Chinese Killer Blames Video Game Addiction

from the responsibility?-what's-that? dept

For years, video game haters like Jack Thompson have tried to use bogus claims about video games to absolve criminals of responsibility for their crimes. It's really rather sickening, that rather than getting criminals to stand up and accept responsibility, they try to blame some video game. However, with China now embracing the concept of internet addiction, it appears that an accused killer is now trying to similarly pin the blame for poisoning his parents on his online video game addiction. These stories really have nothing to do with video games, and everything to do with criminals trying to skirt responsibility for their actions by throwing the blame on video games that had nothing to do with the actual crimes.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Steven, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    Wow

    I can't say I've ever had to poison my parents in a video game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 6:21am

    World of Warcraft made me kill all the little critters in my neighborhood.

    Pacman has me sitting in dark rooms popping pills.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Steven, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 6:23am

    Pokemon

    Blame cockfighting on my Pokemon addiction. Ha!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 6:31am

    "I'm sorry your honer...

    I'm an alcoholic and that is why I was drinking and driving that night and that is why I crashed into that van full of kids. It's not my fault, it's the addictions fault."

    I can't see the Chinese people falling for this. And if they do I hope it's in the form of "We are still sending you to jail for premeditated murder and you will be 'detoxing' while you're there."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 6:33am

    25 years ago, the result of the "video nasties" scandal in the UK tabloids was that numerous criminals tried excusing their crimes by claiming that horror movies "made them do it". Some papers believed it, even where there was no correlation between the crime and the film's content (for example, a violent rapist with prior convictions claimed that The Thing - a movie with neither sex nor females - inspired his crime). Of course the realities were rather more mundane - violent criminals and psychopaths acting like just that.

    This kind of thing will continue as long as the media tries to find scapegoats for actions rather than accept that these people are fully aware of their actions and only using the videogames (or currently favoured scapegoat) as a last-ditch attempt to wriggle out of punishment. After all, no decent lawyer would ever use the videogame defence if they had anything else to built the defence on.

    I don't blame the criminals or lawyers for doing this, but I wish the clueless media would stop reporting such wild stories as though they were fact (and not making visible retractions when the stories are exposed as total trash).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    garrett m, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 7:06am

    why....

    Neither story does a good job of explaining what poisoning his parents had to do with video games? It sounds like they were actually supporting his addiction (altho unknowingly)....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Chad, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 7:27am

    One game... Manhunt.

    Ok, while video games CAN be violent and do not exactly teach children the best moral values, there are a few things to consider here:

    1. An adult should know better.
    2. If you're insane enough to copy something you see in a game or do something because of a game... you're insane.
    3. An adult should know better.

    Does anyone know of a game where you actually go as far as poisoning someone? I know that in a few RPGs you may poison someone, but it's not like you're mixing poison to kill you parents. I think they simply have to ask him: "what game?" in order to determine that he's completely full of it.

    Megaman is the reason I dress up in blue plastic while running around firing high-powered lasers at passers-by. Give me a break.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    dmartin, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 7:52am

    Really?

    " that rather than getting criminals to stand up and accept responsibility" - isn't this part and parcel of becoming a criminal? That you no longer have to accept responsibility. This made me laugh. I agree with the commenter that placed the blame on the media that refuse to call BS and instead falls for it. I fully do not expect criminals to accept responsibility - they're criminals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Matt, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:01am

    There is actually a game I used to play on win3.1 "Hugo's House of Horrors" or something. You have to poison a dog and you push Igor into a machine and turn him in to a chicken.

    Anyone remember The Adventures of Maddog Williams in the Dungeons of Duridian? Another excellent DOS game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:38am

    Re:

    Did you also skin them to make armor patches ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Yuni, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    It's awful and inexcusable that criminals would blame the video games for their crime.

    However, for those in denial, wake-up! Video games do influence behaviors. Even I find myself turning more aggressive and angry when playing WOW - especially pvp. Certain sectors of video game industry should be ashamed of themselves for putting out overly violent games out there.
    my two cents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Lover, General Annoyance f, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    you owe me a refund, it wasnt worth 2 cents, much less 1 cent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Jack Thompson, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 10:46am

    Video game addiction and crime

    You know, it would be fabulous if you would actually take the trouble to read what I have actually written and said about the role of violent video games in violent crime. I have NEVER said that a video game fully absolves a killer of responsibility for his actions. What I have said is that responsibility should be applied across the board, to all those who have acted recklessly. As my client Sabrina Steger, the mother of a girl slain in the Paducah school shooting said to 60 Minutes: "What we're saying is that there is plenty of blame to go around."

    People who market and sell adult products to kids should be held responsible, civilly, for that irresponsible act and their role in these tragedies. And you, whoever wrote this nonsense, should be held accountable for being too lazy to read what I have actually done and said on this important issue. Jack Thompson

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Kevin W., Nov 12th, 2008 @ 10:58am

    I don't buy the blame on Games

    Seriously people... The Chinese guy probably wanted to play game 24/7 and his parents are on him like typical Asian parents are. Nagging him to turn the darn thing off and do something else. They probably irked him so much that he had enough and poisoned them and blame the game for his evil deed so he can continue to play games.

    Been there before, but I was sane enough not to turn to evil ways to continue to play games.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Crabby (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 11:35am

    ban the internet

    Take a look at the larger picture here. It isn't just about games -- it's about the internet in general. Does anyone think that China might -- just might -- see this as yet another tool in their ongoing war against free speech?

    Look, comrade! The internet games cause violence in our precious youth and leads to death. Let's ban the internet!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    jACK cHICK, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    Re: by Yuni - Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    You find yourself turning more aggressive and angry when playing WOW because you are frustrated, not because it's a video game. You probably turn agressive and angry whenever you lose at Pinball too, or Tic Tac Toe, or get stuck in traffic.

    It's YOUR fault that you are more aggressive, not the game's fault.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    jACK cHICK, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    Re: by Yuni - Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    You find yourself turning more aggressive and angry when playing WOW because you are frustrated, not because it's a video game. You probably turn agressive and angry whenever you lose at Pinball too, or Tic Tac Toe, or get stuck in traffic.

    It's YOUR fault that you are more aggressive, not the game's fault.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Douglas Gresham, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Video game addiction and crime

    And you should be held accountable for your abuses of the legal process, contemptible behaviour in a court of law, bullying, attempted censorship, and the rest . . . oh wait, you were already :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Nov 13th, 2008 @ 12:21am

    If I ever decide to kill anyone, I'm going to blame it on the Bible. Maybe we can get them to ban that...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    You aren't against banning? You are for blaming something for deciding to kill? Video games to you are like the Bible to others?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    entropy (profile), Nov 13th, 2008 @ 8:35pm

    Re: ban the internet - exactly

    Precisely what I was thinking, and why i came to see the comments on this.

    I don't think China is looking to absolve criminals, but to make use of anything that may be used to suggest blocking access to things foreign is a good idea. (Actually, a lot of nations and various localities do that.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    the truth, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 10:40am

    no game blame

    No video game blame
    For many years video games have been blamed for sex drug use and mass murder. But there have been no reasons for such accusations parents and the government blames music and video games for a lot of thing. Such as the columbine high school massacre and the Virginia tech massacre but there have been no proven links between sex, drugs use and murder. Video games have also been studied for links to addiction and violent behavior. Some studies have found that video games do not contribute to these problems Recently several groups have argued that there are few if any scientifically proven studies to backup such claims, and that the video game industry has become a scapegoat for the media to blame for various social ills. Furthermore, numerous researchers have proposed potential positive effects of video games on aspects of development and for psychological well-being.

    A common argument used by advocates of videogames is that the majority of gamers are adults. Statistics show that between 40 - 50% of computer game players are women, and that the average age of players is increasing - currently standing at mid to late 20s. Most of the critics of videogames however, agree that it is the large portion of children playing that is the issue. One of the most common criticisms of video games is that they allegedly increase violent tendencies among youth. Several major studies by groups such as The Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health. The Journal of Adolescent Health and The British Medical Journal have shown no conclusive link between video game usage and violent activity. One of the first widely accepted controversial video games was developer Exidy's 1976 title Death Race.

    In which players controlled cars that ran over pixilated representations of gremlins. The game caused such an outcry that it was pulled from store shelves and profiled on 60 Minutes. PTA president Ronnie Lamm pushed for legislation in the early 1980s to place restrictions on how close video game arcades could be to schools, asserting that they caused children to fight. Portrayals of violence allegedly became more realistic with time, and so politicians such as U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman conducted hearings during the 1990s regarding what he referred to as "violent video games" which, in his opinion, included such games as Mortal Kombat. His sentiments have been echoed by certain researchers, such as Dr. Craig A. Anderson who testified before the Senate, "Some studies have yielded nonsignificant video game effects, just as some smoking studies failed to find a significant link to lung cancer”.

    An example of videogame controversy Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came under similar criticism, also for implying allegedly racist hate crimes: The game, taking place in "Vice City" (a fictional Miami) in 1986, involves a gang war between Haitians and Cuban refugees, and the player often serves both gangs to plot against one another. Haitian and Cuban anti-defamation groups highly criticized the game for these actions, including using phrases such as "kill the Haitian dickheads" (a phrase used in the game, actually referring to the Haitian gang with which the character is having a shoot-out). After the threat of being sued by the Haitian-American Coalition, Rock star removed the word "Haitians" from this phrase in the game's subtitles. These concerns have led to voluntary rating systems adopted by the industry, such as the ESRB rating system in the United States and the PEGI rating system in Europe, that are aimed at informing parents about the types of games their children are playing (or are asking to play). Certain game publishers’ decision to have controversial games rated seems to show that they are not targeted at young children. They are ESRB rated as "Mature" or "Adults Only" in the US, or given BBFC ratings of 15 or 18 in the UK. The packaging notes that these games should not be sold to children. In the US, ESRB ratings are not legally binding, but many retailers take it upon themselves to refuse the sale of these games to minors. In the UK, the BBFC ratings are backed up by law, so it is actually illegal to sell the game to anyone under the indicated age, and many UK retailers go beyond that and also enforce the PEGI ratings, which are not backed up by law.

    Parents have come to hate or become angry at the video games they are outraged at the video game makers. I think it is because they are just looking for a reason to blame some one else other than them self’s but it is in some way their fault to even if they might not know they have done some thing wrong. Maybe they did not try to find out what was going on with their kid when he/she came home crying or depressed. Maybe even did some thing weird that they normally would not do but I’m not saying it is their fault. I’m saying that maybe if they tried they could have prevented this or help stop it but they are blaming some thing that they are not even sure is the problem music and games do not kill people. People kill people if fact out of all the cases that have been recorded that were blamed for video game and music only 5 of them are really related.

    But in all but one of those the person was extremely mentally disturbed and tried to become the main character and hurting and/or killing the main bad guy. Those games were roles playing fantasy in witch ask the player to act and/or think like the main character. The other ones was a when two people had a fight online and then one of them found were he lived via MySpace hunt down them and them hurt them very badly trying to kill them luckily the police stopped them before he killed him. So there is no proof and there is no reason why games should be blamed and attacked the way they are but they are any ways.

    There might not be any way to stop it but I can hope that people will stop and think about this subject.
    The worst part is that they not only attack the games that are violent but the e rated game as well. Some people think that they don’t even care about the game or what’s in it but are trying to get rid of them all together.
    This is only fueling the fire who is fueling this fire you ask none other Jack Thompson a man that makes me shutter at the evil thing this man says. Jack Thompson for u that don’t know who he is a Florida attorney and fervent critic the of video game industry. He is the first one attacking the games some of u might rember him he was the evil dude that said and I quote “These are real lives. These are real people that are in the ground now because of this game. I have no doubt about it," this guy is so full of him self. When Jack Thompson gets worked up, he refers to gamers as "knuckleheads." He calls video games "mental masturbation." When he's talking about himself and his crusade against violent games, he calls himself an "educator." He likes to use the word "pioneer." On those rare occasions when a student opens fire on a school campus, Thompson is frequently the first and the loudest to declare games responsible. In recent years he's blamed games such as "Counter-Strike," "Doom" and "Grand Theft Auto III" for school shootings in Littleton, Colo., Red Lake, Minn. and Paducah, Ky. He's blamed them for shootings beyond school grounds as well. In an attempt to hold game developers and publishers responsible for these spasms of violence, Thompson has launched several unsuccessful lawsuits.
    It appears that others are now picking up on this tactic. Adam Thierer points us to a recent case where a lawyer isn't arguing that his client, a 24-year-old, didn't commit a murder. He's arguing that the guy thought he was playing a video game. This is a really weak way to try to get someone acquitted of murder -- and says quite a bit about the lawyers who would use this sort of defense. As the article notes, the actual evidence suggests that video games had nothing to do with the murder, and that it was an old-fashioned robbery attempt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This