A week ago, Norway was shaken to its very core by the terrorists attacks carried out by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, bombing government offices and murdering more than 70 innocent people.
In a 1,500 page manifesto published online, it came to light that the terrorist enjoyed playing video games, among them World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare, which he claimed helped “train” him for the attacks. Thankfully the Norwegian government has yet to make any significant moves to censor violent video games, apart from a rather large chain of department/grocery stores, which recently pulled 51 “violent” games from store shelves.
Coop Norway‘s decision to remove the games was at the discretion of the company itself, but out of “consideration for those affected,” according to Coop Norway’s director Geir Inge Stokke.
“The decision to remove the games was made around the time we realised the scope of the attack,” he said. “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,” Stokke said in an interview with Rogalands Avis.
While the decision is admirable, many Norwegian gamers have been speaking out against it. Jostein Hakestad, creator and host of the Rad Crew podcast, said on Twitter that claiming you could learn how to fire a gun by playing MW2 is like learning how to be a plumber by playing Super Mario Brothers.
For now Coop Norway is adamant in keeping games like Homefront, Counter Strike, WoW and Modern Warfare off store shelves.