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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.

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By bplewis24 on 4/19/2007 12:52:17 PM , Rating: 3
What Jack Ass Thompson failed to realize is that you have to at least do some homework (a little) before taking such an accusatory stance.

There are a few things to keep in mind here:

1) To say that people are desensitized to violence is one thing (that probably a lot of folks would agree with), but to say that people are desensitized to violence because of violent video games is like having tunnel vision. In other words, there are several other factors above video games on that list.

2) The kid released a video revealing a good deal of his mental state going into (and just after) these murders. No reasonable person could deduce from that video that a violent video game was either directly or indirectly responsible for--or even related to--this tragedy. It was pretty apparent that Cho isolated himself from his peers and had a very insular and possibly even delusional mentality.

3) Even IF a video game contributed to desensitizing him to violence, the inference to be taken from that is that we had a stable individual who played a video game and became unstable to the point of committing mass murder. The logical leaps and assumptions necessary for that to be true (in order to pin the blame on video games) is improbable almost to the point of absurdity. Video games (or movies, or the coverage of Columbine), if at all, are only a trigger to the loaded gun that was an already mentally disturbed mind inside of Cho that caused him to act on his morbid thoughts. I mean, consider this, if the guy wasn't mentally disturbed or at least off his rocker a little bit, he would've targeted the "rich" people he so passionately hated. But instead he targeted college kids???

4) Probably the biggest factor in any of these moder day massacre attempts, is that they KNOW they will be an instant celebrity and that their "message" will be heard around the world, no matter how incomprehensible that message can be. The same goes for terrorists. The patters are evident with the writings, videos, massacre/terrorist attempts and then eventual suicide. It's this perverse "glory" that they are searching for, and we give it to them every time. That will never change, and that is one of the biggest reasons why these things continue to happen and be a threat in our society.

The bottom line is that, yeah, if you isolate video games from the rest of the equation, I'm sure they can achieve a degree of desensitizing. However, do the non-stop, sometimes 24-hours of news coverage of mostly negative events like rape, murder, and other various tragic events not contribute at an even higher rate? The same goes for movies and any other type of influential media/entertainment (music, etc).

Remember the days when movies were blamed for violent acts? How about rap/heavy metal lyrics? Well now there's a new scapegoat, and people like J.A.T. show how insular their thinking is (hmm, how ironic) and how specific their agenda is when they try and pass off all (or even most) of the blame onto something like video games and ignore the other very significant factors and qualities necessary for a person to do something of this nature.

I'm sure more details will arise at some point regarding this specific incident, and we can all speculate as to what were the causes of his mental instability and what the specific triggers were that set him off, but I think it's somewhat safe to say at this point that Grand Theft Auto and Need for Speed were furthest from Cho's mind at the time he decided to kill 32 innocent victims.


RE: J.A.T.
By arivelo on 4/19/2007 3:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
Remember the days when movies were blamed for violent acts? How about rap/heavy metal lyrics? Well now there's a new scapegoat

Well you can't blame the music and movies industry anymore since when one is trying to push a political agenda it would be akin to biting the hand that feeds you. Sadly there are enough ignorant people around who will join him if he screams loud enough.

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