While Jewish leaders blamed Wednesday's bloody rampage in a Moscow synagogue on growing anti-Semitism, the Russian press took great pains today to shift responsibility to video games. Here's what Pravda had to say:
"Alexander Koptsev was a quiet and unsociable young man... became a secluded individual, started spending most of his time indoors and developed an addiction to computer games... was playing a game called Postal-2 before he left home and went to the synagogue... The game which the young man was playing made him a zombie. The man was programmed to demolish and kill... those addicted to computer games often suffer from the so-called videogame epilepsy syndrome. Ardent gamers suffer from headaches, facial muscular spasms and eyesight disorder. The syndrome does not lead to aggravation of mental abilities of a human being. However, it develops certain peculiarities typical of epilepsy: a person may become highly suspicious, aggressive and hostile about everything and everyone. A person who suffers from the videogame epilepsy syndrome can easily grab a kitchen knife, leave the virtual world and look for victims in reality."
"The incident in the Moscow synagogue is an alarming signal indeed. However, this signal warns about the growing influence of virtual reality on the human mind. This is not a matter of "fascism knocking on people's doors," as spokespeople for the Jewish community in Russia put it."
GP: Huh? We have heard of game-induced seizures, but this is surely the first time they've been linked with violence. And hopefully the last.