Digging through a 1,500 page manifesto, Kotaku has reported Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik claimed he used Call of Duty as a “training simulation.” Breivik also touts World of Warcraft as a means to remain isolated, ensuring he had time to develop his plans.
Breivik bombed a government center in Oslo, killing seven, then turning the guns on a local youth camp where an additional 87 were slaughtered. Regarding Activision’s premiere online shooter, he states, “I see Modern Warfare 2 more as a part of my training-simulation than anything else. I’ve still learned to love it… You can more or less completely simulate actual operations.”
Breivik believed he was waging a war against Islam, himself a deeply right-wing conservative who saw his country as being taken over by another religion. How much of a role a video game can play, specifically Modern Warfare 2, could be debated for ages. It’s highly doubtful anyone using Infinity Ward’s loosely constructed game mechanics can claim they’re training for anything, and likely just suited Breivik’s own state of mind. Warped sensibilities and realities will do that. It’s just as easy to pin the blame on various right-wing bloggers he followed, but situations like this are simply too complex to pin down to a singular source.
We’ll all agree he is insane, and what he did is well beyond reprehensible. That’s a logical approach.