Teen Gets 23 Years In Jail For Killing His Mom; Judge, AP Blame Video Games
from the should-have-sentenced-the-video-game-then dept
But why let that get in the way of a good story. Mark alerts us to the Associated Press's coverage of Petric's sentencing to 23-years in jail, pointing out how ridiculous the AP's opening sentence is:
A Ohio teen who shot and killed his mother and wounded his minister father was sentenced Tuesday to 23 years in prison for crimes rooted in his obsession with video games with violent themes.Beyond the grammatical mistake (should be "An" not "A"), it's simply not correct that the crimes were "rooted in his obsession with video games with violent themes." The rest of the article again focuses on Daniel's supposed "addiction," as if that's the cause of his actions. Part of it is that the judge seemed to buy into this story as well, claiming:
It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing...Now, it may be that Petric had no idea they'd be dead forever, but that wouldn't be because of video games. It would be because of some sort of severe mental problem on his part. Study after study after study has shown that teens can tell reality from fiction. On top of that, as violent video games have become more popular, incidents of youth violence have continued to drop. If video games were really having such an impact, it would be the reverse. Petric was obviously a very disturbed teen, and yes, he played violent video games (just like nearly every other kid his age, I'd imagine), but it's ridiculous to blame his decision to murder his parents on those games. He'll now be locked up for decades, not because of any video game, but because of his own disturbed decision to shoot his parents.
The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.