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.

5 Responses so far.

  1. ZacFreeland says:

    While the terrorist attack is tragic, I don’t think videogames are what they should blame. People still don’t accept videogames as a form of mass media which it is. If he said that watching Dexter “trained” him to become a terrorist nothing would be done about it, but what makes the fact that he plays game any different.

    The thing is that they are just looking for a way to pin this on something. How many people play WoW and MW2? A heck of a lot. Just because one of them is a whackjob out of the whole bunch, doesn’t mean that the game is responsible for one person’s actions.

    My last point is that they should probably do some investigating into these games before they simply pull them. Had they known anything about the two games they would realize that in MW you fight AGAINST terrorists, and in World of Warcraft, you fight to preserve the world in which you live in.

    Jens Erik Vaaler   [ 12:46, July 31st, 2011 ]

    @ZacFreeland, Norwegian journalists tried to play the “games are to blame” angle, but were quickly shot down by both gamers and those more learned on the subject. He did say he liked watching Dexter too, but as far as I know, season box sets are still lining record store shelves. It’s still unfortunate that this particular chain of stores does this, but there are other places we can buy video games.

    He even stated, in the manifesto, that he used WoW as an excuse for his lack of a social life. That and it’s been proven that his inspiration and training come from right wing extremists and anarchists.

  2. Janet says:

    This is stupid.
    Blaming video games …What about the TV Shows that maniac used to watch? Are they also going to ban his shows? Fav softdrinks and music? How come all the millions of WOW MW players havent committed any attrocities yet? Hmmmmm this is witch hunting, now video games are teh escape goats, ridiculous

  3. Matt_England says:

    Ohhh dear!

    Books actually kill more people than videogames (Yes Books)

    Take the ammount of deaths that games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto e.t.c have “supposedly” caused,and you could fit them on to one table.

    Now take the ammount of deaths the Bible and Karan have “definitely” caused ,and you couldnt fit them in an entire state!

    If people copied videogames Mario is the worlds most played videogame franchise….what does Mario do?….He’s a plumber in bright red overals with a handle bar moustache who smashes his head in to walls in search of coins and stamps on mushrooms. So with this logic people who play Mario will run around dressed in bright red overals with a handle bar moustache smashing their heads in to walls and stamping on mushrooms! Ive never seen anyone copy Mario in all my 30 years.

  4. In a moment of vanity I was googling myself and found this article! Thanks for mentioning me and the podcast! :)

    And most of all thanks for writing about this misguided attempt at shielding customers from “harmful” things.

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