Last week’s tragedy in Norway continues to affect day-to-day life there as a major store in the country has decided to remove some violent games from sale in consideration for those affected by the attacks.
Games like World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare were mentioned in the manifesto of killer Anders Breivik and join others such as Homefront and Black Ops in the list of games removed by Coop Norway. The stores director, Geir Inge Stokke, commented in a Norwegian newspaper that, “The decision to remove the games was made around the time we realized the scope of the attack, others are better suited than us, to point to the negative effects of games like these. At the moment it’s [appropriate] for us to take them down. I wouldn’t be surprised if others do the same. We have to think very carefully about when to bring these goods back. The economy involved is of no importance.”
As shocking as the whole incident is, isn’t this something of an over-reaction? Despicable people like Breivik will always find an outlet for their sick fantasies, whether that be violent games, movies or any other form of entertainment. To me this sounds a little like the hoo-ha over Microsoft Flight sim back in 2001/2002, after it emerged that Al Qaeda had used the PC game to train the perpetrators of that terrorist atrocity. Although I can understand the thoughts behind Coop Norway’s actions, I don’t personally think they will change anything.