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GTA Blamed for Columbine-style Massacre Planning

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the mario-blamed-for-senseless-mushroom-death dept.

Games 120

bippy writes "A Miami attorney claims that a teen accused of plotting a massacre used GTA to prepare for the attack, RedAssedBaboon reports. Attorney Jack Thompson is the same guy who is trying to link the murder of Stefan Pakeerah last year to Manhunt. Pakeerah was beaten to death with a claw hammer by a friend who, Thompson claims, was inspired by Manhunt. The uproar surrounding the case led to the game being pulled from many British store shelves and Prime Minister Tony Blair looking into a link between violence and video games. It looks like Thompson has found himself a niche." Update: 10/10 19:25 GMT by T : Peter Endean writes "It might be worth noting that in fact in the case of the murder linked to Manhunt, it was the victim who owned the game."

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120 comments

The irony was (4, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487156)

It was the victim who owned manhunt, not the murderer!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/08/04/manhunt_mu rder_claim/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:The irony was (1)

bippy (668525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487272)

Yeah, but they said the friend borrowed it - alot

Re:The irony was (2, Funny)

cassidyc (167044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487526)

completly irrelevant anyway as the murder was drugs related....

But thems facts and that gets in the way of a rumour

sigh...

CJC

Not true... (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488590)

...or maybe it is, but at least the mother of the victim has stated in public that the murderer gave the game to her son a few days before his death.

Re:The irony was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10490087)

Obviously the victim didn't play the game enough...

What's good for the goose is good for the gander (1)

Shazow (263582) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487157)

At first I read the title as:
"GTA Blames for Columbine-style Massacre Planning"

Thoughts rushed through my head widldly of Rock Star Games suing someone related to Columbine-style massacre planning for copyright infringement. Suddenly, it made me feel all giddy and righteous inside.

Someday, someday. Someday we'll win the war on terrorists stealing ideas from games.

- shazow

GTA does NOT promote killing cops (2, Informative)

CamelToes (325281) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487159)

I've played both GTA games and not ONE of them had a goal in the game to mow down cops in any of the levels. This is just silly. I hate it when these tight-assed lawyers are making ridiculous claims about Rockstar without even playing the game!

Re:GTA does NOT promote killing cops (1)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487226)

Which 'both' do you speak of? There have been like 5 (1, London, 2, 3, VC)

Re:GTA does NOT promote killing cops (3, Informative)

clu76 (620823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487247)

That's wrong. I just beat Vice City 30 minutes ago. And there is a Malibu Club mission where you have to bust Cam Jones out of a police station. I doubt there is any possible way of beating that mission with out killing, at bare minimum, half a dozen cops.

And for the record, killing real life cops is evil. Support the police. Su-su-suport the police.

Re:GTA does NOT promote killing cops (5, Informative)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487501)

Sure there is--grab the cop uniform so you can sneak in, and then run the hell out. In fact I tried and failed at that mission many times before I realized that blasting your way through is nigh-impossible.

Re:GTA does NOT promote killing cops (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488316)

I suppose that's about *this* much morally better than killing cops - breaking into a police station trying to impersonate a cop. Incidentally, in real life, that really doesn't work that well.

Re:GTA does NOT promote killing cops (1)

Dizzle (781717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489550)

When you say "this", are you holding your hands really far apart? Or are you insinuating that breaking into a police station and impersonating an officer of the law is slightly better than killing 6+ cops?

Either you really respect the uniform or you have no regard for human life.

wrong (4, Informative)

Nf1nk (443791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487282)

GTA 1 ,the original top down game that started it all, had a misssion to blow up a police staion with a car bomb. Also in GTA 1 when you went on a "KILL FRENZY!" you didn't have to kill specific folks any folks would do incuding cops. GTA 3 had a mission to kill an (oddly animated) undercover cop named Tanner, by lobbing grenades through his window. Vice city has a mission where you lure two cops into a garage to stealthier uniforms, presumably by killing them.
But you are right odds are the lawyers never played the game.

Re:wrong (1)

phillstac3 (799710) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489056)

Wasn't Tanner the name of the undercover cop in Driver?

Re:wrong (1)

Nf1nk (443791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489134)

yes it was, that was part of the whole oddley animated joke

Re:GTA does NOT promote killing cops (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490234)

" I hate it when these tight-assed lawyers are making ridiculous claims about Rockstar without even playing the game!"

Wanna know what bugs me? I've been gaming since the early 90's. I've played the heck out of every 'bad game' out there. Mortal Kombat, GTA, Quake, Doom, you name it. According to all the Kile's Moms out there, I should be totally desensitized to violence. Wrong. 9-11 shocked me. Rotten.com shocks me. Somebody on Slashdot once related a story about how his wife knew somebody who was killed by lightning. I was saddened by that story.

They have a very long uphill battle before them if they wish to convince me that a game would make somebody do something like that.

Re:GTA does NOT promote killing cops (1)

doctormetal (62102) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490636)

Wanna know what bugs me? I've been gaming since the early 90's. I've played the heck out of every 'bad game' out there. Mortal Kombat, GTA, Quake, Doom, you name it. According to all the Kile's Moms out there, I should be totally desensitized to violence. Wrong.

Same for me.

They just look for a scapegoat instead of saying that the guy is a just fscking retard.

Kids that do get influenced by computer games are mentally unstable and should not play games, but be in therapy.

Re:GTA does NOT promote killing cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10492467)

It's not very fair nowadays to try and actully find real people to blame... like the parents or anything.

ban sticks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487184)

Also used in the planning of crimes:

paper, pens, computers, audio tapes, maps, telephons - sometimes people actually act out the crime in preperation so they'll know what to do and might use sticks as makeshift "weapons". Sticks should be outlawed clearly.

Re:ban sticks (3, Funny)

Tyrdium (670229) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487206)

Why stop there? Hell, people can use their hands to choke someone to death! We should chop off everyone's hands! Oh, but wait... Then they could use their arms as bludgeoning weapons... Lop those off, too! Hmmm, but they could still bite people... Off with their heads!

Re:ban sticks (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487290)

But don't you understand? Why can't you think of the children...the poor children!

This is for the kids (much like the Wu-Tang Clan).

Re:ban sticks (2, Informative)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10492051)

Actually, the thing I find most frustrating about this is that GTA was pretty low on the list of things he had to plan with. Instead, if you read the article again, you'll notice that it mentions several times that he was going to emulate the Columbine massacre on the anniversary of the massacre. It seems that Columbine is responsible for this Columbine-like behavior, and GTA was just what the guy played when he wanted to fantasize about killing people.

What's so special about police? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487208)

What's so special about cops and why only in videogames?

Eric Clapton sang about "I shot the sheriff".

Cops are killed in movies and television shows all the time and have been for some six or seven decades at the very least.

Cops are killed in books all the time.

All sorts of people are killed in all sorts of movies, music, books, television shows, plays and even VIDEO GAMES.

** Why is it okay to kill cops in any media EXCEPT videogames/interactive media?
** Why is it okay to kill everyone else BUT cops in interactive media?

It's not like police are some high and mighty upper class that rises above the rest of the world in importance simply becuase of the authority they wieild over citizens.

Re:What's so special about police? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487433)

That would be Bob Marley, not Eric Clapton

Re:What's so special about police? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487545)

That would be both, retard. You do realize more than one artist can record a song over time? You do realize that Clapton's version is pretty popular and is likely more recognisable than Marley's? (Especially since all of marley's songs - like all reggae - sound exactly alike).

Re:What's so special about police? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487665)

But it's Marley's song. He wrote it. He sang it. Clapton covered it...nothing more. Doesn't matter if Clapton's version was popular.

It's a Bob Marley song. Period. A

nd no, reggae does not all sound the same anymore than rock is all just 3 chords or rap is a bunch of guys with a drum machine and a ryhme dictionary. People taking minute samples of something come away with a minute sample and think they know all about a subject.

Re:What's so special about police? (1)

Dalcius (587481) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487633)

Part of the difference is that in books/TV/movies, you're watching it happen as a spectator. In a game, you're actually doing the shooting.

Not that I think this case has any merit, but there is a difference.

Cheers

Re:What's so special about police? (1)

parliboy (233658) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487865)

It's not. But you need to look at the vertical integration of media. Viacom owns radio, TV, and film properties out the wazoo, for example. That integration isn't as fully realized when it comes to computer games (NBC / Vivendi-Universal being the only really big example) so it's a convenient target. Eventually, as mergers continue, these targets will be too risky; and then they'll move on to something else.

Re:What's so special about police? (4, Interesting)

TheLoneDanger (611268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487981)

It's not like police are some high and mighty upper class that rises above the rest of the world in importance simply becuase of the authority they wieild over citizens.

Ahh... but you see that is where you are wrong. Disobeying or attacking/killing police is particularly useful to use as an example of videogames making kids anti-social (whether or not it holds any merit). This is because police represent clear AUTHORITY figures, which adults are also expected to respect. Since many older adults believe that only children (and immature adults) play games, the idea that a game for children not only allows you but requires you to defy authority figures (police and by extension, them) allows them to go "tut, tut. That is what is wrong with the youth of today, no respect for authority."

Part of it is also the implicit degree of approval of the child for the act. For example, when watching a TV show showing cops getting killed, if the child were to express his approval for the act, it would not go well at all with many people. Similarly, if you buy many CDs with many examples of singing about killing cops, this would also reflect poorly, because you CHOOSE to listen about cops being killed. When they see a kid playing a game, because the kid chooses his actions in the game, it seems as if he is clearly agreeing with the act. Otherwise why do it? Indeed as has been pointed out above, it is possible to get through the mission WITHOUT killing cops (fighting them makes the mission ludicrously difficult). If you have the choice (not everyone will figure out how to do it without fighting) and choose to attack cops, that reflects poorly. Personally, while forcing the player into that kind of a situation makes observers uncomfortable, I think most players should be smart enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality and see the mission as simply another set of obstacles to overcome.

Re:What's so special about police? (4, Insightful)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489743)

Don't forget that books, music, movies, and television shows were already blamed fot violence and decadence of the society. Idiots already failed at proving any relation, so they moved to the next target.

The bottom line is, that people are responsible for their own actions. Any attempt to blame something else for your own actions, is just some cheap lawyer trick.

Re:What's so special about police? (2, Insightful)

ElvenMonkey (789317) | more than 9 years ago | (#10491227)

The bottom line is, that people are responsible for their own actions. Any attempt to blame something else for your own actions, is just some cheap lawyer trick.

Now if only we can persuade the public about this we might finally start to shift away from this completely rediculous compensation / blame culture. Its rampant in the US and becoming an issue in the UK as well now. Working in a UK college (16-19 year olds primarily), its quite noticeable that most of them seem to try to blame everything else for their problems but themselves; no matter how you explain it to them they will not seemingly understand that they're responsible for the outcome of their actions.
I think thats what is up with this whole case. The Lawyer or his client just will not accept that someone can do something evil like that.. they have to find something to blame, or face the shock that humanity is capable of such acts.

Re:What's so special about police? (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490121)

Eric Clapton sang about "I shot the sheriff".

Actually, that was Bob Marley. The Eric Clapton version is a cover.

Doesn't change the point of your post though.

Re:What's so special about police? (1)

woohoodonuts (734070) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490198)

It's not like police are some high and mighty upper class that rises above the rest of the world in importance simply becuase of the authority they wieild over citizens.

Police Officers don't wield authority over citizens... they wield it over criminals.

Re:What's so special about police? (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10494642)

That's not 100% true. There are many circumstances where police are used to direct ordinary citizens and you are required by law to obey their direction.

Directing traffic is one example. Police posted as guards (near a crime scene, or accident for instance) is annother.

I'm no police officer or student of the law, but I suspect there are more examples I can't think of.

Re:What's so special about police? (2, Funny)

uXs (335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10491011)

Ah ! But he didn't shoot the deputy. That's the difference !

Its all about the Police State. (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10491073)

The fact that we are even discussing the 'implications' of a Cop force and its impact on society should lead you to answer your own question, 'whats so special?'

The answer: When you live in a Police State, you will worship Police.

Such bullshit (3, Informative)

Ondo (187980) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487223)

There may be a link between violence and games - I don't think so, but it doesn't seem certain. Regardless, this lawyer is lying, and making obvious lies. I don't get it - how the hell does he expect to get away with this? A lot of people have played GTA, and they all know "that the tactic of luring police to a scene and then killing them" is, in fact, NOT "key to succeeding in Grand Theft Auto." What does he get out of telling such obvious lies?

Re:Such bullshit (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487253)

"What does he get out of telling such obvious lies?"

Fame? Fortune? His name in newspapers all over the world?

Re:Such bullshit (1)

still_sick (585332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487904)

Actually - strictly speaking, it is true.

There is one mission in Vice City where you and Lance must lure 2 Police-men into a Garage to kill them, take their uniforms, and their patrol car.

It is not possible to complete Vice City without completing this mission.

Not that I'm defending this dillhole lawyer - but one cannot just dismiss out of hand a simple fact such as this one.

Re:Such bullshit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488576)

Actually they don't show it, just the garage door closing then you coming out in a police uniform. Maybe they just tied up the cops and locked them in the garage?

Re:Such bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488667)

True enough - you've got a point.

Re:Such bullshit (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488885)

this lawyer is lying, and making obvious lies. I don't get it - how the hell does he expect to get away with this?

You're new to the concept of lawyers then?

Re:Such bullshit (1)

SamSim (630795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10491311)

There is a link between violence and videogames in my opinion; the latter is an outlet for the former.

Crank (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487259)

Pakeerah was beaten to death with a claw hammer by a friend who, Thompson claims, was inspired by Manhunt.

Yeah, and everybody seems to overlook one fact: the "damning evidence" that the police found the game in the kid's bedroom was, in fact, found in the victim's bedroom.

That wasn't the first time Thompson has been involved in cases like this; he's a well-known crank who foists himself on the families of victims and convinces them that the games are to blame. In one case, he tried to persue a case against the wishes of the victim's family. He's also harrassed people and had restraining orders taken out against him. He's a crank of the highest order [tripod.com] . You want to know why you hear so many stories about "evil games"? It's him and people like him.

Re:Crank (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487561)

I think the more important question, that everyone is failing to ask, is "what kind of stupid name is Peekarah"?

I mean, if you name your kid some wierd shit like that, you're just lining up him to be teased, taunted, tortured and maybe someday - killed. (What is he, a tiny yellow orange-dotted anime character that three year old kids collect?).

Re:Crank (1)

jjhlk (678725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488641)

They're friends: they could have played Manhunt together. Still, not damning evidence against video games.

Re:Crank (2, Insightful)

Maserati (8679) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489014)

And if Pakeerah had been a big Scarface fan maybe he'd have been killed with a chainsaw or a grenade launcher. Nothing to see here folks, just another clueless lawyer shilling for publicity.

Re:Crank (2, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10491549)

Irrespective of that particular piece of "damning evidence", I'm more swayed by the actual Police coming out and saying that there is NO, repeat NO link between the game and the murder, and that said media are a bunch of fecking liars for claiming otherwise (note - "fecking liars" may not have been the exact choice of words used in the statement. However, its pretty close to that).

The poor kid was killed as part of a mugging that went wrong. The mugging was planned in order to get cash to pay the perpertrator's drug debts. Curious how the addiction to illegal substances is completely bypassed in a search for blame here.

dont (2, Insightful)

drfrog (145882) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487296)

blame the tool blame the carpenter!!!

using this logic the boxcutters company that built the ones used in 9/11 would be charged as well

So... (5, Funny)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487306)

If I print out the Patriot Act and beat someone to death with it...

Re:So... (3, Funny)

Ty (15982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487532)

Bush will declare that whoever you beat was a terrorist and it was an effective tool for dealing with them.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487629)

USA! USA! USA! ;D

Re:So... (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488782)

...or outlaw printers.

Re:So... (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10491636)

...then only outlaws will have printers.

-

Re:So... (1)

wyldeone (785673) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487637)

Then they'd just sue the paper companies, or if they're really feeling good the company that made the printer that you printed it out on. At which point they'd probably just sue God for making all those damn trees in the first place.

Nice Friend (2, Funny)

jherekc (460597) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487388)

All I can say is that the murderer was obviously *not that much of a friend* if he killed his so called "friend"

Re:Nice Friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487450)

No shit, like that took real genius to come up with, but I guess for you it did, must have been a real achievement sucessfully posting the obvious. Perhaps you should get one of your friends, if you have any, and get them to pull out a gun and shoot you. In that sitution I would consider that person a friend. Drop dead dumbass.

Re:Nice Friend (1)

jherekc (460597) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487846)

Uh, is that some sort of troll?

Re:Nice Friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10494205)

I do believe this is in reference to a simpsons episode where bart gets beat up by a bully. Marge then says something a bit like Well they obvoiously aren't your friends if they beat you up.
I'm sure I have something in there wrong but yeah its probably relatively close.

Video games do have ratings.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487406)

u know every one blames video games and movies but last time i checked they did have "Ratings".. these TEENS.. where able to obtain a video game with a MATURE rating blame the parents or the clerks who sold these kids the game...

Re:Video games do have ratings.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488615)

u no, most peepz who talk lik u ... and dont use punctuation ... where their supposd 2 r usually kids

Windows (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487471)


The next one of you to commit some stupid crime, blame windows, maybe we can get it banned. :)

Re:Windows (0, Offtopic)

wheany (460585) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490796)

You suck.

If the video caused him to kill (1)

Gary Destruction (683101) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487557)

Then he's a serial killer because he had no motive. Also, from what I understand, most postal workers aren't big video game fanatics. Ever hear of "going postal?"

Re:If the video caused him to kill (1)

TheBot (806046) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488139)

Yes, actually, I live in the town, a couple blocks away, from the post office where the man went on a killing spree.

Re:If the video caused him to kill (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488345)

I was just thinking something like that.

Okay, there are basically three kinds of murders/murderers.

There's the basic one when a person turns violent and kills someone out of rage, like barfights, or finding X in bed with Y. This is almost always second degree murder, although sometimes the anger turns into some sort of seething hatred and a murder is actually planned. Basically, you want to hurt the person, and hurt them to death.

Then there the other motives for murder...they're blackmailing you, you're in their will, whatever. Basically, you will be a better position with them dead. This is almost always first degree murder.

Then there are the loons, the serial killers. People who murder people for no apparent reason.

Almost all school violence is the first one. Pure anger towards a tormentor. (And, as people have pointed out, possibly it would be useful to look into cause of such anger, instead of just going 'Bad kids! Don't kill people!', which seems rather unlikely to work.) The Manhunt case seems to be about drugs, which probably means the second case.

The whole 'video games cause violence' is based on the concept there are a large amount of the third category, which just isn't true.

See, the thing is, sociopathic kids, the loons, almost never kill anyone. They're either posing as a normal bully, (Normal bullies hurt others to benefit themselves, they would be hurting other kids to hurt kids.) or they're sitting in the woods nailing squirrels to trees.

If we could actually locate sociopaths by giving them violent video games and having them kill someone, I'm all for it. It would stop them from growning up and becoming the famous 'Shoelace Killer' who's brought to justice after he strangles 11 women. Catch them while they're still kids and stupid.

But there simply aren't that many of category three.

Not again..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10487636)

So Wacky Jack is at it again, eh. Just further proof that Jack Thompson is an opportunistic scumbag who got his law degree from a box of Froot Loops, since he obviously needs a complete psychiatric evalution. The key word in "evalution" is value. Does Jack Thompson have any? HELL NO! He's a total loser with a skinny weiner! Thompson is also the poster child for not only tort reform, but the birth control pill as well. Thompson has also made PROSTITUTION a more noble profession than his own.

It's like what Mick Foley said about PTC founder Brent Bozell: Thompson must truly believe his own bullshit and it seems like nothing will change his mind, even though recent court decisions in favor of the industry in the last few years have effectively destroyed his credibility.

But seriously, Thompson is now just grasping at straws, especially with his web of un-truths are being eroded as more and more people see him for the scumbag he is, especially as the courts continue to side with the industry and reject his increasingly dated vision, and ESPECIALLY as frequent critics like Joe Lieberman give praise to the industry for its ratings system.

In conclusion, Jack Thompson must be daft to think that anybody would actually take him seriously anymore.

== BearDogg-X ==

the crusades! (2, Funny)

focitrixilous P (690813) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487731)

Turns out the crusades happened before violent media even existed, and lots of people died!

Re:the crusades! (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488983)

Turns out the crusades happened before violent media even existed, and lots of people died!

That's it! Let's outlaw religions!!!!

About the only thing I learned in GTA3 and GTAVC is how to speak with a bad cuban accent ("I'm RReeco, you the man wit de big cojones?")

Re:the crusades! (1)

Dizzle (781717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489572)

I took the advanced bad cuban accent course and watched Scarface 3 times.

REBENGAAAA!!!

some truths (5, Insightful)

TheAxeMaster (762000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10487901)

Ok the kid's claim is bullshit anyway, and we all know that. He's trying to pawn off responsibility, and the claim probably came from his parents or some shit anyway.

Fact 1: The game has an MA rating, so any kid under 17 or 18 is not able to buy it (ideally). So how could he even get such a game? Well in all probability his parent's bought it for him, so even if this was some derranged world where his claim was true, it's the fault and responsibility of the parents for knowing what this kid is playing and making sure he isn't playing things he's not supposed to.

Fact 2: The average age of a video game player is 28. You cannot tell a 28 year old what they can or can't play, so they can't get rid of these games. It's not our fault that stores and parents don't enforce the rating system, it's their responsibility.

Re:some truths (2, Funny)

general_re (8883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488135)

...and the claim probably came from his parents or some shit anyway.

From his crazy lawyer. Jack Thompson, A/K/A "BatJack", apparently because he used to make public appearances in a Batman costume. Some of BatJack's prior hits here [reason.com] ...

amazing (1)

tetsugin (820695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488062)

it never ceases to amaze me how ignorant people are, people who obviously know nothing of psychology attribute a positive correlation between violent behavior and playing violent video games as proof that playing such games CAUSES violent behavior. The problem is that they don't even think to consider that people who have violent tendencies could be drawn to violent video games, a much more straight-forward and likely conclusion. Even considering that such games, and this goes for any other media, contribute to a person's behavior, which I personally believe it does although not to such an extent, they can't be driven to commit such violent acts simply by a game, this type of mindset requires years of behavioral programming and if anyone is to be blamed the parents are of the most obvious position.

in other news... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488213)

Pac-man Blamed for Obesity

Follow the Leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488323)

Hmmm...does this seem weird?

"GTA Blamed for Columbine-style Massacre Planning"

It should be pointed out (2, Informative)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488439)

That Blair didn't find any fault with anyone in the Manhunt case either, thanks to ELSPA and some common sense.

The victims father dubbed Manhunt "a manual for mu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488473)

The victims father dubbed Manhunt "a manual for murder".

I'd like to know who bought "The victim" the game since he was only 17? Could it have possibly been his parents?

Only 17? (1)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490665)

That is the age you have to be to buy a mature rated game....He could have bought it himself legally.

Re:Only 17? (1)

msoya (599813) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490814)

In the UK, the game's rated 18 (I think), and this happened in the UK. So, no.

Civilian and Police Kills not Central to GTA (3, Informative)

homeobocks (744469) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488545)

The article shows that Jack Thompson says:

The technique of killing civilians and then first-responders when they get there is the primary scenario to win in all the Grand Theft Auto games[.]

I've played the newer GTA games, and critical to winning the game is to avoid killing civilians or police, as the police will come down harder on you if you do. Mr. Thompson may have a valid point in linking video games to violence, but this outright lie undermines his credibility.

Re:Civilian and Police Kills not Central to GTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488670)

Funny, I've killed people and the first-responders to try to get the law to chase me, just to see how long I can survive :)

And I'm a pacifist in real life. Go figure.

Re:Civilian and Police Kills not Central to GTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10494353)

I say video games allow you to release that pressure, I always feel better after playing some violent video game, it relieves all that built up stress. It allows you to get the anger out without actually hurting anyone.

cause and effect (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488855)

Mr. Thompson may have a valid point in linking video games to violence, but this outright lie undermines his credibility.

He has no valid point. He has only lies.
Videogames cause violence, cartoons cause violence, movies cause violence, comix cause violence, etc. If they did, every videogame testing department in the world would be overflowing with blood, wouldn't they?

You know what causes violence? VIOLENCE!

Getting slapped around by your family, by bigger kids at school. Watching daddy beat the snot out of mommy, these things cause violence. But blaming the newest media is much easier than tackling real issues, or admitting they even exist.
And please, won't somebody think of the children?

errr.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488560)

How do you use GTA to plan a Columbine-style attack anyway? Open the door of an unlocked car and immediately start the engine, then drive it into the school? After getting out, be sure to hold the R1 button so you can aim properly at your target!
This lawyer is a moron.

Greater Toronto Area? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488711)

I knew amalgamation was bad, but blamed for this? Sheesh - that's reaching. Alert Mel Lastman! Call in the Military!!!!

Studies have shown ... (4, Interesting)

clovis (4684) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488740)

All kinds of BS, and people tend to quote those studies that verify their existing beliefs. I have this same problem, of course, but I did see a study done on children that surprised me with its originality.
Basically what they did was monitor several classrooms of children (a variety of age groupings) and recorded all physical interactions (shoving, head-bonking, grabbing, etc). Then they showed movies to the class depicting violent activities. They continued recording the physical interactions and what they found was that only a few of the children were affected. Most kids experienced no change in behavior, but some kids had a large increase in attacks on others. The ones who increased their atacks were children who it later turned out were already diagnosed as disturbed children.

The study was somewhat more complex than as I describe it, but the conclusion they drew was not what they had expected to find. The conclusion was that viewing depictions of violent behaviors did not affect healthy children, but that it did affect disturbed children, and it affected them badly.

So what do we do? How can we regulate a product that causes no harm to healthy people?

We have the same problem with drugs: most people can do recreational drugs from time to time without harm; they can regulate their usage and have sense enough to not drive doing while doing LSD and meth. The same can be said for alcohol - some people become destructive when allowed to drink alcohol.

It appears that the percentage of people in our population who cannot drink is small enough that we can tolerate the side effects of those who cannot handle it. On the other hand, it may be that the number of people who can use heroin or cocaine responsibly without becoming lost to it (and there are those) is small enough that there is a significant danger to society from the side effects. Imagine what life would be like if every fifth person at work was coming off a 2-week meth run.

There are patchwork solutions in place. For example, it may surprise you to learn that convicted murderers in the United States are forbidden from owning guns - even after they've completed their prison sentence!
Another solution is that we don't allow children to purchase or operate dangerous products such as alcohol, guns, automobiles, and voting machines even though many children do have the skills and judgement to use these products.

So we ask ourselves are violent video games dangerous in that they may affect unhealthy people in such significant numbers that society is endangered? It seems unlikely to me to be a problem, but it has been shown that it's bad for some people such as the disturbed children above.

What bothers me about kill-games is what makes it different from watching killing on TV. You're actually practicing the very thing that we don't want you to do - going through the motions over and over. No prob with healthy people (I must not be one because although World of Warcraft has no effect on be besides exhaustion, Counterstrike leaves me with a very itchy trigger finger)

So, our compromise in these cases is to prevent the acquisition of these products until the children are of an age where their judgement has matured to dampen their urges (I want to kill the teacher, but then the police will then kill me if I do that).

did they check the medicine cabinet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488801)

Officer 1: "Lieutenant, I searched the house, it appears to be clean. The only suspicious article I found was the boys prescription to prozac in the medicine cabinet. As many of us know, prozac has been found to cause psychotic and suicidal tendencies"

Lieutenant: "Officer Downing, may I remind you that the media is waiting in the front yard. Check the game console and stop wasting time"

Officer 1: "yes sir! hmmm, Looks like he was a fan of Mario Cart."

Officer 2: "Sir, his little sister has a copy of Grand Theft Auto in her Playstation!"

Lieutenant: "Call it in boys.. I'll be outside making a statement."

misdirection of blame (3, Insightful)

forkboy (8644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488875)

This kind of shit has been happening ever since kids starting playing games that involve some degree of violence. Remember the big Dungeons and Dragons scare in the early 80s? People were blaming their fucked up kids' violence on that rather than their own horrible parenting / child's mental illness.

No one wants to admit that the problem might lie with someone they can't sue.

Re:misdirection of blame (1)

ggy (773554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10492529)

Remember the big Dungeons and Dragons scare in the early 80s? The early 80s you say? Last summer or something here in Sweden. Two kids found a mans head in a river, some days after, one newspaper made up that the man in question was playing Vampire: The Masquerade and immedietely blamed RPGs, and the rest of the media followed suite. It wasn't a nice time to be an active RPG player...

Logically (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10488883)

in the case of the murder linked to Manhunt, it was the victim who owned the game.

One can thus conclude that he must have really sucked at it.

All right for a second let's just assume (1)

adoarns (718596) | more than 9 years ago | (#10488914)

there is a link between violence and videogames -- violence and TV, movies, everything your heart desires! And let's also assume that the link is direct and much stronger than it seems, right now, to be.

Well, what the fuck are you going to do about it? I still think the principle behind Amendment Numero Uno is superior to whatever kind of inducement people may find in forms of communication.

There are case law exceptions to freedom of speech, of course, and direct inducement of others to kill, or conspiracy with others to murder, is and should not be protected. But depictions of crimes, and even interactive simulations of them, are but vaporous, pale shadows of the crimes themselves, and should be protected as a matter of course -- NOT because they serve any specially useful purpose -- many don't, other than the glee we get ramming into simulated pedestrians -- but because that is the default judgment.

Moreover, as a matter of sublimating our more murderous urges, I applaud violent video games for making our streets safer.

Why does it have to be blamed on something? (3, Funny)

bernardos70 (613587) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489157)

Chris Rock said it best "What happened to 'crazy?' What, you can't be crazy no more?"

I've seen their plan (1)

Enlarge Your Penis (781779) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489547)

Basically, he was going to go into a hotel room and grab a minigun (he'd been collecting hidden packages for months), then steal a car and drive to the school. If the police turned up he was going to shoot at them until wounded, at which point he'd pick up a hooker and get head until his health was restored. If he did get killed he'd book himself a taxi from the hospital when he respawned

Retribution? (2, Funny)

MerliSYD (819177) | more than 9 years ago | (#10489865)

Since the teenager apparently stole the idea/drew inspiration to plot a mass murder, Rockstar Games should counter-sue the teenager for theft of intellectual property and breech of copyright.

Contact info (2, Informative)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490740)

I'm sure we all love this guy and are very concerned about violent video games. This is why you should visit his website [stopkill.com] every chance [stopkill.com] you get [stopkill.com] .

Or, if you prefer a more direct approach, he can be reached via phone at: 305-666-4366 or by email at jackpeace@comcast.net.

And finally, if you really feel like you need to meet him and tell him how much you agree with what he preaches, feel free to visit him at his office located at:

1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, FL 33146

YOU COULD HAVE WARNED ME! (0)

Triskele (711795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10491353)

That's some sick stuff on that site of his you linked to!

May God bless you in the meantime. If you have kids, have them start shooting hoops instead of humans.

Gag! Pass the sick bag, Vicar!

Jack Thompson has appeared recently on a number of national television program with victims of two teenage Tennessee snipers whom police concluded trained obsessively on Grand Theft Auto to prepare for their sniping spree.

I think not. Counter-Strike or BF1942 would be much better practice for snipers than GTA!

Lack of Fear (2, Insightful)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 9 years ago | (#10490907)

The problem with kids today, is not that they are playing violently realistic videogames, it is that total and utter lack of fear. Nobody today beats their kids anymore, and I'm not talking about abuse. I am the person who I am today because when I was bad, my ass got beat. I was beat by the nuns, the brothers of the sacred heart, my mom and dad, uncles, etc. I deserved to get beat, and it put the fear of God into me. It takes a cold blooded person to pick up a CLAW HAMMER and beat someone to death. The lack of fear, or consequences is one of main contributing factors to this murder, not GTA. I have to also put the blame on the parents. A lot of parents today are "ghosts" and you can't let your kid run free without any checks or balances and expect him/her to not turn out maligned. Still, it takes a ruthless bastard to kill someone with a friggin' hammer.

WTF? (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493171)

WTF? This is STILL going on? People still can't take responsibility for their own actions or for doing a lousy job (if they're doing it at all) at raising their kids?

Fine. Maybe I'll go out and kill a few people here and there and blame it on the history books I read in school. Maybe build a nuke and let it go off (disclaimer to Homeland Security...I'm not really going to do this...I'm just making a point) because I read about it and saw it on TV.

I know I'm preaching to the choir right now, but every time I read something like this, my blood boils. If we keep letting these inane lawsuits continue to thrive in our courts (and continue to get press coverage), we'll be limited to playing games like Q-Bert (unless that glorifies jumping off suspended cubes) and worse...this will become a very dangerous society to live in because any freak who decides to go on a killing rampage can just blame it on TV, games, a comic they read, etc.

A rhyming couplet of our times (1)

lukestuts (731515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493244)

The victim may have owned the game But the victim got owned all the same!

In related news..... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10494441)

The board game chess has been blamed for the attempt on King James's life. "I can't believe it's legal to buy and sell this game", said one scotland yard official. "It's a regicide simulator, often requiring the player to mow down those protecting the King as well."
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