Bavarian Minister Says Games as Bad as Child Porn

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Bavarian Minister Says Games as Bad as Child Porn

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Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann has taken the moral panic gripping Germany one step further, likening violent videogames to illegal drugs and child pornography.

Last month, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer killed fifteen people in the town of Winnenden, Germany, before turning the gun on himself. Predictably, the country has been seized by a moral panic, with German officials, parents, and legislators pointing at Kretschmer's affinity for violent games.

Bavarian Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann - a longtime opponent of violent games - may not be the first German politician to criticize videogames in the wake of the school shooting, but he has certainly taken it the furthest so far. On Tuesday, Herrmann put out an official press release to coincide with the first government-sponsored German Games Awards, held in Munich.

German-speaking GamePolitics readers have provided a more clear, non-Google translation of Herrmann's statements:

The statement contains the usual accusations that "such games are one of the causes for youth violence and also for school shootings, where images from killer games become reality",and that "more and more children are getting mired in this virtual world of violence," so that "they have no time left for school or job training, and are lost to our society."

However, this time, he's taking it a bit further. The last sentence states: "In regards to their harmful effects, [violent video games] are on the same level as child pornography and illegal drugs, the ban on which rightly is unquestioned."

A second German official, Thomas Jarzombek - Commissioner for the New Media - criticized Herrmann's remarks: "The comparison is completely inappropriate... anyone making such statements is unqualified to participate in any further debate [regarding the] protection of minors from harmful media."

Herr Jarzombek, of course, is completely right - whether you agree or disagree that carnage-filled games could potentially desensitize children to violence, making hysterical and over-the-top comments like Herrmann did doesn't help anyone. All it does is further incite mass hysteria and encourage people on both sides of the issue to dig down into firmly entrenched positions instead of ever engaging in reasonable, polite discourse.

(Via VG247)

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I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

I hate the term "unquestioned". Who says the ban on drugs and child porn is unquestioned? I think addicts and pedophiles would disagree.

God I love nitpicking.

At any rate, trolls should not be listened to, or in this case, voted for. Ignore him and he will go away.

Yeah, the term "Misinformed" springs to mind. Damn Pong, sparking the videogame industry.

Well.... That kinda tics me off.

Simriel:
I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

I wonder how he would react if you told him that face to face.

Everyone of those people who say games are bad either watched their parents get murdered by bloodthirsty arcade machines or were born with sticks up their bum. Probably the latter

Psychosocial:

Simriel:
I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

I wonder how he would react if you told him that face to face.

He'd probably say something about how Bully: Scholarship Edition is responsible for this kind of behavior.

TinyToaster:

Psychosocial:

Simriel:
I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

I wonder how he would react if you told him that face to face.

He'd probably say something about how Bully: Scholarship Edition is responsible for this kind of behavior.

To quote Metallica.

"Sad but true".

CantFaketheFunk:
[...]Bavarian Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann - a longtime opponent of violent games - may not be the first German politician to criticize videogames in the wake of the school shooting, but he has certainly taken it the furthest so far. [...]

He wasn't the first who made this comparison, but Beckstein (he's retired now :P some unrelated things, though) did it back then when it was still trendy for politicians to blame games for everything in Germany. I'm not sure why Herrmann would say such a thing, because even his own (rather conservative) party neglected statements like these. Hard to understand, but this shouldn't bother anyone anyways.

mind the guy isnt all wrong, after uncountable deaths in prince of persia i came pretty close to murder....although i suppose CLOSE is the operative word *shakes head* germans

I played splinter cell last night. I think I'm going to mollest a child, videotape it and post it on the internet tonight. No harm in that.

Does that statement sound like something a normal gamer would say? Well seriously say?

RetiarySword:
I played splinter cell last night. I think I'm going to mollest a child, videotape it and post it on the internet tonight. No harm in that.

Does that statement sound like something a normal gamer would say? Well seriously say?

Depends on your definition of normal. My definition says hell no, though.

So games are the same as child porn... well since I am apparently already a pedo I may as well get a few GB of child pron![/sarcasm]
Fucking dopey nazi bastard.
I am going to play the prick card and blame it all on the fact that he was raised in the nazi nation. Wanton violence and insanity is a way of life for them![/bastard mode] <.<

All it does is further incite mass hysteria and encourage people on both sides of the issue to dig down into firmly entrenched positions instead of ever engaging in reasonable, polite discourse.

reasonable polite discourse... Damn. Guess I kinda let the team down on that score huh...

Ban video games? www.thepiratebay.com

Games are has bad has child pornography? Can't these retarded people get that if the dude' goes on a killing spree it isn't 'cause of the game, it's 'cause has a mental sickness? A normal human would never, even if playing the most violent game of 'em all, go on a killing spree.

I'll bet that this Tim guy liked to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom, too. I'll bet that if you did a survey you'd find that 100% of the people who commit ANY kind of crimes do ALL of those things! That food! Always making people commit horrible murder sprees!

Correlation is not causation you impotent twitmonkies.

CantFaketheFunk:

A second German official, Thomas Jarzombek - Commissioner for the New Media - criticized Herrmann's remarks: "The comparison is completely inappropriate... anyone making such statements is unqualified to participate in any further debate [regarding the] protection of minors from harmful media."

Finally, someone with some sense!

Though I'm not sure I can deal with this crap anymore.

TinyToaster:

Psychosocial:

Simriel:
I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

I wonder how he would react if you told him that face to face.

He'd probably say something about how Bully: Scholarship Edition is responsible for this kind of behavior.

And then you'd have to tell him to start taking his pills again.

Psychosocial:

Simriel:
I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

I wonder how he would react if you told him that face to face.

Im keen to find out.

TinyToaster:

Psychosocial:

Simriel:
I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

I wonder how he would react if you told him that face to face.

He'd probably say something about how Bully: Scholarship Edition is responsible for this kind of behavior.

and then lure him into a dungeon full of child porn and illegal drugs to further tempt him to the "dark side"! mwahaha!

That's an interesting correlation to draw... one based on no hard evidence whatsoever.

I can do something similar... maybe I can't. It's 3am...

Well now, what have every mass murderer have in common? They are outcasts, just because someone plays video games doesn't mean they kill people. The responsibility falls on the retailers not to sell it directly to minors and then the parents to not buy their kids the games for which they are not old enough to play. At least sit down with them and explain that it is not real and should never be done outside video games. If you ban video games anywhere, you could get a civil war on your hands. By the way, I thought the world was in an economic crisis? So why doesn't this fucker go make a bailout or something.

Child porn? Really? I don't even know how to respond to that. What a moron.

Silly german jerk.

We've seen a lot of these kind of reports recently, but I'd really like to see more criticisms like Jarzombek's. It was slightly thereputic to read that there are some people who aren't totally off the wall yet.

I am, of course, assuming that there are other critics.

Simriel:
I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

Amen

You know what is the best game of all time? Taking these news article titles and then replacing the word 'games' with something completely crazy. Like cheese. So now it's 'Bavarian Minisiter Says Cheese As Bad As Child Porn.' There. Now doesn't he sound remarkably silly for saying that?

Patrick_and_the_ricks:

Simriel:
I'm going to say... No. No they are not, and please remove your head from your rear you misinformed preachy sack of uselessness.

Amen

Praise me. You know its the right thing to do.

westx207:
We've seen a lot of these kind of reports recently, but I'd really like to see more criticisms like Jarzombek's. It was slightly thereputic to read that there are some people who aren't totally off the wall yet.

I am, of course, assuming that there are other critics.

I agree, I think that these people complaining about the various bit of media influencing youth activity is stupid, yet very few people are brave enough to come out and say that these people are just going over the top. In England this year, a poem which is AGAINST KNIFE CRIME was removed from state school's lists of things that need to be taught to pupils, just because it mentions knife crime in it.

Whether or not these theories of childish influence is true, the level of paranoia is just stupid. If you watch Bowling For Columbine, that talks alot about gun crime and the influences or potential influences of it.

I wonder were these politicians came from....the gaming industry makes money go round and round the same way Tobacco and Alcoho

l make money go round and round...Were is the people banning Tobacco and alcohol in mass? I open todays newspaper and I can see at least 5 news related to someone that was drunk and driving and provoked an acident/deaths. Were is the mass crusade versus Alcohol?

Smoking causes lung cancer and other countless breathing diseases, killing thousands every year. Were is the mass crusade versus Smoking?

Maybe instead of spending hours/days/months/years and millions of dollars/euros/etc etc in making bills to ban video games, the Goverment should install strict gun control and keep the guns to the military. Instead of blaming CS you should wonder were they got the weapons...idiots.

Comments like that make Jack Thompson look like an okay guy by comparison. But holy sweet mother of pearl what is going on over there in Germany? One recent shooting, which obviously had nothing to do with video games and anyone who even cared to so much as take a quick glance at the guy's history, and suddenly they're treating video games as if they're condensed evil in a can?

Just out of curiosity, has anyone here seen the warning labels GTA: Chinatown Wars got in Germany?

This just makes me curious about what Herrmann's got hidden in his sock drawer.

Son of Sam was told to kill young women by his neighbor's dog. To my knowledge, there was no talk of banning dogs at that time.

There's always going to be people pointing fingers at "new" things they know very little about.

I remember reading somewhere that in the 19th century, when trains started to appear, some panic dispersers started rambling about how travelling in trains will make you stupid because the brain is squished from the acceleration and human bodies where never intended to move at such accelerated speeds...

Wooohooo go Bavaria! Woo, Wooo, makes me proud to be German!

Nah seriously; Bavaria, in terms of culture and attitude, is pretty old-school and these comments are just ridiculous. All the people that compare Bavaria to the whole of Germany are a little of, but the biggest problem is definetly the media right now, spilling tons of BS that would embarrass Fox-News.

Time again and again...this is just an age problem. The elderly just have to accept that Timmy's 360 or PS3 is more dear to him than his grandparents :P. One day the generational difference will be overcome, in maybe 20 years, until then I'll just let good ol' Dylan speak my sentiments on the matter:

"Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'."

sirdanrhodes:
Yeah, the term "Misinformed" springs to mind. Damn Pong, sparking the videogame industry.

There was a video game before Pong you know.

Anyway, way to go Bavaria. someone had to jump on the bandwagon this month.

You may also consider that bavaria, although quite famous for tourists, is actually very, very conservative. The guy who said that speaks for the christian party which has lost of votes over the last year (they were pretty much always voted before).

I am pretty sure that he is sort of hopping on the topic to show that this kind of things won't happen if they get back to decide such things.

They came up with this before and CryTech responded by suggesting a relocation to a more "developer-friendly" area. After that, the politicians somehow cooled down. They probably had a look at the taxes CryTech pays and how many workplaces they offer.

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