Press Tries To Pin High Profile Killings On The Web & World Of Warcraft

from the not-this-again dept

And, here we go again. The press and "cultural commentators" absolutely love to blame new technologies for someone who does something bad. The latest is that in response to the crazy Luka Magnotta case (involving the guy in Canada who killed and dismembered someone, filming the whole thing, eating some pieces and sending others to politicians) a "cultural critic" in France is arguing that without the internet, Magnotta would not have committed his crimes.
Without the web, “the butcher of Montreal would not exist,” Mr. de Boni concludes. “This killer character is a narcissistic and deviant avatar, one of many virtual identities he invented in order to create celebrity.”
Because, of course, prior to the internet and Facebook, there were no such things as psychotic people who killed others and ate them. While the internet may have influenced the specifics of how Magnotta went about his crime, it seems ridiculous to jump to the conclusion that absent the internet, none of this would have happened. Magnotta was clearly a very sick individual. If anything, it's worth pointing out that unlike the other examples I linked to in this paragraph of sociopathic killers who dismembered and ate their victims, Magnotta was actually caught after just the first victim -- in part because he provided all sorts of evidence of his guilt online.

Meanwhile, over in Norway, where the trial of mass murderer Anders Breivik is going on, we had already noted that the press was having a field day with the claim that Breivik played a lot of World of Warcraft. That seems pretty silly considering the millions of people who play the game. However, bizarrely, the prosecution has brought it up in the trial, letting the press grandstand on the issue yet again. Even Breivik found that line of questioning to be stupid, declaring (correctly) that "it is not relevant to this case whatsoever."

But it is relevant to reporters who want to build a story about those crazy video games...

Why is it so hard to believe that there are psychotic/sociopathic people out there who do harm, and that's got nothing to do with their internet or gaming usage? These things aren't "triggered" by surfing the web or playing games. I recognize that people feel the need to look for a "reason" that these people exist and do such horrible things, but it should be pretty clear that it's a problem with them -- not their use of technology.

Of course, if we should be concerned about video games at all in the Breivik trial, perhaps it should be over the fact that a judge in the case was spotted playing solitaire on his computer during the trial:

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 10 Jun 2012 @ 2:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Paul, once again you are trying to hard to take an extreme position."

    No, I'm doing something that's an alien concept to trolls - stating an honest opinion. An opinion that can be openly discussed, cited, is based on fact and may even be changed in some way if faced with evidence that undermines my own opinion's basis. Every word I type in every thread is my honest opinion. I'm not "trying" to state anything other than the truth, unlike some ACs who lie and distort in order to get a reaction.

    It's not my fault that you people ever want to honestly discuss my opinions, let alone present any facts to back up your own.

    "Would he have killed without the internet? "

    Lacking a crystal ball, I don't know for sure, but I have no doubt that the underlying mental and social issues affecting him will not have changed. Maybe he wouldn't have latched on to the particular brand of extremism, or committed the exact crime he did at that exact time. Maybe he would. But to scapegoat one of those things while ignoring all the other factors is the way of reactionary fools, not intelligent people who might be able to make a difference by understanding the real causes.

    "Now, do you blame the media for it? Nope."

    As is your forte, you've moved the goalposts somewhat. "The media" is very different to WoW or the overall internet. Try to understand why, it's pretty obvious.

    "Just as you defend "the internet" here, you need to realize that the other outrages you rail against really are in the same league."

    Would you like to explain why? Your essay above did nothing of the sort, and lost direction halfway through.

    "You may not like it, but there is reality for you."

    I love how you consider your uncited, baseless assumptions to be "reality". Perhaps you would like to discuss my actual opinion with me rather than accepting your own opinion as the only "truth". You do seem to make a lot of assumptions about me that have nothing to do with my actual opinions. Try addressing the ones that exist in "reality"...

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