Skip to main content

Norwegian Gunman Used Modern Warfare 2 for Training

A 1,500-page manifesto linked to the suspect currently being held responsible for the July 22 attacks in Norway has garnered attention for containing references to popular video games. The manifesto, credited to an Andrew Berwick, is believed to have been written by Breivik and calls for supporters to prevent the 'multiculturalism' and 'Islamisation' of Europe. Breivik details his beliefs as well as preparations for the attack, including the building of bombs using fertilizer, and even offers advice on how to avoid raising suspicion from loved ones. However, one particular detail on how the Norwegian man prepared himself for the attack on the camp in Utoya seems to have struck a chord in the tech industry.

The 1,500-page manifesto also contains a journal of sorts that was regularly updated by Breivik. In February of 2010, he wrote that he had just bought Modern Warfare 2 and that while he was more into fantasy RPGs, he had learned to love it because "you can more or less completely simulate actual operations." Breivik labeled the game as "the best military simulator out there" and said that the multiplayer in particular is "amazing."

Though there's no question as to whether or not Anders believed MW2 to be a great training tool, the fear is that this small portion of his manifesto will get blown out of proportion. As PCWorld's Matt Peckham points out, his references to video games -- he also says WOW makes for a good excuse when it comes to reclusive behavior -- account for only a tiny scrap of what was written. Unfortunately, with the trend towards dragging video games into the mix when tragic situations like this arise, it's likely we'll see at least a few people laying part of the blame on gaming.