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Violent Games Blamed For German School Attack 135

Bret540 writes "A Reuters news story reports that German lawmakers are considering a crackdown on 'violent computer and simulated war games' because a youth decided to attack other students at his school. The young man was apparently already under police consideration for weapons-related violations, and was described as 'someone with no friends.'" From the article: "Wolfgang Bosbach, the deputy head of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) in parliament, said it was time to consider banning games that simulate wanton killing. 'We need effective guidelines to protect children from exposure to different types of media, but we don't need (simulated) killer games that can lead to brutalisation,' Bosbach was quoted on the Netzeitung news Web site as saying." InfoWorld has more details on the event as well.
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Violent Games Blamed For German School Attack

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  • Its hard to imagine living in a country with legalized prostitution that you could get that upset and want to go on a killing spree. While the video game may have influenced the kid into going on a "killing spree" (the voice from quake comes to mind), thats the price of freedom. I suppose Germany is on its way to banning other articles that incite violence... perhaps a crack at the Korahn and the Bible are next considering video games pale in comparison in the levels of violence that they incite.
    • The scary thing is that the article talks about children, and the guy was 18 years old. Oh, also calls for a nationwide ban on paintball and lazer tag. (Bavaria, apparently, already has such a ban.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Yes that is the funny thing, both incidents, Ehrfuhrt and the other one were done by young adults. In the first case the school system and being stamped a total loser definitely was the cause in the other one it is rather unclear. In the first case the weapons were obtained by legal means and the guy either learned shooting in the military or shooting club. But in both cases the usual bunch of we go on a witchhunt politicians crawl out and start to talk about how to ban things they are afraid of instead of
    • by j35ter ( 895427 )
      Ban religious books?<br>
      I think you might have a good idea there...Considering the violence these books sparked in the last few millenia!<br>
      Oh, BTW, choosing between sex (free or paid :) and a killing spree, I would chose the former, so in that spirit, let them ban killing simulations and keep prostitution legal instead the other way round, as some countries, *cough* US *cough*, intend to!<br>
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by amliebsch ( 724858 )

        Ban religious books?
        I think you might have a good idea there...

        Sure, round them all up and toss them in the bonfire. We'll march around it and sing songs and chants! It'll be a fun time!

        • by j35ter ( 895427 )
          Sure,I'll prepare the fire, you bring your library :)
        • "Sure, round them all up and toss them in the bonfire. We'll march around it and sing songs and chants! It'll be a fun time!"

          Think they already tried that in Germany once before - some time in the 1930s or so? Can't recall specifics, but I don't think it worked out very well for them...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Apotekaren ( 904220 )
      But the funny thing with this(ok, schoolshooting rarely have "funny things" to consider, but just tag along) is that the shooter himself stated that he was doing it because the only thing his school ever taught him, was to hate. He was mad at the school and it's administration because they didn't do anything about the fact that he was bullied for years. "Someone with no friends" indeed.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:55PM (#16954842) Homepage Journal
    Why didn't playing cowboys and indians lead to school shootings? Answer: Because parents spent time with their children instead of leaving them to be raised by the television, video games, et cetera.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Andreaskem ( 999089 )
      That is specifically my point (or one of my points, as I have many). I don't know about the USA, but in Germany day nurseries are rare and parents indeed let the TV raise their children.

      If somebody thinks that such a ban is unlikely, think again. Bavaria, for example, banned cell phones in schools because of a few cases of violent videos on students' phones. Instead of solving the cause, they ban the symptoms. Experts already stated that the bill is likely to pass parliament.
      • Cell phones should be banned from public schools. Not for violence, but for their sheer annoyance. There's no reason a high schooler would need one.

        To the rest of your comment: it will be impossible to ban video games. That's like banning alcohol; it's so central to people's lives that it will find a way around. Especially today, with the magics of teh interweb and a computer in every home.

        So, I'm not saying a ban is unlikely, I'm just saying it'll be completely ineffective.

        • Switched on cell phones are banned from the whole school compound. If you have something very important to tell your parents, you have to ask a teacher for permission.

          But about your other point: Here's [] an (unfortunately German) article with experts saying there should be an access restriction system to internet sites with those games. God knows what they have planned *shudders*
        • by DeadChobi ( 740395 ) <> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:54PM (#16955986)
          I disagree that there's no reason for a high school student to have a cell phone. In my part of the US, at least, the schools won't let students have access to telephones via the school except by pay phone. When I was in high school I would frequently go places with my friends after school, and my parents' ability to keep tabs on me was what let me do this. I agree that they're annoying as all hell when a ringtone is unleashed upon a class full of unsuspecting students, but they should be turned off in class, not banned from the school. FYI, people sometimes have cell phones ringing in college classes.

          Students should be treated as semi-adult in schools, and shouldn't have much of anything banned. Rather, if they use something to damage school property or disrupt class they should be punished for the disruption. The attitude of "one person used it to do bad things so it must be bad" is a terrible attitude to have since it relegates all priveledges to the control of the least common denominator. If the worst kid in school does something bad with their cell phone, then suddenly nobody is allowed to have them lest they turn into the same kind of disciplinary problem.
          • Like this? []
          • I've had professors that will drop you from the class if your cell phone rings during class.
            • I had a professor who would make you sing the Star Spangled Banner in front of the class if your cell rang in class. He said that it only takes one student singing before everyone starts turning their phones off before class. My class got treated to two performances, apparently a first for that professor... pretty sad since it was a summer class with only ten students, in a class that normally has about 30 enrolled in the fall/spring.

              Cool links. []
    • Man, I just got to point out that disaffected kids have been killing since before computer games were about- Check out this snopes article on the above mentioned Boomtown Rats song [] It has some info on 'prior art'....
    • Horsecrap

      I grew up amidst poverty and as a result the TV did most of my parenting. Suffice it to say I turned out just fine.

      The problem is kids today are coddled until they're too weak to fend for themselves. They can't handle ridicule and therefore break down. A few go to extremes.

      Those few, like 99.9% of children, play video games ere go easy scapegoat.

      • by jtobin ( 988724 )
        Also horsecrap. I don't think it is possible to say "yes, xyz is at fault, and nothing but xyz". I agree, coddling is a problem. I currently attend the equivalent of high school, and there are plenty of people who fit into this category. But certainly, parents not playing an active role in their children's lives is just as bad as parents playing too much of a role.

        Just because *you* turned out fine, doesn't mean that everyone will. After all, everyone is different, reacts to problems differently and no
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Das Modell ( 969371 )
        The problem is kids today are coddled until they're too weak to fend for themselves. They can't handle ridicule and therefore break down. A few go to extremes.

        Great. Let's blame the victims instead of the aggressors. Do you apply this logic to rapes and murders as well?
      • I grew up amidst poverty and as a result the TV did most of my parenting. Suffice it to say I turned out just fine. The problem is kids today are coddled until they're too weak to fend for themselves.

        So wait, you say that kids today need to be more abused in school, and yet you say you turned out just fine?

        If you had turned out well-adjusted you would know that violence begets violence.

  • Why is it. . . (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:58PM (#16954912) Journal
    when things like this happen, video games are blamed but when someone claims they killed/attacked someone because God told them to do it, the bible isn't blamed?
    • Um, I don't know what planet you live on but the Bible and the equivalent in other religions are all blamed for acts of violence all the time.
      • Re:Why is it. . . (Score:5, Interesting)

        by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:17PM (#16956400) Journal
        What I meant was, when things like the Germany incident happen, various groups jump and down screaming, "It's the video games! Ban them!". However, when someone like Andrea Yates goes and kills their kids because God told them to do so, no one jumps up and down screaming, "It's the bible! Ban it!"

        Instead, what happens is the person is sent for a mental evaluation and is usually, but not always, declared mentally unstable.

        Characterize that with the Columbine incident and you'll hear that they were misguided people who were swayed to action by playing violent video games.
        • I see what you mean now. However, I would submit that there are similarly vocal groups that are poised to blame religion or "the Bible" for any of a number of violent acts. Violent video games are a hotter topic right now with a loud enough group of people voicing their dissent. This is for a number of reasons not the least of which are that it's hard to argue FOR violence in video games and in general video games are considered a negative for people spending too much time on them. The Bible, on the oth
    • by sumday ( 888112 )
      duh, because if you kill someone in the name of god, you're obviously satanic.

      Oh my, hold on a minute... george bush is satanic! There's a turn up for the books.
    • "when someone claims they killed/attacked someone because God told them to do it, the bible isn't blamed?"

      Your saying the bible isn't being blamed for thousands of years of bloodshed? Your point would seem to disagree with the major selling point of most atheists...
      • Not by the people on TV and not by the courts.
      • Which is pretty absurd, considering the actions of atheists and atheist states. Look at French Revolution, Communist Russia, China, etc.

        Nevermind that the way some atheists talk, they seem to be in favour of violence against the religious.
    • Maybe because the Bible says "Thou shalt not kill?".

      (Now some genius usually comes up with different part of the Books where killing is encouraged. Well I can speak only for christians but the guy said he came to fullfill the law. So it needed fullfilment. So all things in the bible are not orthogonally important. But Moses tablets and the speech of Jesus seem quite important to me, what do you say?)

      Your scenario is like blaming math because a corrupt accountant steals money.
  • As a German (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Andreaskem ( 999089 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:58PM (#16954920)
    It's a very sad situation in Germany. The attitude towards computer games is a joke. Games get bashed for everything. Unfortunately, the ban may also include the production of violent computer games. If it passes (which, I hope, it doesn't) you may as well say goodbye to "Crysis" because Crytek is German... I submitted a story about this, too, but it is still pending...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      If it does, I'd assume that Crysis would leave the country, and the developers with it, in complete disgust, and a desire for profit. Well, either that or they throw in the towel like Lik-Sang.

      Every time a nation becomes more restrictive, more of the free thinkers leave for other countries. This process makes the restriction a downward spiral and the nation in question makes itself more and more irrelevant.

      This process has been accelerating lately in the USA...

  • by amliebsch ( 724858 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:00PM (#16954970) Journal

    But that couldn't happen again.
    We taught them a lesson in 1918
    And they've hardly bothered us since then.

  • After all, violence and wanton killing never existed in Germany prior to video games.

    Oh wait...
  • easy (Score:4, Funny)

    by arun_s ( 877518 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:03PM (#16955030) Homepage Journal
    'We need effective guidelines to protect children from exposure to different types of media..'
    Its called Parenting for Dummies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bugnuts ( 94678 )
      but ... if the parents are dummies, what will the kids who play videogames be?

      Oh, I know: smarter than the both of them :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Arent't these german politicians (who wants to ban the violent games) from the same party that imposes in every schoolroom a realistic three-dimensional depiction of a human being tortured?

    PS for those who don't get it, there is a crucifix in every school romm in Bavaria...
    • Actually the funny thing is:
      Schützenverein (shoot club) = good... Draft military after 16 with possible war entry = good games + internet = root of all evil... and an adult with 18 shooting clearly was caused by games nothing else...
      There clearly is a generation gap in germany regarding this issues. Those people come from a generation which does not know anything about thos issues and clearly have a problem to see the complexities of the situation. (see also me longer comment regarding this)
  • by r3f4rd30n ( 1030822 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:04PM (#16955038)
    Every german politician shouts about 'banning games' and that it'll be the solution to the problem. Few are asking how the kid could get weapons and explosives.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Blaming one inanimate object is misguided but blaming another is a good idea?
    • Few are asking how the kid could get weapons and explosives.

      The 'kid' was 18 and Germany has a mandatory military service of 9 months for men.
  • by LordNimon ( 85072 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:07PM (#16955118)
    It's not unusual for convicted criminals to be put on probation and required not to own or engage in various activities. Sex offenders, for instance, are not allowed to live near schools.

    So how about adding violent (rated M) video games to that list? If you're teenager convicted of some violent crime, part of your punishment is a prohibition on owning and playing these games. That way, the 99.9999% of the population who are not influenced by these games to commit crimes won't also be punished.
    • That's a really good point. To me, it seems utterly ridiculous to add video games to a list of prohibited actions/items for criminals on probation, but that says a lot about video games in other ways. If most people think that it would be silly to ban video games for violent offenders, then obviously those people don't think that video games are a significant factor for violence. If we keep guns away from convicted felons because we don't want them to shoot someone yet we let them play video games, then
    • Unfortunately, the ESRB [] provides those ratings strictly for consumer self-recognisance and parental benefit. They state that that are "the game industry's self-regulating body", not a department of state.

      As far as I'm aware, the ratings can't be legally enforced outside of sanctions/penalties within the gaming industry.

      Besides, there's a chance of mis-placed ratings []...

      • Under "T for Teen" ratings, you'll find titles like Battlefield 2142 [future, guns, war, blow-stuff-up] and Medal of Honor: Heroes [sam
  • by The Living Fractal ( 162153 ) <banantarr@hotmail . c om> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:07PM (#16955124) Homepage
    Germany has banned "human nature" in hopes to put an end to violence. Results pending.

  • by MemoryDragon ( 544441 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:08PM (#16955136)
    Germany already has the strongest laws in the world regarding this. The main problem is, that the causes of the incident are not very clear yet. The main problem in germany is that once an incident happens, the usual 5 or 6 politicians crawl out of their holes and the minute this happens they cry to the media they need more enforcement regarding the internet and regarding games (in the 80s it was movies, that has worn off)

    The problem in this case is, the guy, a young adult, being 18, you become entirely adult with 19 in germany, left a note on the net sort of a help cry which led to this incident, the games definitely were not the cause of this, though they might be a small part to the puzzle as probably was other media. The main question to this case is, why did no one really notice upfront, and why did the last message of him go mostly unnoticed and how did this young man (he was not a child anymore) develop such a hatred that he did not see any other solution anymore than to do what he did (he did not come from a broken background, he had a nice family and generally grew up in a suburbian environment).

    The main problem for the usual bunch of politicians this time is, that the media does not buy the cheap, lets ban what we do not understand trick anymore. To my suprise yesterday evening I saw in german public TV ZDF a very unbiased view to the whole issue and the general consensous in the press so far seems, that lets do a more rigorous ban on something those guys simply do not understand is not the solution you only remove a small part of the puzzle why the causes themselves seem to be elsewhere.

    Have in mind the last two incidents were done by young adults, one being definitely member in a Schützenverein (which is sort of a shooting club) but those bonehead politicians never even mentioned the word. The general consensous in this generation gap of politics is, young people = games are a media form we grew up with and can deal with it, internet = opportunities

    Old people = internet root of all evil we have to control it, games = root of all evil we have to ban it.

    As far as I can see at least there seems to be a slow generation shift in the general media towards younger people who have a clearer view regarding this complex net of causes and results. People like Stoiber (being over retirement age), Merkel (slowly creeping against retirement age) and others simply do not get it. They are on a witch hunt without result because it is easier to target something they do not understand than to look at the real causes which are maybe harder to solve or impossible to solve on the side of politics.
    • For all the backbiting and discord between the US and its long standing European friends, your analysis sounds very familiar.

      I'm not sure the fact that we share an apparently-universal experience with weaselly politicians too old to understand the internet is encouraging, or discouraging, however. :|
      • I do not think it is weasally, I think more along the lines of a huge generation gap in understanding certain media. Politicians tend to be rather old, and old people tend to have two problems generally, they develop a certain paranoia about things they do not understand and they do not understand a lot of newer things. And yes weasly politicians are a huge problem worldwide, same goes for lobbying, as far as I understand german politics as an outsider from a neighbouring country, the political system has
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ishark ( 245915 )
      To my suprise yesterday evening I saw in german public TV ZDF a very unbiased view to the whole issue and the general consensous in the press so far seems, that lets do a more rigorous ban on something those guys simply do not understand is not the solution you only remove a small part of the puzzle why the causes themselves seem to be elsewhere.

      Same in France. I was very surprised a couple weeks ago, while watching some hi-rating newscast where they interviewed a child physchologyst about video games. I
    • send this text [] to the politicians.

      won't help but hopefully would show them the disapproval of the population.
  • It is well know that Hitler played ET on an Atari 2600. The Schlieffen Plan was previously known as the ColecoVision Congo Bongo Strategy (damned historians rewriting history). God knows the impact of the Gizmondo's Momma Can I Mow the Lawn on the German mentality.

  • That playing a violent video game makes them go out and kill people? It would appear that their leaders think so. Maybe you guys should get some who don't have such a low opinion of you...

    I've high hopes that we can do the same in this country.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by nczempin ( 822340 )
      Yes, we are all so weak-minded. In fact, "Jack Thompson"'s real name is Johann Müller.
  • by n1hilist ( 997601 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:40PM (#16955730)
    When I was 12 we got our first computer, a 386 and I started with the PC version of Mortal Kombat, then.. Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, Quake, yadda yadda, all the violent FPs, full of 'satanic' symbols, fowl language, blood, gore, sweat and more fun than you can shake a stick at. but I had parents that tought me the basis of right and wrong and what was real and not real. and I turned out just fine, except.. sometimes, when shopping in an over crowded mall I have fantasies about God mode, two Uzis and and unlimited ammo.
    • sometimes, when shopping in an over crowded mall I have fantasies about God mode, two Uzis and and unlimited ammo.
      Perfectly normal. But if you happen to have fantasies of naked people, then we would be concerned and would advice you to talk to your mindcontro...euh, priest as soon as possible.
  • Games aren't the problem. The blame for this lands squarely at the feet of Judas Priest. Dee Snyder's probably involved, too.
  • Couple of points FTA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrCopilot ( 871878 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:23PM (#16956490) Homepage Journal
    Christa Stewens, family minister for the conservative-led state of Bavaria, called for a nationwide ban on war games like paintball and laser tag, in which players hunt down and pretend to kill each other with guns firing paint balls or laser beams. "The federal government must finally ban (simulated) killer games... Bavaria has had such a ban in place since 2002," Stewens said in a statement.

    Paintball and LaserTag, Simulated Deathmatch, OK maybe not fit for minors. I laserTagged my way through 1985 never made me want to kill anyone, but I can almost see her point.

    She added that children should also be prevented from playing violent computer games.

    Restricting M rated games to people of Mature Age is also acceptable.

    The federal government has so far refused to ban such games.

    Ahh, the system works.

    The opposition Greens warned against banning violent computer and war games.

    Opposition? Soory, here in the US we don't allow such things.

    Volker Beck, a leading Greens member of parliament, said it would be better to focus the debate on the proper use of computers and not jump to conclusions before it was clear what motivated Bastian B.

    Clear Heads working in government, I am shocked. Now I know why we call'em foriegners.

    This 18yr old was due in court for weapons violations. Hmmmm. I wonder what his otivations could be. Notice no call for banning the weapons and explosions he used. Maybe they should just mandate that every teen must be laid at least once before graduation, as long as we are talking about motivation.

  • by RexRhino ( 769423 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:40PM (#16956744)
    Well, I can drag out the tired old arguements of alcohol prohibition in the U.S., and the U.S. war on drugs... they are a dead horse, but it deserves some beating just because so few people understand the concept...

    Currently, software developers use a lot of discretion in what they produce, and they do a pretty good job making sure the games are not sold to minors and not marketed to them. They might not do a perfect job, but there are a clear and established set of guidlines that they follow, a set of guidelines that stores follow, and it works OK.

    Ban violent video games, and instead of violent video games being sold in legit stores, by legit companies, you are going to instead shift that buisness to the black market, who will not be able to compete in quality but instead will outdue each other in how graphicly violent, demented, and disturbing the games can be, and they will sell them online from outside Germany.

    You never ever ever improve a situation by driving a product from being sold by legit buisnesses to be sold by the black market. It won't reduce violent video games, it will make them more violent. It will not make violent video games harder to get, it will make them easier to get. Just like any high school kid knows, it is way easier to get weed than alcohol... and any gun owners knows that it is cheaper and easier to get an AK-47 on the black market than to legaly purchase a modest licened pistol in most places... this kind of legislation is just going to drive the production of video games into the hands of those who most want to exploit children.

    All attempts to ban victimless crimes fail... and they fail because the government can't revoke basic laws of economics. If there is sufficient demand for a product, there are going to be people more than willing to supply the product. Even in the U.S. where there are paramilitary style drug squads, and over a million people in prison because of drug charges, there has not been any permanent decrease in drug use since the war began. And I hardly imagine that Germany is going to be willing to go as far enforcing a video game ban as the U.S. has gone with it's drug ban, so it will not even be as effective as the U.S. war on drugs.
  • Doesn't Germany already closely regulate violence in video games?
  • Ok, for those of you who can read the language: []
    I personally find it pretty insightfully, almost as much as the fact that it, together with the boys website was immediately taken off the net. It just goes to show, how repressive the German state is, and how such a terrible incident is used as justification to make laws designed to take away my freedom as a gamer and my responsibility as a sane/more-or-less-moral person in general.
  • These are just the usual suspects. Every country has them, mine isn't free of them, sorry.

    The good news is that aside from the parts of the media already well known for being less than acurate and very sensationalist in everything, the media is offering a slightly more interesting picture this time.

    The one thing that bothers me, however, is that apparently the police have shut down his website, where the young man had published his diaries and other texts, stuff that would give a much clearer picture as to
    • What was his website? The Waybackmachine or Google cache are great for this sort of thing. You'd think they were designed for it.
  • My guess is that every normal person played some sort of war game with one's peers during childhood, or any other game involving "shooting" and "killing" (Lil' Crimstoppers anyone ?). If you go into a toy store, it seems like half of the toys are toy weapons or are related to military. This has been true for ages, and has not been a problem. When Crime and Punishment came out, it caused quite a disturbance in society. If you think of it, this book might have much a stronger effect than any videogame. Yet i
  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @06:43PM (#16958482) Homepage Journal
    There is a law in germany banning blood in videogames.

    Hence, publishers releasing games in the european market will edit the blood out for the entire multilingual release, since the rule of the smallest common denominator (germany's hemophobia) applies. For games going to europe: Any images of blood are to be logged as critical bugs.
    Now, in the U.S., however, the same rule applies to nipples (which reminds me, I'm undercafeinated).

    So I'm really not surprised that they're taking another step down the slippery slope of censoring games. It's not going to DO anything about real violence, like hiding nipples is not going to stop the desire for nipples, but it's not the actions of a sane mindset, it's a hysterical show, starring a straw man.
    After all, the waltz will cause wanton sexuality, I mean, rock and roll is the devil's music, no wait, I meant comic books will turn kids into axe murderers... er, no, that's pot: smoking reefers turns kids into violent psychos. Yeah... games are bad, mmm-kay?
  • I blame otherwise inept political demagogs for violence worldwide. Lets ban them!

    Oh, shit, there goes the neighborhood.
  • by cianjo ( 884149 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @07:07PM (#16958798)
    (Translator's note: This translation is for the benefit of all who don't know enough German. It sends a chill through my bones. I don't see much how videogames could have spurred him on, he seems to have had plenty of momentum of his own...pretty much a repeat of columbine if you ask me.)

    When you know, that you can't be happy anymore in your life, and the reasons for this accumulate from day to day, then there remains nothing less than to disappear from this life. And therefore have I decided. There are probably people who would have gone on, would have thought "It'll be ok", but it won't.

    I am told that I have to go to school, in order to learn for my life, in order later to live a good life. But what will get you the fattest car, the biggest house, the most beautiful woman, if it's all just shit in the end. If your wife begins to hate you, when your car uses petrol that you can't pay, and when you have nobody that will visit you in your shit house!

    The only thing that I really learned in school was that I am a loser. For the first years at the GSS (school?) that was true, I fell for consumerism, and afterwards strived to make friends, people who don't see you as a person, but as a status symbol.
    But then I woke up! I recognised that the world as I saw it didn't exist, that it was an illusion, that mainly is produced by the media. I noticed more and more what kind of world I lived in. A world where money rules everything, at least in the school it was only about that. You had to have the newest mobile, the newest clothes, and the right "friends". If you don't have those you're not worth noticing. And I call these people Jocks. Jocks are all, who on the basis of expensive clothes or pretty girls, stand above others. I detest these people, no, I detest people.

    I discovered when I was 18 that you can only be happy, when you follow the crowd, watch out for the society. But I couldn't and wouldn't. I'm free! Nobody is allowed to enter my life, and he who does must bear the consequences! No politician has the right to pass laws, that forbid me things. No bull [policeman?] has the right to take my guns away from me, at least not while he's wearing them at his own belt.

    Why all this? Why must I work? So that I'm crippled and at 65 can go into retirement and snuff it 5 years later? Why should I bother to reach something, when it's all shit in the end because I will croak sooner or later?

    I can build a house, have children and I don't know what else. But why? The house will be torn down sometime, and the kids will also die. Pray tell, what kind of meaning does life then have? None! So everyone has to give his life a meaning, and that I will not do in that I crawl around some overpaid manager's ass or to piss around with Fascists who want to tell me that we live in a popular government.
    No, there is another possibility to give my life meaning, and this I will not waste like all others before! Maybe I could have lived my life completely differently. But society has no place for individualists. I mean real individualists, that think by themselves, and not the "I wear a riveted armband and am alternative" idiots!

    You all started this revenge, not me. My actions are a result of your world, a world that won't let me be how I am. You all made fun of me, the same way I did with you, only I had a completely different sense of humour!

    From 1994 to 2003/2004 it was also my endeavour to make friends, have fun. When I came to the GSS in 1988, it started with the status symbols, clothing, friends, mobiles etc.. Then I woke up. I realised that my life long I was the goon for others, and that they made fun of me. And I swore revenge!

    This revenge will be carried out so brutally and ruthlessly, that your blood will freeze in your arteries. Before I go, I will come down on you like a ton of bricks, so that I won't be forgotten! I want you all to recognise, that nobody has the right to invade in someone else's life under a fantastical disguise made of law and religion!

    • I'd be very interested to see just how many other people his age feel similar with society the way it is today.

      I can absoloutely understand a lot of what he has said there, quite a bit of it -I don't condone his actions but understand his frustrations with life / people and the world in general - most definately (at least most of his points)

      This is only going to continue to happen with society how it is, people will snap - this will keep happening, banning games will prove nothing.
      • "I'd be very interested to see just how many other people his age feel similar with society the way it is today."

        Probably more than people would like to think... considering all of my close friends and I throughout high school said nearly exactly the same things at one time or another, and well, I guess I can't say all too much more than that, or anything ;)
  • "a youth decided to attack other students at his school"

    Shouldn't the crackdown be on youths rather than games?
    Or maybe schools.

    Yes. I think removing either youths or schools from society will definitely prevent the same kind of tragedy happening again.
  • I think we can all agree here that the parents are at least partially at fault. I remember being younger growing up in Europe, playing army games all the time. Running around with wooden sticks pretending they're machine guns and gunning each other down, with guns, grenades (fake ones) you name it..

    I would personally have a hard time killing a fly, so I really don't see how this whole "video games are bad" can be applied to the general population, there MUST be another variable at play here.
    • I know, parents are always to blame on Slashdot. But read his farewell letter. I don't think his parents had much to do with his problems. Neither did video games.
      • The farwell letter tends to strong suicidal causes (depression probably) with a good mix of schizophrenia in, and a high aggression level towards society which often can be found in teenagers who are in a phase of finding themselves. The thing which probably has pushed him over the edge violence wise is probably this mix. Nothing could have prevented that I assume and nothing probably can be blamed.
  • Next time the parents should tell the kid to play a game like, "Tales of the Abyss", that preaches killing is bad, before letting the kid step into the arena. :P Honostly that's what most games are missing is the lack of understanding, that even on a real battlefield, no one likes to kill ... or die for that matter.
  • Please read his goodbye letter...the reason is obvious: society puts more and more people in the social gutter. Society only has time for the rich and famous...the others are material for the meat is not video games or bad parents that lead to this type of action!

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.