Game Politics (gamepolitics ) wrote,

Crime Files.... Would-be School Shooters Said to be Gamers

It's probably, almost certainly, potentially possible that maybe the video games perhaps made them do it.

Or not.

Numerous GP readers wrote in about the brief mention of video game playing by five boys accused of plotting a Columbine-style massacre at a high school in Kansas. A widely circulated Associated Press report contains but a single line relating to games:

"(Cherokee County Sheriff Steve) Norman also mentioned bullying and said investigators had learned the suspects liked violent video games."

...and that's it. No info on which games, or much of any news about the suspects beyond the characterization of one as an "oddball" who was also a victim of bullying.

It's frustrating that we never seem to get to a bottom line with the alleged relationship of video games to these situations. GP believes it would be highly unusual these days to find an American male, 15 to 18, who hasn't played at least some violent games, whether it be the relatively gore-free shoot 'em up action of Halo 2, the fantasy violence of World of Warcraft, or more hardcore titles such as GTA San Andreas.

Naturally, the game critics will jump all over this one. They have almost certainly started already - never mind that the facts aren't known. Ever since the revelation that the Columbine killers played Doom, video games have become fair game for media sensationalists, game violence critics, and culture cops.

The Columbine killers, of course, didn't shoot up the school with copies of Doom, but rather with guns, purchased illegally.

Tags: columbine, kansas, riverton, school shootings, sheriff steve norman
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