World of Warcraft and Breivik?

Kids play the online computer game 'World of Warcraft' at the CeBIT, the world's biggest IT fair, on March 3, 2011 in Hanover, Germany. World of Warcraft, or WoW, is one of the most popular video games in the world.
Johannes Eisele

Millions play it, South Park satirized it, the hilarious Lerroy Jenkins YouTube video about it claims over 30 million views, and, according to the NY Daily News, Anders Behring Breivik, killer of 77 men, women, and children in Norway last July, prepared for his murder spree by playing it—all the time.

It seems World of Warcraft, or WoW to the initiate, has become an involuntary accomplice in Breivik's crimes. 

Breivik took a “sabbatical year” to focus on the game, and said in his testimony to an Oslo court on Thursday, that he played up to 16 hours a day for a year, according to the NY Daily News.

More from GlobalPost: Norway killer Breivik: a product of the internet?

The Vancouver Sun quoted Breivik telling the court, "Some people dream about sailing around the world, some dream of playing golf. I dreamt of playing World of Warcraft."

World of Warcraft is a massively popular, massive multiplayer online role-playing video game. Forbes says the game retains over 10 millions subscribers. 

So what exactly was Breivik doing in the WoW's virtual reality? According to the Vancouver Sun, he was “training.”

World of Warcraft is a sword and sorcery game that takes place in the sort of sci-fi, mostly medieval worlds of Azeroth, Kalimdor, Outland, and Northrend, each populated by all sorts of fairy tale creatures like dwarfs and dragons.

Players choose and customize characters, and join forces with other avatars to save the world, which needs saving often. Breivik's avatar was a highly regarded Justiciar, according to the BBC.

The game never ends, as its creator, Blizzard, continually introduces new areas and quests for its faithful to explore and complete.  

Exactly how World of Warcraft prepares one for mass murder is likely a question only Breivik can answer. And even then the rest of us may not understand his explanation.

How obtaining the Scroll of Resurrection, learning new spells, and defeating evil sorcerers translates to what he did and how he did it, is a riddle that baffles. 

But WoW was not Breivik’s only virtual obsession. According to the Huffington Post, he played the highly realistic video game Modern Warfare, "primarily to get a feel for how to use rifle sights.” The connection here, requires less imagination. 

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