Friday, September 18, 2009

"Killerspiele" return - Election Edition

Elections are coming um, next week on Sunday we’re electing the new members for the Bundestag (the German parliament). And, as always, the “Killerspiele”-debate comes up again.

In addition, there have been some things happening lately – violence that resulted in the death of a man trying to help, another student running amok in his school – that have, once again, sparked off the whole debate.

It’s always the same faces you see throughout the debates on TV – people who usually speak about the whole topic without knowing the slightest bit about the actual games.

Even after almost three years – that’s how long my blog’s been running now – the actual debate as a such has not changed the slightest. Whenever there’s someone killing or maiming people and the person is a teenager or in his twenties (no women accounted for so far), it’s immediately the fault of the “Killerspiele.”

Yes, most of them do have something like “Counterstrike” on their computer. But, to be honest, I’d be more surprised if a boy that age didn’t have such a game on his hard drive.

One thing is strange, though: all people running amok during the last few years were members of a Schützenverein (shooter’s association would probably be the right translation). As not everyone in Germany is allowed to own a gun, becoming a member of such a club is the only way to learn how to handle a gun (something you don’t learn from a computer game) and how to actually shoot with it (aiming with a gun is completely different from aiming with a mouse). Despite the fact that those amok runs would not have been possible without the amok runners being members of a Schützenverein, not one politician has ever demanded to shut them down. Strange, isn’t it? Or, maybe, it isn’t. The older members of those clubs are most likely to vote for the politicians always going on about the “Killerspiele.” So why alienate those who will most surely vote for you?

On the other hand, the politicians still have to learn one fact: it’s not just a small group of underage nerds who play computer games, it’s a large group of people at voting age (getting bigger and older every year) who do it.

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