Norwegian retailers have opted to cease carrying violent video games in direct response to the July 22 terrorist attacks by Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik. A total of 51 products will be taken off shelves including World of Warcraft and the Call of Duty series.
According to the Danish gaming site Gamers Globe, supermarket chain Coop Norden is spearheading the campaign to remove these video games. The actions seem to extend only to Norway; Coop Denmark has issued a statement saying that terrorism is guided by other motives than video game universes.
According to a Norwegian newspaper (translated by VG247), Coop Norway’s director Geir Inge Stokke said, “others are better suited than us, to point to the negative effects of games like these. At the moment it’s [appropriate] for us to take them down. I wouldn’t be surprised if others do the same.”
Among the products being removed are games described as realist shooter/RPGs. Some of the titles include: Homefront, Call of Duty:Black Ops, Modern Warfare 2, World at War Platinum, Modern Warfare Classic, Sniper: Ghost Warrior, Counter-Strike Source and World of Warcraft.
Two of the titles are particularly controversially as they are mentioned by Breivik in his manifesto. Breivik claimed to be a fan of the massively multi-player online role-playing game World of Warcraft. He also claimed that Modern Warfare 2 was “the best military simulator” and claims to have used the game for training.
The Norwegian news site ITvasin also reports that entertainment retailer Platekompaniet will be joining Coop’s movement, but will be keeping the fantasy themed WoW game in stock.
Terrorist Anders Behring Breivik is guilty of killing 77 people in a dual bombing/shooting in Norway on July 22. He could be facing a 21 year prison sentence. The anti-Islamic right-wing extremist published a 1,516-page manifesto before the attacks in which he advocates the violent extermination of multiculturalism and immigration from Europe. Anonymous recently targeted the Norway killer’s manifesto, urging people to download a copy, change and republish in order to make Anders look a fool.