A very common view is that games are destroying compassion – like in this reasonably translated article here: http://www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=577
It is also tried to give this views a scientific grounding. For example by measuring compassion.
On „Current Concerns“ there are currently ten to fifteen (translated) articles availiable in English – by searching only for the keywords „killer“ and „games“. In German language „Zeit-Fragen“ there are much more.
Usually depictions of violence are not only treated as images of violence but as violence themselves: therefore I used the term hate speech to describe in short certain views regarding this matter. The term itself is not often used in German speaking countries but the overall negative views on games and gaming suggest similiar sentiments like when in the English-speaking world the term „hate speech“ is used. Regarding violent games the two most often heard negative attributes are „gewaltverherrlichend“ and „verrohend“. While „gewaltverherrlichend“ assumes a (general) glorfication of violence regarding the intentions of creatives, „verrohend“ tends to a brutalisation of its recipients. „Roh“ is also a piece of meat before its cooked properly. The general assumption regarding the intention of depictions of violence in games is the possibility to act out (personal) violent fantasies and short-comings in personal lives. Video games are therefore also often not seen as a form of expression but as a mere toy.
Something further that leads me back to the term „hate speech“ is that in German speaking countries a difference between „expression“ and „opinion“ is seldomly made: for example media that portrays violence explicitly is also assumed to „want“ violence (in the real world). Therefore depictions of violence are deeply mistrusted and often rejected also outside of gaming. In difference to neighbour France explicit horror movies from Germany are few and usually produced underground. With Crytek (Far Cry, Crysis) there is also really only one successful German company that produces openly violent games.
It’s perhaps difficult to understand, but another aspect of the whole discussion here in German-speaking countries is that depicitions of violence are often considered to be a sign of immaturity. Therefore it’s also difficult to promote a violent game as a mature one.
Even members of the German gaming press tend to agree with that. When „Modern Warfare 2“ came out, there was hardly anyone in the German press who really defended Infinity Wards right to produce scenes involving violence against civilians like in the „No Russian“ mission. Members of Infinity Ward were accused of being immature because of such violent depictions and whole editorial offices made a stand against these scenes.
On the contrary to let’s say Australia, there is also hardly any opposition against the three-decades-long practice of censoring games for the German market and even banning them (Criminal Code)