German retailer bans violent games after shootings

19th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Kaufhof: "On the basis of what happened in Winnenden, we have decided to take all the games and films deemed unsuitable for below 18 year olds out of our product range."

Berlin -- German retailer Kaufhof will no longer sell violent video games and films, after a teenager -- who was an avid gamer -- shot dead 15 people before killing himself last week, the firm said Wednesday.

"On the basis of what happened in Winnenden, we have decided to take all the games and films deemed unsuitable for below 18 year olds out of our product range," Kaufhof spokeswoman Sonja Kittel told AFP.

"The products which we now have in the stores will be sold until the end of March but by April the sales will be stopped all together," Kittel said.

Thomas Burkhart, director of Kaufhof's media department, said within an hour of the decision, most of the games had been removed from the shelves.

Last Wednesday, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer fired 60 bullets at his former school, killing eight girls, one boy and three female teachers, mostly with shots to the head. He then fled, hijacked a car and shot dead three bystanders.

Reports said that he was very keen on computer shooting games -- especially the violent "Counter-Strike" -- and had become a real-life crack shot at the shooting range where his father was a member.

Critics are now saying that Kaufhof, with over 20,000 employees and more than 100 branches in Germany, has overreacted and that this form of self-censorship is not necessary.

AFP/Expatica

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