A videogame tournament scheduled to take place in the Germany city of Stuttgart this Friday, near the town of Winnenden where 15 people were killed earlier this month, has been canceled by the city.
The Electronic Sports League tournament was set to feature games including Warcraft, Counter-Strike 1.6 and Counter-Strike: Source, but in light of reports that the killer played Counter-Strike himself the city asked organizer Turtle Entertainment to use other games in its place. According to a Google-translated report in Heise Online, the organizers were “not even willing to accept a minute’s silence for the victims” of the shooting. As a result, the city shut down the tournament entirely.
Ibrahim Mazari of Turtle Entertainment said that while the murders of 15 people by a crazed gunman left gamers “horrified,” there was never any question of canceling the tournament voluntarily because there is no actual connection between the murders and videogaming. He compared “e-sports” to the German Bundesliga soccer league, noting that while injury-filled riots have been common in that sport for years, “not one solid punch” has been thrown in all the hundreds of e-sports events that have taken place in the country.
Despite that perfectly reasonable stance, the backlash against violent videogames continues to swell in Germany: Yesterday, German President Horst Koehler threw his support behind an all-out ban of “killergames” in the country. “Games, whether on the Internet or on the PC, in which the goal is to kill as many people as possible deserve to be forbidden,” he said. “The same goes for all violent games which are, in their structure and presentation, very realistic and very bloody.”