Killerspiele~ by Simon Parkin ~
An October Saturday and Stuttgart is pale with the cold. Outside the State Opera House, the city's grand attraction, a skip sits awkward and incongruous to its surroundings. The sides are spray-painted with graffiti, a hip hop-cum-youth club pastiche probably commissioned to soften the otherwise stark utilitarian appearance of this giant iron dustbin. While the murals may obscure the rust, they do not obscure the function, which remains as it ever was: a receptacle for unwanted rubbish. Except, rather than industrial waste or the assorted debris of home movers, this skip has been put here to collect videogames: "Killerspiele", the name given to violent games by Germany's tabloid press.
Midway through the day, a cameraman from a local television station clambers over the skip's side. He needs a compelling shot for the piece that will run tonight, a story about how swathes of Germany's youths have seen the error of their hobby and brought their perilous playthings to this public burning. Crouching on its floor, he angles the camera upwards, while a young boy in a beanie and a puffer jacket leans over and hurls a copy of Grand Theft Auto in with an echoic clack.
The cameraman captures the premeditated moment from this particular angle because any other would reveal the truth of the situation: the skip is otherwise empty. By the end of the day, that sealed copy of San Andreas will be joined by Def Jam: Fight for New York, OpenArena and Small Soldiers, a sorry clutch of ageing titles that represent the full extent of German gamers' ambivalence to this most uncomfortable stunt:
For gamers around the world, it's difficult not to feel a sharp sense of schadenfreude. But there's a story behind every story. And the story behind the skip is a tragedy...
More at the source
Like many other gamers I found this stunt ridiculous. And it's not like the gaming community has given up on talking to people interested in a discussion about the topic, but it's difficult when the same lies taken from media headlines are thrown in your face over and over again. I agree with the author that there HAS to be a discussion. However, after spending long hours trying to explain things from a gamer's point of view to people who won't even bother to educate themselves on the mere basics of the topic I've grown weary. Not to the point that I'd insult them or compare the situation to the 3rd Reich, but to the point where I step back and think "let's just wait another 10 or 15 years, then this nonsense will be over"...