More details of the shooting linked to video games over in Germany: The shooter was playing Far Cry 2, and Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering what could be done to limit access to violent games.
Merkel did not give specifics in this Reuters story (via International Herald Tribune) so perhaps it's just a politic response to vox populi blaming games. It was part of a broader statement that Germans "must be attentive to all young people — that's true for parents and educators," Merkel said. "We must do all to prevent children from having access to weapons and from them having to face too much violence."
Sounds reasonable. The shooter's father had 15 guns at home. Fourteen were locked up, and the kid used the one that wasn't. Oopsie.
What's just silly is trying to link Far Cry 2 to this. Der Spiegel mentioned yesterday the killer played the game prior to the shootings (it even got timestamps!) So The Times of London devotes a tortured two paragraphs explaining all the coincidences of the game and the shooting, leaving out that both took place on planet Earth.
Remarkable parallels emerged between the video game and the 17-year-old's rampage. In the game it is essential to hijack cars to move around. Kretschmer hijacked a car, held a pistol to the driver's head and asked: "Should I have fun and pick off some more drivers?" Characters in the game, which is made by the French company Ubisoft and has sold 2.9m copies, wear black camouflage uniforms - the clothing Kretschmer wore on Wednesday.
Most sinister of all, Far Cry 2's killer uses a Beretta 92 handgun, the weapon fired 112 times by Kretschmer. The game, which carries an 18 certificate in Britain, includes sequences in which the aiming, firing and reloading of a Beretta are portrayed in vivid detail. It also rewards players who shoot their victims in the head, the style of killing chosen by Kretschmer.
And 12 contains the numbers one and two, just like the toilet yesterday where somebody went number two instead of number one.
If blaming Far Cry 2 makes people feel better, fine. I'll blame the facts he was a disturbed teenager who had a bondage porn kink way too early in life and was snubbed by a girl he had a crush on, who was among the first of his victims.
Mass Killer 'Rejected' by Girl at Party [Times of London]
Merkel Urges Greater Focus on Youth after Shootings [Reuters on International Herald Tribune]