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Florida attorney Jack Thompson has made a career of blaming high-intensity media for tragedy; including attributing the 2007 Virginia Tech massacres on video games.

Jack Thompson on Fox News  (Source: Kotaku, Fox News)
Jack Thompson finds another opportunity to blame games

It didn’t take long for Florida attorney Jack Thompson to link video games to the tragic Northern Illinois University massacre.

Fox News recently hosted Thompson, where he proceeded to pin the NIU shooter Steven Kazmierczak’s actions on violent videogames. Thompson started off, “We find from brain scans studies out of Harvard that if you get started playing, for example, violent video games you can you are more likely to copycat the behaviors in the games.”

The Florida attorney continued, “You can rehearse these type of massacres on simulators which are called video games and you can are therefore made more proficient in doing this.”

Thompson’s finger wasn’t alone in pointing at video games as fuel for the NIU tragedy. In its version of the story, the New York Post linked the killer to his habit of playing Counter Strike while studying sociology at Northern Illinois University in 2003 and 2004.

“He played a lot of video games, especially Counter Strike, really loud,” said dorm mate Ben Woloszyn, 24.

Omitted from the New York Post story, however, was that Counter Strike was a game played by many other students at school. The Northwest Herald wrote, “Kazmierczak often would play the video game Counter Strike, a first-person shooting game, the roommates said, but they were quick to add that the game was nothing unusual for dormitory halls.”

The Herald pointed to other potential issues, such as Kazmierczak’s time at an inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation center, and his reported discontinuation of his anti-depressant medication several weeks before the shooting.

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By kileil on 2/18/2008 4:57:32 PM , Rating: 3
Until the day comes where I see a videogame leap off my shelves and shoot up the living room, I'll continue to say the man holding the weapon was actually to blame in tragedies like this.

RE: Bullshi....
By kileil on 2/18/2008 5:00:24 PM , Rating: 3
Or I guess if someone was actually beat-down with a Guitar Hero axe, that would be acceptable too....

RE: Bullshi....
By spluurfg on 2/18/2008 6:12:42 PM , Rating: 5
If they ever invent time travel, I'm sure they'll somehow blame video games for the Spanish Inquisition.

RE: Bullshi....
By eye smite on 2/18/2008 6:24:33 PM , Rating: 5
It's the same story over and over. It's the parents and how they raised him that are to blame. I'm 38, played violent video games since they came out and I haven't tried to copy a game and go mass murder a group of people. If he copied the game with his attire that's not conclusive at all. There were obviously some deeper issues going on with this man to push him over the edge and it wasn't a stupid video game. No one in my age group across the country has mass murdered because of video games.

Hey, does anyone remember this?

He didn't play video games and he was sure armed to kill people if he'd aimed for them. lol

RE: Bullshi....
By spluurfg on 2/18/2008 8:01:26 PM , Rating: 3
Well, I'm not so sure if I would want to lay all the blame on the parents, given the circumstances regarding his psychological health and medication.

RE: Bullshi....
By eye smite on 2/18/2008 8:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
You know, I realize they can't put a leash on their son, but you have to admit that parents are the guiding force in a childs, adolescent and young adults life. Obviously he had been on medication for mental issues for quite sometime and as a family member, I'd tend to stay on top of that making sure he was giving an honest effort to stay on said medication. So no, I can't lay all the blame at the parents feet, but as family they do have a responsibility, no duty to keep an eye on certain things. Or they get to lose their son, as is the case here. You can bet over the weeks, months and years to come his family will stew on what they could have done to make a difference.

RE: Bullshi....
By bighairycamel on 2/19/2008 7:30:05 AM , Rating: 4
Yes the blame lies solly with him... if he would have signed up with the church of scientology long ago they would have been able to "fix" him so that none of this happened.

RE: Bullshi....
By Hieyeck on 2/20/2008 11:07:59 AM , Rating: 2
I find that everyone is taking this a little too seriously. It's all just scapegoating incompetent parenting. As video games took over the blame from TV and movies, in 30-40 years, something else will.

RE: Bullshi....
By Believer on 2/19/2008 1:26:11 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, does anyone remember this?

He didn't play video games and he was sure armed to kill people if he'd aimed for them. lol

Maybe there just weren't that many tank simulator games out by 1995 for him to know he could kill people with his stolen tank... :P

RE: Bullshi....
By fk49 on 2/18/2008 8:37:24 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think they ever expected the Spanish Inquisition

RE: Bullshi....
By Spivonious on 2/18/2008 10:00:07 PM , Rating: 5
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

RE: Bullshi....
By kristof007 on 2/18/2008 11:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
Hell yea they will. Age of Empires? For sure that caused it!

RE: Bullshi....
By inperfectdarkness on 2/20/2008 10:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
i agree. i'm so angry about jack thompson that i may be forced to go on a spree and kill him.

RE: Bullshi....
By Omega215D on 2/18/2008 5:03:33 PM , Rating: 5
Mario taught me turtles are evil and that mushrooms, especially the green ones, are uber cool.

RE: Bullshi....
By AlphaVirus on 2/18/2008 5:20:47 PM , Rating: 2

Mario is probably the longest, oldest, highest selling video game yet it never gets blamed for drug heads or people who hunt animals, turtles in particular.

Maybe this guy has not figured out that bashing on a kids playing device is still not getting him any credit. People still buy video games, people still PLAY video games and there are nowhere near millions of shootings.

If his claims of video games causing us to do things was true then I could possibly be rich with all the "Get money" cheats I have used throughout my gaming lifetime.

RE: Bullshi....
By dflynchimp on 2/18/2008 6:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
and that you will never settle down with the girl, because come the next game she'll once again be kidnapped by a gigantic nefarious mutant-turtle.

Now here's something I've been pondering tho...does counterstrike teach a person to kill themself?

RE: Bullshi....
By spamdawg on 2/18/2008 5:03:33 PM , Rating: 5
Guns don't kill people.... Video games do... wait...

/end sarcasm.

RE: Bullshi....
By Micronite on 2/18/2008 5:24:21 PM , Rating: 5
And there are a lot of people blaming this on guns.

I hope that it never happens, but it would be interesting to see people's reaction to a mass killing with a spoon.

People keep trying to blame tools for behavior.

RE: Bullshi....
By DCstewieG on 2/18/2008 5:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wow...I have just discovered that Google Book Search is sweet. I was going to tell you to find a George Carlin bit but my first search led me to this:

RE: Bullshi....
By walk2k on 2/18/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bullshi....
By mattclary on 2/18/2008 6:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
The military uses games to train people, so there goes that theory.

RE: Bullshi....
By KristopherKubicki on 2/18/2008 6:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
A video game can make you a better shooter, but can it make you want to shoot?

RE: Bullshi....
By BrownJohn on 2/18/2008 6:20:30 PM , Rating: 5
Dunk Hunt made me want to shoot that dog...

RE: Bullshi....
By Farfignewton on 2/18/2008 8:05:33 PM , Rating: 5
A video game can make you a better shooter

Has that ever been demonstrated? I'm sure the military is using games to teach tactics and such, but moving a mouse translates to aiming an actual gun about as much as pressing w and shift does to sprinting. In many years of gaming, shift-w has not improved my cardio fitness at all. :D

RE: Bullshi....
By oab on 2/18/2008 9:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
Videogames improve fine muscle dexterity (such as the link on DT about surgeons who play Wii are better than those who do not). So, if it works for a precision art like surgery, why not precision shooting?

This is of course assuming that you don't play shooters every day of the year for 16 hours and use the /pizza* command to get all the nourishment you require.


RE: Bullshi....
By DASQ on 2/19/2008 2:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's easy to prove.

Many games will teach you the basic actions of cycling ammunition, reloading, and proper use of iron sights and even scopes, adjusting for windage, elevation, etc.

All that's left is applying the knowledge, and physical strength combined with dexterity.

That being said, guns are not 'only' built to kill people. I own a couple firearms myself, and have never shot anyone. I've punched many a hole in paper, CRT monitors, pop cans, etc. Shooting is a sport too, so says the Olympics.
And I grew up when Doom was first unleashed. I'm also relatively certain you could describe me as "ridiculously morbid". But I have no desire to shoot random innocent people.

RE: Bullshi....
By Ryanman on 2/19/2008 3:29:39 PM , Rating: 2
I would argue that you can observe these things, but the vast majority of video games aren't exactly built for realism. Who pulls the charging handle on an m4 every time they pick it up? Who swings a Desert Eagle in a circle?

I learned how to shoot firearms with someone who knew what they were doing and being completely safe the entire time. The best part? I haven't killed any of my classmates. And I play CS 12+ hours a week, in addition to TF2/CoD while going skeet shooting once a month.

RE: Bullshi....
By DASQ on 2/19/2008 3:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I would pull (not necessarily all the way) the charging handle every time I PICKED UP an M4 in a potential firefight, to check if a round was chambered so when I pulled the trigger it would not just go 'click'.

I would check any gun I 'picked up', for my own safety and the safety of those around me.

RE: Bullshi....
By christojojo on 2/18/2008 10:55:30 PM , Rating: 5
For those of us who have fired real guns, had real para-military training with the guns; we will tell you that game guns do not fire the same as real ones. (

Real shotguns, and rifles hurt the shooter if you hold it wrong.

You cannot fire a pistol one handed and hope to hit anything.

You cannot carry a LMG, SMG, Sniper rifle and 300 rounds each and still move.

You cannot run over burger boxes and instantly get healed.

You cannot call an air-strike that fall over you and everyone else, and only kill the "bad guys".

BTW. Guns were not only designed for war; some were actually designed to hunt, kill, and hopefully eat "Wabbits".

RE: Bullshi....
By DASQ on 2/19/2008 3:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
You CAN actually fire a pistol one handed and (intentionally) hit MANY things. Skill and training is required, and while it's not as proficient as a two handed grip, it's not "impossible".

RE: Bullshi....
By BMFPitt on 2/19/2008 7:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever fired a gun whilst flying through the air?

Have you ever fired two guns whilst flying through the air?

RE: Bullshi....
By DASQ on 2/20/2008 1:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
No :(

and No ;_;

That would be fun though.

RE: Bullshi....
By eye smite on 2/18/2008 6:36:42 PM , Rating: 3
Here's another hater. Guns were also originally designed to hunt and bring home food as were bow and arrow and crossbows. Also it's interesting to note in your comment that the shooter was a kid. If you consider a 27 yr old man a kid, at what age would one have to reach for you to consider them an adult? Reading your comment several times now and the oozing sarcasm and contempt you put into it, I'll summarize with this......

Put down the crack pipe, there's help for you out there, your grasp of reality is severly distorted by your social delusions. It's not to late to kick the habit of self imposed idiocy, there really is help for you, OMG QQ BBQ.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

RE: Bullshi....
By oab on 2/18/2008 9:06:52 PM , Rating: 1
Riiight. Because hard drives have LOTS to do with gun-control legislation.

Of course, it would be more accurate to say that he was right, about handguns, machine guns, bazookas, sub-machine guns, semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns, fully-automatic shot guns, shoulder-mounted heat-seeking missiles, etc.

That of course leaves single-shot rifles and single/double barrelled led shotguns. You can throw muskets in there as well if you want, but I wouldn't.

RE: Bullshi....
By eye smite on 2/18/2008 10:17:54 PM , Rating: 5
I think it would also be more accurate to say that of all the crimes committed with guns, and I mean all, deaths or no deaths come to far less than 1% of the population of this country. I also think it would be more accurate to say that far more people are killed by irresponsible and drunk drivers in a car or SUV each yr than are killed with guns. I also think it would be more accurate to say that people get an emotional zeal about gun control when they've never fired or owned a gun and have no idea how very responsibe the rest of us gun owners are that you're persecuting. You can have my pistol and my 30-30 when you pry it from my dead cold fingers. :-)

RE: Bullshi....
By christojojo on 2/18/2008 10:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a homework assignment for you.

What are the percentage of people killed by cars?

illegally and accidentally by guns (excluding wars because killing is legal then)?

in household accidents?

(if your too lazy look at this for starters)

RE: Bullshi....
By theapparition on 2/19/2008 7:11:58 AM , Rating: 3
What I see in this data is that the rate of deaths from firearms and handguns has decreased per capita for every year of the study. Exactly at the same times that videogames have increased in popularity.

It would be interesting to see more recent data, but I'd wager the decreasing trend continues.

RE: Bullshi....
By CascadingDarkness on 2/19/2008 6:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for link!

Take a quick look, numbers are much higher for acciental poisoning than gun related deaths. Never knew poisoning deaths were so high!

RE: Bullshi....
By DASQ on 2/19/2008 6:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder what "accidental poisoning" covers. Does a donut death by someone with Celiac's count as accidental poisoning?

Or only on things "officially" considered poisons?

RE: Bullshi....
By surt on 2/19/2008 1:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think the point you are missing is that it is, in fact, quite difficult to execute a mass killing with a spoon. The point of the anti-gun side of the argument is that the gun makes it easy to kill a lot of people when you go crazy. How many people, exactly, do you think this lunatic could have killed had he gone berserk with a knife instead? And with a spoon?

RE: Bullshi....
By Fusible on 2/18/2008 5:40:39 PM , Rating: 4
I think Thomson just always got owned in Pong and now is on a kill all video games spree. I guess video games are the problem;-)

RE: Bullshi....
By amanojaku on 2/18/2008 5:05:04 PM , Rating: 5
Jack Thompson and his ilk are @$$holes. Like I can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality! I'd frag them all if my BFG9000 wasn't in the shop...

RE: Bullshi....
By jadeskye on 2/18/2008 5:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
i like you XD

RE: Bullshi....
By Hiawa23 on 2/18/2008 5:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
The blame needs to go to this guy that did the shooting not videogames. No game as ever gave me the idea to killed or hurt anyone. Kind of sad that these guys always want to blame videogames, yet when someone gets raped or something they don't blame pornos. Not a good analogy, but this guy has had it in for videogames for some time now. Parents need to police the content their kids has acces to, not the govt or this guy, & there was something seriously wrong with this guy, someone shoul dhave caught on to the signs or something before this happened. Perhaps this what they should be studying....

RE: Bullshi....
By IraeNicole on 2/18/2008 5:29:30 PM , Rating: 3
yet when someone gets raped or something they don't blame pornos.

Actually some feminist views are that pornography helps perpetuates sexist views towards women that lead to rape and sexual harassment. These are more second wave views I think though.

RE: Bullshi....
By BMFPitt on 2/19/2008 7:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
And they get really annoyed with you when you point out the inverse relationship between availability of porn and incidence of rape.

RE: Bullshi....
By VahnTitrio on 2/18/2008 5:44:51 PM , Rating: 5
I realize stats can be used to prove most things but that is one of my favorite graphics.

RE: Bullshi....
By mattclary on 2/18/2008 6:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
The early 90s are also when many states streamlined the process of approving carry permits, so we should also have a graph correlating a better armed populace with less crime.

RE: Bullshi....
By christojojo on 2/18/2008 11:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if there is a correlation between reduced number of psychiatric hospital beds and the increase in psychotic murders?

I know in Western New York, there is a huge reduction of bedding; leaving it up to families not capable/ trustworthy enough to do it. (No, I'm not saying that all or even most families are not trustworthy/ capable. Just some are.)

RE: Bullshi....
By 3kliksphilip on 2/18/2008 6:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't he promise never to do this again after the Grand Theft Auto case? Or was that some one else?

RE: Bullshi....
By EE Pete on 2/18/2008 7:35:07 PM , Rating: 5
I couldn't have said it better myself.

I'm a senior at NIU, gaming is just as rampant(relative term) here as in other universities, speaking from experience. The only problem that has been observed is that a gamer may not have enough discipline to stop and get back to his/her studies. School in itself can drive someone mental and gaming is very welcomed outlet. It also brings people together.

We will never be completely certain why he snapped. There are way to many parameters to consider. I am tired of people not considering the complexity of the situation. I am not saying gaming or guns, ease of availability of, did not contribute to this tragic event, but rather they could have been a fraction of the problem. There are many deeper psychological issues that had to exist before games or weapons would influence one to that point.

I would like for people to have some dignity and keep their "righteous" agendas, be it gun laws, game laws, whatever, to themselves until the victims, families, and the rest of the community has a time to move on. Otherwise they are just preying on them and their emotional state. A very effective tactic, but very dishonorable.

One thing that is certain is the heart of many university students across the U.S. We are a very understanding, open minded, and welcoming group of people. Because of this and the wonderful tradition of open campuses we are very vulnerable.

To all college students out there: Stay strong. Stand proud.

RE: Bullshi....
By stepone on 2/18/2008 7:46:39 PM , Rating: 5
I've been rigoursly training in Burnout Paradise for this last week so that 1 day I can transfer my accutely honed driving skills developed in a videogame (which of course translates perfectly to the real world) to continuously barrel roll my car through 6 miles of oncoming traffic & neatly land in my parking space at work every morning.

My attempt to emulate Motorstorm in my Ford Fiesta last year may have ended badly but i've got a good feeling about this one!

RE: Bullshi....
By SavagePotato on 2/19/2008 9:12:09 AM , Rating: 2
Dropping off antidepressants suddenly, which this guy did, can have some incredibly mind blowing effects. Maybe they should call Tom Cruise as well. Him and Jack can have a mentally unstable person conversation where they laugh maniacally at each other over and over. After all come on Tom is the only one that you know can truly help.

Did they subdue this guy when he stopped because he thought it was time to disarm the bomb?

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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