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"Return your Killlergame - win a T-Shirt" Update from Germany
by Alex Covic on 10/14/09 06:23:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


While the GDCEurope/GamesCom was a great success and - despite the global recession -videogame business in Germany is growing, the crazies do not sleep. The new Government is a conservative one (CDU/CSU) and the small 'liberal' party (FDP) is only 'liberal' when they talk about economic deregulation (yes, Germany lags behind in many ways) and government spending.

Families of the victims of a school attack in a town called Winnenden, (Germany) organized a demonstration on October 17th in Stuttgart. They are proclaiming "Families against Killlergames" jumping on the popular hype invented by clever right-wing politicians, that made the term 'Killergames' the de facto description of every videogame that includes shooting.

In the old tradition of public book burnings 1933 people (kids, dragged by their parents) are expected to presumably bring their HALOs, GTA's, CoD4, Left4Dead etc etc - games, that are already cut, altered & censored to pass the German ESRB, but still are considered "dangerous". One of these kids will win a T-Shirt that was signed by the German National Football (=Soccer) Team.


"Families against Killergames"

"You can throw them in a garbage bin, those games that are simulating how to kill people" 

"Nothing will change, if we do nothing"

 The group "Aktionsbündis Amoklauf Winnenden" is a registered Organisation, with loosely 'Christian' something something on their Website.


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John Miller
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I do not approve of this action and think it was rather silly. However I ask myself if the Nazi link really was necessary here. Does the author see these people shocked by a shooting actually in the tradition of fascists and felt he needed a wikipedia link to emphasize his statement? This feels pretty offending, considering similar actions have been held in other countries as well. But go on and mark these people as Nazis for not appreciating a trivial past time. This actually cheapens the horrors of German fascism and must be offending to its victims.

Chan Chun Phang
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Godwin's law, thread dead. (not referring to John)

Anatoli Glukowski
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Well, the point is, that due to the amount of recent school attacks since the incident in "Essen", every of these incidents is filed now by the media, so sure it appears to be many.

Because I am living in this country, Iīve been following this topic all along. Currently is just really a push by the media and political advantage, actually no one really cares about this things.. just people who donīt understand a thing (some kind of E-Hillbillies) or like said the media and the politics. The real problem behind this is mainly the school situation itself, the parenthood and the own personality of the person. Similarities to Columbine and Littleton are there.

Also, although Germany has very strict laws for even having a weapon, to me it is still an uncleared fact how actually the people got those guns. I.e. the guy from Winnenden got the guns from his father, so actually his family should keep quiet. The funny fact is, THEY started a "commision" (which consisted of politicians, the family and psychologists) and came to the fact, that the main fault were those video games... surprise surprise...

That came down to this one event. It is like burning books, but its not about the nazis, its about an inquisition and hunting witches or the jews during the mid-age in Europe.

Games undergo here strict censorship, even some games are forbidden on the market (Quake 3, Manhunt,....), they are beeing censored to every drop of blood. Games allowed to be played only with 18+ years are harder to buy, and games which are even above this point, are only allowed to by if you show your ID, so the vendor can verify your age.

So this isnīt about fascism or anything, this is(sadly) natural human behavior.

Sure it is offending, and the community in Germany is pretty upset, even non-political psychologists have already proven several times, that gaming actually reduces the aggression generated by the person(
.html), but still, people liked always witch-hunting, and there will be always people who get a bonus from it. Currently, we even are fighting for our rights in the usage of internet and against its restriction.

Alex Covic
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Update on the event: it is a great success it seems so far;) Just click on the YouTube video if you're interested. Nonetheless people in Germany Twitter about it and write Blogs.

Part of the appeal of the new political party called the 'Pirate Party' in Germany is their dedication to fight for civil rights concerning Internet usage AND also their perception of videogames is opposite to the majority of Germans. It is no surprise that they are the current voice of the particularly young people who are politically engaged.

and to your point @John Miller: having had my Mum and Grandmother surviving the Nazi-Regime I feel very comfortable with my provocative comparison above. That was the whole point! Having a public gathering condemning a medium that some consider art in a country that has a bad history with such things, does not diminish any memory of the people who suffered the Shoa or the Regime in my view. If I offended you personally I apologize.

And thanks @Anatoli - You're right:) Let's hope one day we adults can buy videogames in Germany without censorship, modified content, bad German voice-acting and enjoy it as just another form of medium amongst the others w/o being criminalized.