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Warriors Of Freedom Prompted Rampage Attempt?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the scapegoat-time-again dept.

Role Playing (Games) 771

Thanks to an anonymous reader for pointing to a Philadelphia Inquirer article linking videogames to an alleged spree killing attempt. According to the article, "Investigators suspect the three teens arrested.. as they allegedly were about to launch a killing rampage in the small town, found inspiration in violent computer games.. [police] learned that the name the three reportedly had given themselves - Warriors of Freedom - is also an Internet-based combat game." But only a few media reports mention that the violent game connection was made by Jack Thompson, a Miami lawyer and outspoken critic of violent video and computer games - is this a case of shameless Googling to find any obscure game with a similar name and make a connection, or is there genuine evidence here?

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does it matter? (5, Insightful)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397725)

is this a case of shameless Googling to find any obscure game with a similar name and make a connection, or is there genuine evidence here?

Evidence of what? Playing a violent video game? Big deal. Most kids play violent video games. What kind of games do you expect psycho killers to enjoy: doom3 or oregon trail? These critics really need to understand that a=>b does NOT mean b=>a. It's a very simple logical fallacy. I'm not discounting the possibility that violent games can incourage violent behavoir either, it's just that you actually need to show that video games lead one to violence when one would otherwise not be disposed to it. Violence was here long before video games were.

outrageous (5, Funny)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397791)

As a psycho killer, I am outraged that you don't think I can enjoy Oregon Trail as much as non-psycho killers, or non-psycho non-killers.

Next you'll be saying we don't like Commander Keen.

Re:does it matter? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397802)

when i was a child (i was born in 1939)

we would take large pieces of lumber and smash frogs on the head.

we had no video games back then.

Re:does it matter? (4, Funny)

Snoopy77 (229731) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397845)

when i was a child (i was born in 1939) we would take large pieces of lumber and smash frogs on the head. we had no video games back then.

When I was a teen (in 1993) we would get an old 3 wood and launch cane toads down an imaginary fairway (it's okay cause they're a pest).

Re:does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397863)

Holy friggin shit pops, you maniac. I once put a massive firecracker under a big toad. Pieces of shit were raining down through the trees around us for about 20 seconds, then its head and bit of spine came crashing to earth. That is how its done these days.

Re:does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397873)

They were clearly about to snap. [penny-arcade.com]

My take on videogame violence. (4, Interesting)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397727)

Do videogames cause violence? No, I don't think so. The capacity for violence must already exist within a person; I don't think a videogame is capable of creating that in you. But it is possible for videogames to bring out the violence in someone. A person with a capacity for violence might play a computer game such as Counter-Strike and go out on a CS-inspired killing spree. Did CS cause the violence? No. But without CS, perhaps they'd just go out on a baseball bat killing spree if they only happen to play sports games.

It's much like guns. Are guns in themselves evil? No, they are tools. But when put into the hands of an evil person, the give the evil person a much increased capacity to harm others. Videogames are the same way: a person who learns S.W.A.T. strategies in a videogame can put that to use in his killing spree, allowing him to evade death longer and inflict more casualties.

I'm not arguing that we should prohibit videogames because they give the inspiration to make sick, twisted killers even more efficient. It's very much a freedom of speech issue to me. But people that deny that videogames are associated with violence in any way are just wrong - we must understand the link, so that we can lessen its power.

On a personal note, I do enjoy playing violent videogames. But I also enjoy playing non-violent games, such as SimCity 4. It's not the violence for violence's sake that I enjoy: I don't enjoy Soldier of Fortune 2 because, frankly, I don't think it's a fun game. Now that I think about it, all the "violent" games I've liked in the past were in their own rights good games. The violence could've been removed (assuming it left the fun elements intact) and I'd still enjoy the game. Perhaps it is someone who plays a game solely for the pleasure of the violence, not for the gameplay, who is responsible for acts such as those outlined in this article.

Re:My take on videogame violence. (-1, Troll)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397746)

Do videogames cause violence? No, I don't think so. The capacity for violence must already exist within a person; I don't think a videogame is capable of creating that in you. But it is possible for videogames to bring out the violence in someone. A person with a capacity for violence might play a computer game such as Counter-Strike and go out on a CS-inspired killing spree. Did CS cause the violence? No. But without CS, perhaps they'd just go out on a baseball bat killing spree if they only happen to play sports games.

You're dumb. I'm gonna kill you with an shotgun like Tommy Vercetti!

Re:My take on videogame violence. (5, Funny)

mlk (18543) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397765)

Do nethack players go on a ) wielding killing spree?

I guess we shall never know.

Re:My take on videogame violence. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397799)

We'll never know because NetHack players have a tendency to think before they act. Hence, they don't get caught wielding guns while wearing a bright orange shirt and holding a sign proclaiming "I'm going to kill the guy in the car next to me."

Therefore, NetHack players either do their deed and get away with it, or they're the people we hear about on the news who get killed by kittens after eating bad jelly.

Re:My take on videogame violence. (5, Funny)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397832)

Therefore, NetHack players either do their deed and get away with it, or they're the people we hear about on the news who get killed by kittens after eating bad jelly.

Nitpick: eating a rotten jelly corpse could cause death by food poisoning, NOT a "killed by XXX while helpless" death. You're thinking of getting killed by a kitten after hitting a floating eyeball.

Re:My take on videogame violence. (1)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397813)

I have gone on a a) wielding killing spree. Many cans were massacred that day.

(And yes, there is such a thing as a "blessed rustproof can opener + 7" in Nethack, and it can be used as a weapon)

Re:My take on videogame violence. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397875)


come on, people who play nethack just dont go out

ever

Re:My take on videogame violence. (5, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397819)

Another interesting question is do violent games desensitize people to violence? Consider an analogy: a boy who grows up in a nudist family won't think anything of seeing naked women -- it's not going to be a big deal. Compare this to a boy who was brought up not even seeing much bare skin at all -- his reaction upon seeing a naked woman will be huge, pardon the pun. At the turn of the century (ie: 1900) it was considered risque for women to show their ankles in public. For a woman to wear a skirt knee-high, she would have been considered a tramp. Times change, and people grow accustomed to the new standard.

Now a kid who grows up playing violent, realistic games could tend to be lsss affronted by violence. How easy would it be for a kid to look out his apartment window to the street below and imagine getting a perfect rail shot to a person below? Or turning the corner in school and hitting the local nerd with a double-barrel shotgun blast? Now that doesn't mean the kid would necessarily consider acting it out in real life, but is that the first step on a slippery slope towards real violence?

Re:My take on videogame violence. (2, Funny)

3liz3 (615856) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397847)

  • a boy who grows up in a nudist family won't think anything of seeing naked women
Such a hypothetical kid (don't you guys all wish you were him!) would probably not be *alarmed* to see a naked woman, nor would he think it was particularly UNordinary to do so in his nudist setting.

However, same kid would still be affected by such a visage in the same way that a non-nudist-colony kid would -- that's programmed in the neurons, er, somewhere.

Easy way out (4, Interesting)

metatruk (315048) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397833)

I absolutely agree with this. I think that some types of video games can incite certain types of behavior in certain types of people. Certain people tend to resonate with the violence they see more than others.

It does not make sense to ban violent games. In doing that, you'd have to ban anything that could be construed as an influence on people who react violently to their environment.

Video games are an easy target because the very name "video games" is so general, and so broad. It's more difficult to do finger-pointing at a specific target because the public may not identify with it. Also, the solution to a general problem is to simply limit it, because then its impact on society will be limited.

I think the real problem here is these kids are in home or social situations that are fundamentally unstable, and have been a good portion of their lives...let's see you ban that! yeah, I'd love it if we could. It would solve a lot of problems

Re:My take on videogame violence. (2, Insightful)

lightsaber1 (686686) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397868)

I don't know, personally I think violent games help REDUCE the violence in society by reducing stress. Come home from a hard day at school or the office, feel like blowing something up? Well turn on Vice City and go nuts, instead of building a pipe bomb. Yes, there are always going to be those morons out there that get ideas from these things, but these are usually the people that would have done it anyways, perhaps using different methods, but ultimately the same deal.

Don't blame violent games or violent movies for the actions of crazy people. As Michael Moore points out in Bowling for Columbine, we see the same movies and play the same games here in Canada and in the rest of the world as you do in the States, but there's nowhere near the violence (generally speaking of course), so there MUST be something else at play here.

Re:My take on videogame violence. (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397869)

*blinks* You enjoy SimCity 4? Are you sure you got the right version, and not like, SimCity 3000 rebranded as 4?

SimCity 4 ranks right up there on my list of frustrating and yawn-inducing games with Master of Orion 3. Horrific sequels give me a unique feeling of pain, not just for the game, but for much beloved franchises. What a shame.

Re:My take on videogame violence. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397898)

"But I also enjoy playing non-violent games, such as SimCity 4."

You've never played god and struck down a megalopolis with natural disasters, have you?

I play Warcraft III (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397736)

And just because I go around building towns near gold mines and harvesting lumber doesn't mean the game has affected me.

That didn't take long (1)

grennis (344262) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397737)

to make the usual videogame connection.

But what about the adult who killed 5 of his co-workers in Mississippi? Are we going to blame that on videogames also?

Re:That didn't take long (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397786)

no. it's worse than that. he was caught skipping commercials with his tivo and jack valenti and his jack-booted thugs sent it the senator hollings ping of death. his tivo slagged, our fragile worker went on a shooting spree. can't we all just get along.

I think (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397739)

You should stop using google as a verb, its fucking stupid.

Re:I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397794)

Yup, it's so corny.

It reeks of trying to be hip.

I hate it when people try to force stuff like that, it's so cheesy.

Google News (1)

thoolie (442789) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397740)

I saw this on Google News yesterday. It seems that these kids dressed up as if they were chariters from "The Matrix". The ring leader had his bail set at 1million.

you can probably still find the news at news.google.com.

Re:Google News (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397918)

It seems that these kids dressed up as if they were chariters from "The Matrix".

Speaking of a => b does not imply b => a. What basis were they making that assumption on? They wore black and had trench coats?

love the icon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397750)

Haha, I don't care one bit about the story, but I love that Final Fantasy 2 icon.

Re:love the icon (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397929)

Haha, I don't care one bit about the story, but I love that Final Fantasy 2 icon.

Stop making fun of the icon you bastard, or i'll cast Meteo on you!

Warriors of What? (3, Insightful)

Lelon (443322) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397753)


As an avid gamer, I can say that I've never heard of this game, and unless there is some evidence on their computers to back up this claim, its basically groundless.

Offtopic, I love the new gaming icon (Tellah is my favorite video game character of all time!)

warriors of freedom (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397754)

If you want to go on a huge killing spree and kill lots of innocent people as a "Warrior of Freedom" sign up for the United States Army.

All the murder, none of the legal problems.

Re:warriors of freedom (5, Funny)

Archie Steel (539670) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397860)

Ouch! Mod this up as "insightful", not funny! I mean, wait until they try to tie the first killing spree to AA!

Yes, he was a quiet kid, kept to himself, played a green beret captain in the U.S. Army on the Internet...

I hear America's Army is a great game, but I won't play it until there's a mod that lets me go AWOL in the jungle of southeast asia, become a living god to a tribe of natives, build up my own private army and keep a freaked-out photographer as court jester...

Re: warriors of freedom (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397861)


> If you want to go on a huge killing spree and kill lots of innocent people as a "Warrior of Freedom" sign up for the United States Army.

Remember the joke on the old recruiting ad?

"Join the Army, see the world, meet interesting people ...and kill them."

Is there genuine evidence here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397755)

No, now move along...

Clearly the cause (3, Funny)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397757)

In a recent study, 100% of teenagers that went on killing rampages were found to have significant levels of testosterone in their bloodstreams, irrefutable proof that testosterone causes violent behavior! I think we should demand that testosterone be immediately banned in all highschools!

Not a troll; Brilliant satire... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397920)

and perhaps coming to a liberal-inspired enclave near you...

Already Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397937)

Its alrady been done, its called an all girls school, and they have nasty side effects like hot lezbo sex and nymphomaniacs.....

hmmmm, :)

Truth? (4, Insightful)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397758)

>>or is there genuine evidence here?

Well, is the game installed on any of their computers? If so, then maybe the game has something to do with the group's name. If not, then move along.

Re:Truth? (1)

no toys in the attic (637286) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397805)

If not, then move along.
According to google, it's a browser-based RPG with fantasy characters like dwarves and elves. It seems like it would be hard to instill murderous inclinations in someone like that even if the game was a realistic portrayal (statistics-wise, I imagine, since this is a non-visual browser based game) of some real world situation involving guns and violence, but a fantasy game?

Re:Truth? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397824)

> Well, is the game installed on any of their computers?

It is a browser-based "tactical RPG." So, it might be bookmarked but it won't be "installed." Furthermore as a tactical game, it is about as far from a first-person-shooter as you can get.

Boo to the media (3, Informative)

egg troll (515396) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397760)

It seems to me that poverty and easy access to firearms is much more of a cause of violence than videogames. All videogames do is occasionally have the misfortune to draw some violent people to them (although only a small percentage of videogame players are sociopathic, mind you.)


I just wish the media would give these causes as much airtime as they do trumped-up, sensationalistic stories.

Wrong on both counts (4, Interesting)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397800)

It seems to me that poverty and easy access to firearms is much more of a cause of violence than videogames.


The vast majority of multiple murderers are middle class white males, not poor folk. And in places like I grew up in Alaska, where lterraly every 10-year old has a rifle and several knives, we had zero problems with violence, because we were taught to have respect for damage that weapons can do. Anyway, your applying the same "Post hoc, ergo proctor hoc" fallacy to all three "causes".

Actually its you who is wrong (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397840)

I grew up in Oregon with easy access to firearms. In the early 1980s the economy was in the shitter. Consequently, lots of loggers and carpenters used those firearms on one another. When the economy came around, the rates of homocide decreased. Thus, both poverty AND easy access to firearms, in combination, do tend to cause more violence than anything else.

Re:Actually its you who is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397889)

Most of those loggers lost their jobs to enviormental do gooders. I wish they would have shot greenpeace members instead of each other.

Who is to blame? (5, Insightful)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397761)

They will blame everyone and everything, except the two causes:

1) the people who teased them to death for years.
2) the boys themselves for choosing to plan the crime and carry it out.

EVERYONE else will be blamed first- you, me, and the internet....

Re: Who is to blame? (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397877)


> They will blame everyone and everything, except the two causes:

> 1) the people who teased them to death for years.

I thought people who suffered excessive childhood teasing grew up to be programmers.

In the good old days (3, Funny)

houseofmore (313324) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397762)

...you'd get high, play pacman.. fist a bag of doritos, and that would be the end of it. C - - - -

... HUH? (2, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397763)

What the hell?

Violent video games, last time I looked, weren't terribly accurate as far as blood and guts and such went. Granted, it's been a year or so since I played a first-person shooter, but if memory serves, the blood flying across the screen had an almost comical effect, with more blood than would possibly come from one living thing. Quake was always amusing, not serious.

I know that they're going to blame the "violence that we expose our children to in video games" for these screwed up kids, but I don't buy it. If it wasn't video games, these kids would be into real guns in a much more serious way, or knives, or swords, or compound bows, or something. And, they'd probably be a helluva lot more dangerous, since they'd actually know how to wield these implements, rather than going through video game experiences.

If parents would raise their kids, rather than letting the TV, the computer, the entertainment system do it, maybe we'd have less problems.

Re:... HUH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397859)

Paint ball combat is more comical, my team is blue and so is your blood. Even the tree bleed blue and my feet too.

As long as game developers keep using 'team kill' rather than 'friendly fire' there can be no confusion between reality and gaming right?

Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397770)

Blah blah blah gamers aren't violent blah blah blah outrage blah blah persecution

Hmmm (1)

Spider[DAC] (129824) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397775)

Am I the only one who wonder some about the game in question, since the first hit off google gives this rpg [dd-clan.org] as a result.

I wonder when they start to blame Fallout....

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397895)

"Game is down fixing major bugs!"

Maybe they didnt get their "fix" for the day and decided to try a real life version.....

I wouldnt be supprised if someone will try and blame the game designers for not having the game up for them to play too...

(Yes I know this is in bad taste, hence the AC)

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397921)

i particularly like the fact that they managed to blame a text based rpg. What's next, Fiction novels.

All through history... (2, Insightful)

Cat9117600 (627358) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397776)

Violence has been blamed on video games, music, movies, television, even books. This is nothing new, it's just someone using a crime as an excuse to advance their opinion on something completely different. This has always happened, and will continue to happen as long as people don't like something new, and can find any connection, however small, between something they don't like and crime.

racist (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397780)

How come they only blame video games when white kids do a murder?

When some black kids do it, well you know how those negros are...

It's as if a nice whiteboy would never do a murder it must of have been an evil video game that corrupted him, but when some black kid shoots someone at his inner city school it doesn't even make the news. I guess blacks are just expected to shoot each other naturally. No one looks for the causes of a black kids violence.

It's racism really.

There was world peace until atari (5, Funny)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397788)

Seriously, before video games, there was no war, no violence, and everyone loved each other. The crusades were caused because of the church's addiction to Doom. World War I, well, that was Duke Nukem. World War II was cause by the release of Quake. It is time to put an end to these horrible inventions now, before Doom 3 comes out and World War 3 starts.

We're pretty safe then... (5, Funny)

splerdu (187709) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397854)

Following your analogy, and assuming a cycle of 3DRealms - id Software - 3DRealms, the next big war will be caused by the release (not of Doom 3 but of) Duke Nukem Forever. I guess i can sit pretty for a while =)

Books? (4, Insightful)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397792)

To anyone who thinks video games should be banned, I ask this question: If the kids were inspired to kill by characters in a book, should we then ban books?

What about TV? Movies? Magazines? Where does it end?

Re:Books? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397865)

To anyone who thinks video games should be banned, I ask this question: If the kids were inspired to kill by characters in a book, should we then ban books?

But it's never been about banning video games. Only *violent* video games, and then only for kids. If books are too graphically violent and cause children to act out what's in it, then it might make sense to limit access to those books to kids.

What about TV? Movies? Magazines? Where does it end?

Pretty soon, if this erosion of personal freedom continues, next thing you know children won't be able to pick up a copy of Playboy at their local newsstand or watch the new Debbie Does Denmark in the theatres!

Things that cause violence (4, Funny)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397795)

I've been stuck at work for the past fourteen hours, and I'm about ready to kill someone right now. Maybe we should look into getting work outlawed as well?

If only we took a hint from the Thais (2)

egg troll (515396) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397797)

<sarcasm>
I'm sure we can all agree that things like this wouldn't happen if we had a curfew [asia1.com.sg] for gamers.
</sarcasm>

Guns kill not games (2, Insightful)

iJed (594606) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397801)

It amazes me every time that something like this nearly happens or does happen that guns are still legal in the United States. Should guns not get the blame for killing people rather than video games? People who say things like "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." may be right but having no guns makes it a hell of a lot harder for these would be killers to go on killing sprees.

Re:Guns kill not games (1)

3liz3 (615856) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397866)

  • Should guns not get the blame for killing people rather than video games?
How can you hold an inanimate object responsible for something it would not have been capable of doing of its own volition?

The problem is not guns. Nor is it video games. The problem is youth or adults who are unfit for society.

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Re:Guns kill not games (1)

Ikari Gendou (93109) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397867)

And the people who still want to do such things will resort to explosives or swords or some such and the circle of death continues unabated blah blah blah

Re:Guns kill not games (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397885)

counter-examples: oaklahoma, 9-11, pretty much every day in the middle east. and let's not forget that the columbine killers also had planted a bomb

Re:Guns kill not games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397912)

"Yeah, hi, I love the show, love hearing people's opinions, that's what made this country great. People. And opinions. And stuff. Most of all, guns. I've had it with people whining about 'guns kill people,' guns don't kill people, death kills people. Ask a doctor, it's a medical fact. You can't die from a bullet. You can die from a cardiac arrest or organ failure or a major hemorrhage, small piece of metal ain't the problem. Besides, I only use my machine-gun in the safety of my own home and car. I ain't hurting nobody. And countries that don't have guns ain't American." -Gun nut on Lazlow's Chatterbox station (Grand Theft Auto III)

Re:Guns kill not games (1)

common_sence (686407) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397936)

Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Get off your high-horse anti-gun soapbox and wake up to reality. My guess is that these kids were suburban, split household or both parents working. Probably raised making their own pop-tarts for breakfast and watching the tube or playing computer games for hours on end. It's much easier to point the blame at items that can't defend themselves, rather than blaming the parents and our decling social values.

Stop the buck passing... (2, Insightful)

3liz3 (615856) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397803)

Totally silly to blame a few kids going *bonkers* (or perhaps intending to do the same) on an inanimate object, namely object code.

I even hate this line of questioning (and I'm not remotely a gamer so it's not like I'm defending gaming out of desire to protect my own personal habits/preferences). I hate it b/c it allows the kids to potentially carry on with the illusion that they themselves were not and are not 100% to blame for their own actions.

And, yes, at ages 15, 16, 18, you are responsible for your own actions. Even if you've got "absentee parents" and the rest of your life has sucked the big one, you are old enough to know right from wrong and thusly you are old enough to choose one in lieu of the other.

That's not to say that there aren't things existentially *wrong* with American culture -- I personally think it's important for kids to have a parent at home particularly during *the formative years* -- but those aspects of culture are part of being an American: where choice and free will are implied and no legislation intrude.

Warriors of "Freedom" (2, Funny)

Vengeance_au (318990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397804)

With all the changes to the language, I'm confused... are these kids from France or something? If so, how do they justify using the moniker "Warriors" ???

Gee.. when I was a kid.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397811)

We used to play a game involving cowboys and indians (indians, not Indians). It involved making gun gestures with your hands and saying bang. Yet nobody blames todays murders are caused by that game. Oh wait.. I'm sure that game is banned from school playgrounds everywhere.. for that reason. God damn it I hate this liberal hippie crap that is spoiling childhoods.

Warriors of Freedom... (4, Informative)

Ikari Gendou (93109) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397814)

Is a freaking browser based RPG. I'd have to say this is a pretty thin stretch of a Googling if I've seen one.


This whole thing makes my brain hurt.

Re:Warriors of Freedom... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397925)

Heh, I also hear that it's both turn-based and TEXT-BASED. Damnit, gotta start burning those books as well then. I'm sure Mr. Ashcroft has realized that he's 19 year's behind 1984. ;)

Rampage Attempt? (5, Insightful)

Wingnut64 (446382) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397817)

I live quite close to there, and read about it in my local newspaper. The 3 teens had 2 rifles, 2 handguns, a shotgun, knifes and swords. They surrendered when 1 cop showed up and told them to drop their weapons. Rampage my ass, this was just a cry for help. With their numbers and firepower they could have easily killed him, but they didn't. The 18 year old 'leader' just lost his mother (and some other female friend/family member, don't remember which) and didn't fit in at school. He was mentally unstable and socially outcast. Games had little to do with it, except to give them a title to use.

Re:Rampage Attempt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397846)

Mod parent up +1 insightful

Wow, another cry against violent games. (1)

Shishio (540577) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397818)

Of course people are trying to link it to video games or violence in film or whatever. No one wants to take the blame or put the blame on the kids or the parents.

Maybe the kids just don't want to be in the gene pool, chalk it up to self-motivated natural selection.

Yeah whatever (1)

Hex4def6 (538820) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397820)

Ahh its the old "violent games make people do violent things" argument. Its FUD of course; I would venture to say that the ratio of people that play violent video games to people who play violent games and kill people is probably the same as the general population v. killers. I think that we will always have mentally dearanged people, and that they will use something to channel their anger - I mean - did jack the ripper play violent video games? Of course not - he was also a loonie, just a different time period and object of hate.

"I thought you'd like to know that I am a warrior, I am fighting for mankind's freedom. Freedom from this society," said the letter, which was signed "Sincerely, Me. Matthew. The One, the Neo, the Anti-Christ, etc. etc. etc."

--> crazy meter (TM) : high.

Warriors of Freedom? (5, Informative)

syr (647840) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397823)

The article mentions that the youths were obsessed with Warriors of Freedom. I've never heard of the game so I did some googling and this is what I've come up with so far. Warriors of Freedom is apparently a browser-based RPG which involved the leveling up of fantasy themed characters who are either evil or good. So in essence its like any other RPG out there.

It appears that the official website for the game is either at this [dd-clan.org] clan server or at this [alternativegames.ca] game company. Google returns the fact that Warriors of Freedom RPG is now ... "The Guardians of Har". So maybe the Alternative Games company changed the name of their moderately popular browser-based RPG.

It's interesting that these youths would be corrupted by a simplistic browser RPG. Most previous stories of this type involve games such as Doom or Counter-Strike or sniping in Halo. I guess we might be able to assume that these youths didn't need the first person perspective to corrupt their perspective of reality.

This Columbine article [liberator.net] quotes Jack Thompson (the attorney who brought up the video game connection) as saying "We intend to hurt Hollywood. We intend to hurt the video game industry. We intend to hurt porn sites". Mr. Thompson [aim.org] has tried suing the video game companies, tried pressuring Best Buy and Wal-Mart to not carry certain titles and tried to get a bill introduced to outlaw mature video games being sold to minors.

I don't believe that video games caused these youths to go beserk. So I will continue playing games [gametab.com] and wondering what exactly is wrong with Jack Thompson.

Ironic (1, Interesting)

Archie Steel (539670) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397827)

If find it highly ironic that Video Games are quick to get the blame, while no one cares to consider that having guns and weapons close at hand might also make good scapegoats...only in America!

Now, please, before you get all second-amendment on me: this is not intended to start a flame war over your "right to bear arms" - just a reflection on the fact that video games are always quick to get the bad press. Probably because the sound-bite media is always eager to find simple explanations to complex problems.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397874)

a quick google on +"Jack Thompson" +ban +gun
would suggest he is also tring to ban guns, so the fucked up wierd ass can't be all bad.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397924)

"Now, please, before you get all second-amendment on me: this is not intended to start a flame war over your "right to bear arms" - just a reflection on the fact that video games are always quick to get the bad press."

Um, dude?

Have you read a fucking newspaper in the last fourty years?

Video games 'are always quick to get the bad press'?

What, guns never get any bad press?

Where do you live, Australia?

I wish they made the "stabbing babies" game (1)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397838)

On comedy central the other week, there was a comedian who talked about her love of video games. "I love the video games, and The News hates the video games, so I hate The News". She pointed out that the more violent, the better she liked them, and if they made a game that involved stabbing babies, it would be the best game ever.

All I can think when I read yet another lameass story about video games causing violence is: I wish they made that babies game.

In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397842)

And in other news, a group of people in their 20s went on a killing spree after discovering the much-touted "training simulator", America's Army...

butt fucked by scummy Negroes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6397844)

These boys are going to learn about violence first hand from Negro criminals.

A great man once said... (1)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397878)

"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet." - George W. Bush

For the 1000th time, correlation != causation (5, Insightful)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397886)

Lovett's uncle Thomas Crymes said the June graduate of Collingswood High School had been on his computer "constantly."

"He never went anywhere with anybody," Crymes said.


Ever think he was on the computer constantly because he was harassed by the other students and had nowhere to go? Maybe that same harassment had something to do with his motive?

Was the guy that shot up that Lockheed Martin factory also "under the influence" of computer games and violent movies? Or is there a more complex societal problem going on here?

Ronald Lovett, who works as a electronics repairman on the same block as his apartment, said his son had become withdrawn after his mother's death. His son also often had to defend his younger brother, who has undergone 13 operations for a cleft palate, the father said.

"When they used to go out when they were little, of course people would pick on the brother, and Matt would have to defend him," Ronald Lovett told CNN. "They didn't get along well with their peers."
.
.
.
"The boys also had to endure the death of an older half sister who was hit by a car a year after their mother's death, Crymes said."


What kind of evil SOBs would pick on a kid with a cleft palate whose mother and sister recently died. I thank the Lord that these kids were picked up before they hurt anyone, but if you want to examine "root causes" instead of video games maybe take a look at an utter lack of conscious or morality by all parties involved.

Evil begets evil.

Brian Ellenberger

This journalist is so ignorant (3, Insightful)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397890)

Quoted from the article "And among the names Lovett used in a letter left for his family was the Neo, an apparent reference to the main character of The Matrix, which is both a movie series and a computer game." ...

Instead of pointing out the fact that the movie itself was about cyberpunk, he just said that 'The Matrix' is also a video game.

I guess that's enough to prove that people who write these kind of articles are ignorant about the subject, are mostly scared about things that they just do not understand and they would prefer that everything would stay the same.

Maybe we should forbid weapons and take care of our children instead of trying to find evidences that the actual society is responsible of their acts. Guns do not kill, people do. The same for children, they did not went bad because of the actual world, some grow up bad because WE made this world as it is.

It's The Skills, Not The Motive. (1)

Flying-Cow-Man (686404) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397904)

The inherent problem I see with allowing violent videogames is not that it might promote violence as a legitimate course of action in the minds of the players, (we have CNN for that, luckily..) but that it gives people the necessary skills to be able to actually carry it out. Living in australia, I can rack up a few quick, easy hours practice with a pistol at the local video arcade, without anyone noticing anything awry, unlike at a gun club.

There is a deeper problem that must be addressed, that is why are kids deciding to shoot their classmates. But we also need to ask ourselves whether we are not giving kids the opportunity to hone their skills, making them much more adept at shooting.

The skills that one develops playing a "virtual" shooting game are very similar the the skills that one develops practicing at a range, this is one reason that the military uses such simulations instead of only ever practicing with real equipment.

We have to ask ourselves: Who do we really want to develop those skills?

I'm not at all promoting the idea of removing violent games, just don't use them as a medium to teach our kids how to shoot each other.

And NO, I don't count aiming with a mouse as the same thing. Sheesh.

Let's see here... (5, Insightful)

mcasaday (562287) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397905)

  • "His son had become withdrawn after his mother's death"
  • "Often had to defend his younger brother, who has undergone 13 operations for a cleft palate."
  • "They didn't get along well with their peers."
  • "Ronald Lovett had focused most of his attention on his younger son, James, because of his disability."
  • "The boys also had to endure the death of an older half sister."
  • "The classmates said he had been mocked for his bow-legged and stooped gait and his clothes."
  • "Matt was an easy target, but he never lashed out. He just took it."
  • "Everybody picked on him"

The only reasonable explanation for a kid to lash out under these circumstances is the evil influence of games like Mech Commando. I just can't see it any other way.

I certainly wouldn't put any of the responsibility for these crimes on the people who made up these kids' world. There is no way that people are to blame for this sort of thing.

It has to be video games. Or rock music. Or D&D. (D&D!? That's sooo 80's.) Or marijuana. Or the devil. Or a malevelont, super-intelligent giant chicken from the center of the Earth. Anything, as long as people don't have to come face to face with their role in the lives of these kids.

Violence??!!?? (2, Insightful)

heli0 (659560) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397907)

The game is TEXT BASED

If...

>> There is a knight ahead. Attack or flee? {A/F}
$$ A
>> The knight has been slain.

causes people to go on killing rampages, it would have been an epidemic about 20 years ago.

Logical Extension (2, Funny)

Monthenor (42511) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397926)

I'd like to see Broderbund brought to justice for Number Muncher's role in the mental anguish and derision I suffered as an elementary-school math dork.

Funny quote from one of the linked articles: (1, Insightful)

Rakarra (112805) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397927)

In the stupid "Sniper Trained on Halo" story:

He based his prediction on what he has learned as co-counsel in the Paducah school shootings case in which Michael Carneal, like many school shooters, trained on murder simulation shooter games to enable him to murder three girls and wound five others. The games both broke down his inhibition to kill and gave him incredible shooting skills.

Uhh... yeah. Incredible real-life shooting skills from Halo? Since when has playing Halo given anyone any skills other than being good at playing Halo? Thompson is trying so hard to link his "video games are really just real life murder training programs" to incidents of violence that he'll ignore anything grounded in reality. Does he have a brother named Thomson?

Geez, it's like the Dungeons and Dragons scare all over again.

Bullying... (5, Insightful)

iopha (626985) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397928)

From the article:

Lovett also was the target of teasing. The classmates said he had been mocked for his bow-legged and stooped gait and his clothes.

My guess would be that over 75% of teenagers play or have played 'violent' video games at some point or another. I'm guessing but it feels more or less right. That's probably millions-- tens of millions-- of video game players in the US and across the developed world. Are they all potential killers? Of course not. To argue so would involve twisting statistics around in a 'war on drugs' fashion-- maintaining that marijuana is a 'gateway' drug, which simply isn't true. Very few users of marijuana go on to do harder drugs. But many that do harder drugs have smoked pot (and continue to do so), which is what alarmist conservative organizations, in a thorough betrayal of libertarian roots, emphasize in order to restrain civil liberties.

But there is simply not enough of a correlation to warrant limits on video games (a form of free speech IMHO anyway) even *if* in specific cases a causal argument *might* be made. The point is that you can't do sociology by anecdote only. By all rights, statistically, toasters [google.ca] are probably deadlier than video games anyway.

Given the utter lack of *any* systematic correlation between playing video games and engaging in violent, anti-social behaviour, perhaps we should look at other possible causes, Like the bullying and teasing which goes on in every schoolyard, every day, hmmm? I am convinced that the solace this kid found in video games was a result of being called a 'fag' constantly, of being beaten up for lacking social grace, for failure to heed the intricate, consumerist protocol of North American teenhood. Any 'obsession' with video games was a symptom and NOT the problem.

Bah, sheer sensationalism and a refusal to look at root causes-- of course this seems to be a recurrent theme these days.

Reminds me of that Onion article--Columbine Jocks Safely Resume Bullying [theonion.com] . It's a sad indicator of the state of our civlization when we learn nothing from tragedy, but that's another topic entirely.

iopha

Blame everything on society (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397934)

Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Games don't kill people, people kill people.

Is this right? (1)

Bluskale (633754) | more than 10 years ago | (#6397935)

Maybe I just forgot how to use Google and all... but the "Warriors of Freedom" game I found was... a text-based RPG, according to here: http://www.mpogd.com/games/game.asp?ID=1754 .

"SUMMARY
Browser based empire management game. Players choose and alignment and build an army which can be comprised of humans, dwarfs and elves.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Genre: RPG
Platform: Linux | Mac | Windows
Client Type: Browser
Interface: Text Based
Time : Tick Based
Status: Gold
ESRB Rating: NR
Massively Multiplayer: No

PRICING
Software: Free
Subscription: Free

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Minimal

MPOGD SPECIFIC
Last Updated: 5/26/2003"

I fail to see how a text-based game can portray violence in a way that a book couldn't...

oh wait, that means... while we're out banning video games, lets ban books too!
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