Das war klar (we knew this one was coming). Some sad, misguided and neglected kid easily organizes some high-powered weapons in the land of gun control and decides to commit suicide at the place he hated best. But what’s the first reaction that comes out of Berlin? Violent computer games must be behind all of this. It can’t happen here, you see.

“Violent computer games” is just another coded term for “the evil from without”, i.e. anything and everything that is perceived to come out of the United States of America. Especially anything that has to do with computer technology, I might add (Germans don’t trust it as in IT; they are clearly technikfeindlich in these matters).

Nobody asked about what his family was failing to do with this kid the past eighteen years. Nobody wonders why he writes the following in his suicide note: “The only thing I learned intensively at school was that I’m a loser.” These are obviously matters that are beyond political control, right? But bedeviling violent computer games that nobody is being forced to buy or play, that’s an easy one. That’s got the right emotional and irrational touch to it that immediately sells big in the land of Dichter und Denker. It’s the easiest scapegoat you could ever wish to have, a freebie.

I think one CDU politician’s comments inadvertently put it best: “We need effective guidelines to protect children from exposure to different types of media, but we don’t need (simulated) killer games that can lead to brutalisation.” I couldn’t agree more. Back home we call those guidelines families, responsible families.

And hasn’t anybody ever noticed that the same “losers” who go mad like this back home are also the same ones growing up without these very guidelines?

None of this has anything at all to do with violent computer games. Let’s move on to the next level.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

Be Sociable, Share!