Violent games removed from sale in Norway

In the aftermath of Anders Behring Breivik's massacre in Norway and the discovery of a political tract in which he referred to multi-culturalism as 'cultural Marxism', selected retailers have voluntarily removed violent computer games from their shelves.

While most of Breivik's online outpourings consist of lengthy rants against multi-culturalism and allegations that the UN is trying to take over the world, some referred to his love of computer games. In particular, Breivik claims to be a fan of massively multi-player online role-playing game World of Warcraft and first-person shooter Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

While we'll leave the job of assuming a correlation between playing a violent computer game - which is a hobby enjoyed by millions of largely well-adjusted people all over the world - and going on a killing spree - which is, thankfully, rare in the extreme - to the tabloid press, certain retailers are taking the connection seriously.

The Norwegian arm of supermarket chain Coop Norden has confirmed that 51 games have been removed from sale, including Breivik's favourite, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Other titles affected by the removal include Homefront, the remainder of the Call of Duty series, Sniper: Ghost Warrior, Counter-Strike: Source, and World of Warcraft.

In a statement to Danish gaming news site Gamers Globe, Coop stated that the removal was a direct result of Breivik's actions. "In light of Friday's horrific events, and out of respect for those affected, we have chosen to remove selected items from our range," Coop Norway's director of sales Geir Inge Stokke confirmed.

Norwegian news site ITavisen reports that Coop is joined by entertainment specialist Platekompaniet, which has also removed selected games from sale. Platekompaniet, however, has kept World of Warcraft - which is set in a fantasy environment and features medieval-themed weapons and magic rather than rifles and explosives - available for purchase.