Der Spiegel magazine reported that the 17-year-old logged onto his computer at around 7:30pm the night before the shootings, and spent at least two hours playing Far Cry 2 an "ego shooter" game in which the player sees his own weapon pointing at those he has to kill.
This particular game takes place in a fictional country, where the player has to shoot dead as many ‘weapons dealers’ as possible. Kretschmer also had the shooter games Counter-Strike and Tactical Ops installed on his computer.
In the Friday the 13th of March edition of The New York Times, reporter Carter Dougherty writes a portrait of a troubled, depressed teenager with easy access to an unsecured pistol who ended up killing 15 people before taking his own life.
Several insights have been revealed. Tim Kretschmer, 17, last year broke off a round of psychological counseling for depression. Bedroom items were detailed, as noted above. Weapons that fire small yellow pellets were also found in Kretschmer's room.
Meanwhile, media in Germany are reporting police are declaring an earlier posting to a chat room in which someone warned of an attack on a school in Winnenden is apparently a hoax.
What is also being acknowledged in a detail many of us involved in working on these school shootings have spoken about before: women were targeted.
The brutality was overwhelming.
Of the 12 people Mr. Kretschmer killed at the school, eight were girls and three were female teachers. Several died with carefully placed shots to the head. After killing an employee of a clinic for the mentally ill, he sprayed at least 13 rounds to kill two people at a Volkswagen dealership shortly before turning the gun on himself.
...with the computer having played such a role in the young man’s life, the Winnenden shootings seem likely [to] renew a debate in Germany over banning violent video games.
“These games basically program the minds of young men a thousand times over,” said Alina Wilms, a psychologist involved [in] a long-term project treating and tracking people affected by the Erfurt shooting, who advocates a ban. “If ever it were going to be possible,” she said, “then now.”
Just to be clear: I am reporting the above as news, but I do not find any factual basis for linking videogames, violent or otherwise, in a cause-and-effect fashion with school shootings. ~ Loren
Thanks to MAH for the advance heads up on this NYT analysis. German sources are reporting the hoaxing of the chatroom "warning." Here's an English summary of those written on Friday, March 13th.