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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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  • by Andreaskem ( 999089 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:04PM (#16955054)
    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.
  • 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.
  • by MemoryDragon ( 544441 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:30PM (#16955524)
    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 looking at the entire situation. It is easier to sell this over lets protect the children than to go into a real analysis of the situation. I am glad that other incidents which were very similar (the Kampusch case) were done by people above 40 otherweise probably all children already would be chained down so that no harm can be done to them by the bad internet and games!
  • by ishark ( 245915 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @05:08PM (#16957154)
    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 braced for the usual "videogames are the root of all evil", and was pleasantly shocked to hear the guy answer something on the line: "if you parents find that videogames are eating up too much of your kid's time, look at their environment: if they are finding refuge from reality in a game, this means that something is wrong in the environment they live".
    It's good to see that after the initial wave of demonizing, games are seen as a symptom and not a cause.
  • by MemoryDragon ( 544441 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @05:11PM (#16957192)
    Christian democrats are historically the conservativ parties of many western european countries.

    The name partially stems from the close ties those parties had to the local churches and monarchs 100-150 years ago (nowasays the ties are way more loose and a political non influence clause of the churches into politics has been mandatory for decades) and partially stems from the fact that early social democratic and communist movements were outspokenly atheistic.

    Since most countries in europe have a relatively relaxed christian view, this is different to what it sounds to american ears. In most countries of europe those conservative parties are more on the left side of the political spectrum than the US democrats.

    And no in most of our countries we do not have those religious boneheads you people suffer from in the US.

    The reactions which basically were triggered in germany do not have anything to do with the political spectrum of the party, similar reactions were issued 3-4 years ago by the social democrats when the shooting occurred in Ehrfuhrt.
    But have in mind that every protestantic influenced european country has its fair share of taboos. Sweden it is the alcohol and prostitution, in germany it usually it is media in england it used to be porn and prostituion.

    The funny thing is that historically catholic countries have none of those taboos. Western european catholic regions polictically and socially, with the exception of Bavaria which is the closest you can get to a catholic Taliban region you can get, tend to be socially and politically very relaxed regions. This might historically stem from the fact that catholizism is more forgiving regarding sins, so things do not run into becoming taboos and become easier socially accepted. I know myself it used to be different in the history, but I am speaking of the present here and I am speaking of western europe only, not eastern Europe, where the perfect counterexample is probably Poland!
  • 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'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen