Norwegian stores withdraw violent video games after attacks
OSLO — Two video games used by far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik in planning his July 22 killing spree have been withdrawn from a number of stores across Norway, one co-op chain said Tuesday.
Coop Norge, one of the country’s major grocery store chains and its main co-op, said it took the decision “out of respect” for the families of the 77 people slain in the twin attacks.
The move was launched on July 24 “to spare people who, in one way or another, were affected by the terrorist acts,” the chain’s director for non-food items Geir Inge Stokke told AFP.
“We don’t want them to stumble upon violent video games while buying milk and bread in our stores,” he said.
In a 1,500-page manifesto posted online, Behring Breivik said he was a fan of “World of Warcraft” and “Call of Duty – Modern Warfare” and that he had played the games while preparing his rampage.
Coop told its locations which carried video games — 50 of 900 stores — to remove about 50 products from its aisles, including the games cited by Behring Breivik.
Norwegian media reported Platekompaniet, one of the country’s leading movie-, video game- and music-selling chains had also pulled some games from its stores. The company did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.
Some Norwegian gamers blasted the move.
“This type of logic is problematic when we think of the number of people who play these games without committing crimes or assaults,” gamer Audun Rodem said in a July 29 post on his blog.
Stokke said Coop did not intend to stigmatise players, and that the chain would evaluate later if and when to reintroduce the games.
Behring Breivik killed eight people with a bomb he set off in Oslo’s government quarter and he later gunned down 69 people, many of them teenagers, who were attending a retreat run by the Norwegian Labour Party’s youth wing on the island of Utoeya.
He confessed to the attacks, saying he was waging a war on the “islamisation” of western Europe and on multiculturalism.