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Video games linked to German school shooting

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Mar 16, 2009 10:04

ImageComputer Games have once again been linked to a shooting, this time to the recent Winnenden school shooting by Tim Kretschmer, who killed fifteen people.

Police revealed yesterday that Kretschmer spent the night before his killing spree playing FarCry2, "a violent computer games in which a heavily armed mercenary tracks down and kills an arms dealer," according to The Times.

Merkel, the German Chancellor said she was also considering what could be done to limit access to violent video games, but did not give details. "The lesson is that we must be attentive to all young people -- that's true for parents and educators," Merkel said. "We must do all to prevent children from having access to weapons and from them having to face too much violence."

The Times dedicated two paragraphs in their article to "remarkable parallels" between the shooting and FarCry2, the game which Tim Kretschmer allegedly played from 7.30pm to 9.40pm the night before.

Extract from TheTimesOnline

"Kretschmer also played Counter-Strike, another game featuring gunplay, and TacticalOps, a special forces action game"
Remarkable parallels emerged between the video game and the 17-year-old’s rampage.

In the game it is essential to hijack cars to move around. Kretschmer hijacked a car, held a pistol to the driver’s head and asked: “Should I have fun and pick off some more drivers?” Characters in the game, which is made by the French company Ubisoft and has sold 2.9m copies, wear black camouflage uniforms – the clothing Kretschmer wore on Wednesday.

Most sinister of all, Far Cry 2’s killer uses a Beretta 92 handgun, the weapon fired 112 times by Kretschmer. The game, which carries an 18 certificate in Britain, includes sequences in which the aiming, firing and reloading of a Beretta are portrayed in vivid detail. It also rewards players who shoot their victims in the head, the style of killing chosen by Kretschmer.

Kretschmer also played Counter-Strike, another game featuring gunplay, and TacticalOps, a special forces action game, both of which have a 16 certificate in Britain.

Walter Hollstein, a sociologist working with the Council of Europe, disagreed. “It’s nonsense to assume they turn adolescents into school shooters,” he said. “A variety of factors, such as helplessness, anger and loss of control, must come together for them to become the trigger, but the games themselves don’t make anyone a killer.”

Germany already tightened its laws around violent computer games and following the Winnenden school shooting we could see further action being taken. You can read the entire article here.

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