By Jim Rossignol on June 7th, 2009 at 3:23 pm.
Game Politics reports that Germany’s sixteen Interior Ministers have asked the Bundestag to ban the production and distribution of violent video games. This would mean violent videogames could not be purchased at retail or online in Germany, and that companies like CryTek would have to leave the country to continue production of their games. (That, or come up with creative solutions. Perhaps replace all the guns with vomiting cats? Would flicked elastic bands work, or do they come under violence?) Some more thoughts on this beyond the jump.
The move by Germany’s central government seems to have been inspired by the media reaction to recent school shooting in Winnenden, Germany, in which a seventeen year old killed sixteen people. It emerged that the perpetrator played Far Cry 2 and CounterStrike, as well as table tennis. He was also an unhappy teenage boy. Needless to say, fatuous conclusions were drawn.
It’s perhaps worth noting there has never actually been any evidence to show that violence in videogames increases the likelihood for gamers to go on a rampage with deadly firearms.
Nightmarish censorship implications aside, the potential outright banning of violent games certainly suggests that this could be a fascinating social experiment: will there be any less violence in Germany as a result of violent videogames being banned? Will peace and love break out among alienated teenagers who are denied gory entertainments? Or will creating yet another taboo simply make the experience of playing violent videogames even more transgressive, and therefore even more exciting? Hard to know, eh? Yeah, it really is.
Then again, perhaps there won’t be any correlation at all, and Germany will be left looking for something else to blame when another bunch of people get their lives taken away. And, you know, MAYBE THERE’S ANOTHER FACTOR INFLUENCING THESE SHOOTINGS.