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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 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:03PM (#16955032)
    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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by Apotekaren ( 904220 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @03:10AM (#16962232)
    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.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"