the southwestern Baden-Wuerttemberg region and beyond flew at half mast and bells were tolled at 0945 GMT.

    Around 20 giant screens had been erected in the open air to transmit the service live, including in a stadium able to seat up to 30,000 people.

    Police had said earlier they expected that up to 100,000 would be in the town for the event, but in the event they put the numbers at 7,500 "at least".

    Koehler backed families of the victims who appealed in an open letter for tighter gun control laws and a ban on violent video games of the kind which Kretschmer regularly played.

    He said there should be restrictions on the spread of "the innumerable films and videogames of extreme violence, with their display of dead bodies," while individuals should be able to "say no to what they feel to be bad".


  76. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    Well think about this.

    As the number of gamers has increased EXPONENTIALLY, and the number of major releases containing violence has increased, real world violence has continually  gone down.

    Well think about this.

    There are NO major ‘spikes’ in violent crime around the release dates of new high profile violent games. In fact there has been shown to be no effect, to a slight DECREASE in violent crimes around the times of release for violent games (and films for that matter).

    Well.. just think.

     

  77. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    And you and your little buddy, the Metropolitian Moron of Miami, have no proof, let alone absolute proof needed to directly contradict a Constitutional Amendment, that "violent" media "causes" violence.

    So what exactly is your point?

    Pot, Meet Kettle.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  78. 0
    Sage says:

    Well think about this. They ban violent media…and violence goes down. You all act like violence will continue at the same rate, but have no proof of that at all.

  79. 0
    ulix says:

    "So nowhere in his speach does he even advocate the restriction or ban of of violent games or movies?"

    Correct.

    Look at the section I translated below. He actually says explicitely that not only (i forgot to translate this individual, but quite important word below) the state is called for in such a situation, but the individual citizens.
     

    But even with my translation mistake, leaving out the "only", he doesn’t directly call for a ban or anything, he is just saying that the state has a certain responsibility.

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