Thursday, April 19, 2007

Processing Tragedy

Everyone has their own take on how to process the most recent school shooting. I've chosen to myopically focus on a side issue that is, in the face of human death, a relatively inconsequential problem despite the Censorship Implications.

The dead were still warm when Dr Phil and the infamous Jack Thompson started crowing about how "Video Games" and all their evil were to blame for the VA Tech Shootings.

Let's set aside the fact that millions of people play video games and DON'T run out and start shooting people. Let's not discuss the fact that yours truly used to be a wicked pissa Quake II and III player, and could dominate an online game even with a high ping and a slow computer, yet I spend my free time nursing underweight foster rabbits back to health.

Let's set aside the fact that most the gamers I know see video games as a harmless way to blow off some steam, and would never so much as hurt a fly in real life. While we're at it, we can ignore the complete lack of any credible research connecting computer games to real life violence.

We'll even ignore the fact that even Rush Limbaugh discounts the notion of a Video Game / Mass Murder connection

Let's instead look at the one piece of information that may actually embarrass Dr Phil and Jack Thompson. After searching the home of Cho Seung Hui, the shooter responsible for the rampage, police have found no sign of video games in Cho Seung Hui's home. The killer didn't own them, and according to his former roommate he didn't even play them.

Dr Phil and Jack Thompson would have had more credibility if they'd joined FOX News in asking if Cho Seung Hui was possessed by the Devil.

Jack Thompson is unlikely to apologize for his fabricated claims, but Dr Phil might actually have the guts to stand up and admit he was wrong, so I'm asking folks to go to Dr Phil's feedback page and tell him what they think. Please be respectful, as the last thing Video Game players need is Dr Phil reading a bunch of death threats on his TV show.

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