German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

May 12, 2009 -

A pair of German researchers claim that violent video games are a creation of the U.S. military.

Writing in the latest issue of Current Concerns, Renate and Rudi Hänsel call for a ban on violent game and echo the military conspiracy theme espoused in the U.S. by followers of fringe political figure Lyndon Larouche:

During the nineties the killing simulators, employed for hand to hand combat in the US army and police, were released by the Pentagon to be sold for private use on the public markets. As a consequence the computer and video game industry that had co-operated with the Pentagon from the very beginning, boomed. Since then the so-called killer games have wreaked havoc among children and youths.

The US army’s electronic training programs for killing people must be taken back to the US barracks, where they came from. They have to disappear from civil society altogether. They may be appropriate for the purpose of national defense or fight against crime; they have no place, however, in children’s rooms or in living rooms.

In addition, the Hänsels relate violent games to school shootings and quote German and Swiss political figures who have called for a ban on such products.

Oddly enough, they also harken back to a post-World War II German ban on war-themed toys.

GP: Thanks to longtime European reader Soldat Louis for the tip!


Comments

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

 Probably about as scientific as Erich von Däniken.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj8voVeoZSg

 

Too bad most people here won't understand the video or who that Erich person even is. The video starts with him blabbering about his videos that explaint he secrets to all the world, UFOs and things like that. Hilarious, how Kalkofe "beams" himself into that and does his crazy interpretation of Erich. And these two people "researchers" are about as credible as him.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

As others have mentioned before: Renate and Rudi Hänsel do not qualify as researchers and they are certainly not in a position to make statements based on sound scientific research in this matter.

Furthermore: "Current Concerns" is the english edition of "Zeit-Fragen" (http://www.zeit-fragen.ch) which seems to serve as a means of publication for an organisation called "VPM" (short for "Verein zur Förderung der Psychologischen Menschenkenntnis", a rather shady and controversial organisation with evident cultist traits here in Switzerland).

There is nothing scientific about that article. The authors are just trying to take advantage of the ongoing discussion about violent video games in Germany and Switzerland in order to promote themselves and their political agenda.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

And let's not forget that right now, "Zeit-Fragen/Current Concerns" is member of Thierry Meyssan's Voltaire Network.

Now, I agree that it's not a scientific article, but it provide an English translation and compilation of several "anti-violent games" rants. So it's useful in some way.

PS: I guess I have to apologize for introducing them to Dennis as "researchers". Sorry sorry sorry

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Ahh the cycles of fashion, only a few years ago tinfoil hats were considered the headwear of the madman but apparently all chic germans are wearing them this season.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

These authors are swiss now, they migrated. And .... it's obvious that they do not know what they are talking about. It's more like a conspirary theory. The numbers alone should tell everyone that these games don't turn 99,9^% of the adults into killing machines. Anyone who ever went ahead and shot someone like "they do in videogames" either was -yes, I'm sorry to say this again, but it's the awful trush - unstable to the brink of a rampage anyway, and would've done it the next time something tickles their fancy, or someone who thinks they can safely blame videogames and less jail time. 

These swiss guys even ramble on about this infalliable evidence that games at fault they supposedly have, but this evidence has been looked at time and time again, and it wasn't good enough. Bringing this up over and over again won't make this look better.

In the end, these people are as much about truth as Erich von Däniken. The fact that someone can author a book ... is that supposed to be some kind of redeeming factor? Last time I checked, there were gazillions of useless books published. 

 

I am so tired of these whackjobs, so tired of German politician quackjobs ... luckily they are in the minority, but they're dangerous. 

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

"Anyone who ever went ahead and shot someone like "they do in videogames" either was -yes, I'm sorry to say this again, but it's the awful trush - unstable to the brink of a rampage anyway, and would've done it the next time something tickles their fancy...."

I don't see any need to apologize for this. I think most of us here agree this is the main cause for most rampages. As Dennis Miller once said, to paraphrase: "If your son kills himself because of something Gene Simmons said, you should probably look to yourself for the blame."

 

Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They've got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however...

Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They've got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however...

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

FWIW...I just looked up the two authors, as well as Rudolph Weiss, who they mention.  None of these individuals have published anything that shows up on PsychINFO (the main database of published psychological research articles).  I have no idea what this study is of Weiss (aparently it hasn't been published in a major peer-reviewed outlet), but as it contradicts the US Secret Service report on the same subject, I'd guess that it is bupkiss.  Helmut Lukesch, who someone mentioned is a legitimate researcher, but some of these other folks aren't.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Some of Rudolf Weiss's research is available at www.mediengewalt.eu , so are a lot of "anti-killergames" activists' articles. The "study" done by Weiss and mentioned by the Hänsels is available here : http://www.mediengewalt.eu/downloads/Winnenden-Infos%20zur%20Pressemitte... (search the end of the document)

The funny part of it is in page 2, when he talks about GTA IV : he blasts him for a content and a gameplay that is not in the game ! (he mistook Manhunt's gameplay for GTA IV's one)

 

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Thanx for the links.  From the link you sent it appears that the "research" on school shootings is not peer-reviewed (at least best I could tell...my limited German is *weak* to say the least, so perhaps I missed something).  Thus I'm not sure his musings carry much weight particularly as they have been contradicted by several other reports.  At very least, if these folks were interested in objective science they would acknowledge that there is disagreement among reports on the matter (they could argue why they believed Weiss' was correct and the others mistaken...that's fair game...but ignoring conflicting research altogether is simple propaganda...of course American researchers in this area do this too...the technical term is "citation bias").

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

I've shared this story with every person I know, because after the first few said the same thing, I wanted to see what everyone else I knew would say. I got the same response.

"... wat"

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Maybe these guys are right, maybe it was Call of Duty 0 that made the Nazi's have 6 million Jews killed in concentration camps.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

I know the American revolution was influenced heavily by COD: Indian Wars, by Benjamin Franklin. Shitty graphics, but the gameplay still holds up.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Ok if violent games really do train people to kill then why hasn't the military removed all their training courses and firing ranges and replaced them with videogames?

BECAUSE VIRTUAL COMBAT, ESPECIALLY IN COMMERCIAL VIDEOGAMES, AND REAL COMBAT AREN'T EVEN REMOTELY SIMIALR, DICKHEAD!!!

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Kinda like how we tried to make Japan stop selling the Rapelay game, eh?

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

exactly *cough* hypocritical *cough*

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

I...what? I don't....GAHHH! What the f-ck are these people talking about?

So the US military is attempting to destribute these games to brainwash people to kill or something?

WELL IT AIN'T WORKIN'. All that research is bitchslapped into oblivion by the most basic observation of statistics regarding violent crime rates and the play of violent games. As for the military angle, that's crap. (proof please?)

This is all just part of a conspiracy against the US so that the underground Neo-Nazis can regain control of Germany and launch a mass attack against planet Jewtron with their secret store of nukes. I know this because I have a piece of paper that says I do! You can't prove there isn't a conspiracy!

 

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Is that the same piece of paper that could some how predict who was going to die Final Destination?

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Germany just ran out of more bullshit & now they're linking the Pentagon into this mess. Here I was thinking Conspiracy Theories were out of style.

What we got here is failure to communicate!

What we got here is failure to communicate!

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

What the fuck? This plays off like a really bad X-Files fan fiction. This is just insane!

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Germany's a joke now.

GameSnooper

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Totally, like I said in the past, the CDU/CSU collition is screwed this election

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

It occurs to me--what on Earth would be the purpose of this supposed Pentagon conspiracy. Wouldn't games that train average citizens to be killers make national security harder? It makes no sense whatsoever.


If you go crazy then I will still call you Superman.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Gods below.  Go chase your boogeymen elsewhere.  Basically you are trying to say; There is a vast.. um well just vast conspiracy against someone somewhere; just have to find it. 

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Please tell me my calendar is lying, it MUST still be April...

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

So Video Games and Paintball are evil, but Wehrpflicht (Germany's 9 months conscription system), I'm sure, doesn't do a thing to teach people how to kill....

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

of course it doesn, see that only teachs them to kill other soldiers, totally different from killing other humans...

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Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

I am speechless...  This is just too much crazy for me.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

So, Ralph Baer didn't invent the Brown Box until the 90s AND he was an agent of the Pentagon taking the role of an employee for Zenith. I never knew that! [/sarcasm]

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

 

Not only that, he wanted to make video game so he can get back at his country (He was born in Germany) for what they did to him (sarcasm end)

 

mikedo2007

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

 Wow, this is beyond anything I could have imagined someone would come up with. Can someone confirm that noone in Germany takes these guys seriously?

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

 They're a Swiss school teacher and school counsellor. Noone in Germany even knows, they exist.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

I wish you were right, but unfortunately, they're quite famous amoung "anti-killergames activists", especially because a book they wrote in 2005, Da Spiel Ich Nicht Mit !, which contains contributions by Dave Grossman (in fact, these are German translations of two chapters from his latest book, On Combat). And believe me, all these opponents of "violent games" or "killerspiele" have either read this book or heard about it.


Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

 Interesting. Well, I don't know about "anti-killergame activists", but in general they're not famous (or known at all) by any means. I've never heard of them, and I actually try to stay informed about these things. If there's more to those two, I'll have to do some more digging.

Usually, Christian Pfeiffer of KFN Niedersachsen is the only "scientist" that get's mentioned publicly. (And by "scientist" I mean, that that guy probably doesn't even know, that the terms 'correlation' and 'causation' are not synonymous.)

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

You can add Manfred Spitzer to the mix, as he's another well-respected scientist in his field. Other scientists I heard about are : Gerard Huther, Rudolf Weiss, Werner Hopf, Gunther Huber, and Helmut Lukesch. Most of them can be found on this site : http://www.mediengewalt.eu/

There are other opponents of "violent games" who cannot be qualified as scientists, but are very active on the subject : Sabine Schiffer, chairwoman of the Institute for Media Responsibility ( http://www.medienverantwortung.de/imv/_das_institut_seiten/projektbeispi... ), Michael Wallies, former Counter-Strike player and recovering game "addict", and Rainer Fromm, TV journalist who made many reports against "violent games" (although he's a bit more moderate and more sympathetic to video games than the others).

If you need to do more research, I strongly recommend Matthias Dittmayer's Stigma Videospiele, which is my no. 1 source for video game controversies in Germany ( http://stigma-videospiele.de/wordpress/ ).

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

 Thank you! I'll definitely look into this.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

 So I did some digging and found, that this Current Concerns also reported on the Cologne proclamation against video game violence a while back (GP also reported). I skimmed over the list of people who signed it and found something interesting:

Dipl.-Päd.Renate Hänsel, Gymnasiallehrerin, Wallenwil (CH)
Dr. Rudolf Hänsel, Schulberater, Wallenwil (CH)

So there are your researchers: A school counsellor and what amounts to a high school teacher. And for the record, they're not German.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

In fact, from what I read elsewhere, Rudolf Hänsel is not only a school counselor, but also a psychologist and Doctor in Psychology. To me, this is enough to be qualified as a "researcher". Furthermore, he IS a German who emigrated in Switzerland (before being in Wallenwill, he was in Munich).

This being said, I never heard about him doing research on "violent" games or media. But he wrote many articles and even a book.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

"But he wrote many articles and even a book."

So has Jack Thompson.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

You got me on that one !

What I mean is that I didn't know how to qualify them when I told GP about this story. I saw Rudolf was a psychologist, and I didn't remember Renate wasn't. Plus, he quoted so many scientists, so I labeled them "researchers". It was a bit lazy, I admit. Maybe "educators" was more accurate.

However, I maintain that they are German, at least Rudolf. He said it himself in a letter he wrote to the German edition of Current Concerns (translated in French, but as far as I know, not in English). He says he is German who now lives in Switzerland as a "country of adoption".

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

nice find, thats more research than even they conducted :P

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Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Yeah, the game critics will care about those details as much as the Utah Eagle Forum cared about Jack Thompson's permanet disbarrment.

If you go crazy then I will still call you Superman.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

They are starting to take away peoples rights! Again!  Jeeez Germany.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

You know, at some point you just have to step back and realize that it is impossible to have a discussion about certain topics with people because what they think they know about the world is so far off from what you know about the world.  For example, how do you have a discussion about the evils of oil companies with someone who believes that drilling for oil will cause earthquakes and volcanoes because the tectonic plates won't have anything to slide on after a while?  True story.  All you can do is /facepalm and move on.  People will believe what they want to even faced with how absurd their theories are.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

So what do they think lubricated the plates before the mass extinctions that created our current oil reserves?

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Synthetic Oil... of course...

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Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Which was put there by our Yithian masters?

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

crap! i never thought of that, oil lubricates the plates we live on!!  jeez we're all screwed!!! global warming is due to the increasing friction between the tectonic plates cause we took its oil! quick we need to pump it back in! :( /sarcasm

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Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

Just...huh...wh....WHAT THE HELL IS THIS FUCKWITTERY!?

My head hurts...the stupid!!!! It burns!!!!

Seriously though, first of all "researchers", show some fact and evidence backing your claims of violent games being distributed by the US Military. While you are at it, how about explaining why many games in the 1970's and 80's were all about defeating aliens, dragons, monsters, and....mushroom people. Mmmm hmmmm yeah, I think you'll find they were training us from day one to fight the paranormal with whips, throwing crosses, blasters, and mushrooms that make us 20 feet tall.

Perhaps consider that this is media that has the sole purpose to: ENTERTAIN FOLKS! Le gasp? People like PG-13 and R rated movies, why not make PG-13 and R rated games?! Now that could be a concept! Now I know what you are thinking, wouldn't that make the video game industry behind all of this? Not so fast kiddos! Like the music and movie industry realized that they could earn a tidy profit by aiming products at....late teens and adults! Wow relevation huh?

As a former member of the Canadian military, I can tell you the 'simulators' you speak of consist of an "electronic shooting range", full motion tank and aircraft simulators, and sometimes use multiplayer games to hone on COORDINATION AND COMMUNICATION (actually that can be pretty fun! :P Nice break in grulling physical training). Those aren't exactly God of War and Grand Theft Auto, are they?

Glad you guys didn't call yourself scientists or doctors. Check your error % and gathering methods, and try again. Really really hard. Perhaps, oh I don't know, actually gather facts?

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

How has no one noticed that this whole article is David Grossman's work passed off as someone's own?

 

Brain: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

Pinky: "I think so, Brain, but we're already naked."

Brain: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Pinky: "I think so, Brain, but we're already naked."

Re: German Researchers See Pentagon Link to Violent Games

who??

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