‘World of Warcraft’ scrutinized at Breivik trial

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last year, dealt Wednesday with role-playing game "World of Warcraft", which he played intensively before the massacre but refused to discuss at length in court.

Repeatedly, prosecutors tried to get the 33-year-old right-wing extremist to describe his devotion to the online game in the years leading up to his July 22nd 2011 attacks, but Breivik mostly would not talk.

"'World of Warcraft' has nothing to do with July 22nd," he insisted.

"The prosecution is just trying to ridicule me," he added, getting so exasperated by prosecutor Svein Holden's questions that he even turned off his microphone at one point.

Breivik previously said he took a year off in 2006 to dedicate himself completely to playing the multi-player game set in a fantasy medieval world and generally considered non-violent, and that he had spent up to 17 hours a day at it.

On Wednesday, the Oslo district court heard evidence that Breivik had continued to play intensively until February 2011, only months before the July 22nd attacks he has admitted carrying out.

That day, he first bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, before going on a shooting rampage on the nearby Utøya island where the ruling Labour Party's youth wing was hosting a summer camp, killing another 69, most of them teens.

Holden told reporters after the trial day ended that his questions had not been aimed at blaming the game for the attacks but had been meant to shed light on incoherencies in Breivik's explanations and to help determine the tricky question of his sanity.

Breivik has said that as of 2007 he had been working "full-time" writing his manifesto — a 1,500-page ideological tract detailing his hatred for multiculturalism and Islam.

But in 2008, he also wrote that he was playing "World of Warcraft" non-stop.

Faced with this apparent contradiction, Breivik defended himself, insisting he had juggled between writing his manifesto and playing the game.

"You are a prosecutor full-time, and yet I'm sure you have hobbies when you go home at night," he said to Holden.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Norway mosque shooter ‘has admitted the facts’: Police

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his step sister and opening fire in a mosque near Oslo last weekend, has admitted to the crimes though he has not officially entered a plea, police said on Friday.

Norway mosque shooter 'has admitted the facts': Police
Philip Manshaus appears in court on August 12. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB Scanpix / AFP
Philip Manshaus, 21, was remanded in custody Monday, suspected of murder and a “terrorist act” that police say he filmed himself committing.
Answering police questions on Friday, “the suspect admits the facts but has not taken a formal position as to the charges,” Oslo police official Pal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said in a statement.
Manshaus is suspected of murdering his 17-year-old step sister Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, before entering the Al-Noor mosque in an affluent Oslo suburb and opening fire before he was overpowered by a 65-year-old man.
Just three worshippers were in the mosque at the time, and there were no serious injuries.
Manshaus appeared in court this week with two black eyes and scrapes and bruises to his face, neck and hands.
Police have said he has “extreme right views” and “xenophobic positions” and that he had filmed the mosque attack with a camera mounted on a helmet. He had initially denied the accusations.
The incident came amid a rise in white supremacy attacks around the world, including the recent El Paso massacre in the United States.
Norway witnessed one of the worst-ever attacks by a rightwing extremist in July 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik, who said he feared a “Muslim invasion”, killed 77 people in a truck bomb blast near government offices in Oslo and a shooting spree at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utøya.