On July 22, 2011, Anders Behrig Breivik killed 77 people in a horrific tragedy in Norway. Within a day, game-centric journalism sites and blogs began covering stories about the killer because Breivik wrote a 1500 page manifesto that included recommendations on using Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as training for an inevitable war with Islam. He also discussed using an obsession with World of Warcraft as a cover – saying you couldn’t answer your phone because “you were busy raiding” isn’t likely to invite any questions. “If you’re planning requires you to travel, say that you are visiting one of your WoW friends,” Breivik writes, “or better yet, a girl from your ‘guild’ (who lives in another country). No further questions will be raised if you present these arguments.”
Violent events have been linked to videogames countless times in the mainstream media, usually to the dismay of gaming journalists. While some have strong connections, such as Breivik explicitly saying he used Modern Warfare 2 to train, others have much more tenuous connections, like when the Denver Post claimed the Columbine school shooting was caused by parents revoking the shooters’ videogame rights.