Overnight in the ongoing trial of Anders Breivik in Norway, the mass-murderer responsible for the deaths of 77 people in July last year detailed his use of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as preparation for the atrocity.
"[Call of Duty: Modern Warfare] consists of many hundreds of different tasks and some of these tasks can be compared with an attack, for real", Breivik explained. "That's why it's used by many armies throughout the world. It's very good for acquiring experience related to sights systems."
"If you are familiar with a holographic sight, it's built up in such a way that you could have given it to your grandmother and she would have been a super marksman. It's designed to be used by anyone. In reality it requires very little training to use it in an optimal way. But of course it does help if you've practised using a simulator."
The connection to gaming, which certain media and political elements will be sure to seize upon, didn't end there; it was revealed during testimony that Breivik also took a year off to play another Activision game - World of Warcraft - for up to sixteen hours a day. However, he also specifically stated that the hit MMO was completely unrelated to his later attacks.
"Some people like to play golf, some like to sail, I played WoW. It had nothing to do with 22 July. It's not a world you are engulfed by. It's simply a hobby."
"WoW is only a fantasy game, which is not violent at all. It's just fantasy. It's a strategy game", he added. "You co-operate with a lot of others to overcome challenges. That's why you do it. It's a very social game. Half of the time you are connected in communication with others. It would be wrong to consider it an antisocial game."
Breivik's testimony, while stopping short of blaming gaming for his state of mind or directly contributing to his actions, is sure to whip up a frenzy of anti-gaming sentiment among uninformed commentators.
Source: The Guardian