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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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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?

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