Violent Games Blamed as Russia Grapples With Mass Shooting

Described as "Russia's Breivik"—a reference to Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass shooter who killed 77 in 2011—Dmitry Vinogradov already is being linked in Russian press to the bête noire of violent video games, Manhunt, as authorities probe a workplace shooting that left six dead in Moscow.

Vinogradov's shooting spree is said to have been provoked by a breakup with a female coworker, but two Russian deputies noted his interest in Rockstar's 2003 action title, and that was enough to get government officials to discuss stricter regulation of violent video games.

A lawmaker on the education committee in Russia's duma, the nation's legislative assembly, called for a commission to supervise sales of PC games. One of the deputies who noted the connection to Manhunt said violent video games should be restricted across the region. It probably doesn't help that Manhunt already is banned in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and in Ontario, Canada.

Breivik wrote a violent manifesto, and Vinogradov is said to have done the same before the killing, though a prolonged drinking session is also believed to be involved. Still, Breivik directly referenced games like Call of Duty, for training purposes, and World of Warcraft, as a social cover, to further a shadow lifestyle in which he would plot a terrorist attack against his own government, as a strike against Muslim immigration into western Europe. So far, Manhunt seems to have no such direct connection to Vinogradov's alleged crimes.

Russia Reviewing Violent Game Restrictions [Games Industry International]