German Retailer Drops Violent Games In Wake Of ShootingsS

Following last week's tragic shooting rampage in Germany that left fifteen dead, German retailer Galeria Kaufhof is pulling violent films and games from their store shelves.

Starting next month, Galeria Kaufhof will no longer stock games and movies carrying an 18-plus rating. This follows the shooting spree of 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer last week, whose Counter-Strike habit has politicians pointing the finger at violent video games. The retailer's knee-jerk decision has German game developers shaking their heads.

"I think (Kaufhof's decision) is a complete overreaction ... it borders on impulsive hysteria," said Stephan Reichart, managing director at German video game developers association G.A.M.E. "It would be sufficient if retailers made sure their cashiers don't sell this material to young people."

Reichart makes a good point. The only thing banning violent content from the shelves of Galeria Kaufhof will accomplish is forcing customers to shop somewhere for mature content.

To an extent I can understand the reactions from the less-game savvy German people. A terribly tragedy like this needs explaining, and violent video games are an easy way to explain away the behavior of this disturbed young man. I just fear that by grabbing at the easiest answer, people aren't getting to the real root of the problem, and incidents like this will continue to occur.

German retailer pulls violent DVDs, games [Reuters]