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A Phoenix Wright parody by Torokun on Deviant Art
The man has only one line, for Christ's sake! Video game violence? Murder simulators? Killing machines? Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

Michael blogged yesterday about that raving lunatic Jack Thompson and his itchy trigger finger pointing to video games as a cause for the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech on Monday, and now I’m about to present some new evidence showing how deluded this Florida attorney is.

Thompson appears to feed off school shooting tragedies worse than any ambulance chaser imaginable. One of his latest appearances is on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. Thompson spews his usual garbage, adding this time that his sources are telling him that Cho Seung-hui was an avid player of Counter-Strike. The computer game apparently lowered Cho’s heart rate and enabled him to be a more efficient killer. In a refreshing change, the show host calls into question Thompson’s massive leaps in flawed logic and unsupported facts. View the video here in Kotaku’s story.

The whole link to Counter-Strike may have been started when Washington Post writer David Cho (no relation) wrote that the VT shooter was a fan of the game during his high school days. The odd part is that the original article was later updated with the removal of any reference to Counter-Strike. Joystiq caught up with the original writer and found out that the deletion of Counter-Strike details was due to the lack of evidence that the VT shooter continued to play any video games while in college. In fact, the killer’s roommates report that, although he was on the computer for many hours of a day, none of it was for playing games. Furthermore, the Counter-Strike contingent at VT had never heard of Cho Seung-hui nor seen him at any of the college’s tournaments.

As for the writer’s excuse of why his story jumped the gun on shakey facts, author David Cho said “it was standard practice to replace a rougher online version of a story with the polished print version when it was available. The Counter-Strike connection was removed, Cho said, to make room for more recent, more relevant information.”

From David Cho’s explanation, we can safely assume that anything read on Washington Post’s Web site should be taken with a Kryptonian-sized crystal of salt.

Oh wait, there is just one more thing. According to the search warrant results, hosted on CNN and referenced by Gay Gamer, authorities found no videogame consoles in the killer’s dorm room. There is still the possibility that there could be computer games stored on Cho Seung-hui’s PC (though roommates reported as never seeing play a game) but for now we can rule out gaming consoles.

Sometimes I get the suspicion that Jack Thompson is actually laughing at all of us. This guy could just be getting a kick out of having his name in print and on the Web while legions of angry gamers collectively give him the virtual middle finger. Sadly, if his plan is just to get into Guinness for being the most hated individual amongst gamers, he’s succeeding.

At least not everyone is turning into a dysfunctional beetle after a hailstorm. Chris Matthews hardballed Thompson on his show, as I mentioned earlier, and Rush Limbaugh with his power ties served one of his listeners a dose of reality, as quoted on Kotaku:

CALLER: What I really think is an issue is video violence, video gaming. I will guarantee you, I'll bet my last dollar in my pocket, that this shooter will be found to have been a compulsive video gamer, and when people are living that kind of lifestyle -- and college students do this a lot.

RUSH: (sigh) Let's say you're right. Not every video gamer goes out and murders 33 people on the college campus though. There's more to this than that. We can find all kinds of societal problems and ills, but the fact of the matter is that whatever you would look at as a bad influence -- video games as you mentioned -- it may desensitize people, but it doesn't turn everybody into mass murderers.

...

So you gotta be real careful here not to paint with broad brushes on these things. You gotta be very careful not to plug this into your own individual political prism, because then you become no different than what the Drive-Bys are doing. If you just wait, eventually we'll find out more than we want to know about this guy, and you're going to have to listen to what's reported about this guy with keen ears, and you're going to have to read with sharp eyes out there, because the Drive-Bys are going to report about this guy in ways that will advance their political agenda because that's what this story is to them.

Hmm, some guy with a political agenda... I wonder who that could be? HINT: IT’S JACK THOMPSON.





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