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A mass murderer played World of Warcraft and you should all feel bad
WoW Insider ^ | 6/6/12 | Adam Holisky

Posted on 06/08/2012 7:12:52 AM PDT by Domandred

Perception is everything. We see the world through the truths as they're told to us, everything from what books are good to what TV shows are worth watching. Facts are played with, fast and furious, and there seems to be little need for any objectivity.

The primary way in which we consume such truths is through the news. And there's a lot wrong with our modern news system. The vast majority of successful outlets are built more on getting readers' attention than finding truths in a story. This easily leads hyperbolic headlines (like this article's headline) and to a simulation of reality, even when talking about a virtual reality. Case in point is the article that appeared on the front page of Yahoo, syndicated from ABC News: "Prosecutors: Killer Played World of Warcraft 7 Hours Per Day."

It's so great to see we're all killers.

In the article, the association is made between World of Warcraft and the mass murderer Anders Breivik, who gunned down 77 people last summer in Norway. There are three problems with this article and the associations made therein. And the issues stem from what my debate coach in high school said, "A journalist is always searching for the truth." There are very few truths presented in this story.

Lack of correlation

First, there is no correlation between video games and violence. This is perhaps the most important fact and the one that makes this news story a non-story. The headline implies correlation, but there is none; Breivik could very well have played Super Mario Brothers 3 for seven hours a day and done the same heinous acts.

A mass murderer played World of Warcraft and you should all feel badThe best illustration of how there is no correlation between video games and violent crime comes from a 2005 economist article titled "Chasing the dream: As video gaming spreads, the debate about its social impact is intensifying." In it, we get the graph to the right; it shows video game sales have increased, while violent crime has decreased.

If there was a correlation, violent crime would be on the rise. But there's not, and the media has failed to dig just a bit deeper for the truth and instead is perpetuating falsehoods.

Now just to be clear, no one is arguing that children should be allowed to play GTA IV or Call of Duty or anything like that. Violence isn't something that should be left for a young mind to come to grips with sans the help of a trusted guardian. There are just laws in place to protect against that (even if they do go too far sometimes). A 10-year-old boy can't walk into GameStop and buy an M-rated game.

But that singular issue of violence in video games for children isn't what we're even talking about here. We're talking about a deranged adult playing an online RPG where you can go pick flowers to level or kill a big internet dragon, not gun down an airport full of people like in Call of Duty. The media fails to make this distinction in its search for the truth.

False association

Secondly, the very headline itself creates a false logical association in the public eye. "Psychopath did X, therefore he did Y." Breivik played WoW, therefore he killed a bunch of innocent kids. Part of this is the just the prosecutors looking to frame a madman in all possible negative lights in order to see him brought to justice -- but the media, the watchdogs of the truth, should know better than to perpetuate non-facts.


Finally, there's a quote in the Yahoo/ABC article that supposedly justifies the problems this killer experienced via WoW. Speaking about Breivik, Thomas Eriksen said in an ITN interview: "He does not seem to be very successful at distinguishing between the virtual reality of 'World of Warcraft' and other video games and reality."

While this could very well be true, I'm pretty sure given the nature of his crime that the statement would apply to his Call of Duty playing a heck of a lot more than his WoW playing. And secondly, there's a slight problem with who is giving this fact in the first place. Thomas Eriksen is an anthropologist.

An anthropologist deals with the ways our collective culture has progressed. Breivik's disassociation from reality is a psychological issue, one that needs a psychologist to diagnose via standard metrics. While this fact might seem minor to the public, since it appears to be reasonable enough, the media should know better than to let non-experts state overarching facts. This is the equivalent of listening to your lawn guy tell you about fixing your roof. They're both handymen, but you wouldn't let your lawn guy nail in a shingle.

Now to be clear, this Breivik guy is nuts. In my opinion, he needs to be locked up and the key should be smelted on his head, Game of Thrones-style. But does WoW have anything to do with it? If the media would have done its job, then the answer in the public's eyes would have been no.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: andersbreivik; worldofwarcraft
I'm quite sure Jack Thompson will be using this one if he ever gets his license back. He did get disbarred right?
1 posted on 06/08/2012 7:13:00 AM PDT by Domandred
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To: Domandred

Bah. Everyone knows that true sociopaths play EVE.

2 posted on 06/08/2012 7:14:32 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Domandred
Judge play card game on his laptop during Brevik trial
3 posted on 06/08/2012 7:18:41 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: 1rudeboy
The press needs to include information on 'their' types too.. "The killer had a gang of friends and liked to hang out in bars". The three rapists were well liked at the gym where they worked out". "Mass murderer subscribed to his local paper..."

Is there any opportunity the MSM doesn't take to show their bias and hatred?

4 posted on 06/08/2012 7:25:06 AM PDT by GOPJ (Take your little hammer, little sickle and your scary red signs with a fist on it, and go home...)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

You know I don’t have a problem with a judge playing solitaire during a court trial. You been a jurist? It is the most boring experiences of your life.

5 posted on 06/08/2012 7:29:21 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: 1rudeboy
Bah. Everyone knows that true sociopaths play EVE.

LMFAO! I played EVE for over a year and had numerous very curious interactions with other players. It's a VERY different online world than most. I actually had a very hot debate with a co-worker about how EVE promotes "evil hyper-capitalism." Of course, when asked if regular, non-hyper-capitalism was acceptable, his answer was a definitive, "No."

I did a boatload of day trading on EVE and made my corp a TON of money. It's very easy to learn but nearly impossible to master. We have corp directors who were in the game since the beginning who lamented the time lost, but it is truly an immersive universe and requires a lot of maintenance outside of the skill tree growth, which is awesome, I must say.

This Brevik idiot is using WoW as a canard. I've played WoW for years, and I know people who use it to escape reality for a few hours like I used to escape reality in a bottle. I also know people who LIVE in WoW and can do nothing but talk about it in the real world. They LIVE in WoW and simply occupy the real world. They are not, however, psychotic.

Blizzard, at the height of WoW-mania, had over 12 million subscribers. To say that one man out of 12 million is a psychopath would be a pretty comfortable assessment just given the sample size, but to say that there are 12 million Brevik's out there is ludicrous on its face.

Look at South Korea if you want an example of how society is impacted by gaming. StarCraft is a NATIONAL SPORT in South Korea. The best StarCraft/StarCraft II players in the world are from South Korea. If you play against a South Korean in a tournament, you literally face a greater than 99% chance that you WILL lose. The government promotes e-sports.

Video games are not the problem. They weren't the problem 25 years ago when Nintendo released its first console, and they're not a problem now with video games being more prolific than television shows.

6 posted on 06/08/2012 7:36:10 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Domandred

Any bets on the author being willing to make the same association between Unabomber Ted Kazinski and the writings of Al Gore?

7 posted on 06/08/2012 7:43:19 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Domandred

Alice Cooper pointed out that it’s just a lame excuse.

Wicked Young Man

Cold blue swastika tattooed on my skin
The ice in my veins the staples in my chin
I’ve got it carved in my forehead “Slave To My Sin”
Too violent for the brotherhood to ever take me in

Gonna write down my law in blood upon the street
To the cadence of a goose-step heavy metal beat
Wanna purify my race gonna turn up the heat
Just wanna make ‘em die and make the job complete

I am a vicious young man oh I am a wicked young man
It’s not the games that I play the movies I see the music I dig
I’m just a wicked young man

I like to run my body on heavy heavy fuel
I can punch through a wall I can kick like a mule
I got a pocketful of bullets and a blueprint of the school
I’m the devil’s little soldier I’m the devil’s little tool

I am a vicious young man oh I am a wicked young man
It’s not the games that I play the movies I see the music I dig
I’m just a wicked young man

I got every kind of chemical pumpin’ through my head
I read Mein Kampf daily just to keep my hatred fed
I never ever sleep I just lay in my bed
Dreamin’ of the day when everyone is dead

I am a vicious young man oh I am a wicked young man
It’s not the games that I play the movies I see the music I dig
I’m just a wicked young man
I am a vicious young man oh I am a vicious young man
I am a vicious young man oh I am a wicked young man

Alice is never wrong.
The killer is just a wicked young man.

8 posted on 06/08/2012 7:43:38 AM PDT by Salamander
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To: Domandred

The guy could have enjoyed Tiger Woods Golf just as much.....sorry but the media has hated gaming almost since inception....if you are gaming you aren’t reading or watching them.

9 posted on 06/08/2012 7:46:55 AM PDT by Hogblog
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To: Domandred
Trends are cyclical.

In this case, listening to Judas Priest records has been replaced with playing WoW.

10 posted on 06/08/2012 7:53:39 AM PDT by gdani (I don't vote for liberals - no matter what letter appears after their name)
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To: Hogblog

My son is a gamer but from what I see they multiprocess. While the game screen is on they have youtube and music and news playing. There is a news site for teenagers and this guy goes through all the news and events so the gamers listen to him, have SKYPE on talking about it and playing the game.

It is actually quite something to see.

11 posted on 06/08/2012 7:53:46 AM PDT by edcoil (It is not over until I win.)
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To: gdani

And Dungeons and Dragons before that.

12 posted on 06/08/2012 7:57:59 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Domandred

The spread of the internet and online gaming has destroyed this correlation argument, just like the one for porn and violent crime. Now we have solid statistics that show, even with explosive rise in the playing of violent video games, there is no correlation to violent crimes. There are many other activities which show a stronger correlation. For example, there are probably only a few serial killers/mass murdered who were heavily into video games, but dozens who were football players. That doesn’t mean football causes violence either.

13 posted on 06/08/2012 8:06:28 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Domandred


14 posted on 06/08/2012 8:12:50 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: GraceG

We’re happy when we’re sad,
We’re always feeling bad.
How are you?
Terrible. That’s fine.
We’re happy when we’re sad.

Lines from a cartoon I remember as a kid. Talk about dark.

15 posted on 06/08/2012 8:21:44 AM PDT by exit82 (Democrats are the enemies of freedom. Be Andrew Breitbart.)
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To: rarestia; 1rudeboy
...true sociopaths play EVE.  

LMFAO! I played EVE for over a year...

What makes MMPOGs like EVE lifelike and fun is the fact that there's something for everyone.   Capsulers who like to get rich are rewarded with virtual toys and free game time, while them that like destruction get neat graphics/thundering audio.  That's why I play EVE to get rich enough to destroy more stuff than anyone else...

16 posted on 06/12/2012 8:45:43 AM PDT by expat_panama
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