News Article

UK Press Pins Blame For Sandy Hook Massacre On Video Games

Posted by Damien McFerran

Call of Duty and Dynasty Warriors both named and shamed by tabloid papers

UK newspapers The Sun and The Daily Express have laid the blame for last week's tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut squarely at the feet of violent video games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Dynasty Warriors.

20 children and six adults were ruthlessly gunned down by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who had previously shot dead his own mother. He eventually turned the gun on himself.

UK Tabloid The Sun - not exactly famed for its subtlety - features the cover headline "KILLER'S CALL OF DUTY OBSESSION", and in a double-page spread notes that Lanza would play Activision's shooter for hours in his mother's basement - dubbed “BLACK OPS BUNKER” by the newspaper.

The source of this information comes from plumber Peter Wlasuk, who visited the Lanza home previously:

The boys were fans of the military. They had posters all over the wall in the basement. They had one poster of every piece of military equipment the US ever made.

It was a huge poster with every tank every made. The kids could tell you about guns they had never seen from the '40s, '50s and '60s. The kids who play these games know all about them.

I'm not blaming the games for what happened. But they see a picture of a historical gun and say 'I've used that on Call Of Duty'.

Ironically, the headlines follow incredibly positive coverage of the video game by The Sun. As Eurogamer points out:

In a preview published in September The Sun said Black Ops 2 was “set to be the shooter of the future”.

On 9th November The Sun ran a piece plugging an Activision event in London that let Call of Duty fans play Black Ops 2 ahead of release. “Thousands will be able to do battle through Multiplayer mode, as well as checking out the arsenal of new weapons and drone attacks on offer,” The Sun said.

Then, in a report on the game's launch on 13th November, The Sun delivered its verdict on Black Ops 2, saying, “Graphically, the game is sublime, something the series' reputation is built on. It's not subtle or tactile. It's pure, unadulterated warfare.”

Meanwhile, fellow UK tabloid The Daily Express has decided that Koei Tecmo's historical action series Dynasty Warriors is at fault, although it gave no reason for arriving at this assumption. According to the paper:

Chillingly, his favourite video game was said to be a shockingly violent fantasy war game called Dynasty Warriors which is thought to have given him inspiration to act on his darkest thoughts.

This is clearly a very sensitive subject. What are your thoughts regarding these tragic events? Should video games shoulder some of the blame, or are these terrible acts committed by people who would ultimately harm others regardless of what form of entertainment they chose to indulge in? Let us know in the comments below.

[via eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (161)

BenAV

#1

BenAV said:

I don't see how anyone can realistically blame video games for something like this.
It's not a game's fault that the guy has issues, managed to get hold of firearms and decided to kill a bunch of people.

Burning_Spear

#3

Burning_Spear said:

Not to minimize the effect of violent video games, but ...

Ask me where this kid got the idea to do this, and I'd say most likely CNN. These shoot-em-up tragedies are becoming so common that you don't need to look past your evening newscast to see images of one. And the coverage is all over the Internet too. I'd say it's much more likely the perpertrator got the idea from what happened in Aurora or Columbine than from anything he saw in a game.

Aviator

#4

Aviator said:

If we can't discuss this on the forums, why is it being discussed here?

Void

#5

Void said:

If playing CoD in their parent's basement caused people to commit mass murder, this kind of thing wouldn't even get reported by the news because of how common place it would be.

They've never heard of self-proclaimed 'Hardcore' gamers before, have they?

And from what I've seen of the Warriors series. (The Hack'n Slash games, and Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage? Which Wikipedia hac listed it as a spinoff?.. I don't know if I should count that.)
It really isn't that violent, although, I haven't seen any other games in the series, I bet @WhiteKnight could say though.

Mk_II

#7

Mk_II said:

I personally blame the graphic violence and hatred of the other that can be found in the Bible

Kirk

#8

Kirk said:

Oh get lost UK press.

The guy was obviously mentally deranged well before he played Call of Duty.

These people clearly don't have a clue about what drives individuals to do such things.

Troubled family life, bad upbringing, peer pressure, sadness, loneliness, frustration, anger, mental issues...

Those are the kinds of things that lead to these kids shooting their fellow classmates, not video games.

rastamadeus

#9

rastamadeus said:

Don't know whether this site is run by people from the UK, US or anywhere else but let me just remind everyone that here in the UK that The Sun is infamous for constantly reporting inaccurate stories as fact, more so than any other paper on the planet. It's a disgrace to media.

Punky

#11

Punky said:

Access to guns in his house had nothing to do with it either...no it's was his computer games

Dambuster

#12

Dambuster said:

In the eurogamer article about this, it points out how over the last month the sun has said at various times how great COD BO 2 is ......

erv

#14

erv said:

First response on headline: they always do.

Negating the fact that if there's over a million gamers playing a game someone else plays and only one of them seems to be the idiot among them doesn't exactly insinuate correlation. It's like saying eating potatoes make criminals, because nearly all convicts seem to have eaten potatoes in their lives and I just met a man who went rogue and he had eaten something with potatoes in it, so it must be true. Science these days…

Still, I'm very sad about what happened :( Pure, plain, disgusting evil.

V8_Ninja

#16

V8_Ninja said:

It really makes me sad that many people think that mental issues and horrible acts can all be traced back to one thing. Life is so much more complicated than what those individuals want people to believe.

Toothedbuffalo

#17

Toothedbuffalo said:

why blame video games what ever happend to his just messed up in the head hmm i wonder what video games that jack the ripper played to make him kill the people he killed

ChibiJib

#18

ChibiJib said:

I also heard that the killer ATE JUNK FOOD! We should blame the attacks on that!

RantingThespian

#19

RantingThespian said:

I am a person with mental problems. I am bi-polar, obsessive compulsive, epileptic, and the list goes on. I take 13 pills every night for all my problems, and will have to for the rest of my life.

I can tell you video games are not the problem. In what I call my "dark days," I had plenty of bad and unpleasant thoughts. Yes some had to do with guns. However, these thoughts did not come from playing video games (at the time I was playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time). The problem lies in the mind. Guns are just one way to act out, and happen to be one of the deadliest. There are many other things (none of them pleasant: from cutting oneself, to failing all your classes, to alcohol and drug addiction, though none of those happened to me)

The problem is that people ignore signs, or don't know them. I am glad that my friends and family saw the signs, and luckily I also have a very supportive family. They all got me to get help. I am glad they did, because I am alive today, and I didn't hurt anyone.

I just wish that the shooter would have gotten help instead of acting out with violence.

Pikpikp

#20

Pikpikp said:

Out of the past 37 mass shootings in the US, most of the shooters had little to no exposure to extremely violent video games. So... yeah

Bankai

#21

Bankai said:

Dynasty Warriors is 'shockingly violent?'

Yes, Call of Duty is, but Dynasty Warriors is a game that features no blood, and enemies are 'knocked out,' never killed.

It's actually less violent than the book it is based on. LOL!

Shworange

#22

Shworange said:

Gengis Kahn may have had as many as 50 million people killed under his reign. No video games.
Everyone is so despirate to find a blanket cause to these shootings that they will spout off anything as fact. I was listening to an interview in Minneapolis the other day of a forensic psychologist. She basically said that no one factor, INCLUDING VIDEO GAMES could be pointed at as the cause. In her opinion, the guy was simply mentally disturbed. If anything, the disturbed see media coverage in this "reality news tv" culture (journalism is dead, it's only reality tv with a news spin) and decide, "hey! Me too!"

Bulbousaur

#23

Bulbousaur said:

Its the Sun. This is the paper which puts a topless woman on the first inside page to sell papers. Whoever takes them seriously in the world of journalism is frankly an idiot.

Schprocket

#24

Schprocket said:

Look for the fat old biddies in curlers gossiping over the front yard fence and there you find the best of British tabloid journalism... and of course Rupert Murdoch's accountants counting the cash...

RantingThespian is right on the money - and kudos to you for sharing, mate - Lanza was reported to be known to be suffering from a mental conditon which I doubt the 'profiling-plumber' would have known about.

Btw, should anyone not familiar with UK tabloids think the criticism harsh, just check out the rest of the garbage tag-lines on the front page....

p.s. @erv that's psuedo-science - connecting a thin line of coincidences without proving it's not other influences.... this is how mythology evolves... ;)

Drobotic

#25

Drobotic said:

Even I don't play TF2 that much.

But seriously,this is practically like how Portal 2 was "controversial" because of the parts about adoption.Just like THAT news story,this one is just pointless.Don't blame games,blame the gamer himself.

machomuu

#26

machomuu said:

They're blaming Dynasty Warriors for the shooting!? I...I can't even believe what I'm reading...I've lost all hope for humanity. Good God...seriously? I hate it when the media blames games for the actions of those who just happen to play them. Not too long ago, people started throwing hate on Mass Effect because the shooter liked it...

DarkCoolEdge

#27

DarkCoolEdge said:

Yeah, right. The fact that his crazy mother thought the end of the world is coming and because of that had tons of weapons in the house didn't have to do anything at all with the tragedy.

UK's tabloids should be forbidden. They are just a bunch of liars willing to do anything just to sell one more paper. I wish they all go bankrupt and dissapear once and for all.

SheldonRandoms

#29

SheldonRandoms said:

I live less then an hour away from where the shooting happened, even though it's a state away :(

I did a report on violence in video games and they always blame call of duty for these kinds of things, but I never heard of dynasty warriors being blamed for anything like this.

Bankai

#30

Bankai said:

@Shworange Ghengis Khan personally killed a few hundred at most. He went to war, but if that counts as killing people, George Washington was also a mass murderer.

Reala

#31

Reala said:

Guns don't kill people video games do, time to ban games well regulate them ever so slightly more I guess, that should make it look like they tried to do something about it.

KromCompany

#32

KromCompany said:

Oh my god, for the first part, other countries should just keep their noses out of the business of other countries until the facts are completely straight. I live in the US far away from the tragic event, I hardly know anything on it and I hear lots of facts changing, so its kinda sad that European papers are all like "oh lets just start blaming things and get facts wrong to make US citizens look bad hurp durp durp" Its a little sickening. And let me get some things straight, the guns weren't his, they were his mother's because she had all of the paperwork and forms saying she can collect them. Plus the man wasnt 100% right in the head. Video games can hardly be the blame, why havent my classmates done this? This is act of scary nasty rage man attack. Look in the history books. This has happened very long ago too.

santaglause

#33

santaglause said:

never listen guys the sun newspaper always run s..t like this all the time, murdick owns them what you expect. if there are over a billion copies of call of duty out there and it has this affect this would be happening all over the show, such childish journalism.

Ichiban

#34

Ichiban said:

You can't figure out somebody just based on their hobbies, thats just looking for the easy way out. And I say that as a carer in the disability field. Ive been working with the same teenager for 9 months now, & I still learn things about him every day. Humans are extremelly complicated beings, to think you have all the answers in a day is simply unrealistic. It saddens me that tabloid junk still exsists in this day & age, it should be abolished.

Bass_X0

#35

Bass_X0 said:

If we can't discuss this on the forums, why is it being discussed here?

I was thinking that too. It shouldn't matter if videogames are now somehow related. Although, I think NintendoLife may only have reported this article so it gives them an excuse to allow those of us who want to discuss the shootings.

It saddens me that tabloid junk still exsists in this day & age,

There's only two types of newspapers in England - stuffy boring papers like The Times and tabloids like The Sun, The Star and The Mirror. People who buy tabloids here don't do so for the news, just for cheap entertainment to read.

Bankai

#36

Bankai said:

@KromCompany at the risk of getting political. Other countries would love to get out of the US people's business if the US would stop acting like judge and jury for the rest of the world.

It goes both ways. Your government and people have no problem criticising other nations. Other nations have every right to look into your country and criticise something that is quite reasonable to criticise.

Lobster

#37

Lobster said:

This is a real tragedy. I don't know why people have to bring video games into it, except that THEY ALWAYS DO. Video games are just the worst things ever, apparently, even though 99.9% of people, possibly MORE, who play video games, will never do anything remotely similar to this in their lives.

I too am bipolar and also have have general anxiety disorder. I have bad days and weird thoughts at times. Does that mean I should never touch a video game? Of course not! When I am having a bad day I can tell you video games are the farthest thing from my mind. (In fact my anxiety can make it impossible to play anything because I get too upset at the slightest things, like boss battles.)

Basically he was sick. He was in a toxic environment because his mother was also sick. That doesn't excuse anything but it possibly sheds some light. He had a hobby. I can guarantee if he knitted as a hobby nobody would be saying a word about it, even though knitting needles are sharp.

In fact video games may have even been a comfort to him.

Bankai

#40

Bankai said:

Before video games because the dominant entertainment form for people under the age of 30, movies were blamed for every mass killing. Before that, 'decadent' literature was in the firing line.

It's a compliment that represents how important games have become to society. Accept it as such and ignore the ignorant people who are always looking for something else to blame than the fact that in one specific country in the world, people seem to think it's a good idea to give everyone access to killing machines.

That is the sole problem here, but because mentioning that is political and social suicide, the tabloids look to find a different scapegoat.

biggsydaboss

#41

biggsydaboss said:

For those who are not from the UK. The Sun newspaper is a badly written Tabloid, not quite as fantastical as the US based National Enquirer, but not far off.
As part of helping someone with their degree in Child Psychology (she chose do write her dissertation on video games), I researched a lot about any correlation between video games & violence. The results didn't support that there was, but stated that further research would be a good idea. I won't put up the exact research papers I used, but they are freely availiable via Google Scholar. Though if you wish to research this subject further, remember the two axioms of research "reliability & validity". Ignore research done by 'right wing fundamentalist organisations (Christian based ones especially, as they have a historical bias against entertainment mediums in general & video games specifically. Also avoid research paid for or conducted by the video games industry (for obvious reasons, it will also be biased). Check the validity of the research, what type of studies were involved, were they the right study methodology. We're the studies conducted in a way that might leave the findings open to misinterpretation, limitations or miss use & so on.

My personal feelings (not based on research, but on many years interest & study in psychology & psychopathology), are that on the occasions that video games are mirrored by real life violence, there are some. This isn't a causal relationship. These individuals who commuted such acts were obviously capable of great violence, probably as a result of a psychopathology, whether diagnosed or otherwise. These people might get ideas or inspiration for their acts from entertainment media. At most thee is a coincidental link in these regards, as they could've just have easily got their inspiration from religious texts or (as been proven, in relation to copycat crimes) from documentaries or news stories.

On a more personal note, society likes to blame elements of youth culture, Rock 'n' Roll (1950s), Video Nasties (1970s-80s) & now video games. As the youth culture grows up & become decision makers these attitudes change. I'm an avid video game player & an adult in my mid 30s & I'm in a professional position to debunk such claims, as & when they are proved false. As is looking likely in the case of video games causing violence.

Gamesake

#42

Gamesake said:

Maybe if he owned better video games he wouldn't have been so angry. Anyone stuck with Dynasty Warriors is a ticking time bomb if you ask me.

biggsydaboss

#44

biggsydaboss said:

PS sorry for any spelling mistakes. I'm using an IPhone to respond to this article & my phone wishes to change words at will lol

luminalace

#45

luminalace said:

Every time there is a massacre video games get blamed. The worst thing is that many of the recent mass shootings in America have been made by males under 40 which often means that these people own a video game console. Considering Call of Duty games sell in the millions, it's not uncommon for for people who won a console to also own a COD game.

When are these journalist going to realise that video games are now mainstream and that murderers owning a video game console is just coincidence!

WildMan

#46

WildMan said:

We shouldn't even be paying attention to this news headline. After all it's only the Sun. People just like to find something to blame after a tragedy happens, whether it's true or not. But the shooting itself is horrid and evil!

antster1983

#47

antster1983 said:

Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie once said this of Sun readers:

"He's the bloke you see in the pub, a right old fascist, wants to send the wogs back, buy his poxy council house, he's afraid of the unions, afraid of the Russians, hates the queers and the weirdos and drug dealers. He doesn't want to hear about that stuff". ("stuff" being "serious news").

So essentially, to neo-conservative papers like The Sun and the Daily Express, video games are a communist propaganda tool that teaches you how to take drugs and murder people.

Reala

#48

Reala said:

The sad thing is I'm pretty sure 99% of those journalists blaming video games do actually realise its just a coincidence they happened to own that particular game, don't think they are going to stop and think about what they put out their just because it might not be 100% true, or even 1% true for that matter.

MrWalkieTalkie

#50

MrWalkieTalkie said:

News Reporters barely even know what a video game is! After all, there were reports saying that Animal Crossing City Folk is filled with pedofiles online playing as NPCs, that doesn't even make any sense!

Bass_X0

#52

Bass_X0 said:

there were reports saying that Animal Crossing City Folk is filled with pedofiles online playing as NPCs,

I saw that. One newsreporter was saying how its possible that Mayor Tortimer could be a pedophile stalking your kid.

Jellitoe

#53

Jellitoe said:

I hate to say it, but I do believe that violent games spawn violent behavior on immature people. As much as I love shooters, I don't make them available to my son because the damage games like that do to innocence. Shooter and violent game fanboys can stick up for them as much as they want, but fact is fact, these games do spawn violence.

Banker-Style

#54

Banker-Style said:

The only thing thing The Sun is good for is Page 3.

I blame Sim City for the troubles in Libya.

SkywardLink98

#55

SkywardLink98 said:

So he has pictures of guns, tanks, etc all over his room but his favorite game is Dynasty Warriors? Conflicting much?

Bass_X0

#56

Bass_X0 said:

these games do spawn violence.

And when I play Street Fighter, I want to throw fireballs at people and fly through the air.

Dogpigfish

#58

Dogpigfish said:

Media wants to blame something else because it's their fault. Listen to Morgan Freeman and turn the news off, don't support CNN glorifying their tragedy.

DarkNinja9

#59

DarkNinja9 said:

i find this in a way so hypocritical and idiotic mostly on the media part saying one thing and then saying the next just to get attention to them selfs and bring in the hot topic of the week not to mention the president of the US making his speech like wow serious while they blame it on what randomly seems good

yet the media and gov is to blame showing vids over and over on attacks on another 3rd world country and having ads to join the military cuz its the best thing that ppl can do it bring honor blah blah but yes sucks for those who were lost =/

Jellitoe

#60

Jellitoe said:

@Bass_X0
Nice, that did not take long for a reply. But people in not need to remember that kid playing Manhunt and then taking a 7 year old to the park and killing him a in violent manner. Or the college campus shooter few years ago who favorite game happened to be Call of Duty
But ignorance is bliss

Shworange

#61

Shworange said:

@whiteknight
You cannot compair Gengis Kahn with George Washington. Gengis Kahn ordered his warriors to methodically kill all survivors in many provinces he conquered. After a all heads were chopped off, a single ear was cut from every corpse to ensure each soldier was executing their job. Wagon loads of ears were often reported. George Washington helped to get rid of the British. No kill quotas were used, no ears removed, prisoners were given quarter. Your argument is amateur and I would suggest brushing up on your world history. Thanks.

Jellitoe

#62

Jellitoe said:

heres a few more

3. Daniel Petric Kills Mother Over Halo 3

After his mother and father took Halo 3 away from him, Daniel Petric, 17, unlocked the safe in which they’d hidden it. Also in the safe was a 9mm pistol. He then took the game and the pistol to his parent’s room, asked them to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them, and shot them both in the head. The father survived with critical injuries, but his mother died instantly.

2. Toddler Beaten to Death with Game Controller

Darisabel Baez, the 2-year-old daughter to 19-year-old Neida E. Baez, was beaten to death with a video game controller by Neida’s then boyfriend, Harve L. Johnson, in April of last year. Bizarrely, the girl was brought to her mother unconscious and soaking wet because Howard had tried to revive her in the bathtub. He refused to tell police his reason for beating the girl.

1. GTA-Inspired Cop Killing

There is little doubt that Devin Moore’s cop-killing spree and subsequent theft of a police cruiser were inspired by the ultraviolent video game series Grand Theft Auto. Moore took one gun from an officer, shot three others with it, and fled the station in a police cruiser. Moore was a obsessed with the GTA series of video games, and, once captured, he told police "Life's like a video game. You've got to die sometime."

NintyMan

#63

NintyMan said:

It's not the video games; it's the people. Because of this horrible tragedy, there's going to be a big effort by our government for gun control. My dad was a hunter and is into guns as a hobby, but he agrees that the kind of gun Adam used in his evil, senseless slaughter of women and children shouldn't be used by normal people and is meant for killing people in war.

But guns shouldn't be the only issue, for too long mental healthcare has been neglected in this country. There needs to be serious action on the mental health system, because it's absolutely terrible and broken. There's simply not enough help for disturbed people like Adam to give them proper treatment; they just send them away with a little medication and nothing more because they don't want to pay so much money for them. Financial aid support for mental healthcare and school protection has been cut in federal and state budgets since the 80s, and now we're paying for it.

There's lots of people who play violent video games, but you don't see them going out killing people like it's cool. Not all gamers are crazy, but it's when the one crazy guy commits something like this when those in power want to take away video games from all the sane gamers to punish them just because of the one crazy guy. These journalists and politicians are culturally ignorant of video games, and as mentioned earlier, the older generation pins blame on the latest cultural trend.

Now, I will state that if gamers played violent shooters their entire life from childhood, that would influence them. Young kids playing shooters on XBox online come to mind. But if an adult were to start playing it, it's less likely to consume his or her life. When you're still an innocent kid, you're more likely to pick up on things and take it to heart.

MAB

#64

MAB said:

Yeah it's all the rage with news corps to blow everything out of proportion just to make another quick buck while feeding the brainless masses with BS ;) If my memory serves me right I think 'Doom' was blamed for setting off the Port Arthur massacre.

DarkNinja9

#65

DarkNinja9 said:

and if you think this is bad just wait till its the 21st when ppl will freak out with the whole end of the world is finally here... they already arrested 2 guys who had tons of guns ready...

SKTTR

#66

SKTTR said:

Parents who don't teach their kids right from wrong should be banned.
Also parents who have guns lying around in the house should be banned.

Apart from that, guns in general should be banned.
And war should be banned.

THENAMESNORM

#68

THENAMESNORM said:

There are unfortunately events like this every so often, and it is inevitable that one of them was going to be a COD player eventually. Millions of people play it religiously and yet they don't go on killing sprees! It sounds more like the guy had a fascination with the military and it was this that would influence him more than COD.

However there has to be something seriously wrong with him to do what he did, and I don't think his obsession with the military or COD had a huge bearing on what happened.

Furthermore, for those that don't live in the UK - The Sun is a terrible terrible publication, owned by the same people that ran the News of the World(google them and see why they halted publication). The Sun - like most journalists nowadays sadly - sensationalise most things and all stories should be read on the understanding that they will not tell the whole story.

The Sun is sadly trying to cash in on a sensitive subject, and hope - by blaming something that millions are aware of or have an interest in - they will make more money from it.

C7_

#69

C7_ said:

Anyone who blames video games for violence hasn't looked into any respected study that has proven that they had nothing to do with it. If it weren't for video games and movies were the media of choice, they would blame that too. Anyone who says they killed because of a video game would've been just as easily inspired to kill by something else.

He breathed a lot of air too, why not blame that. Or maybe he read a lot of bad journalism that put the blame squarely on something they didn't research for a controversial headline.

Pete_Stooge

#70

Pete_Stooge said:

There has been a lot of study regarding this, and i believe there was never a direct link discovered between violent games and 'real life'' agression. Nonetheless, i don't approve with too much realistic violence in videogames either. Personally I would almost say: it has to have some influence.

Phle

#71

Phle said:

Well, I've got to say that the people that actually believes that "violent" video games are one of the causes for massive killing sprees probably haven't played those kind of games themselves. But then again, I guess there is a chance that some people get very much more affected by video games than others. I almost feel sorry for the disturbed killers that get dismissed as "Insane due to playing too much violent video games", while they probably have so much other than video games in their heads. Still, it becomes even more difficult to understand the killers when no one gets to ask them why they did it.

DarkCoolEdge

#72

DarkCoolEdge said:

@Jellitoe The problem is how easy you can get a weapon in the US. It's ridiculous that you may buy rifles and submachine guns.

Like a republican who said that the problem was that there aren't enough guns, because if the principal of rhe school had had a gun, she could've just shoot theguy instead of jumpin' on him. To say that is disgusting, disheartening and just plain stupid.

I do think that games may affect kids in a violent way if they're not correctly educated at home, they are notmature enough for certain things. And they don't need to play CoD or GTA to have fun with games.

Einherjar

#74

Einherjar said:

If Dynasty Warriors is a ticking timebomb...im the next one to go "guns blazing". I own nearly every game and completed them. And let me tell you, that is a lifetime and a half of work :P I also read the "three kingdoms" books (non abridged, 4 parts) and im currently wathing the 2010 Three Kingdoms TV show...Man, IM a ticking timebomb with a HUGE interest in chinese history O.o
But picking up a halberd and runing amok is not on my agenda. Sure, games like CoD COULD give the wrong people the impression of "guns solve problems" but so do movies and the news.
Please dont be mad at me US friends, but the military and weapon fetish of the USA might also be a factor.
But in the end, the ones that are to blame (IF we have to blame someone) are his parents, his friends and his teachers for not registering that he had major problems.

mattatron

#76

mattatron said:

@jellitoe numerous studies have said that there is no correlation between real life violence and violent video games. if there was a direct connection we would be seeing a whole lot more violence. video games are an entertainment medium in its relative infancy, so it will be the blame of every form of debauchery and act of violence. just like movies and books took the blame before.

Shworange

#78

Shworange said:

@gamesake
Perhaps if we prized education and the trends history can teach us, incidents like the ones that happened in New Jersey would be fewer. If we would stop repeating the same moronic lines and policies that accomplish nothing positive, maybe we could have honest discussions of what needs to be done. Lobbies and corruption often prevent this. It was the same in Rome. Eventually politicians were more concerned with lining their pockets than effecting real and necessary changes. This was a contributing factor to the downfall of the Roman Empire. We could very well follow in their footsteps if the welfare of the country is not put above political aspirations. Also, if you're of the mind that history is boring, read the book Rubicon. It is about the Roman Empire. The point is that we continually repeat the same mistakes generation after generation and from one millennium to the next.

theblackdragonAdmin

#79

theblackdragon said:

I know it's been falsely attributed to Morgan Freeman, but that quote that's been flying around is absolutely right — these people who pop off and do these things, we need to forget they ever existed, remember the victims, and provide easier access for mental health care in the US if we want to stop this problem. It's not video games, it's not guns, it's the media glorifying these d-bags and plastering their names everywhere, calling it a 'record killing' and focusing on the whys and whens and hows of a person who would plan and do such a thing, working up hour-long specials on TV about the circumstances of such an evil person and who to blame for their every woe in life. that's what these jerks are going for when they shoot up a school, and it needs to stop.

And i don't just our own media, but international media too. that guy who did it probably knew for a fact the world would be chanting his name for months after he did what he's done, and now there are other idiots out there probably working up how to break that record — or there will be later on when they get disgruntled enough and no one will help their parents get mental help for the guy without said parents having them charged with a crime first. any attention is 'good' attention to people who have made numerous cries for help that have gone ignored or untreated. it's despicable.

Pikachupwnage

#80

Pikachupwnage said:

"Chillingly, his favourite video game was said to be a shockingly violent fantasy war game called Dynasty Warriors which is thought to have given him inspiration to act on his darkest thoughts"

Lol. Dynasty warriors "shockingly violent"? These guys are nuts.

SteveW

#83

SteveW said:

How is it unusual for a person who is interested in guns and shooting to like a game that features guns and shooting? that doesn't mean the game made him do it, many normal people play those games also, this guy was not normal.

dustin_g

#84

dustin_g said:

Kids learn about military and war all through school, at least i did, they must still have history class

SteveW

#85

SteveW said:

@Pikachupwnage - I think he is kidding about the bible but you have to admit that it does have a lot of voilence in it, just look at all the wars that have started just because of different religions....

ReindeerDasher

#86

ReindeerDasher said:

1) This is the Sun.

2) So you're saying that after I play a game like, say, Legend of Zelda, I go out with a sword and act violently?

ReindeerDasher

#87

ReindeerDasher said:

Actually, adding to what I said, yeah, there are milllions of gamers, and we don't go out and kill people because we've played a violent(or, as @WhiteKnight said, nonviolent) game. The way the people at the Sun must think is everyone who's played Super Smash Bros. Brawl (which, tbh, is like an E10 game or even an E game) has gone out and killed someone.

Pikachupwnage

#88

Pikachupwnage said:

@SteveW Yes but the Bible specifically COMMANDS you to not murder. Not the bibles fault people in the past have used it for selfish purposes or broken its commandments in foolish attempts to violently spread Christianity. Religion has always been a area where mankind has been foolish(well we've always been foolish with everything but you get my point). All religions have blood on their hands because humans are sinful creatures. Its a shame that most religions are in fact peaceful but are twisted by horrible people and much suffering follows.

If the bible specifically advocated murder then we could blame it maybe.

SteveW

#89

SteveW said:

@Pikachupwnage - Very true.

And no books, video games, TV, etc... is going to make a normal person kill someone, that guy is clearly abnormal.

The_Fox

#90

The_Fox said:

Ridiculous. Looks like The Sun is trying to give Fox News a run for the worst source of news available.

Edit: Whoops, looks like they're owned by the same person. Now it starts to make sense.

Rapadash6

#92

Rapadash6 said:

Very little journalistic integrety within those publications as evident by the rampant assumptions over the details of the killers personal life. Also, the fact that the killer was chemically inbalanced, had immediate access to guns, and zero support structure are all more likely reasons for him to do what he did than what video game he happened to be playing last.

Jaz007

#93

Jaz007 said:

I know yesterday that the only game it was confirmed that he was a fan of was dance dance revolution. Seriously Dynasty Warriors?! You drop people like flys but its not very violent. If someones says dynasty warrios is shockongly violent than I think that I'm not gonna beleive them if they say video games affect people towards violence.

Jaz007

#94

Jaz007 said:

@Jellitoe on 2. I don't think beating someone to death with a video game controller instead of a wrench means video games inspiered them. It would be like blaming TV because someone got beat to death with a TV remote or blaming books because someone got beat to death with a hardcover book.

Bass_X0

#96

Bass_X0 said:

We're discussing religion now?

Sure, if you want. Thats always a fun topic to discuss since everyone has their own different opinions.

Squashie

#97

Squashie said:

That's the sun for you! It's horrific story, but the Sun are always there to make it worse!

C-Olimar

#99

C-Olimar said:

I kill turtles for fun. Blame Mario. It's nothing to do with the fact that I'm a murderous psychopath.*

*I'm not actually a murderous psychopath.

Hokori

#100

Hokori said:

The only thing videogames influenced me in real life is: when I'm in certain situations Videogame music plays in my head, like when I found out my friend started dating a girl I like... The Pokémon GSC Rival theme started playing :D
Also SSBB taught me to do certain taunts in real life

Squiggle55

#102

Squiggle55 said:

I was very encouraged by President Obama's speech and his hints at upcoming policy changes. Suffice it to say I don't think videogames are the problem, nor are they likely to create a psychopath on their own. On the flipside, obviously parents shouldn't be letting their kids play mature games from a young age. Densensitizing should be taken seriously.

Buzzthebatgirl

#103

Buzzthebatgirl said:

Video Games have always been the soft target for negative news reports, I call rubbish on these newsrags.

Klinny

#105

Klinny said:

The content of the Sun article actually isn't that bad. It just lists the various military-themed things the guy was interested in. The quote opens with "The boys were fans of the military" not "The boys were fans of violent video games". The headline skews this, though, as they chose to focus entirely on Call of Duty as the problem.

The Daily Express is just silly, though. (First of all, it begins a statement with the word "chillingly". Apparently this writer does not have basic writing skills.) Secondly, there is no logical correlation between Dynasty Warriors and the actions this guy took, other than someone, no mention of who, thinks that it might.

I'm really getting tired of seeing these types of articles after every tragedy, though. They are clearly picking controversial topics in order to sell more papers, completely undermining the actual event and disrespecting everyone who lost their lives, and the family of those who lost their lives. Often these killers suffer from serious psychological problems, and by pinning blame in other areas, we are also undermining the severity of real issues like mental illness or abuse.

WesCash

#106

WesCash said:

VIdeogames do have an influence on people, just like any other form of entertainment. It's called desensitization. The more you see or hear about something (ie violence), the less offensive it gets. Are children who play COD, listen to profane music, and watch Saw more aggressive than other children? I'm willing to bet that they are.

But being more aggressive does not correlate to being psychotic. Anyone that is having thoughts about extremely violent acts has serious mental problems. Videogames are not responsible for that. Not even the media is responsible for that.

IsawYoshi

#107

IsawYoshi said:

Oh, the sun, how you keep doing your usual poo. I am pretty sure that he watched tv too, and maybe he read the sun, who knows!

GOM1

#109

GOM1 said:

Well, he did have autisic spectrum disorder. I doubt the video games contributed to his disorder, as it is not mental, but neorological.

ShadJV

#110

ShadJV said:

Violent video games do not cause violent behavior. They obviously will attract violent people and, if anything, might be a medium to express their violence until they decide to act on it. Nowhere in CoD or Dynasty Warriors does anyone enter an elementary school and kill children. Video games are not the issue, but I'm sure this will be brought up with nearly every big tragedy like this because odds are that someone who shoots innocent people would be interested in games where they can do so. The games are not a cause and removing them wouldn't help anything. At best, what we can do is keep an eye on individuals obsessed with violence (especially if they have access to firearms) and require them to pass some mental health tests. Clearly he must've had something seriously wrong with him if he shot children. If we had caught this early on and treated it, this could've been prevented. If we simply took away his violent games, he probably would've done this sooner since he would've had no other way to channel his violence. Not saying video games are a solution, not even temporarily, mental health treatment is a solution, video games aren't a cause though.

Edgy

#111

Edgy said:

For those that don't know: The Sun is part of News Corporation, the same media giant that owned the UK's News of the World who closed down to avoid bad reputation spreading to other publications following the reveal that News of the World were using illegal phone hacking techniques to try and listen to the voicemail messages left on victims and celebrities phones.

The Sun sells mostly for its celebrity garbage and is famously known for its 'Page 3' girls. Its a publication that isn't taken seriously in the UK but still sells to the masses and the masses are easily influenced by trash like this.

To say that as he plays games with guns in, it makes the games a big influence on his decision to kill innocents is ludicrous. I haven't played Black Ops 2 but am I really to believe that Activisions game allows military force to be used on children? Are they not instead using guns to take out enemy forces who also have guns in a war? Are we not intelligent enough as individuals to know the difference between fighting a war and shooting children in a school?

Violence has been readable in books for a long long time now. Technically millenia if you count religious texts. It's sold to us in music, TV and movies. And commercial channels including Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, who own 20th Fox, sell it as news as well as The Sun. As videogames are a relatively new medium, they're blamed as it's easier to do that and take the moral high ground (in order to improve readership) than it is to take a more serious political stance.

But its hipocritical. Fox who are owned by News Corporation who own The Sun are making or licensing games all the time! Family Guy is one of the latest. Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the past. And I'm sure there are many others under the Fox logo.

So maybe News Corporation ought to cut out all their TV shows that contain any sort of violence, as well as their movies and games and then, and only then, would they have the right to try and take the moral high ground on issues like this.

zoroarkrules25

#112

zoroarkrules25 said:

The sun is just looking for people to buy their news. i think the only one to blame is himself and his mother who taught him how to shoot guns but never told him when to use them and when not to use them. He also should have been given help if he had problems controlling himself because of his mental stability. He also shouldn't have been allowed to play call of duty if he thinks like that. Anyway the game isn't to blame and he should have been playing something better like Nintendo games they aren't associated with telling kids it's ok to go out and shoot people with whatever guns you find lying around.

ShadJV

#115

ShadJV said:

Some people here seem to be saying the same thing, but focusing on video games every time this happens is NOT helping. It's a wild goose chase, because there are steps to reduce these tragedies just they don't have to do with video games. They have to do with issues like mental health treatment and gun control. By focusing on video games, we're ignoring things that could actual help prevent these tragedies. In the end, if a person can't separate reality and video games, they have serious mental illnesses that, if untreated, will result in tragedies one way or another.

Reala

#116

Reala said:

you know what they say "never let the facts get in the way of a good story"

shinokami

#117

shinokami said:

idk but shouldn't it be better to blame his mother for training him on military combat than a simple video game that a 6 years old can play with no problem? Just saying, after all his mother was a gun freak

theberrage

#118

theberrage said:

The military (in the US at least) uses violent video games for recruiting and training. Although video games are not the sole reason for violence, it can't be ignored as a factor. Throw in mental illness, bullying, unknown family history, and easy access to an arsenal of weapons, you have the perfect storm to create horrific tragedies like this. Be good to people, always.

rjejr

#119

rjejr said:

If this would have happened 20 or 30 years ago, instead of playing video games in his basement he would have been listening to heavy metal music and the tabloids would have blamed the massacre on satanism. Different year, different scapegoat.

BJQ1972

#121

BJQ1972 said:

I am always reminded about the Windsor, Ontario and Detroit comparison in times like this. It is purely down to the American obsession with the 2nd amendment. It is lunacy. Nothing will change.

AntiGuy

#122

AntiGuy said:

Whether CoD gets a bad rep, I don't care, but I don't want more "hurr violent games make children kill people" shenanigans...

Tasuki

#123

Tasuki said:

The problem isnt so much violent video games as it is gun control in America. Honestly if we had better gun control these kids who played these kind of games wouldn't be able to get a hold of guns as easily as they do.

Blaze

#125

Blaze said:

"UK Newspapers The Sun & The Daily Express..."
I stopped reading from that point. ;)

Torterra275

#126

Torterra275 said:

Should we even be surprised? Its the media's current scapegoat for every crime just like rap and rock music were in the past.

Houkyds

#127

Houkyds said:

While I'm sure playing fps games like Call of Duty isn't doing a psychopath with easy access to weapons any favours...

...there are millions upon millions of people who play COD and I think we'd know about it if it was the game that was warping people's minds.

pinta_vodki

#128

pinta_vodki said:

Yep, here we go again. As I see it, crazy people will ultimately find something to motivate them, be it videogames, books, movies, news or just a neighbor telling a story.

TheRavingTimes

#129

TheRavingTimes said:

Call of Duty might have to take some form of blame but Dynasty Warriors, really? This is just pitiful, since when has Dynasty Warriors promote gun violence? Or better yet, how many times have you seen a single gun in Dynasty Warriors.

Yanchamaru

#131

Yanchamaru said:

What puzzles me is why the video game publishers/developers are not suing the media for defamation

RudysaurusRex

#132

RudysaurusRex said:

@Mk_II How can you blame this on a book? A book without pictures. A book that can't even compare in violence to that of others. I'm sick of people like you on the internet, who blames everything on religion. I don't care if you're an atheist or Muslim or Hindu or Jew or whatever. Something really, really awful happened to kids no more than 6 years old, and you want to start a fight about religion.

ecco6t9

#134

ecco6t9 said:

It's reports like this from "news" papers that cause me to not care about the tragedy.

MagicEmperor

#136

MagicEmperor said:

The shooting in Connecticut has been emotionally exhausting for me. I even shed tears, and cursed the day that shooter was born. Others have said it already, but this was such a senseless, bullcrap tragedy. But I've already encountered one man in town who blames video games. He's a nice man, but he's just not aware. If you can blame a killer's motives on him playing Call of Duty, or Dynasty Warriors, then you might as well blame the last novel he read, or the movie he watched, or the song he listened to, or the the brand of canned soup he ate. Okay, the last few were jokes, but, unless some genius scientist proves me wrong (good luck), I don't think video games can be solely blamed for any killing spree.

I don't think this opinion will be popular, but I believe that if a person has a mood or mental disorder, then that household should not be allowed to possess firearms. I have major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, and I know for a fact I will never endanger myself or anyone by picking up guns.

@Burning_Spear You're right. Maybe we should try not exposing the shooter a lot, because it could influence other evil morons.

DrDaisy

#137

DrDaisy said:

I think psychopaths are more likely to be into violent video games, not the other way around. If I was going to blame someone though, I'd blame people who hunt animals with guns because I am sick to death of people telling me it's not okay to blame them for anything. Yeah, I hate hunters! So what?!

Suicune

#139

Suicune said:

Has anyone read the part where the author says "I'm not blaming the games for what happened?"

mikeyman64

#142

mikeyman64 said:

I may be putting gas on a fire here, but it's funny to me how the arguments against violent video games so closely resemble the arguments against firearms.

mastersworddude

#144

mastersworddude said:

I am face palming so hard right now.
It's ignorant attempt to find something to blame for what happened with no evidence to support it.
He had pictures of guns in his basement? He liked tanks? Must of been a military video game that caused him to kill children.
He played Dynasty Warriors? A fantasy game about sword fighters in ancient Asia? Must of influenced him to steal a gun and shoot children.

ramstrong

#145

ramstrong said:

Where's the well regulated militia when we need one? Everybody knows it is necessary for to the security of a free state, right?

Regarding The Daily Express ridiculous claim: Does being a press allow you to spout correlation=causation nonsense? Because if so, I'd like to get my own press card and make some truly outrageous claims.

ecco6t9

#147

ecco6t9 said:

@Suicune No. It's all sensationalism "journalism" that takes attention away from the victims and the families affected by this. Secondly no one ever wants to look at real causes of people to snap.

Ren

#148

Ren said:

Video games do encourage unthinking domineering violent behavior without responsibility in an already dangerously irresponsible gun culture. To completely disregard extreme violence in media is just naive. Of course no ONE thing is to blame but people still need to take responsibility for some of the hateful crap we spend so many hours engaging in for 'fun'. We're not talking about the responsible, smart parents here it's the others that will always be out there and with guns so freely available troubled kids will get them and use them and the way they "play" them in games doesn't help. I know we like video games but come on.

madgear

#149

madgear said:

The thing that annoys me so much about this (and not necessarily these articles in discussion, but rather around the internet) is the constant "how do we keep violent games away from children" debate.

The only children involved in this case are the victims. The killer is 20 years old, an adult and responsible for his own actions. Stopping children playing violent games is not the issue here.

As far as these articles go, I'm just not going to bother defending gaming in this case. It happens every time. There's no one cause for what makes people do things like this but, if I had to put anything over the others, it'd be alienation, bullying and not feeling accepted in society. Of course human emotions are complex things so we'll never find the cause.

NintenDude97

#150

NintenDude97 said:

If you live in the same world I live in, you are always going to be exposed to violence at one point in your life, one way or another. Life has always been that way. Taking away violent video games won't change that. How many millions of people have played COD without ever considering killing another human being? This is a problem with the individual, not with a game he played. Yes, some crazies might get some of their ideas from video games, but they might just as well turn on the news and get the same ideas. It's just how you handle it that matters.
We'll probably never know why he did what he did, so I don't see any point in discussing it.

andreoni79

#151

andreoni79 said:

I have five consoles at home and no weapons; should I be worried?
Luckly, the italian law does not allow me to buy an assault rifle on internet!

godoggo407

#152

godoggo407 said:

I do not believe we can pin this shooting on video games specifically but I feel that they did play a part in the story. I am a guilty of letting my son play Call of Duty games and he is 12. He started being exposed to it at a friends house who had older brothers. They are all great kids, not loners, straight A's into sports. I have recently decided to ban them from the house. They are rated M for a reason. They are amazingly well done games (COD) and some boys will get hooked. My son loved the excitement and leveling up or the challenge of it. I feel that this intensity involved with violence is detrimental to their young brains. We just do not know what it can do. I wish the people who made these games would see that the audience they are attracting is young. It is up to us parents to put out foot down and say NO. There is a real void for games for boys 10-15. Can one of these great companies make a game that can fill this void without being violent?

Magi

#153

Magi said:

@Aviator
"If we can't discuss this on the forums, why is it being discussed here?"
I'm 100% with you.

Edit: How do you "report" a news article? :)

rocketdive2001

#155

rocketdive2001 said:

What? Blaming CoD and DW as motivations? I've been playing CoD for years and DW for even longer ... but has that made me go out there with spears and swords and fire a crossbow to execute my "musou" special and kill a thousand people?

The press seriously needs to get their facts and reporting right - this is the definitely the worse possible time to mis-report anything to the grieving masses.

jpfan1989

#156

jpfan1989 said:

Evil is evil, it wears many faces, men, women, elders and even children all are capable of being overtaken by its grasp.
others choose to deny its existence instead they look to blame any other source they can find. Usually pointing fingers at whatever fits their agenda.

TheAmazingRaccoon

#157

TheAmazingRaccoon said:

what? which game has you gunning down little kids? That's pretty thin.

That being said, I may have felt like eating fruit after playing Pacman :D

SyFyTy

#158

SyFyTy said:

when will they get the idea right, a game does not kill, a gun does not kill, ahatchet does not kill, the one thing needed in all these scenarios is the PERSON responsible. A PERSON kills, not an item itself. Some people really lack logic skills at the most basic level.

SyFyTy

#159

SyFyTy said:

@madgear "There's no one cause for what makes people do things like this " yes there is, it's called ignoring the consequences of our actions.

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