1. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Games removed from stores (temporarily) in Norway after disaster last Friday

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by WriterDude, Jul 29, 2011.

    Some of you have probably heard about the disaster here in Norway last Friday. I won't go into details about it, as you can easily find all aobut it with a few quick searches on google. However, what I can say is a guy blew up a bomb in the political district as a distraction, then went to a small island where some political youth had gathered and started shooting them. In the end, 77 people have been killed. I started a thread about it shortly after, but it got closed quickly when peopel started blaming others. So please keep this one civilized.

    The point of this thread isn't the disaster, but a strange consequense. It turned out the shooter/bomber had been playing the computer games Call of Duty 4; Modern Warfare and World of Warcraft before the attack. He claimed he used CoD4 to practice shooting people. As for World of Warcraft, he had been playing it a year, and the media say it's a violent game. As a result, some stores over here are withdrawing both of these games from the stores for some time in respect for the people who were killed and the people left behind.

    Now add the fact that the shooter was a member of a gun-club and used to shoot a real gun at a shooting range frequently. This was not mentioned by the media when they blamed the games. He had also written a long manifesto heavily inspired by the Una Bomber where he wrote a lot of crazy stuff, and he wants to start a war in Europe when he's released. Not to mention even his defense attorney say he lacks any kind of knowledge of how society works and are short of calling him insane.

    So what do you think? Is it right to blame the games again, like so many times before? Or are games a harmless hobby? Were there any connections at all between the games and crime? And should the games be removed from the stores like that?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Blame of the games is ridiculous, imo. And Warcraft is so far removed from anything like gun shooting that it makes even less sense than usual.
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I thought this was coming. It irritates me that gaming is such a vulnerable cultural medium like this. I played violent video games as a child and I'm perfectly normal. And it's not like awful, even sadistic imagery and stories do not exist in our world already, even if video games never existed, like in The Bible for example
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Human nature is to try to find reasons and rationales for things that are sometimes utterly unreasonable. The guy was a lunatic. Games and music are easy targets, and so often establishment figures look toward those. But it's a load of bollocks, if I can borrow an expression from across the pond.
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I wouldn't stop you use a Britishism. I use Americanisms all the time.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I watched too much Monty Python and Young Ones growing up, and sometimes the expressions just flow naturally :D
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    It's ok. After Die Hard I never trusted Snape again.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, he was a right bastard in that :) Bruce didn't kill him dead enough apparently.
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    No he did not. :p
     
  10. Pludovick
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    Pludovick Member

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    To be fair, when he's mentioned that he used Call of Duty to train for the massacre, it's in good taste to take it down for a while. There was a similar example in the aftermath of the Madeline McCann thing- there was a film scheduled to launch a couple of weeks later that dealt with child abduction, so they delayed the launch to be sensitive to those affected at a difficult time. I don't think anyone's blaming the games for the massacre- while it's true that there are lots of people who are violent who play games, I'm pretty sure that it's violent people being attracted to a specific segment of the gaming medium, not games making people calculating killers.

    I'm not even sure he did play World of Warcraft- it mentions here that he used it simply as an excuse for avoiding other people:

    As a result I think the ban there might be a bit OTT, but you can't be too oversensitive in these situations. It's been available for 6/7 years now, anyone who wants to buy the game has probably bought it already. I know people often like to blame games for atrocities like this, but he's written 1500 pages on his plans and his gaming takes up about a paragraph and a half- you can hardly say they were a significant contributing factor to what happened.
     
  11. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't comment on this individual case but the (abundant) literature is very clear on this: violent videogames (and TV and movies) are associated with increased aggressiveness in exposed individuals.

    Frankly it would be very odd if it were otherwise.

    But do you ban stuff because of that? No, of course not.
     
  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Correlation and causation need to be distinguished, however.
     
  13. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Video games don't kill people. People kill people. There are millions of people who play those games, and they aren't killing people.

    People get scared when they cant explain away someone's actions and seek someone or something to blame in order to get a grasp on the situation. Unfortunately, those explanations aren't always correct. The truth is that people are capable of doing horrible things, and there doesn't have to be a reason for it. Sometimes there are just bad people.
     
  14. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    It has been, pretty emphatically. But again, this is no reason to censor or ban. A mature, meaningful defence of liberty does not include denying that liberty incurs costs.
     
  15. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I agree. Much of policy making in a free society is determining the acceptable costs of liberty. In other words, where does the cost of freedom bring too great a cost. In my view, the freedom of the individual should be virtually unrestricted up to the point where one individual harms another (and I mean fairly directly, not in a generic "that behavior will costs the tax payers money down the road" sense).

    I don't like paternalistic laws - laws that exist primarily to protect the individual from himself. Helmet and seatbelt laws for adults are perfect examples.

    When it comes to things like video games, there may exist a correlation here but I think it is well beyond reasonable for people to suggest that video games creates these killers, or that the killers somehow would have refrained from acting were it not for a video game. It strains credulity. I know that's not the argument you are making, but I've seen it made elsewhere.
     
  16. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It's sad to see video games once again getting the blame for the actions of people. I certainly hope this isn't the start of a theme. I was very proud and encouraged by Norway's immediate response to the massacre. The Norwegian PM's statements about not sacrificing openness and democracy were wholly admirable, and I hope it's a principle that Norway holds to.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    It is sad. It's like blaming movies, or guns. 'Guns don't kill people, people do'. Isn't that the saying?
     
  18. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    At least with guns, there's a causal link, and in my opinion more justification for banning them. People use guns to kill others. There's no such direct link with film or video games.
     
  19. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yeah. I was only trying to point out that people blame pretty much anything for killings like this. Almost as if they are trying to ignore the fact that everyone is capable of it.
     
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  20. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Ah, sorry. Yeah, I completely agree.
     
  21. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    In a sense, I am making the argument, but not to the point of suggesting that videogames create killers. Clearly, that would be a nonsense.

    The law, as you're well aware, is not concerned with settled characteristics or traits: it is concerned with acts. It is absolutely clear that certain acts of violence have been immediately caused by exposure to videogames...And, frankly, I can live with that. (Just as I can tolerate my own tears after watching Marley and Me) The deeper question of why the individual responds to the stimulus in that way is another one altogether.
     
  22. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    I may be only one on the other end of the spectrum that actually believes violent video games could actually decrease the amount of violence on average in a society. It always sickens me when people try and use the most news-worthy lunatic at the time as a way of tarnishing some aspect of culture or society they don't like. Why should we care what motivates the lunatic? They're lunatics, they could be motivated by hamster overminds for all we know and would carry out the same atrocities.

    Violent video-games may give violently inclined people a way of dispensing violent energy. It could be the same way with pornography: fantasy pornography involving socially unacceptable things like children and rape could actually be an outlet: individuals could stimulate these urges in a fantasy instead of just repressing it. This way they don't merely hold it in until it one day bursts in violence or physical action in the real world.

    During the rise of pornography wasn't it widely worried that it would turn western men into raging sex-crazed rapists? Only the opposite happened and rape has continually gone down each decade as pornography has become readily more available and easier to access.

    Doesn't it seem that all this immoral media: whether sexual, violent, or vapid; makes people not more aggressive or immoral but in fact more docile and dumb?
     
  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    People also use cars to kill people, and knives, and baseball bats, and anti-freeze, and their own hands. If someone is a law abiding citizen, I personally don't care how many guns they have (and I know some people who have quite a few).
     
  24. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    I don't find video games the blame for anything. IMO, it is simply the immature minds that play them, it doesn't matter the age. I'm a huge gamer (preferrably ones where you use guns) and I simply use these games for harmless fun, not one crazed thought of taking those actions into public had ever crossed my mind, or the minds of any of my friends (who are gamers as well).

    My father plays WOW and I have too. Not one thing about that game is in any way violent, IMO. The majority of this game consists of uses of magic, killing mythological creatures, etc. WOW is simply a fantasy game, it is like reality in no way at all.

    Banning games is simply riduculous to me. I also think that the blame is put on games because nothing else can be at fault. Which is quite idiotic.
     
  25. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you see it from a non-gamer's POV, WoW is very violent. As you say, it consist of killing stuff. How is that not violence? of course, you might want to add how it adds socializing with other people, building up your patience by letting you craft stuff, help you understand economics by letting you trade with other people and so on. And naked gnomes dancing in the streete, of course. :p

    Personally, I see how some games can affect weak minds. He said he was playing CoD4, and I assume multiplayer. I can see why some people think that can have given him the idea of running around and shooting people. But if so, they ignore the fact he was using it for training. In other words, he had these sick ideas before he even bought the game. I hear the "guns don't kill people" thing, so what if I wanted to kill people and then go out and buy a gun? Can the gun or gun laws still be blamed? No. If I somehow couldn't get a gun, I'd use something else.

    And keep in mind this psycho built a bomb as a distraction and wrote a 1.500+ page manifesto. This was carefully planned, and the games were a part of the plan. So why withdraw them from the stores, if only for a while?
     

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