Print 35 comment(s) - last by rcc.. on Apr 20 at 11:59 AM

Jack Thompson believes violent video games made Cho Seung-Hui cause absolute carnage on the Virginia Tech campus on Monday

The tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech on Monday is one that many of us will remember for a long time.  Cho Seung-Hui, 23-year-old V.T. English major, took more than 30 lives before turning the gun on himself.  While the nation is still feeling the aftershock from the worst school shooting in U.S. history, some people are already beginning to exploit the tragedy for their own benefit.  

It is no secret that video games seems to have become a popular scape goat for everything that is wrong in America's youth today -- the incident at Virginia Tech is already having a negative backlash towards video games. In fact, Jack Thompson, well known for his anti-video game stance, went on Fox News to argue that violent video games had something to do with the shooter at V.T.

Even if you are against young people playing violent video games, it is most likely hard to defend Jack Thompson in this situation.  Instead of showing remorse and grief, much like the rest of the nation, Thompson decided to selfishly attempt to use the tragedy to rally Americans against violent video games.

More video game critics are coming out of the woodwork after Thompson made his statements on Monday.  It appears that Dr. Phil McGraw also believes video games desensitize and cause gamers to commit violent crimes.

This is certainly not the last we have heard of the anti-video game people.  If you want to hear what Thompson said, click here (YouTube video).

Our thoughts go out to everyone in the Virginia Tech/Blacksburg community.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Something to consider.
By James Holden on 4/19/2007 1:31:02 AM , Rating: 3
Well, the US still had stuff like in era's prior. The parallels between Charles Whitman and this kid are uncanny. I think he actually shot more people in fact, it's just that more survived as well.

However, it's increasingly apparent that the media is fueling this as well. This kid mailed a press kit to NBC -- he wanted to be remembered this way for what he did. And NBC, the responsible journalists they are, aired it unabridged. Gee, that sends a fantastic message to those planning Suicide By Cop in the near future. If you look back at Columbine, the kids there had websites and everything as well - they wanted to be remembered as mass murderers.

I think the difference between today and eras past is that the media is a near-frenzy. Pulling a stunt like this makes you an instant world celebrity, dead or alive. Maybe old Jack is looking in the wrong direction.

RE: Something to consider.
By Moishe on 4/19/2007 8:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
We have certainly seen people who want attention be able to use the media to their own benefit by making the biggest splash possible, essentially "going out with a bang".

The fact is, someone who is stable and anchored in reality will not flip and kill people, even if they are desensitized, even if they have a gun. We all have ample means to kill others in all manner of weapons, cars, planes, etc. It takes someone who has a mental problem or who has severe emotional problems to do something like this.

I do think that we are far more desensitized now than we were 100 years ago. I've seen numbers that I don't remember, but apparently by the time we're a teen we seen millions of deaths on TV. This HAS to have some effect on us. It's not like the actual value of human life has been reduced but we've lived a very large piece of life with entertainment that really is another reality. Young people who didn't have good parenting may not have the natural mental skills to be able to know what is real and not real. I've seen young kids see something mildly violent in a cartoon and get freaked out because they think it's real. I've seen the parents come and comfort and explain how that event was not real and tell the kid that what they see on TV is false. I've also seen the kid freak and and have no parent around to counter the reality. Why? Because the TV is babysitting for the parent who is too busy, too lazy, or too stupid to realize that it's the details NOW that create the adult later. Parenting is a huge responsibility that a lot of people take very lightly and it shows in adults who've grown up spoiled, never told "No", never told that human life has ultimate value, etc, etc.

So in a way, videogames and TV do have an effect on us. They do act as a form of brainwashing. BUT those effects are only really seen where there is already an instability or a lack of proper grounding. IMO, blaming videogames is pretty foolish and it ignores the greater problem. The problem is people and it's not something you can necessarily see coming, or fix.

RE: Something to consider.
By geddarkstorm on 4/19/2007 3:25:27 PM , Rating: 2
You are probably quite right, but there is some interesting historical perspective to think about as well. That is, we in the modern age see far less real death personally than those just a century before. Think about the Wild West or the hardships of frontier life. Really, actual, personally known death was far more common than it is now, but it seems TV has been used to replace that to some sort of an extent.

It is also interesting to note, however, that what we see on TV or video games people often have a disconnect from, so that if something happens in real life around them, they are as sensitive to the event as if they'd never been introduced to it at all, so it seems from my observations. I say this based on how afraid and shocked people get at events like this; all while things like 24 air massive disasters and stuff. So really, TV and video games are not noticiably desensitizing people (or it's hard to say), as when real events happen, there's no indication that the event effected them any less than otherwise--they still freak out. Katrina, 9/11, this... I don't see any obvious desensitation (which is defined as a lack of response in an organism. Instead there are quite indeed huge responses going on)

RE: Something to consider.
By masher2 on 4/19/2007 10:33:59 AM , Rating: 1
> "However, it's increasingly apparent that the media is fueling this as well..."

How would you feel about legislation requiring the media to treat such individuals like they do rape victims? Bar them from broadcasting their name, photo, or anything else. That certainly removes some of the incentive to "go out with a bang".

Honestly, as famous as Cho Seung-hui is now, the next guy to come along is going to try to kill at least 34, just to break the record.

RE: Something to consider.
By James Holden on 4/19/2007 1:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
That would certainly ruin some incentive, in my opinion. I'm actually not even against publishing the guy's name -- I just think that there should be some checks in place for the media to reduce the amount of the circus that's going on.

Saying who he is and what he did is one thing; saying who he is, what he did, interviewing his hair dresser, playing his personal manifesto and airing his press kit is unacceptable IMHO.

RE: Something to consider.
By kalgriffen on 4/20/2007 10:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. While I don't think legislation barring the media from airing events like this should be put in place (too much room for potential abuse). Sensationalizing these events gives the perpetrators the attention they crave. Not to downplay the tragedy, but I would like to see some self-censorship on the media's part.

I wonder how much 24/7 news channels have contributed to issues like these, and would they still be as bad if the media refused to give them in depth coverage?

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

Most Popular ArticlesTop 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki