Grossman on VA Tech Massacre: Blame the Games

While Jack Thompson’s attempts to blame the Virginia Tech massacre on video games didn’t go over so well, another critic of video game violence has weighed in on the Virginia Tech massacre.

As reported by the NewsMax site, David Grossman (left) and a colleague, Frank Borelli, seem to point the finger at violent video games. From the article:

Shooter Cho Seung-Hui was moving through Norris Hall methodically firing his weapon as if he were playing a first-person shooter (FPS) video game…

One of the world’s foremost experts on the causes of violence, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who has seen confidential information stemming from the investigation, tells NewsMax in an exclusive interview that Cho was “deeply influenced by media violence.”

…Grossman forwarded an e-mail from Borelli… Borelli suggests that intensive extensive FPS gaming experience helped Cho fire with devastating accuracy…

Borelli cited an “anonymous reliable source” for the information that Cho fired three shots into nearly every victim. Some video games require the firing of multiple shots at each target.

GP: Anonymous source? The fact that Cho fired multiple shots at victims was widely reported in the mainstream press.

“The rest is quite obvious,” Borelli wrote Grossman. “Even if [Cho] only hit each victim once, he had a 32 percent hit ratio, which is better than most cop shootings.”

GP: But wouldn’t most cop shootings take place under the stress of confronting a bad guy who is shooting back? Cho, an angry sociopath clearly unburdened by any sense of human compassion, fired his weapons into small rooms crowded with unarmed people at close range.

In fact, in this USA Today report, Virginia Tech victim Colin Goddard describes being shot once by Cho, who then goes around the room shooting those who were already down. He fired two more bullets into Goddard. It seems like it would be difficult to miss under those conditions, FPS experience or not.

UPDATE: Frank Borelli has posted in comments, clarifying some of what was reported by the NewsMax site. We greatly appreciate his taking the time to do so.

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    Paige Davis says:

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  2. 0
    Paige Davis says:

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    A couple points here:

    1) I don’t believe politicians do anything except for votes or money. So I would disagree that they’re trying to control your hobby for the sake of anyone’s safety. If they’re trying to control your hobby it’s about votes or dollars or both.

    2) Unless playing a video game can activate your sympathetic nervous system (accellerated heart rate, increased respiration, increase in body temperature, tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, etc) as can happen in a real life and threat event, then I would disagree that the games can teach you to keep your cool under pressure. The only true pressure existant in games – bearing in mind that I’ve freely previously admitted my ignorance – is that caused by time limits and loss of play. Now, if everytime you were “damaged” in the game you got an electric shock through the controller, THEN you’d learn to keep your cool under pressure.

    FYI: the article I wrote about games and simulations for training is online at It was distributed through my newsletter Monday, May 28th. The link for comments at the bottom currently doesn’t work because it’s supposed to go to my websites discussion forum, but the forum is down. If you read and want to comment, send me an email.


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    I am in the process of writing an article about the similarities and differences between “games” and “simulations” and the applicability of each (or not) for training. Will keep all advised when and where it’s available.

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    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    By the way, I thank Frank Borelli and fellow GP posters for having such a healthy and constructive discussion together. We need many more debates like this.

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    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Dave Thompson :

    I didn’t mean to be offensive, but I do believe that it could be perceived as a a “threat” because I know people nutty enough to perceive this as threats. I’ll just mention one name : Jack Thompson. Remember how he ranted after his Mortal Kombat skin ? Remember how he ranted after Kotaku ?

    Well, his rants themselves are not that important, but what I’ve learnt from V-Tech tragedy is that there will always be people to believe these nuts. After all, Thompson was able to introduce himself as a “school shooting expert”. And a Larouchite managed to be heard in an independent panel.

    I know that talking about CS hostage skins was for fun, and in a private conversation, I’d laugh and bring some nasty ideas of my own. But we’re not in a private place. I may have overreacted, I apologize for it, and I’ll try to calm down in the future, but with Jack Thompson, and now the Larouchites, I have serious reasons to be scared.

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    Matt Henderson says:

    See this is the problem with this whole debate. We might get an expert opinion from a trained army officer or the like, or we might get an opinion from a gaming geek, but rarely do you get anyone who knows a decent amount about both.

    In this case Frank comes out saying games teach stance, positioning, aiming etc. and Cho played simulated killing games (counter strike) for hours on end a few years ago therefore he was trained to kill. Frank later agrees that these things are actually only trained by light gun games, which Cho and most other gamers do no spend hours on end playing.

    So Frank’s comments are taken to heart by people like Jack Thompson that killing simulation games train people with all of these skills, when in actual fact on reflection Frank is saying that only a small minority of the games being attacked actually train people with these skills. Conditioning might be another matter, but conditioning can be linked to all sorts of other media while training is linked directly to games beacuse they are interactive. I think before coming out and claiming that games can train these important skills you should clairfy what type of games you are talking about and realise they should be seen as a different issue to games played with a keyboard or controller which are actually the type of games that have been linked to Cho and other school shooters.

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    Steven says:

    First off, were violent even found in the shooter’s room?! I’m a college student from Bowling Green State University, so I was watching the news coverage fairly intently about the V Tech tragedy because that is something that no one could imagine would actually happen at their school. However, when these critics began springing up on my TV, I couldn’t help but talk back to the TV to repress my anger toward their oblivious ignorance and blatant insincerity for the victims or their friends and families. I was asking these critics questions like:

    “Was there a stack of violent movies and video games in Cho’s room?”

    “Did you just come from seeing his room full of said violent material?”

    And “Why aren’t you talking about the real issue?”

    The real issue being, that even if there actually were such violent materials in his room, they still are not what killed or even lead to the killing of those students and faculty. The GUNS that were LEGALLY sold to the LEGALLY DECLARED PSYCHO are what killed those innocent students and faculty. News reports blared over and over again about Cho’s recent visit in a courthouse where the judge said (paraphrasing) “Hey, you are fuck-crazy. I’m sending you off to be with other crazy fucks.” Then bureaucracy kicked in and no one was informed that he was legally declared “fuck-crazy” by a judge as he went right back to the unsuspecting community.

    And if we followed these critics methodology for thinking, we would stray down a dark and extraordinarily dumb path: {Thoughts of a video game critic} “Violent media (games) made him a psycho and he is Korean. South Korea has a lot of video gamers, their players win a lot of gaming tournaments. More South Koreans must be psychos too”

    So that’s it, I figured it out. Video game critics are not leading crusades to divert people away from their horrible personal track records or for attention. Nope, it is painfully clear that all video game critics are racist against the South Koreans. It finally makes some sense now. …Maybe. [This is called sarcasm for the slow critics]

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    Christopher Robin says:

    WOW. this shit is gettin fuckin RIDICULOUS. I’m an ex Army Ranger with 4 years of semi intense combat experience; ranging from search and destroy to hostage rescue to target aquiring and interrogation. I’m pretty fucking young too. NEEDLESS to say, i’ve played video games since the old NES system up through all current venues. i LOVE FPS games; consequently i’m really good at said games. but to even suGGEST that my abilities with actual weapons have been positively effected by my FPS experience.? like.. WOW. that’s uhm, the most unfactual RETARDED thing i’ve ever heard. if ANYthing, the only positive bump i’ve recieved in military training relating to video games in ANY aspect, would be my religious playing of smash bros on the gamecube. the hand eye cordination the game requires to track 4 seperate charactes simultaneously AND their objects is intense, no doubt. but again, in NO way has that had effect on my shooting ability. perhaps in my ability to assess targets faster and to “threat identify” with better accuracy and time. if anything, the reverse effect has occured. i have been applying my technical combat skills to the FPS games i play now, and rocking alot more ass then before. to suggest that the intense and critical military training and skills i have learned and recieved in my service to this country are in some way a direct result of my video game playing.?? are you TRYING to cheapen the blood shed by my fellows soldiers and those who didn’t come home at all.? you fucking FAGGOT assed politicians. you’re basically insulting not only the very specialized soldiers of YOUR COUNTRY’S military, but every one in the 15-25 age demographic thats plays these games as a means to VENT those violent urges in a safe and controlled environment with friends. and you would attempt to take them away from us.? would you rather teens take DRUGS in a means to satiate their boredom.? do you have any idea how EASY it is for kids and teenagers alike to aquire drugs of ANY from.? are you fucking joking.? yet another example of a country run by people 20 years removed from anything they’re talking about. video games, media, sex, drugs… they’re all running on ideals and principles learned while THEY were growing up; in an age COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY different from today.

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    Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Mr. Borelli: I’d like to applaud not only your willingness to carry on a dialogue here, but also to learn from it as well as educate. It’s a sad fact that far too many people, even people in positions of power, seem to function on sound bites and headlines, without taking the time to learn all of the facts; and likewise, to then go on to act like they know all of the facts.

    I can’t help but compare it to when I was a Blackjack dealer in Vegas… the majority of the people who stepped up to the table had learned what the rules of the game were, and stopped learning there, thinking that they knew everything there was to know about the game.

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    Sirikit says:

    @ ooftygoofty (from a long way back but hopefully still relevant!) :

    According to ESA figures, the average age of American gamers is now 33.

    Much the same is true in the UK.

  12. 0

    Remember this too as you read ANY news article about ANY topic:

    News doesn’t sell. Sensationalism sells. The reporters got so out of hand in Blacksburg, VA that the local eateries had signs up inviting the media NOT to come in. In the reporting world, it’s all about the scoop and many writers have their own slant on everything. Hell, I do and I TRY not to.

    For every news report you read about something having to do with VA Tech we can probably find a news report that says the exact opposite. The reporting of cold fact is an old profession that has gone by the wayside…

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    I don’t know enough about developmental psychology to make an intelligent statement about whether saturation play of video games can cause any issues at all.

    When I typed the email quoted by NewsMax I didn’t know that CounterStrike wasn’t a Light Gun game – and I don’t see how anyone can think that playing an FPS using a controller can help with shooting accuracy. But I’ve learned a few things from my involvement here.


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    Phenix says:

    Mr. Borelli,

    As others have said, thank you for the discussion. If nothing else, I hope that your percieved view of “gamers” might have shifted a bit. There have certainly been those who have been reactionary and not entirely pleasant, but there have also been those of us who’ve posted intelligent, mature posts. Gamers as a whole still suffer from the “angry nerd in the basement” stereotype. Does that stereotype exist. Yeah. Some comments here seem to reinforce that same image.

    But I hope you also realize that there of us out there who, like yourself, are genuinely concerned about how to portray gaming to the next generation. Those of us who view gaming as an emerging art form, and yet another way to interact with people the world over. Certainly, a lot of bad can come from gaming. Not simply with tragic events, but also the hostility, poor health and other factors affecting children today.

    Yet there is also so much good there. I don’t expect you to convert to be a gamer. I don’t like polka, and there isn’t much anyone could say to change that. What I hope is that you leave here with a greater appreciation for the gaming community, or at least a sense that many of us are socially conscious, well-intentioned people. You look at an event like Childs Play, and it’s harder to say that gamers are loners and individualists who care only about themselves. You look at a discussion like this, and I hope it’s harder to say that gamers are all aggressive, juveniles unable to express themselves.

    I’d love to see your articles in the future, wherever they may fall in terms of opinion. But even more than that, I’d love to continue discussing things. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the term grok (from Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land), but it’s a concept we discussed in one of my political science classes. To grok something is to understand it completely, to the point you could present a case for that side, even if you disagree. I’m not sure I fully grok your position yet, nor sure if you grok ours, but I do know that discussion is much, much more interesting than debate and hate posts.

    Keep us informed, and we’ll be here to talk to. No conversion process at all. I promise.

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    Scottland says:


    I Thought I saw a video clip of Cho’s room mate saying he never saw him playing games, but After a few reads, I thought I was going crazy. Thanks for telling me that either a)I’m not or b)I’m not the only one going crazy.

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    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Thank you for your time,
    Though to clarify a bit, despite how it may sound, we are trying to “convert” you, merely make sure your information is correct. Through our time of hearing from poeple like Jack Thompson and to a much less extreme extent Dave Gossman, we have heard alot of lies and misinformation being spread…. frankly, (combined with some personal bias) i think it’s gotten to the point where we react a bit too harshly and defensivly (hence why it may come off as trying to “convert” you)… Really, it puts a bad taste in our mouths whenever we hear something that sounds blantantly false that is being told an accepted by truth. For instance, with Jack thompson’s help in Lousiana, Roy Burrel tried to pass a law regulating video games and as a way on convincing his fellow politicans to vote for the bill, he talked about some of the more controversal flash games, even though these were games that would not be regulated by his bill since they are not sold in retail. Poeple like Jack also like to talk about controller based games training poeple how to shoot a weapon which is rather ridiculus (which is why i’m glad you make the distiction between light guns and Controllers when it comes to training… just wish it could have been in the newsmax article)

    In this case, the Newsmax story has certain things that you said that sound very errored. Specfically how it mentions that you think that Cho used counterstrike as a method to increase his skills with a gun. The thing is this is something that is just very untrue. In these comments you make the distinction between “light gun” based games and “FPS” controller based games, noting, that while both can condition you, only light gun gamescan actually help train someone to shoot a gun and that FPS games would be rather ineffective. The thing about Cho is, that it is rather unlikely that he was often playing the light gun games. light gun games are only popular in arcades, not in the home, and i’m not even sure that if a light gun version of Counterstrike even exists (though if it did, and Cho had one, i would think the light gun would have popped up in the seizure reports)… If Cho played any kind of FPS game, then it is far more likely that it was controller based and not a light gun game… if anything contributed to Cho’s accuracy its probably from the time he spent on the actual shooting range.

    “In Cho’s case, his family and roommates have made statements that he was an avid Counter-Strike game player; that he played this game almost every evening and did so for hours on end.”

    This is another statment that raises a few flags… So far the only mention i have heard of Cho’s game playing habits was the very few reports like the one made by the washington post which mentioned he played counterstrike back in high school. How much he played was never mentioned… second of all, Cho’s roomate in college said that he never saw Cho playing video games; every time Cho was on his computer it was to write something. the roomate also mentioned that Cho liked watching Wrestling and gameshows. Not once have i heard a report mention Cho playing Counter Strike after his highschool days. From what i can gather, Cho seemed to have stopped playing those games sometime after he left for college (not to hard to believe, seeing as college tends to leave less time for games)… Even the police seizure reports did not mention anything about games… i mean, overall, is that comment about Cho’s game playing habits come from something i have not heard, new information that tells us that Cho was into playing counterstrike late into his college years, or is that all information of what Cho was like Prior to going to college.

    Frankly, many of us just want the truth being told… if poeple are going to mention something bad about games, then at the very least it should be true. The truth about violent games just too often gets clouded by misinformation… Poeple like Thompson and a few choice politicans often makes things seem far far worse then they actually are… but ofcourse, being misinformed goes both ways, and we too can be wrong at times… so if what i mentioned about Cho’s game playing habits is wrong, then please correct me…. Agian, thanks for you time to actually discuss and clarify your position on the whole matter.

  17. 0
    Scottland says:

    Frank Borelli, I like many gamers(then again, I just found this site so I’m new here) would like to thank you for clearing things up about this. I was about to say you were going to be like Jack Thompson, but you quickly proved yourself not to be, just someone who’s willing to make an unbaised view on tghe issue.

    But I have to ask you, do you think violent games make mentally stable people calmer\less agressive? because from my experiance, cutting up demons with a chainsaw has relieved stress from a stressful day in College but I could be biased in favour of games. I know your not arguing about games making people madmen, but I wonder if it could go the other way.

    yet again, thank you very much for comments.

  18. 0

    Well, here’s the funny thing: I’ve never stereotyped “gamers”. I’ve never even considered there to be a group of people classified sufficiently together to be stereotyped. I’m old fashioned enough that I’d consider anyone who regularly plays ANY game on a computer or other system a “gamer”. That would include my wife and two sons.

    Where that is causing me discord is when the course of the discussion leads down a path where someone who cares a LOT about gaming wants to discuss a technicality or detail that I’m not only not aware of but couldn’t care less about. I don’t mean to sound cold and calous, but it’s just a game, ya’ know? To me games have always been those things I play when I have absolutely nothing more important, pressing or interesting to do. That outlook, on my part, will probably keep me from ever groking your position.

    And while it is certainly obvious that there are plenty of mature gamers here (not in age, but in outlook) you only have to read some of the above statements to see that some aren’t. Like any other group, those who attack anything they don’t like, show anger at an expressed opinion they disagree with, or simply “argue” by spouting a few colorful expletives insulting the person who said what they didn’t want to hear – well, those folks don’t make the rest of you look very good. True, you shouldn’t all be lumped together but we know what human nature is.

    And, just for the record, I had to go back and look at what I was actually quoted as having said. I still couldn’t figure out why people were so angry with ME.

    “Cho had limited experience with real guns, but had an astonishing hit ratio, rhythmic fire patterns, quick reloads — and fired ‘tactically,’ with three shots into nearly every student killed.”

    “Borelli cited an “anonymous reliable source” for the information that Cho fired three shots into nearly every victim.”

    “The rest is quite obvious,” Borelli wrote Grossman. “Even if [Cho] only hit each victim once, he had a 32 percent hit ratio, which is better than most cop shootings.”

    “Many video games today do make a difference between cover and concealment, but some also allow players to destroy barriers by shooting them enough times,” Borelli writes. “Where was he in his head?”

    Those four statements are all I said. Everything else around them is spin from NewsMax. Only the very last one even mentions games and, given that Cho was diagnosed with mental issues, I think it’s a valid question to wonder whether he was “playing” in real life. That last comment was made because Cho shot into some doors but didn’t otherwise try to penetrate that barrier. I was wondering if, JUST PERHAPS, he’d played a game that allowed him to destroy a barrier by shooting it – and when the real door didn’t disappear he moved on.

    I never said games were evil. I never said games make people evil. It does upset me that I was attacked for having an outlook I never held or expressed.

    Welcome to Thursday.

  19. 0
    Phenix says:

    Unfortunately Mr. Borelli, that’s a fact of human nature, and somewhat a product of our own news system. You were unfortunate enough to have been lumped in with the guys that took your message and twisted it. It is a lot easier for people to look at a quote in the light that others paint it in than to actually read the source material and understand where a person’s coming from. I know I’m guilty of it too, though I try to be as educated as possible before I post.

    This is not just something that is done here, or just by people passionate about games. It does not take watching a partisan “news” program for long to realize that you can hear a quote that sounds completely reasonable in context, given a hard spin for one side and the other, and if you didn’t take the time to suss out how much spin was there, you could easily miss what the quote actually said, and get swept up in the rhetoric that the discussion tried to push.

    Believe me, I think you’ve handled yourself extremely well. I just want to highlight one thing you said: “It does upset me that I was attacked for having an outlook I never held or expressed.”

    I think a lot of people who enjoy gaming can sympathize here, because that is our main complaint. Games are described as evil, immoral, murder simulators, etc. Most people have never had the mindset that the violence in games was something to be condoned. The violence on the screen is seperated from reality, which allows them to “enjoy” it because it’s so far removed from the realm of possibility.

    Yet our hobby is attacked, and we are all held to the outlook that a very small, very troubled minority has shown, and treated the same. It has made a lot of us upset because we cannot understand why people lump us all together and say things about our collective hobby and the people who play it. Many people can’t express themselves in a rational manner, and sound like fools (though I say the same of many pundits in partisan media talk shows).

    In the end, you’ve probably done more by talking here than you know. It brought the people who want to discuss this rationally out. I wish that those who mis-used your own words had done the same. I don’t think we’d change their minds (just as we may not have changed yours) but I think it would give both sides a better idea of who they’re dealing with.

    You’re absolutely right that there is no one proper stereotype of “gamer”, since the sample of people that play games is drawn from such a huge range of backgrounds. Unfortunately, I don’t think that many people know that, or care to acknowledge that. They choose to judge us by the company we keep, and just it upsets you, it upsets us. As I’ve said, nothing that you personally said has been directly against our hobby, and when given a bit of info about games, you were quick to clarify yourself. But sometimes, no matter what you say, you will be judged by the people around you, even if you have nothing to do with them.

  20. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So, I read this article, and it was interesting and well-written. Althgough it may lack an insight on a particular aspect of games and simulations : the teaching of team play and tactical skills. I’m gonna try to explain it the best I can, considering my limited knowledge and my raw English :

    Many FPS games put the player into an unrealistic context, including fantasy, sci-fi or pseudo-sci-fi worlds, creatures and weapons. Examples : popular game series such as “Doom”, “Quake”, “Wolfenstein”, Half-Life”, “Unreal”, “Unreal Tournament”, “Star Wars Jedi Knight”, “Serious Sam”, “Halo”… and games such as “Prey”, “Stalker”, “Duke Nukem 3D”, etc…

    Other FPS games put the player into a pseudo-realistic military context, in the sense that real weapons and military uniforms are accurately modeled, but usually the gameplay is far too unrealistic. Various examples are game series such as “Counter-Strike”, “Battlefield” and “Medal of Honor”.

    In the first example, “Counter Strike”, weapons and counter-terrorist equipments are correctly modeled, but that’s all. First, the maps in which players are put are sometimes very “unprobable” (aztec ruins, for example…). Second, as you can die by being hit repeatedly in any part of the body, you can kill your opponents by jumping relentlessly and shooting in the legs. Even if it’s a game that separates players in two teams, I’m not sure it can teach any team fight skills. And anyway, the game, originally a modification of another game, wasn’t made to be “realistic” : it’s just cops and robbers replaced by terrorists and counter-terrorists.

    In the second example, the first episodes of the “Battlefield” series (that is, “Battlefield 1942”, “Battlefield Vietnam” and Battlefield 2 : Modern Combat”), weapons, uniforms and vehicles are correctly modeled, and the context is a real war. But although the maps are more “appropriate” than “Counter-Strike”, there isn’t a too big effort in realism, and you can still kill opponents by jumping like a frog and shooting in the legs, or even on the ground hoping that it would hit your close opponents. About team play, it may have a value in “Battlefield 2” with the commandment system (one player is the leader), but I haven’t tried it yet and I don’t know what it’s worth. Anyway, once again, it’s cops-and-robbers in a pseudo-realistic world, but this time with vehicles.

    In the third example, the “Medal of Honor” series, especially “Medal of Honor : Allied Assault”. I haven’t tried the multiplayer part, only the single player part, in which the player is put in realistic WW2 context, with weapons and uniforms correctly modeled, but with a very “scripted” action : go there, kill opponents, then go there, etc… without many possibilities to get out of the script. It’s much more an interactive version of “Saving Private Ryan” than an accurate depiction of WW2 fights.

    The common denominator of all these pseudo-military games is that the only realistic thing is the modeling of weapons, clothes, and eventually vehicles. But the gameplay in itself is anything but realistic. I see maybe only one exception : the “Soldier of Fortune” series (that puts the player in the context of mercenary world) because of its very accurate and realistic hit points system. Another common denominator is that you can’t do anything and fire at anyone. If you kill men of your team, you’re likely to be kicked abruptly out of the game. And in “Counter Strike” in particular, you must not kill hostages when there are some, even if you’re on the terrorist side, because it makes your team lose money (and it gives your fellow players the temptation to kick you out of the server, once again).

    And now, you have a special subgenre of FPS games, called “tactical FPS”. Like pseudo-military FPS games, they put the player into realistic context (be it military or terrorist and counter-terrorist world) and weapons, uniforms and eventually vehicles are modeled with accuracy. But this time, the situation is credible enough, and the most important of all, the gameplay, is very realistic. You cannot jump like a frog and shoot on the ground any longer. And they even may teach tactical skills. The best examples are the game series “Rainbow Six” and “Operation Flashpoint/Armed Assault” (I can also mention the “SWAT” and the “Ghost Recon” series).

    In the first example, “Rainbow Six”, “Rainbow Six 2 : Rogue Spear” and “Rainbow Six 3 : Raven Shield”, the player is put into the context of counter-terrorism (hostages to rescue, etc…). You are the leader of a squad, but you also have the support of other squads. There is first a tactical part in which you must choose your equipment and the men of your squad, and you must also give instructions to other squads so that they can operate independently. In the FPS part, you can command men of your squad and give some orders. The tactical part is excellent, and some players enjoy playing only this part and skipping the FPS part, letting their squads operating alone.

    In the second example, “Operation Flashpoint”, its official sequel “Operation Flashpoint 2” and its officious sequel “Armed Assault”, the player is put into the context of a recent hypothetic war (in “Operation Flashpoint”, it was a war in Eastern Europe against a communist or ex-communist army). The uniforms, the weapons and the vehicles are modeled correctly. But this time, the gameplay is very realistic (I really had the sensation to be put into the context of military combat), there are serious battle plans with big battle fields and accurate topographies, and you also can give orders to your company. In fact, it is so realistic that some armies use an advanced version of this game as simulation.

    This is all I know about Tactical FPS, their difference between fantasy and pseudo-military FPS, and the teaching of tactical skills. I may have forgotten some things, or misinterpreted other things, so I ask any reader of this post to correct me if I’m wrong, and add any important precision I forgot to make. Anyway, I hope my post was useful enough.

  21. 0

    […] When the effects of video games on children are discussed in the media, it’s all about violence, addiction and sexual content. Well, I’ve played a lot of games a kid, and I believe that these kinds of influence were pretty marginal on me. However, there’s one thing about video games that truly inspired me as a kid, so much that I was thinking about it at least once a day: The concept of a save-game. […]

  22. 0
    Linkreincarnate ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The way I see it Mr Borelli is this. Even if games are an effective method of training to use firearms there are more effective methods that are not restricted. Going to the gun range for instance. We have many politicians trying to regulate our hobbies because they feel (unjustly)that games are training our children to be killers. Even if that were true though we don’t prevent people from training to become killers. We allow people to take firearms classes and self defence classes and any number of trainings to hurt or kill other people. Why should games be regulated because they could be used for training when the actual training is not?

  23. 0
    Tina Russell ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hey, I wanted to mention something: shooter games, even when played with a controller or mouse and keyboard (as most are), teach you a very important skill, which is to keep your cool under pressure. Even if they cannot condition you to know how to aim and fire, they will still condition you to be cold, calm, and alert in hostile situations. That, of course, goes both ways, because the ability to keep your cool can be very useful in emergency situations where you have to leave an area as quickly as possible without freaking out.

    So, if we assume for the sake of argument (though there’s no evidence) that Cho played Counter-Strike, it certainly would have desensitized him to the process of killing and allowed him to pull off his heinous act with deadly efficiency. That said, obviously, he made his own choice when he decided to be a killer, and a nuance that is often lost on the mainstream media is that Counter-Strike is a team-based tactical strike game akin to paintball rather than a mow-’em-down, rack-up-the-kills, shallow gore-fest like Black.

  24. 0
    BustermanZero says:

    One fatal flaw with the argument: FPS are useless for teaching people how to shoot properly. At best they teach you the value of head-shots, but I’m willing to bet a massive percentage of gamers don’t even know how to hold guns properly to avoid serious backlash, slide-bites, etc. Now, if the guy had used a robot that was controlled via a system similar to that of a game…

    Oh, and lets not forget that the guy’s friends say he never played games. This guy’s fish story is getting boring, really.

  25. 0
    Scoops says:

    Personally I’m still leaning in the direction of “no evidence of gaming found” rather than listening to someone who is a noted anti-gamer talk about secret, confidential info.

    Frankly, I find none of his arguments compelling. Aside from what’s mentioned int he GP article, Grossman talks about shooting through doors and how modern FPS games make clear the difference between cover and concealment. So does TV. So do movies. So does rational thought. All speculation aside, this Cho kid was off at a good tech university. It’s reasonable to assume he’s smart enough to think a bullet can pass through a door, regardless of personal experience – simulated or otherwise.

    Of course, Grossman then goes on with more of these silly games marketed to children, not protected by the first amendment arguments. They’re not valid, can people please move on to something new and relevant? Leaving aside the fact that I don’t believe what he’s saying, my primary rebuttal would be this: Many people and corporations can “hide” behind the Constitution and its amendments, should they all be gotten rid of? Personally, I ascribe to the idea that it’s better for ten guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be punished.

  26. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Grossman is a moron and his theory’s are bullshit and have even been put down by those in the military (as they have said games are not used to desensitize soldiers or to train them how to shoot, but to teach teamwork and coordination.).

  27. 0
    Diceman says:

    Learning how to handle recoil properly takes weeks if not months of practice to get down properly something FPS can never do,and it doesn’t help this guys case that most of the wounded duck and covered and were shot at 5 feet due to them not making themselves a hard target.

  28. 0
    dustin1986 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why does anyone think this argument makes any sense? Holding a mouse or a controller is so co,pletely removed from the experience of holding and firing a gun. It seems that the only argument is that video games improve your “hand-eye coordination”. Well so does Baseball, ar anything else. If these training simulations are so deadly, why aren’t we banning all of the 13 year olds from paint ball tournaments? The recoil of a paintball, the joy you get from inflicting pain on your friends, these kids must be psychotic by now!

  29. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    He’s a bit late jumping onto the Massacre Chaser bandwagon, it must have taken a while for the memo to reach him or something.

    Hmmm.. I wonder if there’s a huge conspiracy where people like Jack Thompson and Grossman get together to decide which tragedies they are going to try and profit from.

    Actually that’s a thought, maybe JT WANTS a conspiracy, after all, if you’re Batman, fighting ‘evil’, you want to be up against ‘Evil Inc.’ not one-off muggers. Maybe that’s why Jack constructs his little fantasy world?

  30. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    right. video gamers are better shots than trained cops. why dont we fire every cop in this country and replace them with gamers that play shooters. or better yet, maybe we should send them to iraq, that way they can end this war.

  31. 0
    Sidewinder says:

    “Shooter Cho Seung-Hui was moving through Norris Hall methodically firing his weapon as if he were playing a first-person shooter (FPS) video game…”

    Is it possible that FPS`make you move methodicly, firing your weaqpons because people do that in real life.

    “Devastatingly accurate”… Is shooting point plank devastatingly accurate? In that case most pasifists are pistol marksmen and I’m a top notch sniper (Note: I’ve never fired anything but a small caliber rifle).

  32. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Dave Grossman should shut the f*** up, he’s out of his element.

    If Grossman, Jack Thompson, and others of their ilk truly believed their own bull****, then they should adopt Ron White’s method:

    Donate a roll of quarters to every cop in America, and drop them off at the mall.

  33. 0
    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Even if [Cho] only hit each victim once, he had a 32 percent hit ratio, which is better than most cop shootings.”

    Err… didn’t Cho practiced at an actual shooting range before the massacre… call me crazy but i think that’s where the accuracy came from. For some reason these two seem to say that how Cho shot poeple is proof that he was influenced by FPS games, and yet the biggest piece of evidence, Cho ACUTALLY owning any violent video games is still missing… so far, the is no evidence that Cho played an FPs game since he entered college… what a couple of morons

  34. 0
    Scoops says:

    Y’know, my friend got a BB gun for his birthday in January. I went out with him and his brother (the giver) that day, and fired some BBs at targets. Aside from that, I’ve never fired anything but a Super Soaker. I also haven’t played an FPS with any seriousness since Doom II was new. My friend plays the Call of Duty and Medal of Honor games with incredible regularity, and frequently fires other BB guns. His brother plays fewer FPSes (but still more than me) and shoots less (but still more than me). However, unlike them, I am very athletic. I participate in many sports, including hockey and baseball. Both of those sports involve high degrees of hand-eye co-ordination. I am also an avid gamer, just not FPS games, so any gaming hand-eye co-ordination they have is likely matched by me.

    I was far and away the better marksman of the three of us. And even considering that, I know I’d still wreck my arm and/or face if I ever tried to fire real guns without proper training.

    These two guys are former military and police men. Surely they know that firing a gun is more than just point and shoot. Surely they know that well-planned and executed crimes and troop movements existed before games. Why then do these men choose to deliberately lie to the media and the population at large?

  35. 0
    Devr says:

    Nice to know that if I someday have to use a gun, I can already shoot it better than a trained policeman(Even tough I’ve never even held a real gun in my hand)! LOL.

  36. 0
    Silver_Derstin says:

    “Cho fired three shots into nearly every victim.”

    That’s what is called the “Beretta Reflex”, actually. One bullet to adjust your aim, one bullet to hit the target, one bullet to kill the target. This is what kills my score at Laser Tag :(

  37. 0
    Scoops says:

    Someday, I’ll learn to get all my ideas in before I hit submit. Until then:

    I just finally read the last paragraph of the article (having given up after the first amendment thing earlier).

    “I hope that I am wrong and I pray that I am wrong, “Grossman adds, “when [Cho’s] generation hits the workplace and they hit the public domain, they are going to make the … shootings that we have seen so far pale by comparison. We will reap what we sow for many generations to come.”

    First, I don’t believe him. He’s a disingenuous liar. He needs this to keep happening or he goes out of business. Few and far between are people who would honestly wish themselves out of a job. Secondly, Cho’s generation is in the workplace already. The gamers are already out there, busily not shooting people. And remember kids, the games Postal gets its name from something specific. Look at the first shooting there. Fourteen dead in 1986. That’s Duck Hunt for you. The original home murder simulator.

  38. 0
    janarius ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hold it! Is Borelli part of the official investigation team? How can he rely on anonymous information, even if it looks like a common sense evidence, it should not be relied upon. Again, I don’t know what to make of Grossman, he may be a psychologist, but his publications are nowhere in the psych literature.

  39. 0
    -Jes- ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And so Grossman just perpetually admitted himself to the “lying for profit under the guise of ‘Teh Childrens’!” list.

    Welcome and Salutations, dear Grossman. your host, Jack Thompson, will be waiting in his office ready to brainwa– I mean educate you on the Evils of electronic media.

  40. 0
    Mr.Pat says:

    Why am I not surprised that this story was covered by an extreme-right- wing “news” site thats is more known for its ad featuring a guy humping the floor than the accuracy of their “news”? Newsmax was probably the only site willing to give Grossman the time of day, as if his lack of credibility was bad enough for him.

  41. 0
    Weatherlght ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Cho fired three shots into nearly every victim. Some video games require the firing of multiple shots at each target.”
    How can this be learned from video games? If he learned it from video games, he would have been going for “Head Shots”, not multiple hits to the body.

    He was using two handguns, and from the pictures that he sent to the news, He was dual wielding, how can you only shoot once? Natural instinct is to fire three shots. First one on target with primary, second one a bit wild, and a third one for good measure. This happens before you realize that the first one or two rounds hit.

    Now if he was only using one handgun it would have been two shots a person, provided he was worried about missing and wanted to invoke maximum damage. Its a subconscious decision, that deals with your reaction time and thought process. Not something that is learned from video games or even the movies.

    “Even if [Cho] only hit each victim once, he had a 32 percent hit ratio, which is better than most cop shootings.”
    Um, lets think for a second, Most of his shots were likely at students who were not moving (hiding scared like they teach you in school), and in a closed classroom, maybe 20′ to 30′ Ft max, and he didn’t care who they were. So a non moving 2’x3′ target at 20’ft, indiscriminate of targets, How could he miss? Because he didn’t know how to handle a gun. Darn those FPS.

    Police officers are trying to protect people not kill them. They fire one shot per target, ONLY after identifying the target. The target is often moving, and they are often hesitant. Its not fair comparing a police officers skill to a mass murdering gunman, shooting stationary civilians. Its apples to oranges.

    “Grossman talks about shooting through doors and how modern FPS games make clear the difference between cover and concealment.”
    I learned that from myth busters and the history channel, quick ban the discovery and history channel, its teaching our children how to kill!!!

    Right on, I played Silent Scope the arcade version, and it didn’t teach me how to use a sniper rifle. I played duck hunt, and it didn’t teach me how to shoot ducks (Ducks with a pistol WTF!?!). I play counterstrike and it taught me that the hit boxes in that game are F’d up. If anything these games showed me how un-lifelike video games are.

    Truly if video games teaches us how to kill arrest me now, before I go C&C on your town and level it with tanks.

    Note: I am being highly sarcastic in some of my comments.

  42. 0
    JC says:

    I think the picture of him is silly, reminds me of those “how big” pics.

    In either case, it must be insulting to the police force who go through obstacle courses, take intense driving techniques and practice at the shooting range, insulted that they have “poorer” accuracy than a video game player like Cho.

    He was playing Basketball wasn’t he? Omg, all the NBA players must be highly accurate killers!

  43. 0
    Weatherlght ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Silver_Derstin
    I spent to long typing, I knew there was a name for it.

    @monte’ & Bluewolf
    Where can I read this? Sorry I’m out of the loop on most news. Stupid Germany.

  44. 0
    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Jack can’t be the source… Jack is an attention whore that loves being credited on everything he does… he wouldn’t go anouynmous like that, he would be taking full credit for working with grossman


    Well, they could have meant that the guy does know who the source actually is, but the source itself asked to remain anoynmous and not be openly credited for providing the information. it’s really the only way a Anoynomous source could also be consdered reliable… I’d say there is probably a good chance that three shot thing is true (they did say most, not all)… but ofcourse, three shots ain’t evidence for shit when it comes to pinning this massacre on video games… i mean really, if your going to kill someone it seems like common sence to use more then one bullet on the victim… unless you are certain you can hit them in a vital spot with one shot, you’ll want to use more than one shot to make sure you hit a vital spot or severally injure them enough that they die from their injuries. and thinking about it 3 shots sounds like a blanced number… 2 shots and you may not have done enough, 4 shots and you may just be wasting ammo… Unless you actually check to see if the victim was dead, you really must use multiple shots to make sure you killed them.

  45. 0
    ooftygoofty says:

    He knew that shooting someone multiple times was more likely to kill them! That sort of knowledge could ONLY come from a video game!

    Seriously, will it be considered evidence that he aimed his rifle at his victims instead of, you know, the other direction entirely? Because you need a video game to know that. Wait, what is this “gun” you speak of, anyway?

  46. 0
    Toastrider says:


    You too? I used to play Q-Zar-style laser tag quite a bit, and my hit percentages were usually low due to my habit of double-tapping targets.

    But yeah… as earlier posters have noted, FPSes are not good at teaching you how to operate real firearms. I’m not a /super/ FPS player but I do reasonably well — but I’m still not a great shot in RL. Maybe I don’t have the right ‘murder simulators’?

    Or maybe this is all just horsecrap, like Pat Pulling’s self-serving crusade against D&D so many years ago.


  47. 0
    ash2dust says:

    I just want to throw this out there, even though I still think the anti-game side is pretty ridiculous:

    I see a lot of people shooting out the argument that an fps can’t train you to handle a gun. I don’t think anyone’s claiming that anyone learned to use the gun itself on a game. They’re saying that people learn when, why, and, most importantly, how to want to use a gun.

  48. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Like I said in the last thread, Grossman’s probably just jealous JT’s gotten all the attention of late and is probably ticked off at him for taking credit for a term he invented, so he’s probably just trying to get face time.

    So who is this “anonymous source?” I call BS on that one. When you’ve got “anonymous sources” going around saying this when all othe other evidence that has come out states the contrary, that’s just pulling stuff out of your ass. Saying you have an “anonymous source” just means you can make whatever assertion you want and don’t have to back it up.

    Last year I worked for Dunbar Armored as an armored car driver and guard. My job required me to carry a gun, so I had to attend mandatory courses in firearms as part of my training plus get a gun permit. For target practice we were each issued a .357 Magnum (the standard company sidearm). When it came time to shoot, I assumed my firing stance, held the gun properly, aimed and squeezed off six rounds in quick succession. When it came time to reload, while others fumbled around in loading the chambers, I calmly loaded each bullet and just to show off, spun the chamber and flicked my wrist to load it back in. When the instructor gave the order to shoot once more, I assumed my stance and fired six more rounds.

    I scored 84% in accuracy for that class. I HAD NEVER FIRED A REAL GUN BEFORE. Did video games teach me all that? They probably just taught me how to aim better, but that’s it. Everything else I learned about firing a gun came from movies, TV shows, documentaries and the games of Lazer Tag I played when I was a teenager.

    So what does this prove? Grossman and JT may be right up to a point. Games do play a factor insofar as they may teach you how to aim, but they go far beyond that; the rest of their assertions being made up of half-truths and outright lies. The bottom line is that it’s still the person behind the gun that is responsible. And if that person is messed-up in the head, chances are he’s going to kill someone.

    I’ve played a lifetime of games including many FPS. Do they desensitize me and make me more apt to kill someone if I had a gun? Do they make me value human life any less? NO! I play FPS games because they are simply that. I know in my own mind that what I am shooting at isn’t real, that those are not real human beings and there are no consequences. I would never shoot at a person in real life unless I knew for certain that my own life was in danger, and in such cases I would not hesitate. But normally I would NEVER kill anyone.

    To hang the blame on video games is irresponsible. It’s a straw-man argument. The real issue is the person themselves. And if he takes a gun and shoots a lot of people, chances are there were far more significant factors at play than just video games.

    I play video games, I know how to shoot. Yet I would never take a human life without good reason. How do you explain me, Mr. Grossman and Mr. Thompson? How do you explain me?

  49. 0
    brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Odd.. unless your playing a heavily team oriented game on a server where the people have a very team oriented play style your average game is a complete clusterfuck of people screaming hax, noob, and cheap among other things.

  50. 0
    Scoops says:

    I’m not familiar with the game that encourages one to pick up a gun and fire at unarmed civilians. Which game teaches you that when, why and how to want? I’d argue that anything short of a game that does exactly that isn’t enough of a legitimate training tool.

    And Thompson (at least) has, in the past, argued that games teach you everything you need to know to commit crimes like this. Everything, to me, includes operating a gun. If they don’t mean that, they need to say it.

  51. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    To play devil’s advocate for a moment, I accept FPSes *could* train you to be a killer.

    The idea that they train you to shoot a gun is ridiculous because, as everyone is quick to point out, controllers aren’t guns. Even pretend guns aren’t great at training you to use a real one, so a mouse and keyboard combo doesn’t even stand a chance.

    What FPSes can train you to do (in theory) is detach from reality. Suppose you are playing Generic Shooter III in the Commercial Building (Skyscraper) Stage. You just fought your way through Crate-Filled Sewer Stage and are dreadfully low on health. As you walk through the hallways, what do you do? You check the doors as you pass because you don’t want to miss an enemy and have them shoot you in the back. Systematic annihilation of the enemies is a common part of FPS playing, even going as far as to encourage you to hunt them down just in case they should pop up later. You can take more punishment than the enemy, so you roll your tank of a player through the scenery and take down anything that looks like it might open fire on you. You wince in comic pain when your aim slips and you end up nailing someone in the groin instead of the head. You laugh when you use the physics engine to score an unusual kill. You get excited when you see a collection of gas cylinders because you know you might be able to set someone on fire with them.

    So, could a game train you to become a killer? No.
    Could it train a killer to become an unfeeling, systematic mass murderer? Maybe.

  52. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Matthew if you are a killer chances are you already are unfeeling and systemmatic. I mean if killing people made you feel very sad you wouldn’t do it, would you (unless you’re in the military).

  53. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sorry for the double post, but I noticed a silly disparity there. The “train to be a killer” in the first line is meant to be the unfeeling homicidal type referenced in the last line. Heh.

  54. 0
    Scoops says:

    FPSes can, in theory, desensitize you. Lots of things can happen, in theory. In theory, communism works. ;P

    The point is: It’s not close to being proven. Not at all close. Crazy people have gone on rampages before. Crazy people will go on rampages again. And I further submit, that if you really think about it deep down, games of any kind are horrible training tools for almost anything. Single player FPSes give the player unreasonable physical characteristics, which you can’t rely on in real life. Team based FPS games have, y’know, teammates. And they still have unrealistic physical characteristics (though usually not so profound). Grand Theft Auto is basically total fiction. I can’t think of a single truly realistic thing in its gameplay mechanics. MVP Baseball won’t help me learn to hit a big-time, 12-6 curveball, or even identify it coming out of a pitcher’s hand.

    There are lots of theories about what games can train you to do, mostly coming from people who don’t actually seem to play many (if any) games. I personally have yet to see even the slightest hint of proof in my real life. Doing stuff in real life trains you to do it in real life. I don’t drive well at high speed because Gran Turismo allows me to simulate driving over 200km/h and keep my nerves cool. I drive well at high speed because I have learned, in real cars, how to drive at high speed. Hell, I can’t even drive stick in games. I can in real life.

  55. 0
    eXm says:

    I am curious why nobody has done a study of measuring how well people can shoot after playing an fps game to prove it doesn’t teach one how to competently fire a weapon. Take 2 groups of people who have never played a fps and never fired a gun. One group plays the fps and then fires, one just fires. I’m confident we would see no discernible difference. They could also see how well they could reload a weapon based solely on gameplay. Funny thing is, there’s no “X” button on most guns…

    My scientific method is probably not totally correct, but you get the idea. It would be an interesting study, would it not?

  56. 0
    darkSide says:

    Every time I read this kind of stupidity from people that have more of a voice in the public than us makes me sick. Because at least some other idiot with lower IQ than the guy that said that is gonna listen (even if lower IQ is almost imposible)

    I just would like that my voice would reach everyone that read that article to give the information this guy missed, even when its likely that he HAS the information and is just out to get video games.

    If my voice couldnt reach the readers at least let my hand reach the idiot that does this stuff. “BITCH SLAP”

  57. 0
    Gamer81 says:

    @ Tina Russell

    Keep in mind that Cho was already ruled by a court to have mental disorders and a threat to himself. Yet even though he was ruled to have mental disorders, you expect him not to be cool and calm when he committed this heinous acts? If he weren’t cool and calm when doing something like he did, (in other words, if he committed this act in a “normal” way, by being nervous and shaky) then he wouldn’t have been considered mentally disturbed.

    It’s quite unbelievable that people expected Cho to act the way normal people act, even though we already know that he wasn’t normal, and was even ruled to be a threat by a court.

  58. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “I’ll bet you five bucks the anoyomus source was Jack Thompson.”

    That’s a fool’s bet there.

    “For some reason these two seem to say that how Cho shot poeple is proof that he was influenced by FPS games, and yet the biggest piece of evidence, Cho ACUTALLY owning any violent video games is still missing… so far, the is no evidence that Cho played an FPs game since he entered college…”

    Didn’t you hear Jack in the Robida case? The games were ditched. Cho probably dropped them in a well somewhere.[/sarcasm]

  59. 0
    Muetank ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Many video games today do make a difference between cover and concealment, but some also allow players to destroy barriers by shooting them enough times.”

    Or you can just turn on your wall hax! They do have that in RL right?

  60. 0
    Salen says:

    Why does that picture make me think he’s telling me how big of a fish he caught? Oh, in other news, this guy’s statements is just riddled with flaws and idiocy. Maybe the picture is telling us how big the flaws in his argument are.

  61. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I, once again, fall back to the Robida case where the DA Paul Walsh, Jr indicated that John Bruce, who had claimed to receive information from investigators as well as the DA’s office, did not, in fact, receive such information and if he had, it would have been obtained illegally.

    This interview by Grossman, is a clear admission of tampering with and influencing the investigation, most notably the evidence and/or witnesses, of this case. If this proves true, that investigators illegally handed over evidence or witness testimony to individuals not directly related to the investigation of this case, then the SBI of VA should take over the investigation, Grossman and Borelli should be arrested for interfering with the investigation, and so should this “anonymous source” as well as other charges be brought as necessary.

    A fair, intelligent, ethical investigation cannot possibly be performed when massacre chasers and agenda seekers work to influence and interfer with an appropriate investigation just so they can push their personal, religious, and/or political agendas.

    NW2K Software

  62. 0
    17-A says:

    “Shooter Cho Seung-Hui was moving through Norris Hall methodically firing his weapon as if he were playing a first-person shooter (FPS) video game…”

    Exactly! Because id Games copyrighted moving through halls and methodically firing a weapon back when they made Wolfenstein 3D. Since then, they have only allowed other game developers to use this original concept in their own FPS games, provided they pay the proper royalties.

    …Seriously though, ART IMITATES LIFE. Cho could have learned the fine art of “gun goes bang” from hundreds of other sources besides video games, and considering that he didn’t play games in college, it’s foolish to think that the time he spent playing Counter-Strike in high school was his primary motivation. I can’t believe these anti-game media whores keep trying to squeeze blood out of the V-Tech victims’ headstones.

    (Okay, that last bit might be a slight exaggeration, but the metaphor demanded to be written.)

  63. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I think the real problem gamers are having is not so much with the idea that these games de-sensitize people to violent images and situations, that, I think, is something that ALL Media is going to have to face up to soon, that, whilst they are not to blame for it, there are Phsycotics out there who are set off by ‘triggers’, and violent Media unknowingly contains a lot of those triggers.

    The problem is, those triggers are what people buy games and watch movies for, the high-tension car-chase, the face off against an enemy that far outnumbers you etc. It’s the people who have a problem drawing the line between fantasy and reality that are in danger. The part that many politicians don’t understand is that Video Games do NOT erase that line, any more than books, music or TV did, people learn to play by using fantasy, and 99% of people are perfectly capable of swapping between the two states without any trouble whatsoever.

    I think it’s the victimisation that is the problem more than the idea that Media content can have an adverse effect. The whole Interactive aspect is kind of silly, it’s like saying there’s a risk that Will Wheaton would have died trying to build a cloaking device for his car.

    I suppose it was explained best by an article, I can’t remember where, which stated…

    Imagine a game where you have to stack dead bodies in as small a space as possible that are being harvested from a mortuary above, the bodies are rigor-mortised into one of 4-5 positions which can be interlocked. Once a complete line of biomatter has been created, it is absorbed. Now think of Tetris. The part of the brain you use to play both of those games is [i]exactly the same[/i]. The first may contains less ‘comfortable’ descriptions and images, but that doesn’t make it violent.

    It is this which most politicians are getting confused about. All most FPS shooters do is enhance the hand-eye co-ordination level, in fact, if the ‘punishment fit the crime’ and commiting a crime meant ‘Game Over’ it would actually mean the player was under a great deal more stress and the situation would be far more ‘realistic’ from an emotional point of view.

    So yes, Media needs looking at, however, this habit of scapegoating games is wearisome and politicians really should know better than to listen to this kind of rhetoric by now.

  64. 0
    zeluis says:

    enviado por: Lúcia Adélia

    Estou indignada e peço licença para usar este espaço para divulgar esse absurdo que a rede globo cometeu com a Comunidade Quilombola da Bahia.

    16 DE MAIO DE 2007 – 16h38

    Comunidade acusa racismo em \”Jornal Nacional\” e Rede Globo

    A Comunidade São Francisco do Paraguaçu, de Cahoeira, na Bahia, acusa a TV Globo de veicular uma reportagem racista, no Jornal Nacional de segunda-feira (14), contra os moradores negros daquela região do recôncavo baiano.

    Segundo a comunidade, a reportagem tem o claro objetivo de desqualificar a Comunidade São Francisco do Paraguaçu e seus moradores, justamente no momento em que o Estado brasileiro está para reconhecê-los como descendentes de quilombolas.

    A nota também critica a distorção dos fatos para criminalizar os moradores da comunidade. \”Estamos decepcionados com a falta de dignidade do jornalista que expôs seu nome numa reportagem fraudulenta, pois as imagens do desmatamento de madeira apresentado na reportagem não foram filmadas em nossa comunidade\”.

    Confira a íntegra da nota:

    Comunidade Remanescente de Quilombo São Francisco Do Paraguaçu

    As falsidades veiculadas pelo Jornal Nacional da Rede Globo de Televisão, no dia 14 de maio deste ano, \”Crime no quilombo – suspeitas de fraude e extração de madeira de Mata Atlântica\”, repetem na história o que significou o 14 de maio de 1888 para a população negra no Brasil, dia seguinte à abolição oficial da escravatura.

    O dia 14 daquela época significou o acirramento das relações escravistas, da violência racial contra negras e negros, e a tentativa de exterminá-los através de inúmeras medidas de exclusão e apartheid, dando continuidade ao processo de exclusão social e criminalização da população negra.

    Passados cem anos continuamos a assistir às práticas racistas, novamente a covardia daqueles que atacam as comunidades negras utilizando as estruturas poderosas de dominação que se manifestam através da veiculação de uma reportagem fraudulenta e tendenciosa, sem oferecer à comunidade nenhuma oportunidade para se defender.

    Nossa comunidade assistiu a reportagem exibida no Jornal Nacional da Rede Globo com profunda indignação diante da atitude racista expressa na má fé e na falta de ética de um meio de comunicação poderoso que está submetido a interesses perversos e tenta esmagar uma comunidade negra historicamente excluída.

    Já esperávamos por esta reportagem, pois fomos testemunhas do teatro que foi armado por ocasião das filmagens, onde boa parte da comunidade envolvida na luta pela regularização do território quilombola nem sequer foi ouvida, visto que a equipe de reportagem se recusou a registrar qualquer versão contrária aos interesses dos fazendeiros, cortando falas e utilizando de métodos persuasivos, já que demonstrou expressamente o objetivo de manipular e deturpar a realidade, inclusive.

    Tentamos conversar com os prepostos da TV Bahia, filial da rede Globo, mas fomos ignorados. Logo vimos a vinculação da reportagem com os poderosos locais que tentam explorar nossa comunidade. Diante deste sentimento de indignação com a reportagem fraudulenta exibida hoje vimos a público divulgar as verdades que Globo não divulga:

    Historicamente, nossa comunidade ocupa este território. Os relatos dos mais idosos remetem nossa presença a muitas gerações. Ali sempre praticamos um modo de vida fruto de uma longa tradição deixada por nossos ancestrais. Extraímos da Floresta a Piaçava, o Dendê, a Castanha, e tantos outros produtos.

    Extraímos tantos tipos de cipós diferentes que usamos para fazer cofos, cestos e tantos outros artesanatos aprendidos com nossos avós. Nós amamos a floresta e a defendemos. Nossa luta para defender a floresta causa a ira de poderosos interesses que desejam o desmatamento para a grande criação de gado que cresce no recôncavo.

    Estamos decepcionados com a falta de dignidade do jornalista que expôs seu nome numa reportagem fraudulenta, pois as imagens do desmatamento de madeira apresentado na reportagem não foram filmadas em nossa comunidade, sendo que a pessoa flagrada no corte de madeiras não pertence à comunidade de São Francisco do Paraguaçu, confirmando a manipulação dolosa, visto que as falas foram cortadas e editadas com o objetivo de transmitir uma mensagem mentirosa e caluniosa.

    Perguntamos aos responsáveis pela matéria: por que não relataram as vultosas multas não pagas ao Ibama pelos fazendeiros? Por que não mostraram os mangues cercados que inviabilizam a sobrevivência da comunidade?

    Desta maneira, os poderosos que nos oprimem preferem partir para a calúnia, fraude e abuso do poder econômico. Tentam assim dissimular, já que sabem da força da verdade e do nosso direito. O Sr. Ivo, que aparece na reportagem e se diz dono da nossa área, é um médico com forte influência política na região; à frente de seus interesses está o seu Genro, conhecido como Lú Cachoeira, filho de um ex-prefeito e eterno candidato a prefeito. Lu Cachoeira tem um cargo de confiança no Governo do Estado como assessor especial na CAR (Coordenação de Ação Regional) e utiliza sua influência política para perseguir a comunidade.

    Esta família poderosa tem feito várias investidas contra a comunidade utilizando, inclusive, capangas, pistoleiros, ameaçando a comunidade, violentando crianças, perseguindo idosos, inclusive, utilizando métodos torpes refletidos nas ações violentas de policiais militares não fardados a serviço da família Santana que pode ser comprovado através de relatório da Polícia Federal que já teve diversas vezes na comunidade para nos defender.

    Imbuídos do sentimento de justiça, não podemos compactuar com atitudes que visam reverter as conquistas democráticas de reconhecimento de direitos da população negra, um verdadeiro afronte aos artigos 215, 216 e o artigo 68 das Disposições Transitórias da Constituição Federal.

    O povo negro e as comunidades quilombolas, cientes de que o caminho de reparação das injustiças raciais é irreversível e que o direito constitucional à propriedade de seus territórios tradicionalmente ocupados é uma conquista da democracia brasileira, não sucumbirá aos interesses poderosos que durante toda história do Brasil promoveram atitudes autoritárias e de desrespeito ao Estado Democrático de Direito.

    Lamentamos a covardia daqueles que usam o poder da mídia e do dinheiro para oprimir e perseguir comunidades tradicionais. Já estamos acostumados com esta prática perversa. Nosso povo resistiu até aqui enfrentando o peso da escravidão. FIÉIS A NOSSOS ANCESTRAIS, CONTINUAREMOS FIRMES, DE PÉ, LUTANDO PELA LIBERDADE!


    Pedimos às entidades, instituições e movimentos solidários com a luta do povo quilombola que manifestem repúdio à Rede Globo de Televisão e ao Jornal Nacional mandando e-mails e/ou cartas para os seguintes endereços: Rua Von Martius, nº 22 – Jardim Botânico – CEP: 22.460-040 – RJ. E-mail:

    Observatório do Direito à Comunicação

  65. 0
    Yuki says:

    See, this is why I keep saying it.

    The industry needs to lay out a standing ultimatum.

    “Bad mouth us, We’ll see you in court.”

    It would be the only way to silence idiots like grossman. If he spouted his crap and was facing slander suits every time? Oh, he’d either shut up or go bankrupt in no time flat.

    I’m so sick of this pansy ass crap from the Industry, just sitting back and taking this kinda crap. Where is the ECA, why aren’t they trying to counter idiots like this directly? Enough is Enough!

    Hal, We supported you when you started the ECA, Time to start putting it to good use.

  66. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oooohh Dave Grossman’s back ! I was wondering where he was, because I had heard nothing from him for a while. Despite Dawson College shootings, despite Emsdetten shootings, nothing. And now, with V-Tech massacre, I was really wondering where he was.

    The problem is that it’s not really Dave Grossman, but this Frank Borelli quoted by Grossman. I’m a bit disappointed. I expected a “Teaching kids to kill part. 2”, no less.

  67. 0
    Kharne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Shooter Cho Seung-Hui was moving through Norris Hall methodically firing his weapon as if he were playing a first-person shooter (FPS) video game…

    By holding down the left mouse button?

  68. 0
    Red Knight says:

    Here’s a couple facts:
    1) I have played games since I was 5 years old
    2) I learned how to accurately fire a pellet gun whem I was 11, not from Doom, no but from going to a Rifle club and learning so that I could go hunting.
    3) I have a Hunter Safety and plan to get an FAC in a year or so.
    4) I hunt deer, and ducks and that has taught me how to shoot far better than any video game I have ever played.

  69. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    GP: But wouldn’t most cop shootings take place under the stress of confronting a bad guy who is shooting back?

    On top of that, cops aren’t as well trained as most people think. On average, most regular officers only receive a day or two worth of live-fire training throughout the five or six weeks of police academy. After that, most officers are only required to go to the range once or twice a year to re-qualify; if at all. There are lots of officers (especially in quiet, suburban places) who have never fired their service weapon again after graduating from the academy..

    Cho, on the other hand, allegedly frequented a range near the university during the two months prior to the attack. Considering that he bought the P22 first, and that its ammo is extremely cheap (

  70. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    GP: But wouldn’t most cop shootings take place under the stress of confronting a bad guy who is shooting back?

    On top of that, cops aren’t as well trained as most people think. On average, most regular officers only receive a day or two worth of live-fire training throughout the five or six weeks of police academy. After that, most officers are only required to go to the range once or twice a year to re-qualify; if at all. There are lots of officers (especially in quiet, suburban places) who have never fired their service weapon again after graduating from the academy..

    Cho, on the other hand, allegedly frequented a range near the university during the two months prior to the attack. Considering that he bought the P22 first, and that its ammo is extremely cheap (under $15 for a box of 500), he could have fired thousands of practice rounds in those two months.

    And WTF is this cover/concealment nonsense Grossman is rambling on about? Nobody there had a chance to return fire! Not the police, as they didn’t enter the building until Cho offed himself. Not the (at least) two students in the building, who were trained and licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to carry concealed handguns, but were disarmed by campus policy. And not the two victims who the range master saw practicing at the same range as Cho, who were also disarmed by school policy. Honestly, it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel. :/

  71. 0
    Rob says:

    David Grossman, Frank Borelli, and especially Jack Thompson can all kiss my ass. Not one of them know what the hell they’re talking about and yet they have no problem acting like they do. You can’t become a better marksman by playing video games, that’s just not possible. To assume it is, is well, down right absurd.

    That’s like saying if I play enough Phoenix Wright I could be a top notch attorney! Or if I play Cooking Momma, I’d be a great chef in real life.

    It’s people like these who cause the problems in society, because they refuse to actually accept that the person(s) responsible for these sorts of disturbing things could actually be insane and are completely solely responsible for everything they do. Instead they want to blame a movie, or a music CD (Rap/Hip Hop, or Metal and Rock), and most favored of all video games. Why is this acceptable? I guess because for these nimrods, it’s easier to just blame something else than it is to actually do some research into these people’s background and mental stability to find out the real cause of these incidents.

    David Grossman, Frank Borelli, Jack Thompson, and anyone else like you idiots. If you read this, go fuck yourselfs!

  72. 0
    Rob says:

    By the way, video games nor violent media of any kind actually desensitize people to real life violence. It can desensitize you to the violence in those particular mediums, but not in the real world. It would have to already be in your nature to have an indifference toward it. I don’t claim to be a “expert” in this area, and they may be evidence to prove me wrong.

    But, I’m speaking from my own perspective. I played and watched some of the most vile and violent material to ever grace a screen, but when something even remotely disturbing happens I’m not immune to it as some people would lead others to believe. Recently, I was walking through the house and out of no where a mouse came scurrying out and I stepped on it by accident. I didn’t even know what it was at first as I hadn’t looked down why I was walking. I just felt a crunch and heard popping/cracking sounds. I hoped off whatever it was to see a mouse lying there twitching, dying. It was just a mouse, and I hate them. But I felt angry, sad, and sickened that I had done this to it.

    Now, bear in mind that this is nothing compared to what I play or watch on almost a daily basis since, well, I can’t remember. But yet I had all of this horrible feelings about it, about killing something, and the feeling and sounds I heard stick with me and disturb me far greater than I would have ever imagined.

    However, going by what people say about video games and movies desensitizing people, well, if that were the case then I, especially due to my love of all things blood and gore filled, shouldn’t have felt a thing. I should have cared at all, I should have felt indifferent about it. In fact, going some of what many do say, I probably should have enjoyed it since our “evil” video games make us crave real life violence.

    It may sound stupid to some of you, my example. But it does mean quite a bit to me, because after all if what they said were true it wouldn’t have bothered me a bit.

  73. 0
    Diceman says:

    it wasn’t fps games that taught him how to shoot it was the game genie stuck in the back of his neck that gave him infinite ammo,infinite insanity and a wall hack to magically still miss 68% of the time versus mostly still targets >.>yeah fps and game genie helped him just like how japan porn dating sims made me a trillionaire pimp >.>.

    maybe we should replace all of our brains with commadore 64s so that maybe grossmans bullshit sandwich would make any sense since we all know having the same memory and logic capacity as grossman will help us understand him better/end sarcasm.

    Honestly does anyone with a shred of common sense actually believe this?

  74. 0
    JonDarkwood says:

    Sounds like these guys are just two more trying to use the VT situation as a tool for their own cause. None of that is conclusive evidence at all that video games are responsible for this shooting.

    It’s comforting, knowing that one day the people in charge will know even the first thing about video games.

  75. 0
    Kyouryuu says:

    Why do people like Grossman, Borelli and Thompson lie? It’s very simple: money. Money for their appearances. Money for their paltry debates. Money for their insipid articles and opinions. Money by the 24-hour news networks that prey upon fear. They have no concern in the world for the victims.

    It’s all about profiting from tragedy.

    That’s what makes them all massacre chasers. Or, should I say, profiteers?

  76. 0
    BlueWolf72 says:

    So for all those individuals who are just a natural at shooting a basketball or hitting a ball do we put it on NBA 04 or can they honestly just have what it takes to be a athlete.

    Same would go for a person who can shoot a gun. If you have it you have it. Training does pay off. We are taught that one thing leads to another but love to blame whats in front of us.

  77. 0
    Picho ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Okay im a heavy FPS gamer.

    And in my job we have to go down to a firing range once a year to qualify.

    In solider front, i can take down people with ‘startaling’ accuracy while running around in full kevlar gear. Course having a cross hair helps.

    the last time i went to the firing range, many things were lacking. Like my Heads up display for instance, or my cross hair. Most guns dont come equiped with cross hairs.

    I scored a 25/100, a far cry from my accuracy in solider front. the recoil is a bitch when wering a helmet, cause like in loony toons your body armor and helmet also work aganst you. (helmet kept falling into my eyes. )

  78. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @father time

    not all killers are cold and unfeelng. it depends on the motives and reasons why they killed or will kill. some people kill in cold blood for no reason, some kill for revenge, some kill in self defense, some kill in paranioa, etc. imagine a parent whos child was killed by someone and as an act of revenge goes out and kills the person who killed the child, the parent wouldnt really be cold or unfeeling for the retaliation but instead be the exact opposite, the act would be commited out of pure emotion.

  79. 0
    janarius ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    About your suggestion on making a study on how well an FPS can train people on how well to shoot. Why not take the initiative in conducting the study ourselves instead of waiting for researchers to do it. A collaborative effort for the summer, grab your friends and a few psych undergrads to do the lit. review, plan on your procedures, collect data, analyze and conclude. Some journals may not accept the study, but at least it’ll attract some attention and some answers.

  80. 0
    ooftygoofty says:

    “I hope that I am wrong and I pray that I am wrong, “Grossman adds, “when [Cho’s] generation hits the workplace and they hit the public domain, they are going to make the … shootings that we have seen so far pale by comparison. We will reap what we sow for many generations to come.”

    Cho was a college student. No doubt thousands, if not millions, of his generation are already in the workplace, but even that is missing the point. Once again they’ve resorted to the lie that video games are only for children and no one (except sick, pervese people who need to be taken out and curbstomped) plays them once they reach the age of 18.

    As is repeatedly pointed out, the average gamer age is somewhere in the 20s. There are gamers over the age of 60. Doctors and lawyers play video games. I’m sure some politicians do it too. Mr. Grossman, the day you’ve predicted came years ago, and yet these insane rampages, horrible as they are, happen relatively infrequently and are ALWAYS traceable to severe psychological problems. Shouldn’t these be happening at least once a week for no other reason than video games?

    People like JT and Grossman are losing credibility and relevance every day, and it scares them.

  81. 0
    FoxmanZEO says:

    Did he actually pull the actual police accuracy percentage out of his arse alongside the other arguments?

    Because I’m sure that’s a load, stress or not, there are officers who DO fire their weapons and practice at the range frequently.

  82. 0
    Zero Beat ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I have played several FPS games, even hitting a few tricky shots (many with rockets in Halo and Halo 2).

    However, the one time I played paintball, I didn’t manage to hit anybody, and I fired every paintball from the hopper. I don’t remember there being much of a kick either, so not even paintball fully ‘teaches’ you how to handle a firearm.

    That and I’m just not a fan of guns for some reason. I dunno why, I just don’t like the real thing.

  83. 0
    JonDarkwood says:

    ooftygoofty: Of course it scares them, to think that they’re losing control in a world where we are in a position to take it away from them.

    I squirm with excitement at the thought of these people being the looked-down-on rejects of their old school of thought.

    Comics, television, and rock and roll were evil corruptors of our youth, as well.

    I wonder what people in our own generation will target, though, years down the road. I just hope i’m not such a blind idiot.

  84. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    FoxmanZEO: Did he actually pull the actual police accuracy percentage out of his arse alongside the other arguments?

    Nah, the numbers are actually somewhat accurate. While there are some departments with excellent firearms training, the majority just don’t have the funding for extensive training, or the crime rate to justify it. Statistically speaking, local law enforcement agencies have a worse hit ratio (and hit more bystanders) than private security contractors, or even citizens involved in self defense shootings.

    Because I’m sure that’s a load, stress or not, there are officers who DO fire their weapons and practice at the range frequently.

    Sure. There are lots of ex-military people in law enforcement, and lots of enthusiasts who shoot outside of work (some of them even play GTA..). They seem to be generally outnumbered though by people who view their sidearm as just another job-related tool, and only fire it when required.

  85. 0
    Rob says:

    In the picture it looks like David Grossman is measuring how big of a douche bag he is.

    Gaming Community: “Hey, Grossman, how big of a douce are you?”

    David Grossman: “I’m thiiiiiiiiiiiiis big!”

  86. 0
    Majestic_12_x ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think that the actual cause for the “efficiency” is the nature of firearms in and of itself. For all intensive purposes, it’s simply a point-and-click device. It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to figure out that you point and click with weapons like the Glock 17s that Cho used. I highly doubt that people would not know how to use a gun if they were given one. Knowing how to fire a handgun is the equivelant of knowing that the sky is blue.

    The absolute most unbelievable item about Grossman and Borelli’s assumption is that video games CAUSED Cho to go on a rampage, and all video games CAUSE this violent behavior. It’s called a MOTIVE. Video games can’t explain why these people do bad things. In Cho’s case, he’s been in a “flat-effect” state ever since his family can remember. I doubt that what happened at Virginia Tech was the result of a few months of planning. I believe that this a process that took a lifetime.

    It’s the same excuse that people use to dodge malicious intent in criminal cases. “Why did you shoot those people in the bank?, “I wasn’t trying to rob anyone; Grand Theft Auto made me do it”! They try to avoid the circumstantial evidence that is pointing to malicious intent, and try to refocus the case so that somebody else can be a scapegoat.

    What begins to worry me most about Grossman is his laughable assumption that violent video games are “hiding” behind the first amendment. Last time I checked, protection is not the same thing as hiding. Why should violent movies and video games be singled out? What about violent books? As the record shows, “The Turner Diaries” and “Mein Kampf” have resulted in the death of more people than video games can possibly ever account for in the next hundred years. Why isn’t Grossman pushing for the abolishment of the right for those books to exist in the United States? Oh wait, it’s because book-burners look like absolute idiots.

    If David Grossman ran the country, there would be no more “Free Speech”. There would only be “Happy Nice Pony-Pink Speech”.

  87. 0
    James says:

    You know, I play FPS’s all the time, I would like to go to this Goddard’s person house and try to shoot him (and probably miss) just to show him that being good at FPS’s doesn’t mean you’re a good shot in real life. Also, I think it’s funny that the people that blur reality and gaming the most are these people that think Video games affect people’s real life decisions. You know, because I play halo, i want to kill everyone…

  88. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @eXm : when you say :

    “I am curious why nobody has done a study of measuring how well people can shoot after playing an fps game to prove it doesn’t teach one how to competently fire a weapon. “

    In fact, a study has been made by Tom Stougton for the Center for Successful Parenting under the patronage of Grossman. This study has been published by the UNESCO. It appears that those who play FPS are better shooters, but I don’t know which FPS they studied. And I wonder that they made a confusion between first-person-shooters and “rail shooters” or “lightgun games” that you play with a pistol.

    Anyway, here is what Grossman has to say about it (source : )

    “There can be no doubt that video games can teach marksmanship skills. A controlled experiment conducted by the Center for Successful Parenting, written by Tom Stoughton and published in 2002 in the Newsletter of The UNESCO International Clearinghouse On Children, Youth and Media, demonstrated that those kids who were proficient at point-and-shoot video games are significantly better shots when they pick up a real gun for the first time.”

    And there is another page (from a paranoid conspiracy site) that refers to it : . Go down to the “Training killers” section.

  89. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’ve been posting on GP for well over a year now, and sometimes it gets tiresome writing the same stuff about the same idiots, so I want to say thank you to all my fellow posters for keeping up the fight, so to speak.


    That was an interesting article, it almost seemed like it was written by a different man. I noticed that in the Newsmax piece, Grossman only quoted certain bits of Borelli’s e-mail. In light of the link you posted, I wonder if the e-mail in its entirety wasn’t as condemning of video games as the article made it seem. I definitely wouldn’t put it past a nutsack like Grossman to only include the stuff he likes.

    Maybe I’ll write Borelli and ask him what side of the fence he’s really on.

  90. 0

    Good day. I received an email asking me which side of the fence I was on or if I was standing on top. I assume this came from hayabusa75 who has posted immediately above. Let me set the record straight about myself as much as I can, although in reading some of the above comments it seems that there is nothing I can ever say that will make everyone happy. Such is life…

    First, I’m not a liar. I take issue with that statement and invite whichever of you that thinks I am to bring forth your proof so that I can refute it. Making statements without substance is the sure sign of a childish mind facing a reality he doesn’t like. Pout…

    Second, the email I sent to Dave Grossman was cited only in bits and pieces. I can’t alter what the entire breadth of the news media does.

    Third, I DID attempt to respond to NewMax at least twice and got answering machines both times. I responded to their email as well. I take GREAT issue with the fact that they say they couldn’t reach me for comment. My email address and office phone number are on the contact pages for all my websites. Get real… NewsMax has lost all credibility in my book – not that I’d ever heard of them before this.

    Fourth: here is my response to the email I received.:

    “Thank you for your email and the objective approach you are taking to the subject. Given your involvement at’s blog, it would be easy for you to assume a bias on the side of games. I applaud you your open mind. Let me answer your question about my outlook.
    To understand my outlook you have to have an idea of my background. I’m a prior service veteran with time spent as an active duty army military policeman, a national guard light infantryman (foot soldier) and a national guard combat engineer (one step up from foot soldier). Outside of my military time in service I’ve spent virtually all my adult life as a police officer. So, since the age of 18 – more than two decades since I’m in my mid-forties now – I’ve been working in professions where training with and the use of firearms has been an integral part of my performance.
    Since 1994 I’ve been a firearms instructor. I am responsible for the annual qualifications of police officers from eight police departments and have spent the past 18 years (since 1989 when I first became an instructor in general topics) providing adult education to those who work behind guns – at least sometimes.
    So, where I stand on video games:
    There is some truth to the points made by LtCol Dave Grossman and others who believe that video games contribute to violent behavior. My understanding of the studies performed is that they have shown how saturation involvement in first person shooter video games promote altered brain development. Remember, I’m not talking about the kid (if you take that term to mean you, I may not mean you: when I say “kid” I mean people still in high school or younger and I mean no offense by the term: I have two kids of my own with two college age)… So I’m not talking about the kid who plays a first person shooter game once a week or so… I’m talking about someone who gets on the game every evening and plays for hours. I believe that to some extent that individual is being both trained and conditioned.
    The training: In firearms basic marksmanship training there are seven basic skills: stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, breath control, trigger press, and follow through. Of those seven basic skills, six are either taught or reinforced through the play of the types of games specified. To be successful in first person shooter games the player must master stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press and follow through. One of the goals of all trainers in the military / police fields is to get the operator to be able to perform those seven basic skills as if they were second nature. In other words, so that he doesn’t have to think to do them right. Cops and soldiers get to fire maybe a couple hundred rounds each year on the range to practice and reinforce those skills. Six of the seven are practiced and reinforced by first person shooter game players sometimes hundreds and thousands of times EACH EVENING. THAT is what we refer to as “simulation training” and is very empowering for the shooter where his skill sets are concerned.
    The conditioning: Remember Pavlov’s dogs? Blow a whistle and feed them and eventually the whistle makes them salivate because they’ve been conditioned? Well, to some extent, the same is true of the games. The player, through repeated play, is conditioned to shoot whatever target is presented by the game, as fast as he can as accurately as he can, and then to move on to the next target just as fast. He is rewarded by points, extra life time, etc. The bottom line is that he is conditioned through rewards to engage targets efficiently. If the targets involved are humanoid of any kind, then the player is being conditioned – albeit unintentionally – to shoot and destroy / kill humanoids. What are we?
    In Cho’s case, his family and roommates have made statements that he was an avid Counter-Strike game player; that he played this game almost every evening and did so for hours on end.
    It is my belief that Cho was trained to shoot accurately through his near-constant use of the game and that he was hardened to the violence performed by the near-constant death or destruction he viewed on the screen as he played.
    I DO NOT think that the game play or Cho’s involvement in it was what drove him to kill. I believe that he had other mental, emotional and perhaps religious issues that inspired him to be willing to kill. However, once he had made that decision, I DO believe that his practice hours, achieved through game play, made him a more efficient shooter / killer.
    I hope that clears my outlook up. If not, email me back your questions and I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner. I have no issues with defending my position or beliefs and welcome all intelligent discussion including dissenting points of view. Nothing intelligently discussed, nothing learned.
    Thanks again for your email and time.
    BE SAFE!”


    Let me clarify a few things because in reading through that I realized some misunderstanding could occur.

    According to the FBI’s statistics reports, cops in real shootings average about a 20% hit rate. Reportedly Cho fired 170 rounds and hit 55 people. That’s approximately a 32% hit rate even if he only hit each person one time.

    I have four children: two high school age or younger and two that are college age.

    My own sons have often played FPS games but they’ve also been properly trained with live weapons. The time they spend playing FPS games is limited.

    No, I don’t think that playing video games turns people into killers. However, I DO believe that the repetitive shooting practice that occurs in FPS games makes them more efficient killers once they’ve crossed that line for other reasons.

    The military can claim that they don’t use “games” to train soldiers all they want. However, I have personally qualified with an M16 when I was in the service on a simulation system. It is COMMON for the military and law enforcement to teach firearms skills and judgmental shooting skills on simulators. Whether or not those simulators can be called “games” is a matter of symantics. The bottom line to me is that the software engines are very similar if not the same.

    As I said in the email response quoted above, if you have intelligent comments – even ones that disagree with my position – please feel free to email me so we can have a discussion. I am open to intelligent debate. If you’re going to slander my name and call me names and pout because someone challenged your own belief structure, don’t waste your time and my email space.

    BE SAFE in all that you do.

  91. 0
    PlayItBogart says:

    “No, I don’t think that playing video games turns people into killers. However, I DO believe that the repetitive shooting practice that occurs in FPS games makes them more efficient killers once they’ve crossed that line for other reasons.”

    I could believe this. The alternate version of “I saw someone do it on TV once”.

    And the comment about a 32% hit ratio is flawed and almost insulting: Either it doesn’t take into account that his targets aren’t shooting back, as GP stated, or it says that cops do nothing but shoot unarmed innocents all day.

  92. 0
    PlayItBogart says:

    BTW, does anybody ever tell these people against violent video games that getting rid of them isn’t going to solve anything? I have a hard time believing that people under the age of 25 wouldn’t know the basics of how to use a gun (Point and click?) if not for violent video games.

    I would say limiting the ease of access to firearms would help, but I guess it’s easier to make band-aid fixes than address the real pillars of the problem.

    Besides, if I’ve learned nothing else from playing Counter Strike, it’s that the players on it are anything BUT tactical in their gameplay.

  93. 0


    I had not considered the flaw in the 32% hit ratio comparison. You’re absolutely correct that the cops hitting 20% are typically avoiding an immediate threat at the same time as shooting.

    That admitted, hitting moving targets (and I have to assume that at least some of those 55 shot students WERE moving as they tried to escape the threat) isn’t as easy as shooting stationary targets. I’ve trained cops who have a hard time scoring 70% on stationary targets. I still believe that it’s a statement about Cho’s shooting skills that he hit AT A MINIMUM with 32% of his shots fired.

    Note that I have not recommended getting rid of video games, and I’m actually very pro 2nd amendment. That’s why my own children have been properly trained with firearms.

    I am curious as to what you see as the “real pillars of the problem” in this case? I personally believe that Cho was dillusional and mentally imbalanced – but that belief is based on information reported in the mainstream media and I’ve already voiced my opinion on the accuracy of that.

  94. 0
    PlayItBogart says:

    Well not so much the pillars of Cho’s problem. Some people are just nuts and it’s not the sort of thing you could just solve with the wave of a wand. It was mostly about youth and young adult violence in general. It’s for the most part a cultural discussion that I don’t think I can have with my body going through withdrawal after half a quart of rum. Sorry.

    Although it IS nice to have someone who comes here to actively discuss and debate with GP readers. Props for that.

  95. 0
    MysterX says:

    Grossman must have been on vacation for the last month, he’s got a lot of work to do if he wants to catch up with all the other massacre chasers.

    At this point, he’s sucking hind teat on an already sorry-looking sow. Compared to the rest of his ‘peers’, he’s really the runt of the litter right about now.

  96. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Mr. Borelli,

    First off, thanks for posting to clear up what you actually said. And thanks for your service to the country as a soldier and law enforcement officer.

    In your post you say that “to be successful in first person shooter games the player must master stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press and follow through.” Now, to clarify, are you talking about games which use a simulated, plastic “light gun?” If so, then, yes, I would agree with you on this for the most part. However, the FPS game Cho allegedly played in no way, shape, or form trains or requires the user to master any of those skills, as they are played from a comfy chair, hunched over a mouse and keyboard.

    Obviously there is no stance involved while sitting. A mouse doesn’t feel like a pistol grip, and the grip angle of it is perpendicular to that of a real firearm. Nor does a mouse have weight since it’s sitting on a desk. Sight picture and alignment– aside from a cursor in the middle of the screen –are non-existent, because the guns are shown in the lower right corner of the screen as if shooting from the hip cowboy-action style. Trigger press is not simulated well, given that a mouse has a binary “click” which doesn’t have creep and doesn’t interfere with its movement the way slapping a trigger/limp wristing/thumbing would. Then with the mouse sitting firmly on a desk, bottom planted firmly in a chair, and a cursor which doesn’t move upon clicking or recoil, breath control and follow through don’t even come into play.

    As such, the only things one could ostensibly learn from Counter-Strike and its ilk are some degree of tactics. Even that is questionable given that players unrealistically shoot while sprinting sideways or backwards, and players often hop around like deranged bunny rabbits. Were they to try such tactics in a real gunfight, they would lose rather quickly.

    From personal experience, I’ve played shooter games for over a decade, and had fired rifles on numerous occasions. Yet the first time I ever fired a handgun was roughly a year ago, and using a pistol chambered in .22LR with a 5″ barrel, my first target looked like this at 7 yards:

    Out of two ten round magazines, only nineteen even hit the paper. That might not be entirely bad for the first time, but it’s hardly marksmanship either. Since then, I’ve fired thousands of rounds and passed the NRA basic pistol course, and found myself having to unlearn most of the silliness you see in video games. Even now, it’s a good day when I can manage to keep fifteen rounds of 9mm in the black at 7 yards.

    Going back to Cho, as I said in a previous post, it was reported that he was frequently seen practicing at a range near VT during the two months proceeding the attack. Even if he only went twice, and brought a 500 round brick of .22LR with him each time, that’s still twice as many practice rounds as you yourself have said most LEOs and soldiers get in a year. If he went weekly, and brought a box of ammo for both of his pistols, that’s exponentially more practice, no?

  97. 0
    GamePolitics ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Frank Borelli – Frank, your comments here are much appreciated. It’s great to see your willingness to clarify the NewsMax report.

    I would, however, take some issue with your thoughts on what players get from FPS when you said:

    “To be successful in first person shooter games the player must master stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press and follow through.”

    Outside of arcades (which these days account for a miniscule proportion of gaming) where a fake gun might be attached to the game machine, these games are almost always played while sitting down, using either mouse for control of the weapon (PC) or a controller (consoles). Actual stance, grip, trigger press and follow-through are thus not involved at all.

    As far as sight alignment and sight picture, most games substitute a virtual aiming reticule for an actual front-back sight picture.

    At best – my opinion – these games teach rapid target acquisition, training the player to confront and score hits on multiple threats quickly.



  98. 0
    Majestic_12_x ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Mr. Borelli,

    I would simply like to thank you for your presence. We certainly enjoy being able to communicate with people that understand what we at Gamepolitics are discussing in depth. I applaud the fact that you haven’t bought into the illusion that Cho’s link to Counter-Strike isn’t what caused him to empty 177 rounds on the Virginia Tech campus. People like David Grossmand, Don Phau, and Jack Thompson seem to believe that participation in violent media is the sole cause for these accidents, and I believe that they are overlooking the most important thing, motive.
    I do have a few conflicts with your statement about gun efficiency and training, because I believe that the point-and-click nature belongs to the gun first and foremost. Guns were designed to make killing more efficient in the first place. It’s a complex problem if you think about, because you’re trying to equate mouse/controller inputs to actual gun usage. There are many things that can be “fine-tuned” on a first person shooter, but I believe that almost anything learned by a FPS can be enhanced to a much greated degree by going to a shooting range. Most important of all is the fact that controllers and computer rice don’t recoil into your face after firing.
    In closing, I appreciate your willingness to discuss this topic with us. I hope that we can find some middleground, and actually work towards a solution (if needed) instead of sensationalizing every little detail. Thank you.

  99. 0
    Asmo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nice to see some intelligent conversation over this topic rather than the usual emotional kneejerking that goes on (by both the anti game and pro game sides).

    I think it’s highly debatable that playing a PC game can train you to shoot. I do believe games can teach you target acquisition and priority, encourage aggression and perhaps even some tactical thinking. I just don’t think Counterstrike is the game to do it… = \

    Seriously, nailing a head shot with a Desert Eagle at 50 yards while jumping repeatedly 3 feet in the air… I think if you fired a DEagle mid air the recoil would probably knock you on your ass… (That being said, I’ve never fired one, but I’d tend to think it would have a bit of a kick).

    However emotive images of some balaclava wearing stereotypical terrorist tbagging the corpse of a downed law enforcement type obviously gets the collective juices of the media machine (and everyones favourite Uncle Jack T) flowing.

    The more relevant thing that seems to have slipped below the radar again is that immersion in media (games, books, movies, music etc) regardless of the type will affect certain people more than others. The important factor is not the media, it’s the [b]person[/b].

  100. 0
    DietDan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hello Mister Borelli, I thank you for your time.

    I regardless to the issue of why some have accused of lying most of it is blind hatred dictated to anyone who would say anything remotely bad about video games, how said that we so often meat knee-jerk reaction with knee-jerk reaction, however their is one thing which stand out to me as being highly suspect, and a likely reason for so much hostility at your comments:

    *In Cho’s case, his family and roommates have made statements that he was an avid Counter-Strike game player; that he played this game almost every evening and did so for hours on end.*

    Last I checked there was no evidenced to suggest such a thing. His roommate was interview on national television and said he never witnessed him play any video games, let alone a specific game, such as Counter-Strike The only references I have seen suggesting this is as part of story in the Washington post which was taken down and reposted with out the video game reference, and that statement supposedly came from his high school friends not his roommates or family, or from the mouth of Jack Thompson. (This story notes this if you need a reference of some short: I do remember his parents saying some thing about video game play and basketball in somewhere but again nothing that could narrow it down to an individual game. Unless new information has come out that I am unaware of this claim seems too insufficiently supported to be presented as a cold hard fact. While I apologize for the childish nature of others here, you will forgive the more mature among us if we remain a bit skeptical when the much of your argument rest on something which is yet too be confirmed as fact (and there exist some evidence to the country).

    That being said assuming that Cho did play Counter Strike compulsively the rest of your does make sense and does provide some food for thought. The problem with this debate is that both sides are searching for black and white answers, it is very bimodal mentally, I thank for acknowledging that there are same shades of grey.

    I thank you again for your time.

    *The military can claim that they don’t use “games” to train soldiers all they want. However, I have personally qualified with an M16 when I was in the service on a simulation system. It is COMMON for the military and law enforcement to teach firearms skills and judgmental shooting skills on simulators.*

    I think you might have misread something no one is calming they don’t use them for training, what the military has denied is the calm made implicitly and explicitly by Grossman and others that simulators are used for the specific and sole purpose of desensitizing a solder to killing.

  101. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    It can help with with basic projectorary , which can help with target acquisition within a 7 foot radius at least I can hit most of the milk jugs I aim at with a BB pistol can even hit 2 out of ten at 80 foot on a new OC cart still tho..marksmanship is training training and more training to get to be able to aim ,breath and and shoot as well as handle recoil.

    Mainstream media is to busy scapegoating to see its realtivly easy(with a alittle training of some kind ) to shoot things within a 10 foot radius.

  102. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In completely unrelated news

    Is it just me or does grossman look like he’s saying “I swear the fish was this big” in that photo

  103. 0

    Big breath and exhale… I DO find myself having to clarify once again – and it’s my own fault.

    THANK YOU to those of you who haven’t immediately jumped down my throat but have instead asked, “Is this what you really meant?”

    In answer: Yes. When I talk about FPS games that teach shooting skills I AM talking about those games that use a simulated handgun that shoots a beam of light. Obviously, playing a game using a controller – say like the one my son uses playing Call of Duty – DOES NOT build the mechanical skills necessary to shoot a weapon efficiently. In fact, I have previously argued (in a different forum) that such playing is indeed counter-productive to actual shooting skills.

    Repetitive actions are conditioning. There’s no denying that. If a person with a simulated weapon simply aims the weapon off screen and pulls the trigger to reload, then he’s not learning actual reload skills. If that person playing is a cop and he does it enough, then won’t he eventually learn to reload by shooting an empty gun off screen? If he does that in real life, his game play has hurt his chances of emerging from a gunfight victorious. The same thing applies to gamers with controllers. No amount of handling a mouse, keyboard, controller, etc will help you learn shooting skills. Only those games played with a simulated weapon wherein you DO have to master most of the basic marksmanship skills will help you learn to shoot better.

    I believe the benefit I have in this arena is that I’m not a gamer – nor am I avidly against them. “All things in moderation” is a rule I’ve always believed in so when my own kids want to play video games I just set time limits and then make them change activities.

    As to the military using simulation training to desensitize soldiers to killing… I’ve seen Dave Grossman’s presentation and I’ve studied his books. Let me be blunt: I just had lunch with Dave last week. Dave has studied the efficiency of human killing across the span of the last six to eight decades like no other human being I’m aware of. The point he’s made, and made well in my opinion, is this:

    To some extent, training someone to shoot in combat is a matter of conditioning. Note that I said “to some extent.” Decades ago all of our soldiers qualified on bullseye targets. But in combat, no one ever gets attacked by a bullseye and it’s HARD to kill another human being unless you’re a sociopath or have one hell of a good reason – and even then it’s not so easy. To increase the willingness of soldier’s to engage human targets, the military began training on human shaped targets. When I was in the service we qualified shooting human shaped silhouettes (did I spell that right?) that popped up. When they popped up in our field of view, we shot them and they fell down. THAT IS conditioning soldiers to shoot human enemies – in my opinion.

    I train police officers with firearms. We don’t shoot bullseye targets – we shoot human shaped silhouettes. When the target shows itself – representing a threat that has been revealed – the officer is supposed to draw and fire at the target. When he does that enough times he’s been conditioned to engage the threat as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    To that extent, the use of human targets both on paper and in simulation DOES condition soldiers and cops to shoot human targets. I don’t believe that the SOLE purpose is desensitizing soldiers to killing, but that has to play some part in it. The largest part – in my experience – of what we use simulators to each is JUDGMENT.

    For what it’s worth, as an instructor, I’m not a fan of simulators either. I like force-on-force training tools such as paintball and Simunitions. Such training can actually stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and put stress on the trainee closer to a real life shooting. THAT is where his skill gets tested – in a situation as close to real as we can get it.

    Did that help clarify my outlook further?

  104. 0
    HeroPsycho says:

    Cho didn’t play violent video games.

    He actually did attend college.

    He actually did graduate high school.

    He actually drove a car.

    He actually is Asian.

    There’s actually more evidence in attending college, graduating high school, driving a car, and being Asian were more related to him committing this Counter Strike. At least he did/was all those things!

    P.S. The view above does not imply any of those things were related to Cho’s motives. :-)

  105. 0
    Phenix says:

    Mr. Borelli,
    as others have said, thank you for discussing this with us. Though there are many video game advocates quick to respond to any attack on our collective hobby with bile and anger, I think that frank discussion is a much better way to reach out to the non-gaming community. I’d like to throw my own two cents into this discussion.

    As a United States Marine and a video game advocate, I find myself laughing at the link between gaming and real-life violence. Even simulated violence isn’t a good representation of a persons’ skill with a weapon. Before joining the Marines, i spent several hours a day on games of all kinds. Mostly shooters however. I had handled rifles and shotguns before, but used “Kentucky windage” when shooting.

    My first time on the rifle range as a Marine, I found that all my experience was not able to transform into a noticable skill increase. Nor did my video game experience translate into familirization with the weapon. I was not prepared for the experience of shooting at a man-shaped target.

    Even training in an advanced simulation firing range, the ISMT (Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer) did not correlate to actual skill with the weapon. While I shot phenomenally with the simulation rifle (which uses compressed air to simulate kick-back), I was barely able to qualify with the actual rifle.

    A year later, after becoming more familiar with the weapon, and the stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, and most especially trigger and breath control, I shot expert- the highest qualification possible in the Marine Corps. During that time, I played almost no games, and had to unlearn all the skills from my previous gaming experience.

    Undoubtedly, violent games in the form of light-gun games do teach quick reaction and “snap-in” accuracy. But they do not teach stance, control or anything that matters in true marksmanship. Even the most advanced of simulators cannot fix the problems associated with aiming in on a REAL target. It is a cognitive difference between shooting light and firing a bullet which always has the capacity to kill or wound.

    So while I can see a connection, it is thin. To the same point where I can find an equal connection with violent media of ANY sort. Simply put, violent games, even of a light-gun variety, are not effecient at conditioning a person to be able to kill. Certainly, to respond to the presence of an object , but the same could be said of any number of activities.

    No matter what others say, there is a very cognitive difference between shooting sim rounds (whether they be blanks or virtual rounds) and having a loaded, fully operational weapon. It is one of the main reasons I despise the notion of rifle qualification indoors. I have not seen it done in the Marine Corps and don’t believe it would ever be an effective qualification mechanism.

    Whatever we may say about training with a violent game, there is a difference between one who does them healthily and one who takes that experience and translates it into violence against innocents. There is a disconnect somewhere in the psyche long before the person is able to apply video game skills (what little I believe can be brought to bare) into real-life violence.

    So the question is: do video games CREATE the violence? The answer, I believe is no. The blame lies in something prior to the game. A healthy mind can distinguish between violent games and real-world violence. Parenting, childhood trauma, peer pressure, psychology, chemical imbalance– there are many other factors which can lead to this fracture, but they are not the responsibility of the game company.

    Alchohol, tobacco, cars, etc– all can be deadly with a person who is not responsible. Far more deaths occur each year due to alchohol than violent games. Yet we do not ban it. Why? Because the majority are able to use it responsibly. The same can be said of games. Why should the producers of this media be expected to be responsible for the actions of their customers? If I get a DUI, should Ford and Budweiser be sued? Of course not, I am an adult and make decisions for myself.

    In the case of minors, the parents should be taking care of their children. If my son or daughter is playing a game I feel is innappropriate, it is my duty to take it away. As a parent you SHOULD know what games your child is playing. If you don’t, you can’t blame the company when the game happens to portray something violent.

    In the end, games are entertainment, which may portray adult actions and situations. In those cases, only people of age, or with parental consent should play them. Beyond that, it’s user responsibility, not corporate responsibility

  106. 0
    Asmo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    re: ZippyDSMlee: Yeah, I guess so. I’m just going off my own experiences. I’m a fair hand in game (even to the point of sniper qualifying in America’s Army which simulates breathing and wind effects on your shot), a decidedly average shot with a short arm and terrible with a rifle.

    re: Frank Borelli: Your points are well made. Tbh, I’ve been playing FPS so long I didn’t really think about light gun games and you’re right. The last time I played one of those (wow.. like 5 years ago in an arcade iirc), I had the double handed grip and wide stable stance I would assume when actually firing a handgun. If you played it for hours a day you couldn’t help but become accustomed. And depending on the level of violence, desensitised.

  107. 0
    Lukio says:

    Conditioning someone to acquire a (possibly human) target swiftly can be done in normal simulator rooms with pop-up target or through a virtual 3D environment, In this point i can agree with Borelli. Elsewise anyone handling a real gone will need to have practice of using it beforehand.

    The recoil, weight and reloading procedure as well as the correct grip and pressure point for the trigger require beforehand skills/training with actual weapons.

    No one with conditioning klicking on the (usually) left button of a mouse will be able to successfully discharge a weapon 170 times without feeling recoil effects and weight on the arms and especially will not be very talented in dual-wielding a weapon, as this is hightly unusual and also not very helpful when reloading.

    170 rounds it says – that would mean roughly around 10-12 magazines depending on the weapon. Which makes a rough reload for each of both guns of around 5-6 times. Without any real-life handgun training (as f.e example offered to law enforcement) it is not possible to reload quickly under stressful situations.

    The issues on the sight, movement of the target, movement of the shooter etc. have already been commented on, of course these also require real life simulation.

  108. 0
    DietDan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    *Did that help clarify my outlook further?*

    Yes very but sense you defended Grossman I feel the need to point out why I and many other disagree with the man, at least on the issue of video game regulation.

    *To some extent, training someone to shoot in combat is a matter of conditioning.*

    This is a reasonable point; however Grossman has gone well beyond this point and is basically painting games as a threat to modern civilization as we know it. At the very least he clearly supports video game legislation once we inject this in to the mix, things change. Among other thing although he is civil unlike some critics, his view are still presented in a rather illogical and misleading manner. I have read Grossman Stop Teaching Our kids to Kill so let use that as an illustration.

    In his book, he gives an account of a school shooting, which from my research is wrong on multiple levels. For now, I will only focus on one underlining logical fallacy in his account. Dave Grossman describes the attack as a unique event. He also describes game as being ubiquitous. He also uses this example to sound the call against violent media. So let construct the argument.

    Argument: This unique attack is somehow indicative of how the ubiquitous medium of violent video games leads to violence. Because it is indicative of violence this proves we need anti-game legislation, targeted at the general public.

    Assumption 1: The attack was unique
    Assumption 2: Games are ubiquitous
    Assumption 3: Games do play a factor in school shootings.

    Let’s continue with these assumptions, in order to see how the argument does not logical support anti-game legislation.

    Let define our premises:
    Premise 1: This school shooting can tell us something relevant of about how games effect the general population.

    Let’s see why this is illogical:

    Fallacy 1:
    First of all the entire frame work of Grossman argument is a case of misleading vividness This uniqueness of this event actually makes a poor example of what ever Grossman is trying to prove. (It doesn’t actually matter what it is he wants to prove, explaining the effects of ubiquitous medium using a unique event is the definition of this fallacy.) So right, here the idea that his account support anti-game legislation is debunked.

    Fallacy 2:
    Even if we pretend that he did not describe the attack as unique, it is still illogical to use any school shooter, unique or not to justify legislation aimed at the general population. This is a case of using a bias sample: Even if all school shooter played games this says nothing about how games effect the normal population. Example: If you go to a jail, I am sure you can find people using ski mask, base ball bats and kitchen knives in many illegal ways. Are we going to concluded that ski mask, baseball bats and kitchen knives are dangerous to the general population based on this sample? Or in another words we are using examples of mentally disturbed individuals to decide how to treat the healthy, using sociopaths to determine the rights of the well adjusted.

    I think we are approaching this from two different Grossman the researcher into killing may have a good point but Grossman the videogame activist are likely to be a bit different.

    I could go on describing some of the other examples of fallacies arguments (and sense we are talking about passing laws, I can safely say Grossman does not understand the huge can of worms he is opening) but my main point is simply to show that not all of the hostility directed to Grossman is blind hated. Hopefully I’ve succeeded.

    Thank you again for sharing your views with us Mister Borelli.

  109. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Dave Thompson : please avoid this kind of “jokes”, unless you want them to complain constantly about “death threats from angry gamers”. That’s neither funny, nor smart.

  110. 0
    Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t have time for a full post at this moment, but I have to say this:

    I’ve gone over David Grossman’s books and other media several times before. His work is well-spun bullshit, in a word.

    Grossman is a propagandist that actually believes his own propaganda. His theories have been debunked many, many times, and it’s been shown that some of the very data that he started working from in the first place was fraudulent (his source with regard to military fire rates was determined to have fabricated the numbers), and yet Grossman still uses these figures as though they were wholly authentic and representative of something.

    Generalizations are not bad, in and of themselves – the ability to see connections between unrelated things is actually one of the hallmarks of sapience. But Grossman’s entire foundation is flawed, and he seems to be so totally incapable of discerning the difference between correlation and causation, that it’s inevitable that his conclusions would likewise be faulty.

  111. 0
    Otaku-Man ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Mr. Borelli,

    I just sent you an e-mail with a rather lengthy piece I wrote regarding the differences between what is considered a “First Person Shooter” and a “Light Gun” game. I feel that there is a bit of confusion between the differences between the two in regards to how many criticizers of game violence claim that “First Person Shooters” can properly train people to become violent, accurate gun wielders.

    Please give it a read through, as it gives what I hope is a clear clarification between “Light Gun” games and “First Person Shooter” games.

    I hope it is helpful.


    Steve Broida

  112. 0
    Dave Thompson says:

    Sorry Soldatlouis , I meant to say:

    Someone please make CS Hostage skins from David Grossman and Jack Thompson “Immediately”…

    To say that could be perceived as a a “threat” from angry gamers implies you might actually believe the billions of things in life we see affects our moral judgment.

    If things you see every day affects your moral judgment, you have no morals and are simply looking for something to blame…

  113. 0
    Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ All of the people who are making the, “It was THIS BIG!” joke, I can’t help but note that he’s making the, “Ooooh, scary!” face along with it.

  114. 0
    Jim ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “… Cho fired three shots into nearly every victim.”

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but this brought to my mind the tactic that the police use. Policemen are taught to fire 2 shots to the chest and one shot to the head in quick succession. The chest is a large target and two shots means at least one will hit and likely kill the target. The third shot to the head is in case the target is wearing body armor.

    Another explanation is that Cho was high on adrenaline and acting irrational and firing multiple shots at each person just to release anger.

    In a videogame, you fire multiple shots at each person because you know that the target has a fixed amount of health points. No-one would be stupid enough to infer that the same is true for real life.

    In conclusion, there are many plausible explanations for his actions and only the least likely of them involves videogames.

  115. 0

    Good day: Welcome to Monday. I’ve received a number of educated and intelligent emails explaining in detail the difference between FPS games and Light Gun games. I’ve also had plenty asking me how I feel about FPS games versus Light Gun games. I have come to a conclusion and I mean no offense to anyone when I say this – although I’m sure someone will be offended simply because they want to be and no one can stop them:

    I don’t care anywhere NEAR as much about video games as anyone here or Dave Grossman or Jack Thompson. I care what my kids play. I care what they learn while playing. I think it’s silly to restrict and / or legislate video games anymore than they already are. But the rating system for video games is of value only to the limit it’s enforced. Just like movie ratings, if the guy at the cash register doesn’t care to check an ID then a ten year CAN buy a rated-M game. Not MY son mind you – because I AM a parent who pays attention.

    With that out of the way, I think video games are equally responsible for twisting a person’s soul as are real guns. Both are as responsible as hammers, ladders, pencils, computers, keyboards, water fountains and birds who poop from the sky. Ultimately each human being is responsible for his or her own actions. All I have said – and I’ll say it again in language as correct as I can given the emails I’ve received – is that people who play lots and lots of Light Gun games are mastering shooting skills even if unintentionally. Should they ever decide one day to become mass murderers, they may well be more efficient killers because of their increased shooting efficiency as practiced playing those Light Gun games.

    The constant play of FPS games using a controller, mouse, keyboard or joystick should be discouraged amongst those who have to work behind a real gun. The conditioning that can be caused constantly “shooting” a target in the game by pushing the X button (or whatever) DOES carry over into real life and in a real life threatening life or death situation, that contemporary warrior CAN NOT afford to be trying to push an X button to shoot a bad guy when he needs to pull a trigger.

    With all THAT said, I have a request to make: Please quit trying to convert me. I’m not AGAINST video games – but I’m never going to be a fan. I’m too old and too disinterested. You’ll never make me like golf either but that’s because I’d rather SHOOT the little white ball than hit it with a club. Because of the way my opinion was presented BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN MYSELF and because I was asked about my opinion, I came here to do two things: defend my good name and clearly state my opinion. I’m really not interested in being drawn into conversations about the ergonomics of controllers, the butt position for the best comfort while playing something for hours, etc. See the sarcasm?

    I’m not your enemy. I’m not sure YOU have an enemy. There are those who don’t like video games. You’ll never change that. There are those who don’t agree with legalizing marijuana, but there are those who will argue for it forever. I’m not interested enough in video games to debate their value or lack there of ad nauseum.

    If you disagree with my opinion as I have stated it, then please send me an intelligent email telling me why – or post your disagreement here and I’ll respond in kind. If you disagree with someone else’s presentation of my opinion, please quit holding me responsible for what someone else said.

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    Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well said, Mr. Borelli, and thank you for taking the time to clarify your opinion.

    I have one question, however. Every light-gun game that I’ve ever played, and the vast majority of FPSes, as well, don’t integrate anything to represent windage or drop – they practice “straight-line ballistics” rather than true ballistics. Wouldn’t any so-called “training” done under these conditions effectively train someone poorly for anything but the closest of ranges?

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    Yes and no. Given that the average police shooting occurs within 8 feet, trajectory and other external ballistics considerations don’t really matter. Even at 25 yards, the difference between point of aim and point of impact on a human size target isn’t going to matter. Anything within a 4″ circle is good to go.

    And, just FYI, I’ve seen games (and played them some time ago) that actually taught the shooter how to adjust for windage and elevation for long distance shooting. To play you had to first complete the tutorial on how to compute your “dope”. This game WAS teaching a small part of sniper craft and did have educational material about internal ballistics, external ballistics and terminal ballistics.

    Not all games are JUST fun…

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    Otaku-Man ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Mr. Borelli,

    Well I just sent another e-mail, and unfortunately I didn’t read this new comment you made before sending it.

    Clearly, what I said has already been said… many, many times.

    If you don’t want to be involved in games, that’s fine by me and I can respect that.

    What does concern me was your misrepresentation by NewsMax. Are you going to take any actions to correct them and have the mis-stated remarks removed? I think you have a right to be angry at them, and I’d hate to just see them get away with that kind of thing, not just because it’s about a topic close to home for me.

    For everyone here, as I’m sure they all feel the same way, thank you for taking the time to clarify and comment here on You are very well spoken and your views and opinions meen quite a bit to us. While we’d like to see you contribute to this site as a regular writer, we understand if you don’t want to. Still, thanks again for all you have done.

    Thank you Mr. Borelli.


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