Giant Bomb News


Norwegian Retailer Indefinitely Bans 'Violent Video Games,' Even Though No One Asked

Coop Norway takes 51 games off shelves, including Modern Warfare and World of Warcraft.

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...
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."
Alex Navarro on Google+
283 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for are
Posted By Are

@Red said:

Anyone who thinks playing World of Warcraft is related to any sort of modern combat--and can be used to train for such a thing--is a complete and utter self-righteous moron who lacks the intelligence to live.

Or they're ignorant, and don't know what they're talking about. No-one has claimed that World of Warcraft was used to train for the attack though, so your comment is pretty pointless.

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Posted By rawilliam

No one goes to Coop stores to buy video games in Norway, so this is just to get a story here in Norway. All the big retailers and game stores still sell them and still intend to. Sharing my point in my own language.. Det som har skjedd er en tragedie, men la oss nå ikke miste hodet og la terrorismen vinne frem. Det er akkurat det som skjer når vi lar slikt påvirke oss. Vi er en fredsnasjon og har i le Gerd tid vært best i verden på akkurat det, så er det ikke litt lurt at vi forholder oss litt holdent til dette og ikke blir så opptatt av at hele verden MÅ bry seg så mye med denne saken?

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Posted By swomar

So will libraries and book stores pull the Bible off the shelves in consideration for those affected by the attack?, which is kinda more related. I'm gonna through a wild guess and say no.

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Posted By swomar

How ironic is it that the ACL (Australian CHRISTIAN Lobby) is calling for ban of violent videogames!

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Posted By John1912
@Knight244: " Oh I assure you that people will have no trouble creating all sorts of hateful and mistrusting groups without the aid of a professed religious ideology. " 
No they wont have any trouble doing it.  But religion takes the top tier in segregation, mistrust, and hate making it the worst. Religion > Nation > Political affiliation > Money > Race > Social status.  And as you stated religions are false ideologies so why not remove it from the system bringing us all that much closer together.
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Posted By Knight244
@Shimakaze said:


Yeah, I also heard that the roman emperor Nero said that Christians burned down Rome and guess what he lied.

I wasn't even talking about Rome. I was talking about the crusades, the inquisitions, the witch burnings, the spreading of Christianity at sword point as a "join or die" rule.

Let me get this straight then, so what you're saying is that 12 poor men, one a humble fisherman, mass murdered their way to making Christendom the force it was for 2000 years. I assume of course you believe that they took their example from Jesus who mass murdered His way off of the cross he was being crucified upon by the cruel powerful Roman empire and cruel hypocritical Jewish religious elite so that he could nuke all of Jerusalem in an effort to give birth to his unrelenting unstobbable Christian empire of total domination and uppercuts for everyone? Of course, what better way to do it then to give yourself up completely to a cruel tormenting death upon a cross.

Your... "extrapolation" of what you think I said is... disturbing. You seem to have issues. You said Christianity has never been involved with mass murder, I disagreed. I never said anything about the religious figures themselves, although God did kill a LOT of people in the bible.

And of course you wouldn't be implying that your liberal philosophy isn't the truth and all others are false philosophies and religions that are filled with liars? It's not you right, that's just the truth?

Fair point, except I never implied that my stance, beliefs or philosophies were truth. Just that I was unsettled by your (and others') unwavering belief that they are the true chosen ones and everyone else are liars.

Are you just suggesting I'm disturbed because you don't like the satirical jabs at your expense?  Of course I don't think that's what you said.  I was exaggerating to make a point.  However, is the claim that you weren't suggesting that Jesus and the 12 disciples were mass murderers trustworthy when in the very next sentence you state that God sure did kill a LOT (you used caps like this) of people in the Bible.  Um, should I not think that you're suggesting that God is a mass murderer when you accuse Him of killing a LOT (again caps implying a mass amount maybe?) of people?
I don't agree with your examples but to get into disputing all that would take forever and a day so can we just agree to disagree for now?
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Edited By Kosayn

People invest a lot in arguing about how to actively prevent tragedies, but don't spend much thought on why people make them happen in the first place.

No censorship or threatened punishment can completely prevent people from considering violent choices, there are infinite opportunities and it's an instinctual option. The best you can do is encourage people to seriously think about it.

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Posted By cribbel1

Well, this guy brieviek is a little piece of shit and i mean a little bit of one, not just the word. I read some of his manifest and what he wants. And media all around haven´t and i wonder why they don´t do it, because this is his plan.  He want festivals to end, he want no one to play video games. He is a religuos son of a bitch he is a christian Usama. They hate life and wants everyone to obey thier way of living.  
Video games have the opoosite effect of violence. People sit at home and get thier andrenaline kick. people don´t get out to have nothing to do but trashing stuff or taking drugs and get into fights. Thats why theres fighting games, thats why theres shootem up. So people dont need to fuck up others life and do drugs or what not. 
Look at how many people who play these kind of games and how many of them are dangerous? seriously stop doing what that freak breiwik want.

Avatar image for gs_dan
Posted By GS_Dan

I hear Brevik enjoyed fish fingers.


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Posted By Shimakaze

@Knight244 said:

Are you just suggesting I'm disturbed because you don't like the satirical jabs at your expense? Of course I don't think that's what you said. I was exaggerating to make a point. However, is the claim that you weren't suggesting that Jesus and the 12 disciples were mass murderers trustworthy when in the very next sentence you state that God sure did kill a LOT (you used caps like this) of people in the Bible. Um, should I not think that you're suggesting that God is a mass murderer when you accuse Him of killing a LOT (again caps implying a mass amount maybe?) of people? I don't agree with your examples but to get into disputing all that would take forever and a day so can we just agree to disagree for now?

It's trustworthy in the sense that I never mentioned it and mentioned God in response of your comment. And yes, I'm suggesting God (if he existed) would be a mass murderer. (on human terms. He didn't actually kill his own kind so to him it would be like killing ants I suppose). And I think wiping out all life on a whole planet justifies "a LOT", don't you? But you're right, it's pointless going down this path. So, truce.

Avatar image for springfart
Posted By Springfart

that`s the most`ve read in a while, he wa planning the terror attacks long before he started playing MW2 or WoW. next thing you know the tv channels stop showing movies and tv shows that has a slight hint of violence in them. also, coop is a grocery store chain, which rarely has more than 50 games in a bucket somewhere with launch prices even several years after they come out, dont think i`ve ever heard of buying a game there. only hope there is for them actually getting sold are if someones grandma which have no idea that there are gamestops and whatnot decide to buy one for they`re grandchilds, which probably only happens a few times a year. and i can see how modern warfare might be related, but warcraft? seriously? unless he somehow is able to cast fireballs i dont see how thats relevant.

Avatar image for mikelemmer
Posted By MikeLemmer

The most likely reason he went on this rampage was to publicize his views to the world during the ensuing media frenzy. If we're gonna ban the media that caused this mess, why not start with the news reports trumpeting his ideas to the world?

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Posted By elko84

@GS_Dan said:

I hear Brevik enjoyed fish fingers.



Avatar image for alexl86
Edited By alexl86

@fisk0: I hate that argument. While you'll get roughly that amount if you exchange 599 NOK for USD, everything is more expensive. In terms of games, music, movies and books, entertainment in general, 1$ is roughly equal to 10 NOK. As an average person, the only time you'll actually get to use stronger currency to your advantage is when you're importing. I hate it when people complain about how much more expensive games and the focal point of their argument is the difference in currency, especially in Norway. If we should complain about something, it's the ridiculous grocery prices we have to endure.

Edit: Obviously I meant USD, not GBP.

Avatar image for jimbo_n
Posted By Jimbo_N

Yea as said multiple times. COOP is a grocery chain and the coop I shop at here in Sweden dosen't even have games to begin with. Congrats Coop, you achieved nothing.

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Posted By Shimakaze

@alexl86 said:

1$ is roughly equal to 10 NOK.

Actually it's close to 5 NOK. 600NOK is about 112 USD

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Posted By Coreymw

The man is mentally insane, a psychopath if you will. So can you tell me, readers, why is it that media, legislators and store owners take what he says with more than a grain of salt? If a patient at a mental ward says they like stabbing people with butter knives, are those going to be taken off of store shelves/

Avatar image for plyryaka
Posted By PlyrYaKA

All I'm saying is I didn't even know the Co-Op had a Norway branch and now it's everywhere *ahem*advertising ploy*ahem* 

Avatar image for meatsim
Posted By MeatSim

Way to overreact to something that a mentally insane person said.

Avatar image for mike76x
Edited By Mike76x

No one was killed by video games, they were killed by a Norwegian.
I say we ban Norwegians.
Problem solved.

Avatar image for uberjannie
Posted By Uberjannie

I just read their press release and it is just for a limited time to honor and respect the victims and their families.  
They will be back to selling voilent video games after a while. 

Avatar image for spiderslayerterminate
Edited By spiderslayerterminate
why only the blame on video games but movies get no blame. Its not that I really care  but just blaming one thing is hypocritcal.
Avatar image for cosmicqueso
Posted By CosmicQueso

@spiderslayerterminate said:

@CosmicQueso: why only the blame on video games but movies get no blame. Its not that I really care but just blaming one thing is hypocritcal.

We all know that Sweden rules and Norway drools. So, I blame gnomes.

On a more serious note, however, how about we stop blaming comic books, movies, tv, games, music, Dungeons & Dragons, religion and lactose intolerance and just realize that some people are flippin insane and will do things like this if given the tools and resources. How dude bought chemicals on ebay without raising red flags and acquired weaponry are what should be looked at. Blaming media is just... ergh.

Avatar image for alexl86
Posted By alexl86
@Shimakaze:  Thank you for reading the entire post, and not just taking part of a sentence out of context. /sarcasm
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Posted By Shimakaze

@alexl86: You're right. I apologize. I misread your comment.

Avatar image for screwed
Posted By screwed

@Mike76x: ...funny

Avatar image for mrklorox
Posted By MrKlorox

Since their maximum prison term is 21 years, this is surprising.

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Posted By RainbowRaccoon

Take Bibles off the shelves.  Religion is why the gunman did that in the first place

Avatar image for lev
Posted By Lev
@Disease: If the COOP that we have here in Sweden is the same COOP as you have in Norway (which I assume it is), then nobody buys games at COOP here either!
It's a frigging grocery store for christsake - with a meager, overpriced selection of shit titles already opened being sold as new.
Yeah, big loss COOP.
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Posted By danimal_furry

Private companies should be able to implement policies however they see fit, as long as those rules aren't violations of civl rights. In other words, they can do what they want. If people don't like it, they can take their business elsewhere. It's similar to Wal-Mart having plicies on the music they sell. I remember one point where Wal-Mart had edited albums specifically made for sale in their stores.
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Posted By RinNowaru

Iv never EVER bought a game at COOP. My local COOP dont even have games.

Avatar image for capum15
Posted By Capum15

Oh hey, I remember this. Barely, but I do.