Germans Say Violent Games “Landmines for the Soul”

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Responding to the German government’s official recognition of games as culture, a group of concerned citizens has released an anti-gaming position paper that argues that violent games are detrimental to the building of a peaceful society and must be banned.

The document, reports GamePolitics, targets the usual suspects – Counter-Strike, DOOM, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, and Crysis – and resurrects the theory that FPS games were developed by the U.S. military as a way to condition potential recruits. While the Cologne Declaration strikes the same chord of “harmful to children” all too familiar to gamers on either side of the Atlantic (or Pacific), it goes one step farther in suggesting that violent gaming hampers the building of a peaceful society.

Though conceived by a group of regular German citizens, the position paper has garnered support by several prominent social scientists as well. Researchers who dispute the document’s claims and defend gaming are accused of being “collaborators and accomplices” of the games industry, aiding violent video games that further the goals of the “military-industrial-media complex.”

Our colleagues at GP note that the idea that violent games are used as a tool by the U.S. armed forces to desensitize recruits has already been disputed, and that the linking of gaming to the “military-industrial-media complex” resembles the views held by Lyndon LaRouche, whom they charitably describe as a “fringe political figure.”

So, we have a coalition of concerned citizens calling for a ban on violent games that warp the minds of their children – it does seem like we were overdue for one of these, no? Does the group (and its claims) have any more validity than the ones that preceded it?

In a word: Nein.

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