Posted by Alex (2036 posts) -

Ever since it came to light that Anders Behring Breivik, the psychotic killer who murdered more than 70 innocent people in Norway last week, happened to have a penchant for video games--chief among them World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2, which he ludicrously claimed helped "train" him for the attack--the games press has been on perpetual night watch for the first sign of some kind of knee-jerk legislative attack on video games. Let's face it: we've been conditioned to react with defensive aplomb every time someone thinks video games are to blame for anything. I suppose we can all thank the Jack Thompsons, Keith Vazs, and Fox News' of the world for our constant, Pavlovian "Come at me, bro!" reactions to these sorts of things.

Violence! Sort of! I guess...

Thankfully, despite a bit of blowhard lobbying from reactionary political groups, no governments have made any significant moves to try and curtail violent game sales to those who are of the proper age to purchase them. However, that hasn't stopped one retailer in Norway from pulling 51 'violent' titles from their store shelves, including all Call of Duty titles still in circulation, Homefront, Counter-Strike Source, and World of Warcraft.

Coop Norway's decision to remove the games was purely at the behest of the company itself, and done in "consideration for those affected" by the attacks, according to an interview with a company spokesman in the Norwegian newspaper Rogalands Avis (as reported by VG24/7).

"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."

While this company's decision to do what it feels is respectful to the victims and their families is entirely within their rights, the fact that a title as generally benign as World of Warcraft is being pulled off shelves solely because of Brevik's apparent fondness for it strikes as a slightly reactionary measure. World of Warcraft currently commands a T-rating on North America's ESRB scale, as well as a 12 rating on Europe's PEGI ratings board.

Still, Coop Norway seems resolute in their desire to keep these games off shelves for the foreseeable future.

"We have to think very carefully about when to bring these goods back. The economy involved is of no importance."
Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (2036 posts) -

Ever since it came to light that Anders Behring Breivik, the psychotic killer who murdered more than 70 innocent people in Norway last week, happened to have a penchant for video games--chief among them World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2, which he ludicrously claimed helped "train" him for the attack--the games press has been on perpetual night watch for the first sign of some kind of knee-jerk legislative attack on video games. Let's face it: we've been conditioned to react with defensive aplomb every time someone thinks video games are to blame for anything. I suppose we can all thank the Jack Thompsons, Keith Vazs, and Fox News' of the world for our constant, Pavlovian "Come at me, bro!" reactions to these sorts of things.

Violence! Sort of! I guess...

Thankfully, despite a bit of blowhard lobbying from reactionary political groups, no governments have made any significant moves to try and curtail violent game sales to those who are of the proper age to purchase them. However, that hasn't stopped one retailer in Norway from pulling 51 'violent' titles from their store shelves, including all Call of Duty titles still in circulation, Homefront, Counter-Strike Source, and World of Warcraft.

Coop Norway's decision to remove the games was purely at the behest of the company itself, and done in "consideration for those affected" by the attacks, according to an interview with a company spokesman in the Norwegian newspaper Rogalands Avis (as reported by VG24/7).

"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."

While this company's decision to do what it feels is respectful to the victims and their families is entirely within their rights, the fact that a title as generally benign as World of Warcraft is being pulled off shelves solely because of Brevik's apparent fondness for it strikes as a slightly reactionary measure. World of Warcraft currently commands a T-rating on North America's ESRB scale, as well as a 12 rating on Europe's PEGI ratings board.

Still, Coop Norway seems resolute in their desire to keep these games off shelves for the foreseeable future.

"We have to think very carefully about when to bring these goods back. The economy involved is of no importance."
Staff
#2 Posted by ajamafalous (11963 posts) -

Seems shortsighted, but expected.

#3 Posted by CosmicQueso (569 posts) -

Sure, because this is a rational response. Nice job Norway.

#4 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -

*sigh* it has begun huh? Sorry Norway gamers..

#5 Posted by Disease (59 posts) -

Whatever.. nobody buys their games at a Coop store here in Norway

#6 Posted by KarlPilkington (2722 posts) -

Note that they aren't blaming video games for the killings, merely don't want people shooting people for a while in videogames.

#7 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

Crazy people.

#8 Posted by rahulricky (211 posts) -

I think the Norwegian Government has reacted as sensibly as any government could under the circumstances. Coop stores are run with the idea that the customers are the shareholders, I'm sure if management thought there was enough demand it was worth doing but I doubt it will be a widespread decision

#9 Edited by Tiwi (1401 posts) -

well... Coop is a grocery store. it's disappointing, but it's not actually a big blow. 
it's not even a electronic shop. they sell stuff like tomato sauce. why are we caring again? 
  
Edit:
http://coop.no/ Here take a look. had something like Elkjøp or expert stopped selling games I would care but Coop? I've never bought a single game. this is just a charade to stop their game selling, because they're not earning any money on it. It's all economically motivated. 

#10 Posted by Claude (16255 posts) -

@Disease said:

Whatever.. nobody buys their games at a Coop store here in Norway

Are they pretty big or something or are they trying to get their name in the media?

#11 Posted by deskp (448 posts) -

Argh, lets hope it stops with this. ignorant people. he would have done what he did regardless of videogames

#12 Posted by Tiwi (1401 posts) -
@Claude: It's all for the media:-( I feel kind of ashamed in a way.
#13 Posted by Kyreo (4600 posts) -

This will only encourage piracy.

#14 Posted by Cubic (171 posts) -
Others are better suited than us to point to the negative effects of games like these.

[Citation Needed]

#15 Posted by Creamypies (4060 posts) -

I can't remember the last time I saw Counter-Strike: Source on a store shelf.

#16 Posted by Marnox (327 posts) -

As a norwegian I don't think this will resort to any ban. This is just temporary. The CD/DVD seller "Platekompaniet" may have pulled the games off their shelves, but still sell them online. The business Coop govern over are not the places most norwegians get their games. The pulled games will be back soon enough.

#17 Edited by Norwaydude (10 posts) -

As a Norwegian I sort of get why they did it, but victims and killer played these kinds of games. It's just silly of them to do this. Who buys games at these stores anyway?

Especially concidering a Norwegian expert (I can't provide a link, it's been lost in all the terrorism stories) said that games actually can get people to be less violent, because they take their anger out on polygons, and not people.

I guess I'll go down to the local record store and ask them to remove all CD's by Helene Bøkslo, because the madman used her Age of Conan-songs to rile himself up.

Edit: Also, it's temporary, as Marnox said.

And if they don't care about economy, they're terrible at being capitalists.

#18 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2469 posts) -

Wasn't there a similar reaction after the Columbine shooting spree back in the day? Though that was more about films, if I recall correctly.

#19 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

@Kyreo said:

This will only encourage piracy.

Uhm..quite a leap in logic huh?

#20 Posted by Sinful (211 posts) -

no one cares Coop.

#21 Posted by muffincoil (4 posts) -

Nobody in Norway (should) buy their games at Coop anyway. It's not like it's a major retailer.

#22 Posted by mrmanga (219 posts) -

As a norwegian myself i dont consider it a huge deal since Coop is more a food chain who also sell other things. Its not a game store primarily. However it being the first something like this has happened here many are uncertain what to think, confused and sad many feel like they need someone to blame. So of course someone blames videogames. 

#23 Posted by Mordi (553 posts) -

I'm a norwegian, and I didn't even know Coop sold games. They're basically the Wal-mart of Norway.

#24 Posted by zaglis (909 posts) -

And now Norway is safe once again!

#25 Posted by FuzzYLemoN (1600 posts) -

Yeah we'll see how long this lasts when they realize that they no longer have any business. :|

#26 Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials (2374 posts) -

"Come at me, bro!"

In a news story?

Alex, I am disappoint.

#27 Posted by Cribba (290 posts) -

This is some dumb shit right here.

#28 Posted by The_Hiro_Abides (1261 posts) -

@atomic_dumpling said:

Wasn't there a similar reaction after the Columbine shooting spree back in the day? Though that was more about films, if I recall correctly.

What I remember is they played Doom at some point and it was said they were training with it so it became a "murder simulator". That's pretty much the point where I stopped paying attention to the news. "If it bleeds, it leads." There was a different incident a couple of years later where a college student played a lot of Counter-Strike but supposedly his rampage was influenced more by "Old Boy".

#29 Posted by Shaanyboi (1286 posts) -

Doing their part to solve all of Norway's problems!  ...Right?
#31 Posted by HatKing (5896 posts) -
@The_Hiro_Abides said:

@atomic_dumpling said:

Wasn't there a similar reaction after the Columbine shooting spree back in the day? Though that was more about films, if I recall correctly.

What I remember is they played Doom at some point and it was said they were training with it so it became a "murder simulator". That's pretty much the point where I stopped paying attention to the news. "If it bleeds, it leads." There was a different incident a couple of years later where a college student played a lot of Counter-Strike but supposedly his rampage was influenced more by "Old Boy".

Marylyn Manson also took quite the attack because the boys had listened to some of his music.  Pointing fingers is fun!
#32 Posted by Hoecake (23 posts) -

@Mordi said:

I'm a norwegian, and I didn't even know Coop sold games.

Same here. Besides, I haven't seen many fingers pointed towards video games after the attacks before this. I don't think coop not selling games anymore is a loss for either them or us consumers.

#33 Posted by Marokai (2903 posts) -
@Dany said:

@Kyreo said:

This will only encourage piracy.

Uhm..quite a leap in logic huh?

I don't see how. Lack of product availability = increases in piracy when people aren't easily able to get said product. 
 
Though I doubt it will be any sort of significant increase. It is just one retailer in Norway, afterall. Core idea still stands, though.
#34 Posted by Shimakaze (166 posts) -

The "even though no-one asked" part is key here. It's just a misguided attempt to not loose customers by offending random grocery shoppers. No-one here has been stupid and insulting enough to attempt to blame the killings on games or music or comics.

#35 Posted by Knight244 (32 posts) -

When did the debate on whether violent video games are a blessing or an ill end with total support on the side of violent games?  Love is blind much?  "I love violent video games so that means that science says they do no wrongs.  End of debate."  
 
"Modern Warfare 2, which he ludicrously claimed helped "train" him for the attack".  What video game was it again that had the level where you mow down the innocent people who just happened to be at the airport?  What game was that again?  What game?  I forget what game it was that had the "murder the innocent people and win" level.  Super Mario Murder Simulator 64 Dimensions I think was the name of the murder the innocents game.

#36 Posted by raiz265 (2238 posts) -

How fucking stupid.

#37 Posted by Swervinmonkeyz (25 posts) -

Anyone gonna mention the guy was a right-wing, Christian fanatic? No? WELL HE WAS. 

#38 Edited by Rapid (1359 posts) -

Austrilla +1 Step 
Norway -1  Step
 
Back to square one.

#39 Posted by smcn (926 posts) -

I thought he meant those games trained him to be racist.

#40 Posted by gale (44 posts) -
Nice of them to try, I guess? Complete knee-jerk reaction, could probably have done with a little more basis in reality, but I suppose they were just trying to help. Or they were so terrified of the PR scandal of being a company that stocks "evul murdur simulaters" that they thought that they'd protect their profits more by picking a side early. Maybe a bit of both. Who knows. 
 
@Knight244: The debate ended around the time when studies proved that playing violent videogames do, in fact, result in a demonstrable increase in aggression, and also that the effect that games have is completely and utterly dwarfed by the increased aggression that comes as a result of common contact sports such as football. So yeah. Science has spoken.  The debate ended. You'll notice that the only real issue that exists anymore is "How can we keep violent videogames out of the hands of children", and even then, the common answer is "By supporting the systems already in place that have a far higher success rate than age restrictions on any other kind of media".
#41 Edited by Knight244 (32 posts) -
@Swervinmonkeyz said:

Anyone gonna mention the guy was a right-wing, Christian fanatic? No? WELL HE WAS. 

Yeah, because all good Christians know that Jesus taught specifically that they days would arrive when Modern Warfare 2 would be released on store shelves and that he could only wish He would be there to see that sweet day when all the true Christians of the world would take up their sweet graphically simulated guns and shoot the hell out of lots of graphically simulated people waiting patiently and innocently to board their graphically simulated planes.  I think that comes from the book of St. John.  I think that's how you get to heaven.  But that is simply besides the point, I mean can there be fun without games that have levels where you get to murder innocents? 
 
You don't think so good sir. 
#42 Posted by martez87 (67 posts) -

Hey wait a minute, that guy probably brushes his teeth, right? We better stop selling tooth paste as well, you know in respect for the victims. What a load of fucking bullshit.

#43 Posted by Waerjak (12 posts) -

No gamer with any self-respect would buy games from Coop anyway. No big deal, but WTF Coop, this just seems really dumb and highlights that "games were involved" or something stupid like that. o.o

#44 Posted by cassus (358 posts) -

I said they'd do this as soon as I saw his FB profile. Some nut is always going to point a finger. Too bad they don't go after the real issues. Like banning right wingers from the grocery stores. Let them starve.

#45 Posted by Uberjannie (298 posts) -

Nobody buys games at COOP anyways.  
COOP have several stores, and none of them are electronics stores. They have a hybrid store with everything, but they mostly sell food stuff.

#46 Posted by shamanultra (57 posts) -
@gale: The science says that games don't increase aggression though. That is why in the supreme court case one of the main reasons video games won was because the studies presented by the anti-video side did not have actual conclusive evidence that games have any real negative effects of the behavior of young people.
#47 Edited by Management (596 posts) -

COOP is not a main retailer, didn't even know they sold games. But it still sucks, and it is a sign that things might get worse here.

#48 Posted by Jasta (2217 posts) -

If its the same Coop as in the UK (which I doubt), it's the kind of place you'd wander to grab a packet of cigarettes after waking up in a bush with no recollection of the previous night.

#49 Posted by Scifikai (4 posts) -
@CosmicQueso Uhm, the Norwegian government is not behind this.
#50 Posted by HellBrendy (994 posts) -

It's already mentioned and forgotten in norwegian media, the focus is on the right wing extremist belief and not videogames, allthough some have tried to blame it. But most people seem to know it's the wrong way to go.