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

March 24, 2009 -

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.


Comments

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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

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

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

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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-

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

" 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!".

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

Sympathetic to the WBC= your opinions are worthless in my book.  Sorry.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

"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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

It's lag added to the fact that ONE LOSS == a rank down 2 levels.  What.  The.  Hell?

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

 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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

''. 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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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/

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

Hey now.  -hands you an ice cube-  Suck on that and think about the validity of your argument first, mkay?  ^^

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

Wow, you are not a troll.. YOU ARE A PUPPET...

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

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

no, he's still a troll. Your rage makes him that much stronger.

--- XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

--- XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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?  

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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!.

 

 

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

 

 

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.)

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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

--- XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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'.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

This Westboro Baptist Church?

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

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

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

 

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

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.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

So... lemme get this straight, if the germans do ban violent video games, are they gonna stop on that, will they ban all so called "harmful to (4)kids" actions like drugs and smex to the point a story become " a man sits down and reads a book for half an hour"?

 

WTH?

============================================================================

Wishing JT would shut up since 4Ever!

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

Politics have no place in a memorial service.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

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

This translation of what Koehler said is just plainly wrong.

I mean people living in a country where everything naked is frowned upon and everything bloody is okay to show at any time to anybody complaining about censorship and nazi-methods in Germany I can only laugh at. People living in a country where innocent people are incarcerated in unfair, biased trials or even without a trial, saying Germany is undemocratic I can only mock. You're idiots, go get some political education!
Every coin has two sides, and in many respects the United States are 10 times more undemocratic and totalitarian then today's Federal Republic of Germany. Just not in terms of free speech.

 

But coming back to the wrong translation of Koehler's speech:

Koehler is a master of saying things that everybody can interpret in the way they want to, saying things everybody can agree on.
If you'd want to interpret the meaning into his speech that he wants these games banned you can do so, but he didn't say it. If you want to think he said everything is okay as it is you can also do so.

Coming back to what he explicitely said:

"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?"

Translation:

"For example we've long known that countless films and videogames are dominated by extreme violence, the exhibition of destroyed bodies and the humiliation of human beings. Doesn't common sense tell us that constant consumption of such products is harmful?"

That is all he said on the topic!
Everything else is pure interpretation. He didn't call for heavier restrictions, he didn't support a ban, actually didn't say anything that may be offensive to anybody. Who can disagree with him?

Constant consumption of which products isn't harmful?

 

P.S. Since when do restrictions (which isn't even what he said... but anyway) constitute a ban?

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

"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.

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

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?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

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

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.

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

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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

"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 :-)

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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

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

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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.

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

Thanks a lot for the translation. I don't see anything in there that suggests he is calling for any kind of ban. That clears up a lot. Maybe the title of the article needs to be changed then?

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

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

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, ...

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".

 
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ZippyDSMleequiknkold:you too eh? 0-o10/22/2014 - 10:23am
Michael ChandraI don't like bullying anymore than you do, and yes, I think you're petty. Not commenting on the sob part, because I don't know your mother and don't see why I'd insult her.10/22/2014 - 10:02am
quiknkoldif that makes me petty, then I guess I'm one petty sob10/22/2014 - 8:48am
quiknkoldwell I'm sorry Conster, Having my skull smashed in when I was 14 made me skeptical to apologies when it comes to Bullying regardless of the platform its given. I guess Bullies beat the sympathy out of me.10/22/2014 - 8:47am
ConsterOn an unrelated note, I'm missing a "heck if I know" option on the poll.10/22/2014 - 8:33am
ConsterIf someone offends a bunch of people on twitter, they should apologize on twitter, and not accepting said apology because it's "only" on twitter is petty.10/22/2014 - 8:22am
BillThe first link is 4 days old, I didn't see it until today.10/22/2014 - 8:19am
BillJust posting them for the record since they have become part of the GG narrative.10/22/2014 - 8:17am
Billhttp://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/10/21/Incredibly-GamerGate-is-winning-but-you-won-t-read-that-anywhere-in-the-terrified-liberal-media10/22/2014 - 8:14am
BillOh yeah, http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2014/10/17/Supporting-GamerGate-Does-Not-Make-You-a-Bully10/22/2014 - 8:14am
BillThere are now two pro GG articles on Breitbart today, one by James Fudge's favorite "quotes out of context" writer Milo. Amazingly Milo claims GG is winning.10/22/2014 - 8:13am
quiknkoldhavent seen any apologies from the "Other Side" except from Boogie, and he made a video, and I saw him give his apology and I accepted it.10/22/2014 - 8:03am
Michael ChandraWhich usually is "the guy is an ass and I don't really believe it, but fine, benefit for the doubt THIS time and no second chances."10/22/2014 - 7:58am
Michael ChandraI'll accept his apology for something that, no matter whether a joke or serious is way out of line, just as much as I accept apologies from others.10/22/2014 - 7:57am
Michael ChandraRefusing to accept an apology that is done through the same medium and does not sound horribly half-assed is just plain childish.10/22/2014 - 7:56am
Michael ChandraPeople on 'both' sides of the debate have screwed up and apologized without such acts. Where's your criticism on the other side?10/22/2014 - 7:56am
E. Zachary KnightReason posted the second part of their GamerGate story: http://reason.com/archives/2014/10/22/gamergate-part-2-videogames-meet-feminis/10/22/2014 - 7:51am
quiknkoldagain, I dont accept any apology when I cant see their face when they give it to me. He needs to do a video, or do something positive like charity or whatever.10/22/2014 - 7:15am
Michael ChandraBut that's the case with every apology, isn't it?10/22/2014 - 5:57am
Michael ChandraDon't get me wrong. The guy from Gawker screwed up, and he acknowledged that and apologized. Whether people believe him is a second thing.10/22/2014 - 5:57am
 

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