The media have recently put a lot of the blame of the shooting in Munich, Germany – that saw Ali David Sonboly kill nine people – on video games. The game of choice to take the blame is Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In fact, it’s endured so much of the blame for the Munich shooting that a television network in Germany decided to cancel showing an e-sports broadcast of Counter-Strike.
GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that German network ProSieben MAXX issued a press statement about the cancellation of the e-sports event, and it was picked up by CS:GO gaming site 99damage, where the press statement mentions…
“[…] due to the events in recent days, it was decided at ProSiebenSat.1 for the time being to no longer show eSports games like “CS: GO”. Thus there will be no ELEAGUE broadcast today and the last ELEAGUE broadcast is done.”
They mention that it’s still possible to view the live-streams through Twitch but you won’t be able to view them on television due to the media barrage blaming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for the shootings in Munich.
According to an article by Ian Miles Cheong at Heat Street, it was mentioned that major news outlets like CNN, CNBC, BBC and the Telegraph all mentioned the role Counter-Strike played in the shootings, thus reigniting the debate about the role violent video games play in mass murders, something that was a hot topic back during the 1990s when DOOM was blamed for the Columbine High massacre.
The link between Counter-Strike and the shooting was instigated by Germany’s president of the state crime office, Robert Heimberger, who stated “[Counter-Strike is] a game played by nearly every known rampage killer.”
Due to the media’s constant attacks against video games (both mainstream and enthusiast) it’s not surprising that it’s beginning to have detrimental effects on the growth of the gaming industry and is now starting to have tangible effects on the marketable reach of games through outlets outside of the internet.
Other countries are also picking up on the media’s narrative about games causing people to turn into sexist misogynists, prompting countries like France, Britain and Switzerland to pursue sexism labels on gamesk, as well as funding cuts for games that don’t pass the sexism test.
It remains to be seen if additional actions will be taken against games based on media fear-mongering regarding violence in interactive entertainment.
(Main image courtesy of dothejob)