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Last Updated: Thursday May 07 2009 09:25 GMT

Ricky looks into violent game ban

Ricky in Germany

Watch Ricky's report

Violent video games have come under attack in Germany after a school shooting there in March.

Ricky's been to Germany to find out more.


"Early in the morning, on the 11 March 2009, a teenage student went on a rampage in south-west Germany killing 15 innocent people.

The gunman attacked his former secondary school with his dad's gun in the town of Winnenden, shooting dead nine pupils and three teachers. After a chase with police 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer killed himself.

The crimes left millions of people in Germany and around the world shocked and saddened.

Police officers found a number of violent video games at the teenage gunman's home. Some German politicians, police and families of the innocent victims linked the gunman's addiction to violent games to the reason behind the school shooting.

Violent gaming ban

Magazines writing about the ban
Magazines writing about the ban

I travelled to Hamburg, a large city in Germany, to find out more about an idea politicians have to ban violent video games and DVDs with an 18 plus rating.

Germany already has strict guidelines when it comes to ratings for films and games, but they plan to go even further.

Now there are calls to get rid of violent games all together.

One of Germany's biggest department stores, Galeria Kaufhof - which is a bit like Debenhams or John Lewis - has taken every single video game and DVD with an 18 plus rating off the shelf.

That rating is meant to protect younger viewers from some horror movies and first-person shooter games.

What do German kids think?

I caught up with some local school kids in Hamburg to find out what they thought about the proposed ban.

Ricky chatted to German kids

Lots of them told me that they don't play violent games. Still, some of the boys and girls said they get their parents and older siblings to buy games for them that aren't suitable.

Many of them welcomed the ban, but they said it's still easy to download violent games on the net.

So, do the people who actually make the video games have a responsibility to make sure they're not violent?

Video game creators say they can't get rid of violence altogether. They reckon violence is part of every day life and the games shouldn't be blamed for school shootings which don't happen that often.

Many gaming experts don't think there's a link between violent games and school shootings. Either way, if a total ban goes ahead in Germany, it could affect other countries in Europe, including the UK."

Ricky