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Norway Shooter 'Trained' with Modern Warfare, Not WoW

By - Source: The Guardian | B 59 comments

Breivik says he trained using Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but used his World of Warcraft "addiction" as a cover-up while plotting the events for July 22, 2011.

In 1999, the two responsible for the Columbine High School massacre were reportedly big fans of id Software's Wolfenstein and DOOM -- they supposedly "trained" using the FPS games. Rumors later claimed that some of their user-made levels for the latter title resembled the layout of the school, but that was eventually proved to be false. However the instant gaming/shooting marriage sparked a load of controversy that still echos in the halls of Washington to this day.

Now we seem to have another situation that's just as grim, if not worse. 33-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, the shooter behind Norway's July 2011 massacre, admitted to the court during the fourth day of his trial that he practiced his shot playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Even more, he used a "holographic aiming device" he purchased specifically for the game.

"It consists of many hundreds of different tasks and some of these tasks can be compared with an attack, for real," he said of Modern Warfare. "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," he added. "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 practiced using a simulator."

Additional reports have claimed that Breivik played World of Warcraft for sixteen hours a day in preparation of last summer's attacks which left 77 dead at a political youth camp on the island of Ut√łya on July 22, 2011. But Breivik testified that Blizzard's popular MMORPG had nothing to do with his "training," yet he admitted to spending those long hours each day in the "sabbatical" between the summers of 2006 and 2007.

"Some people like to play golf, some like to sail, I played WoW. It had nothing to do with July 22. It's not a world you are engulfed by. It's simply a hobby," he said. "WoW is only a fantasy game, which is not violent at all. It's just fantasy. It's a strategy game. 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."

Instead of using the MMORPG for training purposes, he used the "addiction" as a cover-up while living with his mother to save up money and write his compendium. "I couldn't tell her I was taking a sabbatical because I was going to blow myself up in five years' time," he testified. "I played on the idea that: 'Ooh, I've become addicted to games.' That was my primary cover."

The cover thus allowed him to isolate himself and work on the forthcoming "operation" that would shock the world beyond belief. Unfortunately, his actions have also given Jack Thompson and his game-bashing allies one more piece of evidence in their quest to prove that games are harmful, no matter the age. For all the families and friends who lost someone close in the massacre, Breivik does not represent the gaming community, and we are deeply sorry for your loss.

Additional coverage of Breivik's trial can be accessed here on The Guardian.

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    Draven35 , April 20, 2012 1:58 AM
    Call of Duty doesn't teach you actual gun handling any more than Skyrim teaches you how to do magic.
  • 23 Hide
    killerchickens , April 20, 2012 3:01 AM
    I practiced leaping into the air and landing on peoples heads to kill them by playing Super Mario bros.
  • 22 Hide
    Delengowski , April 20, 2012 2:10 AM
    I fail to see how aiming with a joystick or mouse equates to being able to cycle a gun properly and fast through reload, and knowing how to push or pull on a gun to compensate for recoil...

    Also, his statements about a holographic sight being so easy to use and then that military uses simulators to practice for them are very contradictory.

    Lastly, I guess cops and any movies featuring gun fights should be banned too because you know people don't emulate what happens in those?
Other Comments
    Display all 59 comments.
  • 15 Hide
    kunzite , April 20, 2012 1:57 AM
    Here we go again.
  • 29 Hide
    Draven35 , April 20, 2012 1:58 AM
    Call of Duty doesn't teach you actual gun handling any more than Skyrim teaches you how to do magic.
  • 22 Hide
    Delengowski , April 20, 2012 2:10 AM
    I fail to see how aiming with a joystick or mouse equates to being able to cycle a gun properly and fast through reload, and knowing how to push or pull on a gun to compensate for recoil...

    Also, his statements about a holographic sight being so easy to use and then that military uses simulators to practice for them are very contradictory.

    Lastly, I guess cops and any movies featuring gun fights should be banned too because you know people don't emulate what happens in those?
  • 0 Hide
    LLJones , April 20, 2012 2:18 AM
    The same argument was made decades ago when some kid went off of the deep end playing d&d. SS,DP. If I remember, Dr? joyce was on that band wagon. I'm sorry, who's the newest Dr? trying to gain face time?
  • 6 Hide
    oxiide , April 20, 2012 2:18 AM
    All one could really learn from MW would be that you have to point your gun at a target to hit it. The game's weapons are basically hitscan with little or no ballistics simulation. Its therefore a little silly to say he "trained" with it.

    How much training does a ultraconservative gun enthusiast need to shoot unarmed kids stuck on an island?
  • 11 Hide
    rohitbaran , April 20, 2012 2:39 AM
    It is because of of people like these that gaming is given a bad name.
  • 9 Hide
    wardoc22 , April 20, 2012 2:42 AM
    he was also admitted he was aimbotted all those kids he killed..

    This seems to me like nothing more than a way to get him out of jail and being locked up...

    Or he is just plain retard
  • 9 Hide
    sixdegree , April 20, 2012 2:47 AM
    Thank god he didn't play Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. He could have wore suitable camo and facepaint and escape.
  • 0 Hide
    DookieDraws , April 20, 2012 2:55 AM
    Obviously the guy is very sick and there will always be these type of folks as long as there are humans on earth. Always have been, always will be. Just think about how many of these type of people you encounter, in some fashion, every day. Scary thought.

    "I couldn't tell her I was taking a sabbatical because I was going to blow myself up in five years' time," he testified. "

    Sadly, blowing himself up never came to pass!
  • 9 Hide
    TeKEffect , April 20, 2012 2:56 AM
    I shoot guns and play cod.. I only get better at shooting from shooting. "practice with cod" what a load of sh#t
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 20, 2012 3:00 AM
    What a nutball....
  • 23 Hide
    killerchickens , April 20, 2012 3:01 AM
    I practiced leaping into the air and landing on peoples heads to kill them by playing Super Mario bros.
  • 2 Hide
    mortsmi7 , April 20, 2012 3:21 AM
    I don't think it's all that big a deal what he was trained from. Nothing more than a passing comment would have been made if he had had actual military experience. Many thousands of people have the necessary knowledge to do what he did. They don't automatically get flagged as possible terrorists, so I find it a bit irrelevant. Such knowledge isn't exactly a guarded secret.
  • -4 Hide
    alidan , April 20, 2012 3:30 AM
    Draven35Call of Duty doesn't teach you actual gun handling any more than Skyrim teaches you how to do magic.


    before i state ANYTHING, i want to point out i don't believe games can teach you to fire a gun.

    however with that said, games with snipers, bullet drop and other things, can at least teach a person more about bullets, like they drop over time, and depending on how accurate the game is, teach about how far you could expect to be accurate with a specific gun.

    i believe that if a game is accurate, you can assess how much recould you get from a particular weapon, and be more ready than someone who never fired it before.

    i do believe that with iron sights in games now, it can teach you how you want to look down a gun to be accurate, something many have trouble with when they first start shooting.

    i don't believe you can train in modern warfare, but i do believe it will give you an idea.
  • 6 Hide
    Draven35 , April 20, 2012 3:49 AM
    but call of duty isn't really accurate... not at all accurate enough to provide the kind of information you say an 'accurate' game would.
  • 2 Hide
    Delengowski , April 20, 2012 3:52 AM
    alidanbefore i state ANYTHING, i want to point out i don't believe games can teach you to fire a gun.however with that said, games with snipers, bullet drop and other things, can at least teach a person more about bullets, like they drop over time, and depending on how accurate the game is, teach about how far you could expect to be accurate with a specific gun.i believe that if a game is accurate, you can assess how much recould you get from a particular weapon, and be more ready than someone who never fired it before. i do believe that with iron sights in games now, it can teach you how you want to look down a gun to be accurate, something many have trouble with when they first start shooting. i don't believe you can train in modern warfare, but i do believe it will give you an idea.


    I can understand what you are saying, but there is still more to the ballistics of bullets than guns in say battlefield account for. Just because you know how to account for bullet drop and leading a target from a video game, doesn't mean you can do it in real life. Sure if you are trying to hit someone far away on the run you know aim ahead and high BUT you also have to "dope your scope" you know dial in on your target in real life unlike in video games which are all preset. Video games also don't account for handling of the gun, not all guns jump up from recoil, some go down, but in video games they all go up and to the right or left a little.

    Also, like Mortsmi7 said none of this information is exactly a guarded secrete watch any sniper show or read up online and you can find anything you can from a game if not more.
  • 4 Hide
    Darkerson , April 20, 2012 3:58 AM
    Anyone who uses one of these games to "train" themselves is a f*****g idiot.

    Don't lump the rest of us that know the difference between fantasy and reality in with this nutcase.

    ..as if gaming doesn't have enough moronic stigmas attached to it... sigh...

    :/ 
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , April 20, 2012 4:44 AM
    A nutcase is always a nutcase, will always crack in the end. Trying to place the blame on a video-game show who IS REALLY in another world!
  • 5 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , April 20, 2012 5:19 AM
    This just in! mass murderers have been discovered to have eaten food, so now Republicans are urgently calling for a ban on eating food.
  • -7 Hide
    ben850 , April 20, 2012 5:32 AM
    Lol, people in here with zero kills under their belt arguing about a guys training methods despite the fact he killed over 70 people.

    Seems like butthurt Battlefield geeks in here.
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