On Monday, November 20, a man identified as 18-year old Bastian B. committed suicide after attacking a German secondary school with guns and explosives and wounding as many as 27 people. The German media have reported that Bastian had a fondness for war simulation and computer games.
Responding to the attack, the deputy head of the Christian Democratic party said it was time to consider banning games that simulate wanton killing, citing studies showing that violent games have disturbing effects on some children. As well, Christa Stewens, the family minister for the German state of Bavaria has called for a nationwide ban on war games like paintball and laser tag and has also said that children should not be permitted to play violent computer games.
A ban on violent games, however, looks far from certain. To date, the German federal government has refused to ban violent computer games and the opposition party - the Greens - continue to be resistant to the idea, suggesting that the proper course would be to focus debate on the proper use of computers.