Mass Murderer Trained With ‘Call Of Duty’

Here’s some fuel for the debate over the potential harm of allowing children (and presumably unstable adults) to play extremely realistic first-person shooter games, via the Guardian:

Call of Duty Black Ops Logotipo-2011-28-08

Anders Behring Breivik has described how he “trained” for the attacks he carried out in Norway last summer using the computer game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

The 33-year-old said he practised his shot using a “holographic aiming device” he had bought to use with the war simulation game, which he said is used by armies around the world for training.

“You develop target acquisition,” he said. He used a similar device during the shooting attacks that left 69 dead at a political youth camp on the island of Utøya on 22 July.

Describing the game, he said: “It consists of many hundreds of different tasks and some of these tasks can be compared with an attack, for real. That’s why it’s used by many armies throughout the world. It’s very good for acquiring experience related to sights systems.”

He added: “If you are familiar with a holographic sight, it’s built up in such a way that you could have given it to your grandmother and she would have been a super marksman. It’s designed to be used by anyone. In reality it requires very little training to use it in an optimal way. But of course it does help if you’ve practised using a simulator.”…

[continues at the Guardian]


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43 Comments on "Mass Murderer Trained With ‘Call Of Duty’"

  1. joe joe the indian circus boy | Apr 19, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    my cousin played call of duty obsessively

    then he went to join the marines like a fucking dumbass

    go figure.

  2. Key word is “unstable”.

    • yeah i just think he is trolling and using his media exposure to terrorize the pass time of millions. because he knows  that violent video games and their supposed negative influence is a hot topic, weather the claims are true or false.  i blame toxoplasmosis.

  3. FusionSaint | Apr 19, 2012 at 10:45 am |

    Hmmm… lets see, I’ve been playing first person shooters since the mid 1990s… still haven’t gone on a mass murdering rampage. Oh wait, that’s right, I’m not mentally unstable. Aside from that, call of duty is by far one of the LEAST realistic video games available on the market. Sure, its teaches you how to point and aim a gun… so does every movie featuring drill scenes. So does every TV show featuring cops training/on a firing range. Old bad argument *yawn*. 

  4. Anyone up for a game of World of World War II 3

  5. mannyfurious | Apr 19, 2012 at 10:59 am |

    Obviously, this is an old, stupid, basically disproven argument. I, myself, like so many others, spent the first 21 years of my life wallowing in hyper-violent action movies and video games and comic books and I turned out to essentially be a pacifist. 

    With that said, I don’t know where else my 13 year old son got his sudden preoccupation with everything military. His mother and I are strictly against such behavior, but when he’s not playing these war games, he’s watching the military channel or begging us to buy him any of a number of airsoft guns. We obviously failed somewhere as parents–was it in letting him play these games in the first place? I don’t know. But it does make me wonder….

    • it’s a phase, I was like that too, basically, you only see the “cool” sides of war, when he develops a more mature view of the world my guess is he’ll put that behind him..

      • He’ll also probably sublimate his aggression into more socially acceptable outlets: sports, hobby games, etc. Although I’m not a sports fan, I’m a big gamer, electronic or otherwise. Then again, maybe has the “warrior gene”. I have a family member who pretty much rolled out of the womb with the sole wish to join the Army. He’s middle aged now and It’s been his career for his entire life. I think that it’s genetic for some people.

      • It might be a phase, but some don’t grow out of it, and thus you have a permanent influx of new recruits that don’t know any better.

        • While I absolutely believe that the majority of the reason we fight wars at all is for economic opportunity, I also believe that there is a need for a standing Army, and that being a solder is an honorable profession. Much like any other profession, there’s a fair share of dolts, sadists and nutjobs, but I wouldn’t say every person who joins the armed forces does so out of ignorance.

          Edit: Then again, you might not be saying that at all. Perhaps you only mean that the reality of military service and combat are different from what a new recruit thinks it will be.

          • Fair enough, I agree with you, but to some degree my jadedness gets in the way.

          • As does mine. It’s a side-effect of too much reality. 😉

          • I wouldn’t call soldering a honorable profession, but I’m no longer America so there are bound to be some differences. I don’t even really understand what honorable is supposed to mean… like “justice,” or “patriotism.”.. isn’t that just ethnocentrism painted pretty? True, it’s impossible to say that the world needs no defense, and that if America would stop bullshitting the rest of the world everyone would get along; life just aint that pretty, yet. But killing, violence, and death as a profession have nothing honorable about them in my opinion. There are plenty of people that seek the same goals without resorting to tanks and bombs. It’s a fine line though, like saying cops are pigs; some cops are awesome and society DOES need them, but sure a lot of them are jerks.

            I would say the violence tendencies don’t COME from video games, but they are fostered by them. I was more into mario and f-zero back in the day, but sure I played my share of doom and contra and what not ;p ahhh the good old days. I am now a pseudo-pacifist as well, and that clearly doesn’t reflect positively for the main argument presented here. I think people need to look more at the parents and the environment than jumping onto a video game that millions of other healthy people enjoy without discourse. Clearly this person was disturbed in other ways by other means, regardless of what effect (albeit most likely negative) video games had on him.

          • Sounds like you’ve got a bad, bad case of post-modernism. Don’t let the semantic cancer metastasize or you’ll be totally paralyzed into inaction.  

          •  thanks for the thoughtful reply =/

          • That’s a fair enough response to my own comment, which admittedly was a sarcastic jest at your comment about not knowing what “honor”, “justice” or “patriotism” means. I think that you actually *do* have an idea of what it means to you, but we might simply disagree about that meaning. I’m too old to argue about semantics or the existence of any kind of Platonic Ideal. I think that the majority of us figured out that these terms are utterly relativistic. That being said, we’ve got to define them on our own. I’m assuming, for example, that you have an operating definition of good conduct, or kindness. As a matter of fact, it appears that I probably insulted it when I left my snarky response. 😉 

            When I said soldiering was an honorable profession, what I meant was that people who volunteer their life to defend their nation and people receive my respect. I don’t think of soldiers as scum, babykillers or defectives.

            Killing, of course, is a terrible thing. Unfortunately, there are occasions when it must be done. Peaceful means to resolving conflicts are always preferable, though. 

            Unless you want to start questioning the semantics of “peace” or “war”… 

          • I wasn’t trying to discuss semantics, I simply don’t agree with what the words honor, justice, and patriotism mean. What is justice but revenge? More negativity to try and feel better about what was already wronged. Honor in the sense of pride or respect from ones fellows? Pride is more of a sin than anything in my opinion. People should question their actions continuously and above all question the orders they obey.

            Furthermore I don’t believe in the defense of a “nation” or “a people;” I believe in what benefits mankind, though there’s very little to grasp at amidst all the modern warfare we have nowadays. That’s why I brought up the words ethnocentrism and patriotism. They’re just pushing the “safety” of one team as a means to downplay the killing of another team.

            I do agree with you though that those who are willing to risk their lives in the -defense- of their “people” or their loved ones are very brave. Unfortunately by law they are forced to follow someone else’s orders which usually means going into someone else home and killing them as a means of preemptive defense; which I consider a great tragedy.

            I do not think there are any occasions where killing “must be done,” though it is certainly always the easiest route, especially when our education system is so unadaptive.

          • It appears here that we have a fundamental philosophical disagreement, then, but there’s no reason why you’re “wrong” and I’m “right”, or vice versa. Carry on, good sir or ma’am.

        • mannyfurious | Apr 23, 2012 at 11:29 am |

          This is essentially the issue for me. As I mentioned, I went through a pretty similar stage, but I think I always understood, on some level, that violence in reality wasn’t quite what the media made it out to be. If the Military channel existed when I was his age, I wouldn’t have watched it. It would have been boring. But he loves it. And that’s what scares me. 

    • I’m not a parent, but everyone I know who has had boys say they all go through this. I know I certainly did as a boy, and I’m no more interested in harming other people (hell, other living things in general) than you are. I’m afraid that I support the now-controversial idea that there are some hardwired differences between the sexes, including a predilection for certain kinds of play. 

      A man I know, a father, told me that his son wasn’t allowed to play with toy guns or violent toys of any sort, only to one day walk out and see his son pretending a toy train was a rifle. There’s an argument that all of this is reinforced by a hetero-normative society committed to reinforcing strict gender roles. I think that there’s probably something to that, but in my opinion it’s not an all-encompassing explanation. 

      That being said, you’re a father. I’m not. I can’t and won’t speak from a position of authority on the topic. My experiences are anecdotal, and my interest in the topic is only from the perspective of a layman.

    • boys have a hunting instinct, males are hunters by nature and “game” hunting was pretty much the meaning of life before civilization. i theorize thats why there is so much gaming, sports, and war. And women gatherers, thus all the shoes and clothing. 

    • Broken_Finger | Apr 20, 2012 at 7:25 am |

      He’s just rebelling.  My situation and son sound very similar to yours, the main difference being that I did let him play violent video games; I play those same games, and I didn’t want to be a total parental hypocrite.   He’s now 17 and is starting to grow out of his militaristic phase (which might be because he’s nearing enlistment age, I don’t know).  

      • mannyfurious | Apr 23, 2012 at 11:26 am |

        I let him play the games too, for the same reason. His mother and I actually would argue about this, because she didn’t want him playing those games or watching a certain kind of movie, but I did as a kid, so I think he should be able to. What bothers me is that I’m not sure he gets that it’s “make-believe” and that shooting people isn’t actually fun. Of course, I’d like to think I, myself, did understand the difference when I was his age, but I probably didn’t. Still, as a parent, I find it to be extremely difficult to not be scared shitless about my own parenting skills, most of the time.

  6. DeepCough | Apr 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

    I dunno, I’m wondering whether Breivik played COD: Black Ops, because, seeing as to how that game was all about MK-ULTRA, that might explain why he turned into a right-wing nutjob.

  7. Casual FPSs don’t teach you how to load/unload/reload/make safe a weapon. They don’t teach you about proper trigger pull and pressure. They don’t teach you how to clean and maintain a weapon. They don’t teach you how to operate a forward assist or how to clear the breach in the event of jamming or stoppage. They also, most importantly, don’t teach you how to murder dozens of innocent kids.

    Oh sensationalism, you so silly.

    • Eric_D_Read | Apr 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm |

      That’s reading more into the story than it even claimed. He merely stated it helped train him in target acquisition. Nothing more.
      COD does  as much for the aspiring mass shooter what chess did for generals before airplanes were introduced to the battlefield. 

  8.  this all depends on lobbying, parents were used to be directed against movies, but movies has a strong lobby and put out the blame on video games and even though the video game industry created their on lobbying it isn’t nearly as effective as movies lobbiers.

    there was also a small movement against keyboard warriors and how they don’t do anything, well aren’t you glad most of em are just keyboard warriors and don’t do anything?

  9. ……real armies use call of duty to practice aiming with Holo sights?……LMAO

  10. mole_face | Apr 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

    I’m opposed to any regulation of video game content – but it also seems obvious to me that shooting hundreds of realistic people from an immersive first person perspective could have profound psychological implications for people.

    Let’s say you weren’t familiar with the concept of video games, and you read a dystopian novel where the citizens spent hours a day participating in vivid interactive first-person murder simulators. Wouldn’t it seem almost TOO obvious  that this sort of thing could easily be used as a conditioning tool, or at the very least could take a toll on someone’s psyche?

  11. I wrote a play about this. I expect it to become a #1 best seller. Here it is, enjoy:

    99.999999999999999999999999999999999999% of people who play COD will NOT feel the need to go on a homicidal rampage. That man was already nuts and if it wasn’t COD, something else would have fueled his mania.

    *curtains close*

    The end.

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