Shrink: Doom Deprivation May Have Sparked Columbine Massacre

Video game critics commonly hold that violent video games, including Doom, contributed to the 1999 Columbine massacre. But an Oregon psychiatrist theorizes that not being able to play Doom may have been a far more significant factor in the murderous rampage carried out by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Psychiatrist – and GamePolitics reader – Jerald Block MD (left) discusses his theory in a lengthy interview with Destructoid. Block’s recent research paper, Lessons From Columbine: Virtual and Real Rage was recently published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry.

Dr. Block – a gamer himself – has a professional fascination with the effects of technology on individuals. He told Destructoid:

I knew that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold played many computer games. I had even played some of the same games. So I was curious and began reading the data… It was consuming, compelling, and disturbing reading.

Of the criticism often leveled at games, Block doesn’t see it as unfair:


Game developers know when they are pushing the envelope… I’d argue that several successful companies, like Take 2, have used such marketing strategies. And they expect the criticism, maybe even like it for the free PR, though sometimes they get burned…  The problem is that the entire gaming industry then gets predictably (i.e. not unfairly) attacked.

Regarding the Columbine killers, Block speculates that being deprived of their PC’s – and thus, their games – by way of parental punishment left a void in their lives which they filled up in part with the plot to attack their high school:

When Klebold and Harris are kicked off their computers, few, if any, would recognize just how important their virtual lives were to them. Most people wouldn’t even know they were in trouble.  That would make the punishment much more severe…

For heavy computer users, cutting them off can free up 30 or more hours a week. That is a lot of time to fill, especially for an enraged teen with limited social skills.  Unwise. The second issue is to recognize that computer users have a relationship with their computers… As silly as it may sound, being cut off from the system might feel something like being cut off from your best friend…

Harris had just been banned from the computer and the game. In its absence, he was keeping the game alive, refusing to give up his virtual life and the degree of power he felt there. By merging it with the real, he did not need to give it up.


I believe the primary issue is not the violent content. The problem is how seductively immersive technology can be. It becomes our best friend, our container for aggression, and the place we spend time. For many of those immersed, they go into crisis when they lose access to it. Clearly, we need more research exploring and confirming my analysis. In the interim, I’d suggest moderation, both in computer use and when putting limits on gaming.

If Block’s theory has merit, how about this nightmare scenario:

One minute you might be enormously powerful online. The next minute, the plug is pulled and your entire virtual existence is deleted away. We should expect such events to make people question what they have been doing with their lives for the past year(s). Imagine the day when that happens to WoW. It might seem unlikely but… suppose Blizzard gets sued and needs to shut its servers down… will we have 9 million infuriated people across the globe?

Block also offers an interesting critique of the work of video game critics Craig Anderson of Iowa State University and Brad Bushman of Michigan State.

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  1. 0
    StopGaming GoOutside says:

    Holy crap, drop the joystick and look around outside for something else to do. Someday you might date, God forbid even procreate. What kind of father will you be playing a stupid computer game all the time? Go out in the real world and talk to some real people instead of Grand Theft Auto IV. You might even learn something about yourself. There is more to life than bits and bytes of a game some entrepreneur made to make millions from while you live on an allowance from your mom and dad. Get a job and start being productive. Find some sort of higher power or belief in God. That boob tube and game connected to it won’t ever give you much to sustain yourself beyond that. Time to grow up and stop letting half your life be making a butt print like Homer in a chair playing video games. Wake Up LOSERS !!!

  2. 0

    “For heavy computer users, cutting them off can free up 30 or more hours a week. That is a lot of time to fill, especially for an enraged teen with limited social skills. Unwise. The second issue is to recognize that computer users have a relationship with their computers… As silly as it may sound, being cut off from the system might feel something like being cut off from your best friend…”

    Probably the only true lines within that statement… Everything else is fair game.

  3. 0
    Madcat says:

    Yeah thanks for the comment, real insightful. Ever since I posted that hell of a rant and had a few days of doom, Im a lot calmer now. And since Bioshock is coming out next week, even better.

  4. 0
    Cripplehawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    One of the main reasons this tragidy occured because the USMC rejected 1 of them (he took anti depressents). Had he been accepted in the USMC. This will not have happened IMHO.

  5. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Had he been accepted in the USMC. This will not have happened IMHO.”

    Yeah, then he actually would have been “trained” (something you can’t do on video games despite what massacre chasers believe) and would have been an even better shot.

  6. 0
    Madcat says:

    Jerald Block, thanks.

    I’ve got a story for you folks. One that goes hand in hand with Block’s theory that sudden deprivation from a violent game can make you snap. Here me out people, here me out. Sudden cold turkey from any addiction will always have the addicted person suffer nasty widthdrawal, really bad withdrawal. Unfortunately I am one of these people. I have flipped several times because my parents would completlely cut me off from my consoles/PC.

    They didnt even attempt to regulate, they would simply cut me off. After each time my addiction grew two-fold, they were making it worse. I have flipped several times because my parents would completlely cut me off from my consoles/PC.

    Theres a few parts to my issue. My family is one problem. Family history and blood is full of rage. We are an angry bunch, my family is. Short fuses that burn out quick. We can be extremely patient or extremely volatile in certain situations. We’ve got good self-control, otherwise heh, we’d literally kill each other. Its hard to live with irritable, short-tempered people, family-wise. My father is the irritable passive-aggressive type whos high-maintenance. It doesnt matter to me, he’s happy I work, so I can safely ignore him. Mother is a strong woman, much more resilient than me. Takes a LOT for her to flip. We three learned in life calm avoidance of PO’ed people works. Finding a quiet place for a few minutes of serenity saved the whole day from anger. But I also learned gaming was an outlet, lots of it. There wasn’t abuse, just lots of anger.

    Another start for my addiction was the constant bullying and ostracizing I had to deal with as a child. This made me completely apathetic to peers and their lifespans. I to this day, wish death and misery to my peers. They have been a thorn in my side whenever I was outside of my house. They took advantage of the fact that I was easily enraged, making my life total shit. Since I am 21, I mention peers as people from their teens to late twenties. Thankfully I ended up in a much better high school just 3 months after starting my sophomore year. I finally flipped out (non-addiction related) because of one jerkoff who started to bully me that year. I was thrown out but so was he, but not before he recieved a lovely glass jaw.

    Its actually a great thing to get thrown out of one school, because if I didnt end up in the second high school, I don’t know where I would’ve ended up. Thankfully, from sophomore to senior I was in a better high school, surrounded by GOOD peers, not idiots.

    As a kid mostly my grades flopped from the marathon gaming. The punishments were usually just taking the Sega Genesis or Playstation away, but indefinitely. It made me a nervous kid, I couldn’t figure out why I felt so crappy. Then I realized I was hooked. So I busted my ass for grades to get my consoles back, just to get some endorphins flowing. Ironic, no?

    In 2000, my addiction got to a newer level: PC gaming. Compaq Presario 5461, it did its job for Doom and Half-Life (I loathe Counter-Strike). From that day I’ve been a heavy PC gamer, never looking back on console gaming ever.

    When I was in the second high school I had lots of trouble digesting the math they taught. The teachers couldn’t speak english that well and chronically vague. They were brilliant, evidently they were, but couldn’t explain the chalk writings on the board. I was very stubborn to avoid after-school lessons, for some reason I had immense shame. I had to hide progress reports and lie through my teeth about my grades. Math was down the drain for me, I just couldnt comprehend it. All the while gaming like a hermit.

    Now heres when the shit hits the fan. The computer had a failed hard drive and it took 5 weeks for Staples to fix it. I was dying without the pc, I was salivating for the pc. I couldnt think straight, was always thinking of gaming and browsing the web. The day I got it back, my mother found out about me hiding progress reports. Before I could even turn on the machine, it was all taken away from me indefinitely.

    I f***ing lost it, I snapped like a mother F. I smashed all the furniture in my room and cursed up a storm. I paced back and forth through the hallway on the top floor of the house for 5 hours. I locked the door to my room and refused to speak to anyone. I simply cut myself off from my parents. I was completely silent for a week.

    My parents were doing what responsible parents were doing. One problem: they thought cold turkey on me would’ve worked. They didn’t realize how hooked and STILL hooked I am. They were too busy with my fathers machine shop to give a shit about me. No matter, I’ve had to embrace the addiction in order to be sane.

    My job doesnt help either since I’m tech support in a medical clinic. I’m a anti-social and I struggle to socialize with people. I try hard and today, I am a lot more social than a year ago. But god help an asshole doctor today, I will choke his ass if he gives me shit for HIS computational incompetence. The job has further incresed my addiction. Manager is compete asshole. I plan to leave in several months if I am further pushed by these inconsiderate pricks. If I have to send my idiot manager into a coma, so let it be done.

    With this aside… What am I today? I’m a violence junkie. A heavy metal fanatic. I feeeeed off the violence and gore. I am into the blood, guts, the macbre. If it doesnt have any violence, I’m not interested.

    Metal? Love heavy instruments, riff, solos, a mix of growl and high-pitch vocals. Cannot get enough of it, pumps me up yet cools me down.

    I love FPS only for the perspective. I just love the first-peron view, its immersive to me. Not because of the realism of violence mind you, I prefer FPS as its the best view of a game. Therefore I love Thief AND Doom. If i have a choice to sneak or demolish, I like the sneak part more. I have a thing for AI so I like to observe AI while I sneak around. (Sight, hearing, pathfiding in stealth situations). So dont think I’m some potential murderer. I would’ve been dead by now.

    I bought some BB guns recently to start a new hobby and some outdoor plinking (and to kill some piegeons, joke). My VSR-10 (Tokyo Marui bolt-action rifle) messed up. I tried to occupy myself for up to 5 days on something other than video games. I was cooking by the 3rd day, not because of my addiction. It’s because I’m easily frustrated and enraged. The job that time and the rifle broken started me up.

    You might think “life story” but I’m trying to be serious. I do have a handful of friends. I IM people and use voice chat a lot. I go out once in a while. I stare at womens asses and boobs. I am still a horny bastard. I do not look like a nerd, I look like a PO’ed asshole. I am not emo I am metalhead. Right now? I think I’m doing pretty fucking good for someone with a violent temper so easily fueled. I just wanted to rant here because of the hypothesis from Jerald Block. Dont cut the addicted people off, try to reduce the addiction bit by bit. Instead of 16 hrs a day, I forced myself to do 3-8. A lot better from my perspective.

  7. 0
    Madcat says:

    It is hard for me to put these words down. Because of my childhood and my only escape with marathon gaming, I have become a violence junkie, I’ve turned into an apathy-filled, cynical asshole. Yet here I am, NOT ending up like Harris and Klebold. I cannot be deprived now, I am not a child, but I am not overdosing neither.

    When you have only one outlet, you embrace that outlet. I took the gaming way too far. I feed off that violence now, otherwise I cant calm down. Videogames are dangerous only for angry people like me with violent potentials. I’m the exception. I can hold back my anger. It’s hard but I can hold it back. I don’t need a shrink, I need a new outlet.

  8. 0

    […] I also happened upon this post on Game Politics about Jerald Block, a psychiatrist who seems to have published a peer-reviewed article in American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry arguing that deprivation of Doom may have been somewhat responsible for triggering the violent tragedy at Columbine. I have to read the whole article, but it seemed worth posting as a follow-up to my recent comments on catharsis and restricting media access. […]

  9. 0
    paul says:

    For a better understanding of rage murder, that doesn’t invoke Folk Devils like this guy and his “Computers obsession” theory, read the book Going Postal by Mark Ames. Mark Ames did actual investigative journalism into the phenomena of killing sprees, and he was able to point out that the things that motivated Harris and Klebold were not really different than the things that motivated Office killing sprees.

  10. 0
    JACK THOMPSON, ATTORNEY ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This guy’s theories support our lawsuits stemming from game-related deaths. You give a kid an appetite for this stuff, and of course they are likely to act it out virtual reality in real reality.

    That’s the whole point, Dennis. Good grief.

  11. 0
    VaMinion says:

    I don’t buy it. It’s an interesting theory, but it still comes down to “Video games caused or contributed to these guys going nuts” instead of “They were nuts and happened to play Doom.”


  12. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Factoring in all that and bullying ,they likely didn’t take part in anything else as they were made to feel so inferior that they felt they ‘d be no good at it.

  13. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    And again you miss it entirely. The point was that the two lost the outlet they knew of for their anger and frustration.

  14. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    Even if this was true, the problem remains that these two were so disturbed they decided to occupy their free time by planning a killing spree, instead of some other pastime like reading or sports, which is what most normal people would transition to.

    Again, these “theories” only make it more apprent that the Columbine killers were clearly disturbed people, and not representative of the vast majority of gamers.

  15. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow, I was quoted, cool ^^

    Elaborating what I said. Yeah, suddenly cutting off anything like that can cause severe reactions.

    For example, say someone had become dependent on, sleeping pills. Cutting it off suddenly can cause a nasty reaction, the better idea would be to gradually work to where you don’t need it.

  16. 0

    […] University of Texas Contact the Webmaster Link to Article iowa state university Shrink: Doom Deprivation May Have Sparked Columbine Massacre » Posted at on Friday, July 27, 2007 Shrink: Doom Deprivation May Have Sparked Columbine Massacre July 27th, 2007 Video game critics commonly hold that violent video games, including Doom, contributed to the 1999 Columbine massacre. But an Oregon psychiatrist theorizes that not being able to play Doom may have been a far more significant factor in the murderous rampage carried out View Original Article » […]

  17. 0
    janarius ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I haven’t read Dr.Block’s papers being busy studying for the GRE, but from what GP wrote and quote: I agree it was a very unwise decision to suddenly cut-off the computer. Although, given the circumstances and then-understanding of immersive technology, we can’t predict something like that would happen. What I am currently more interested are the parents.

    About the critique on the works of prf. Anderson and Bushman and their response, I have no clue, even I’m a psych undergrad. Why can’t a third party have a say in it? A stats psych prof? or even a statistician?

  18. 0
    Kajex ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Of course Jack misses it. That 4 o’clock train to “Common Sense” left about 3 hours before, and he STILL jumped off the platform, hoping to land on the train in time, instead falling on his face.

    This guy contacted me for no reason at all. I laughed at him then, and I laugh at his inability to provide a decent point even now. ^_^

  19. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    @ Jack Thompson, Hearse-Chaser Necrophile Attorney

    Once again, Jack proves he failed reading comphrension as a child.

    The point was that the two lost the outlet they knew of for their anger and frustration.

    Meaning it doesn’t support the bullshit lawsuits you’ve filed for years only to support your ego.

    “Shut the F*** up, you’re out of your element”- Walter, “The Big Lebowski”

  20. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ WinterNight:

    Video games are not addicting, yet they are something that certain people can become addicted to. Same with alcohol. Same with gambling. Same with sex. Same with any number of other activities. The majority of people are able to partake in these activities in a healthy manner, but some form habits which get worse and result in full blown addiction.
    In the Columbine case, I’m not even sure it was addiction, more chronic delusion (see all of the God references) that led them to do this. Dooms at most gave them a vocabulary to pin on the people they didn’t like. It did not train them, motivate them, and ultimately did not cause them to kill.

    @Jack Thomson, Attorney

    “This guy’s theories support our lawsuits stemming from game-related deaths. “

    No, you have it wrong. His theories claim that playing Doom and other games actually had a cathartic effect on the killers. Just like you can take your anger out on a punching bag, or release frustration by sticking your face in a pillow and having a good shout, this was how these two vented their frustration at a world which appeared to them to full of bullies an persecution.

    I’m not saying that video games was the cure here and had they been left playing it would never have happened. However, when they were cut off from their only release, it made all of their frustration build up rapidly. If they had been able to keep releasing their anger, perhaps it would have escalated more slowly and their mental instability would have been noticed before it got to the stage where they decided to kill.
    Although, seeing as they were plotting a year before the murders makes me think that nothing short of catching them with the guns on the way to their school would have prevented it. (making sure that they couldn’t get their hands on guns in the first place might have helped but that’s another discussion altogether 😛 )

    “You give a kid an appetite for this stuff, and of course they are likely to act it out “

    Again, untrue. People who ALREADY have an appetite for this stuff are drawn to it. I enjoy horror and crime fiction. I didn’t read those books and then gain the appetite for them, I sought them out because I was interested in them. I enjoy most kinds of games except for sports titles, they hold no interest for me. If you make me play sports video games I will not be “given” an appetite for them, the appetite does not exist in the first place. People who are prone to violence will more than likely enjoy violent literature, violent movies, games, tv shows, etc. Violent media will not make people prone to violence.

    “virtual reality in real reality.”

    Real reality is just called reality. I understand that reality is something you have a problem with, but at least try and get the terminology correct.

  21. 0
    Malevolent says:

    Video games are not addicting. If they were and when parents grounded them and took away their game we’d see a lot more of this killing spree going on…

  22. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Well, just about anything and everything can become addicting, and as such to different people it can go to different degrees.

    For instance, I can put down my Xbox controller for over a week and be fine, whereas someone else may not be able to do that as well as others.

    I( hope that makes sense.

  23. 0
    Grey ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The anti gun activists blame the guns and the anti game activists blame the games.

    Those without agendas to push, who view the Columbine Massacre as tragedy rather than career progression, see two disturbed boys who needed help.

    Follow the money. When something like Columbine happens, who gets paid? The game companies? Nope, tragedies like Columbine hurt their bottom line. Massacre chasers? Yep. It’s a lowlife feeding frenzy.

  24. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    jesus fucking christ thompson would you open you eyes for once? are you that blind? do you really believe a video game is powerful enough to make people jump out and kill REAL people? people that do what the columbine kids did have very complex reasons for doing what they do, it cant be simply put off as the result of them playing a video game. that makes no sense whatsoever. if your “theories” had any truth to them you would be seeing millions of these incidents. but your not, so obviously your “theories” are bullshit.

  25. 0
    Rhoffman ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I can only hope to God that the above post by “Jack Thompson, Attorney” isn’t the actual Jack Thompson, because if it is it suggest that:

    a) an attorney has the free time to spend on a gaming website when he’s in the middle of multiple lawsuits,
    b) he’s actually interacting with a website that is directly mentioned in one of his lawsuits (a HUGE no-no, as anybody with any legal knowledge would point out),
    and c) that someone who’s gone through years of education to get a law degree would such a low reading comprehension that he couldn’t even get the basic point of a fairly simplistic article.

    While I have a low opinion of the real Jack Thompson, I can only hope to God that this post isn’t really him…. because my already low opinion of him would have dropped significantly as a result.

    Either way, way to go, Jack! Continue being a “thorn” in the video game industry/gamer’s lives by relentlessly showing your ignorance of basic law and the subject matter that you’re complaining about, giving free press to controversial games, and by making your debate opponents automatically more respectable just by standing next to you.

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


    He is not saying games are addicting. He is saying, some people are so used to them that they become a normal part of life.

    Some people manage to deal with losing a limb, some people don’t. While not an equal comparison, I think that is the point he is making.

  27. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I don’t think that you understand the nature of addiction. Not all people who are addicted to something lash out violently when they are deprived of their habit. Additionally, not all addictions are a chemical addiction. People can be addicted to a whole lot of things even if it is not called an addiction.

    Let’s take an extreme example, porn. People can be addicted to porn. It has a very strong psychological tie to some people. Not everyone who views porn is addicted, but many people are. Those who are find it very hard to break away and it can destroy their lives. It changes your perceptions of intimacy and women (or men for that matter). Not everyone who views porn will become a pedophile or the next Ted Bundy, but it can really destroy your self esteem and respect for others.

    Video games can have similar effects. It is just that these effects have not been documented as well as porn or drugs. It is too early in the study to write off the addictive nature of video games. To dismiss it is to write your self off as ignorant of the nature of the human conscienceness.

    I agree that it is better to monitor and control the childs tv, movie and video game consumption early on. Children need to be active in educational and esteem building activities from an early age. Passive entertainment such as tv and movies are alright for a quick escape from reality and video games help in that respect as well. But when your kid is spending 20+ hours a week playing games and watching tv, don’t you think that they could be doing something better with their time?

    I for one, think that if your kid has a hobby that they love, they should be encouraged to delve deeper into the hobby. If you kid loves to play games, maybe they should be encouraged by the parent to learn how to make games. If they like certain shows and movies, they should be encouraged to learn about the subject matter in more depth, or to learn to write their own.

    It is not what they consume when it comes to media, it is what they do with the things they learn that really matter.

    So it in the end still comes back to the parent for not encouraging a more constructive habit for the Columbine kids.

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

    “For many of those immersed, they go into crisis when they lose access to it”

    Of course this can be applied to any kind of obsession. Teenage girls who lose phone privileges, customizable card gamers who get grounded on the eve of the big tournament, grown men when they can’t watch the Superbowl. And even lawyers who lose access to the spotlight they think they deserve…

    All resort to the only thing they know how to respond with… temper tantrums…

  29. 0

    […] YouTube Contact the Webmaster Link to Article video games Shrink: Doom Deprivation May Have Sparked Columbine Massacre » Posted at on Friday, July 27, 2007 Shrink: Doom Deprivation May Have Sparked Columbine Massacre July 27th, 2007 Video game critics commonly hold that violent video games, … played many computer games. I had even played some of the same games. So I was curious and began reading … at games, Block doesn’t see it as unfair: Game developers know when they are pushing the envelope… I’ View Original Article » […]

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

    Guys, can we dispense with the insults and attacks on Mr Thompson please, it just fuels the image of gaming fans being juvenile and immature, and helps noone. Im no christian, but in this context ‘turn the other cheek’ has real merit.

    As for the story, I think the author has some fair points (although I believe he overstates his case somewhat). Remove the main social outlet for those with limited social skills, and trouble can ensue. It seems quite obvious however, that for an outcome quite as horrific as this one, it can only have been the kind of trigger that would have created this effect in someone as severely disturbed as Harris as Klebold. If it were otherwise, surely we’d be seeing comparable cases occuring on a nearly daily basis across the world.

    Perhaps a more productive direction for study might be to look into why certain sections of American youth feel quite so alienated from their societies and peers, rather than the blame falling once again at the feet of an entertainment industry that is enjoyed by tens of millions of people around the world.

  31. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh, and an addendum to my comments about “this can apply anywhere”… it does require that the person who to be “obsessed” with whatever it is they are obsessing over/tantruming that they lost. They need to have developed a habitual addiction to it.

  32. 0
    DragonBomber ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There was an interesting special on the effect of media on violent criminals recently. While there were a few biased clowns talking out their rear ends with NOTHING to support their beliefs, there was a doctor or two who spoke some sanity. They pointed out the lack of valid research, valid conclusions, and vast problems with media research proving actions. One of the doctors in particular felt that violent movies could at their utmost worst act merely as a trigger to those already screwed up mentally and waiting for a nudge. This nudge could come from a conversation, a news article, a book, a movie or their subconscious imagination. A piece of straw to break the camel’s back, versus the moronic idea that media is a demonic force compelling them towards evil acts. If the devil exists he or she is in the heart’s of those who fail to learn from their past mistakes.

    Let us look at plot for a moment, since content is usually driving this snug bug. The radically insane plots of fiction are FAR outweighed by the reality of horrors committed since recorded history in societies far and wide. More horribly violent action is condoned by governments and rebel groups globally rendering people dead, buried, and forgotten than will EVER hit a TV screen from movies, television, and video games. If you look at the history of the world you will notice that every crime imaginable cycles in waves of hell-on-Earth, and we as people continue it. We allow hate and bigotry to dictate our lives. Money rules our motives nearly every hour we breathe versus a desire to better ourselves and the lives of our common (wo)man. We allow governments that cheat us out of life and liberty to run rampant. All the while children pick up this message that when it comes down to it, we don’t give a damn about being decent human beings toward one another.

    Take video games away. Take movies away. Take television away. Take technology into a back alley to get a quick slug to the noggin and strangle the desire to forward the boundaries of science. While you are at it, burn all the books, scrolls, tablets, and other recording devices that keep our histories of the world’s past (both vaguely true and fabricated) and the legions of fiction writings so we eventually lose all touch of who we are and where we have been. Let us all return to the stone age.

    Drastic perhaps, but where would we be without the media forms helping to push technology along. Media forms giving us mere rehashes of ancient and modern history bring consumers what they of their own volition will never strive for. If anything we should be using this content (good and bad) as a history lesson, drawing the parallels and engaging our brains to avoid past horrors and mistakes of judgment in the future. There are going to be people playing the Beowulf game who have NEVER heard of book, let alone read it. Turning the products of our media forms into learning aids would be the perfect opportunity to enhance the seriously lacking educational landscape in this country were it not for fear mongers and those attempting to capitalize (in wealth, power, notoriety) on national traumas such as Columbine, VT, and every day family tragedies that could have been prevented. Think about it. The content is already there, saturating households and communities. Should not something good be done with media other than it being blamed for bad parenting, and horrible personal judgment/control over mental conditions?

  33. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow, he tore apart Anderson’s methodology for “guesstimating” the correlation between media violence and real-world violence.

  34. 0
    DragonBomber ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Blessed be. I agree with you on the whole turn the other cheek thing. The problem of dwelling on what someone else is doing rather than what you yourself are contributing to the problem/solution is like a cancer. I was typing the post above while you posted about triggers. I have seen quite a few authorities on mental health look upon the issue as such, although the special in question was the most recent example I could recall.

  35. 0
    Ben Ambroso ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Jack thompson, Attourney

    You seem to miss the point here, but thats ok. I wouldn’t want you to be out of character.

    Everyone has their outlet…their way of relieving stress and getting through times that may be harder to deal with. Saying that these things make them more angry and violent is like saying “people that hunt deer will some day start hunting people”. However, while I disagree that deprivation of the game was what caused these two to do such a heinous crime, take into consideration many things that you seem to keep “ignoring” in your cases against the video game industry.

    Both kids were said to have been raised in broken homes, and have been abused. They were given games as a shut-up toy so their parents wouldn’t have to deal with them. They were continually harrassed at school on a daily basis. Lack of supportive figures in their life caused them to look for other routes to outlet their stress. A student claimed they had heard the two talking about how they “were sick of all the bullshit” and “weren’t going to take it anymore”.

    Millions of people under the age of 18 play video games on a daily basis. Most, however, have a support structure in place, and have parents that actually get involved with their lives. When I go to my parents house for a weekend, my father and I will still play a game or two of Counter-Strike or Command and Conquer. While growing up, I wasn’t allowed to play anything violent, sexual in nature, or anything along those lines until I was old enough to realize the difference between fantasy and reality. I still, to this day, play video games, and have never once committed anything violent towards others as a “reinactment” of video games.

    So kids get ahold of M rated games. While doing research for a book I’m writing (“Blame the Game”, and guess what, Jackie…you got your very own chapter!) I contacted 42 random video game retailers across the country and asked if they would sell a game to my little brother, who was coming to pick up a game for me that was M rated. When stating he was only 17, they said they couldn’t because he was underage. At the age of 17. So, if kids age 12 are getting these violent games, who do you think is buying them? Thats right, people over 18. Any guess at who that may be? Parents and grandparents? So the problem isn’t the video game industry, because quite frankly, they state right on the cover of the box “This game is intended for mature audiences only”. Mature because they need to be able to seperate fantasy from reality. Who are the people that are responsible for helping to show that seperation to those at a younger age? Thats right. Parents.

    Jack, when you get disbarred, it will be the perfect end to your chapter in this book. I look forward to it, especially because I can just see you trying to sue me for defamation. Too bad you won’t be a lawyer anymore to try to falsely send a cease and decist.

  36. 0
    Kentonio ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Good post man, sums it up nicely. I do feel as though the search for the trigger mechanism in these cases is such a blatent dead end in the search for solutions, that it just detracts and distracts from what could be genuinely helpful, and just helps to paint over the wider issues involved.

  37. 0
    bildo says:

    Harris and Klebold killed people at their school because they were insane. End of story. Their instanity caused them to kill people, not depravation. For normal people being depraived will cause them to long for what they used to have and eventually move on to different things. If WoW was suddenly cut off 9 million people probably would be angry but I doubt 9 million are going to kill someone over it!

  38. 0
    Ben Ambroso ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    there wasn’t that much for him to do but say “see, he agrees”. He didn’t have any chance to really misspell words due to the short statement, and he said something stupid without reading anything past the title. Yeah, its him.

  39. 0
    Brainswarm ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Come on, guys. I highly doubt that JACK THOMPSON, ATTORNEY is really Jack Thompson. For one thing, it’s short. The real Thompson is much more long winded. For another, it was much too polite for Thompson. He didn’t call us idiots, morons, etc. Also, he makes no grand accusations that gamers and Dennis Mccauley have bought the Florida Bar Association in order to persecute him. Finally, the post was spelled correctly.

  40. 0
    Ben Ambroso ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dennis wants to remain fair and balanced, so until Jack breaks the general rules of commenting, he has every right to say these things.

    Plus, its like the comic relief here.

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

    To clear up, I haven’t been here as long as some, but from what I have heard, Thompson has been banned. Repeatedly. As in, many times. For, overall, being a dick.

  42. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “This guy’s theories support our lawsuits stemming from game-related deaths. You give a kid an appetite for this stuff, and of course they are likely to act it out virtual reality in real reality.”

    You fail at reading comprehension Jack.

    “I believe the primary issue is not the violent content.” Hence this does NOT support your frivolous lawsuits. The point, which I don’t really agree with, is that they didn’t know how to face the real world when their games are taken away. The games could have been Barbie’s Horse adventure for the purpose of this study.

    Therefore this isn’t a violence issue Jack but rather an addiction issue. Please try to read more than the parts which satisfy your personal vendetta. This goes for the bible as well.

  43. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Turn the other cheek works in some instances, but the problem is in this instance, if we do, well, he’s liable yo blindside someone.

  44. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Ben Ambroso

    The issue isn’t so much whether he breaks the rules of commenting, it’s how he tries to make every article about him. It’s distracts from talking about the actual story and it’s disruptive.

  45. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    To be honest, someone standing on one leg in a bowl of custard and whilstling the National Anthem backwards would lend weight to Jack’s claims, at least in his own mind.

  46. 0
    Tye The Czar says:

    Say paul, if someone says something you can’t agree with, it’s not going to kill you. So why go to your angry animal instincts by uselessly and childishly insult him. When there are people who really deserve it like Fox News and Rupert Murdoch’s monopolism (though insults never get anyone anywhere). And it seems agreeable.

  47. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I will say, after reading the article, that it’s quite interesting in some ways. I’ll agree that violent games were one of Klebold and Harris’ outlets for their condition, together with Violent movies etc, they were compulsive obsessives, which means whatever they did, they became fixated with, so it’s not all that surprising that when forced not to be able to partake of something they obsessed about, the balance the games and films etc had helped keep in check finally tipped.

    As has been said before, the core (though not the extent) of this reaction is not dissimilar to not being able to go to the pub because you ahve to stay and fix the tap, it’s frustrating, and you can be a bit ratty about it, but K&H weren’t ‘ordinary’ people to start off with, so the reaction wasn’t ‘ordinary’.

    The whole thing about being a ‘powerful person’ on WoW is an interesting point, though my own concern would be more about things like Linden Labs, that try to make things that don’t exist into markettable merchandise., something Blizzard does not encourage at all. If 9 million people got thrown from WoW (ignoring alt-nicks, farmers and dead accounts) I don’t think there’d be an uprising. There’d probably be multiple attempts at class-action lawsuits, which is quite amusing that the Video Game worlds’ first reaction to losing one of it’s favourite games would probably be to try and go Thompson on it. That, I think, is more telling than any ‘Video Games cause Violence’ claim.

  48. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Welcome to the Dark Side (or so it is said by some). :)

    At any rate, a very good starting point for research on the Columbine Massacre is:

    But don’t stop there. Use the info in the article and the discussion page there, along with the other links provided as a starting point on research. Google is a very talkative friend too. Sometimes too talkative, but it has its uses.

    I say this because you should never rely solely on one resource for research. I’m sure you’ll find out a great deal of information if you don’t rely on stories and opinions by one person or one group of individuals. This is, of course, true of everything you research.

    Really, there is a great deal more to learn about the events that led up to that horrible day. And even when you think you know everything, realize that the only people who knew everything about what happened and why are dead. Their names were Eric and Dylan.

    NW2K Software

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

    Normal person plays games, parent takes away games: nothing happens

    deeply troubled person plays games (violent ones), parent takes away : massacre.

    Perhaps the problem isn’t the games?

    @Jack Thompson

    how many times does it have to be said. I game where you can’t even look up and down can’t “train” you on anything, never mind GTA games with their crappy graphics. If you think I’m wrong, take a look at the PS3 and Xbox360 graphics, douche.

  50. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s interesting to note that one of the boys’ fathers found a pipe bomb in his bedroom almost a year before the Columbine attack, but chose to dispose of it silently, just about the time that the boy had changed to a new anti-depressant medication, though Block does acknowledge that the Jury is still very much out on that one, it still shows that this was not ‘cranial menu’ stuff, it was not a spontaneous reaction to external stimuli, it was something that had been planned and prepared for a great deal of time.

  51. 0
    Thad says:

    @ Grey: “The anti gun activists blame the guns and the anti game activists blame the games.”

    This isn’t any less stupid an analogy than the last 700 times it’s been used.


    There’s some merit to the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument, in that the underlying problem is not the weapon but the mind of the user, but until you at least acknowledge the very very obvious fact that guns make it a lot easier for people to kill people, it’s really hard to take any argument you make seriously.

    @ Pixelantes Anonymous: “Video games = release valve

    No release valve = explosion

    Simple as that.”

    Er, no, it’s not NEARLY as simple as that.

    I got grounded in high school too. Sometimes the folks took away my games or Internet access. I was mad but I never killed anybody. And — with a nod to Grey’s point, as bad as his analogy is — I wouldn’t have killed anybody even if I’d had a gun.

    I don’t think the point here is games at all. If Block’s supposition is correct, then it’s an issue of addiction, and even if he’s not, it’s CERTAINLY an issue of disturbed teenagers whose parents meant well but did not get them the help they needed.

  52. 0
    Grey ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Thad
    The point which I was trying to make is that those with an agenda to push see the event through the agenda and thus overlook the fact that “it’s CERTAINLY an issue of disturbed teenagers whose parents meant well but did not get them the help they needed.”

    The gun control issue is a distraction just like game issue is a distraction. The boys at Columbine used a multi tiered approach to slaughter. Even without the guns they could have limited themselves to bombs. Or knives or baseball bats or even an xbox which I’m pretty sure is heafty enough to bludgeon someone with.

    The root problem is that they were disturbed. And identifying and getting help for disturbed teenagers or anyone else who is prone to snapping and going on a rampage is hard. Much harder than banning guns or violent video games.

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

    LOL Well, in all fairness to him, hindsight is always clearer, and these WERE pre 9/11 days as well as (obviously) before School shootings were such a massive subject. So whilst, yes, I was amazed to read that too, I thought about it for a while and realised how hard it would be to make a decision about that, especially considering he already had a criminal record. I’d hate to be put in a position where I had to decide whether to, effectively, send my son to jail, it seems a clear cut decision nowadays, but it wasn’t then.

  54. 0
    Unrated ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Im gonna call bullshit on this one. When I lived with my parents they would cut off my computer and videogames all the time. I did not go and plan on killing people for it. If anything all this “Proves” is that violent videogames STOP crazys from killing people.

  55. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think, Captain Sensible, that Block is speculating that having their favourite pastime denied to them is what ultimately caused them to rebel – and their rebellion was to find another way to play the game.

  56. 0
    Doctor Proctor ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @GoodRobotUs —

    “I think he’s saying it goes deeper than that, preperations and plans were underway for quite some time, the ban from the computer had only been for a few days, I always think of the computer ban as ‘The straw that broke the camels back’ from their own point of view.”

    Exactly, a simple computer ban was not enough to set these kids off on it’s own. It might’ve been the thing that finally made them snap and say “It’s time”, but that could’ve been anything. If they were sports players and had been pulled from their team it might’ve set them off. If their favorite TV had been cancelled it might’ve set them off. If a parent threw away comic books while cleaning it might’ve set them off…

    They were ticking time bombs waiting for *any* excuse to enact their carefully laid out plans. Nothing, short of being jailed, would’ve stopped them at that point. The sooner people realize that and start looking at what *started* them down that path, the sooner we’ll be able to identify and help people like this before it’s too late.

    Of course, that doesn’t grab headline or sell books quite as well as “Videogames made them do it”, but saving lives and stopping spree killers isn’t always about the glamour and glitz of media coverage.

  57. 0
    Wolf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Unrated and others

    I won’t express my opinion in it; I’m still thinking it over. But like what Unrated said, yes, you may have been prevented from games, and such. And maybe, you were a little mad. But there is a difference between you and those kids; whether you think it helps or hurts this study is up to you.

    Those two were crazy. They had problems. Serious problems. They were not normal, healthy kids, there was something about them that made them insane on the inside.

    It just seems to me, at least, that a lot of people who have commented so far has not gone into that. When you’re unstable, anything can set you off; anything.

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

    “that Block is speculating that having their favourite pastime denied to them is what ultimately caused them to rebel – and their rebellion was to find another way to play the game.”

    Which makes about as much sense as being denied playing chess therefore kidnapping the British monarchy in order to continue.

  59. 0
    Sidewinder says:

    I think that this isn’t to unlikely. When I was bullied at school I usually took my anger out on in-game characters. It helped went some of the frustration I would otherwise have let out on my family.

  60. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think he’s saying it goes deeper than that, preperations and plans were underway for quite some time, the ban from the computer had only been for a few days, I always think of the computer ban as ‘The straw that broke the camels back’ from their own point of view. Basically, they were searching for excuses to commit an atrocity, much like Manson was, and they both had followers, Manson had his ‘family’, Harris had Klebold.

    It needs to be held in mind that 99 IEDs had been constructed by the two boys in preperation for the attack, that’s not something that was a snap decision for revenge, it was something they’d been looking for an excuse to commit for quite some time. As Frank Zappa once put, it could have just as easily been the colour of someones tie that set them off, Harris, in particular, was searching for excuses to hate the world.

  61. 0
    Anyone Can Type A Name Here says:

    Hummm, why do I get the idea that someone is trolling here by pretending to be a certain someone, and is also here trying to throw off such suspicion….

    Too bad there are people here who quickly assume that people are who they say they are in the name field….

  62. 0

    It’s a good theory, but it was probably a combination of factors, not including Klebold not taking his Prozac.

    REAL Jack, if you hate gamepolitics and Dennis so much, why do you post here? Is it because he’s the only one who thinks that you’re sane enough to publish? Or do you WANT him?

  63. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    These theories lead to A made them do it even tho B C and D got them to F and F was then the final result, my point being A seem to be the only focus here when you have rage issues,bully issues mental health issues that were completely ignored by adults, why is the suspension of A so important when they were stockpiling weapons before it?
    When they were already broken enough think that this?

    Common sense tells us that the fiction tells someone to do something and they do it life has broken them not the fiction they cling too.

  64. 0
    CyberSkull ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Jack Thompson
    The theory here is that the boy’s only outlet for their aggression was taken away as well as their only source of empowerment. Left without their coping mechanism, they had to do other things to cope, which lead to the shootings. So the games acted as a pressure valve, not> a pressure cooker for them.

    At least according to the theory here.

  65. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thad, I didn’t say what the level of explosion is gonna be.

    Normal people don’t go and shoot people when their release valves are taken away, at least not immediately. But you can be sure normal people will get cranky and snappy. And given enough time (the length of which depends on your level of normalcy) without proper release value, you can be certain even normal people will crack and do something extraordinarily stupid or violent.

    Psychotic, insane people will obviously explode in a quite different scale with no release valves in place.

  66. 0

    I’m not going to completely discredit or blow off this guy’s research. There are some very intriguing theories he’s proposed. That said, I feel that it is attempting to quantify the problem in simplistic terms that ignores other factors in the process. I don’t necessarily say he’s on the completely wrong track, but he’s put on some blinders in the process. His theories could explain some of what went on that led up to the Columbine massacre — but are not representative of the total, or even majority of what all most likely happened with those boys.

  67. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    #1 – JT missed the point again, with regards to the theories of the Doctor in the article: The games were an outlet for their agression, NOT something they built an appetite for because it was there. *begin sarcasm*It couldn’t POSSIBLY have anything to do with their parents’ lack of involvement in their lives, the complacent school officials, the bullies, or the apathetic attitude toward bullying that the entire school took.*end sarcasm*

    #2 – The games themselves aren’t addictive. People CAN become addicted to them, as they can any other activity. It’s just like saying eating is addictive, because some people are addictive eaters – completly wrong. Most people eat at a healthy level without any problem.

    #3 – The doctor’s theories are just that – theories. An interesting theory, no doubt, and one which I can at least see a granule of truth in from my own experiences. Personally, I find my punching bag to be a better stress reliever than games, and I prefer not to game angry in the first place, as I don’t enjoy it as much.

    #4 – The collumbine killers were already mentally unstable. Banning video games based on their behavior would be like banning oxygen because 100% of all psychotic killers had it in their bloodstream in the weeks and months prior to their killings.

    The combination of some bits and pieces here; the mentally unstable kids, the hopeless situation they found themselves in at school and in life, and the removal of the one place in life where they had some empowerment and stress relief… well, it created something we’re all actually very familiar with: Suicide Bombers. Granted, these kids weren’t strapping TNT to their chests, but they must have known they’d die that day. We see the same combination of factors, albeit with a religious undertone, in the suicide attacks in the middle east.

    In conclusion, if Jack tries to use these theories in a lawsuit, all the opposition has to do is follow a similar line of thinking to this, and he’ll have shot himself in the foot instead of shot his opposition dead.

  68. 0
    Overwieht and Out of shape says:

    I hereby Challenge Jack Thompson To a boxing match! As I was often told in the military “When the mind fails the body pays!” Well Jack you’re about a s bright as a stump and your mind has failed you for the billionth time. Lets see if your physical aspects are any keener.

  69. 0
    bobby dent says:

    gez…i mean, i play games like starcraft, wow, quake, counterstrike, doom, gta, bully, and manhunt for like, an hour. does that mean i too, will go on a shooting spree? no. i either play magic , yugioh, or the wow tcg. these students had other problems that being suddenly cut off from their games. i know what its like to suddenly get cut off of something, had a smoker for a roomie once. u

  70. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    This is just another of many theories, and I don’t see much to it. If any individual in any aspect of life gets their main focus of leisure/relaxation taken away without notice, it would create a very difficult situation. If those people are already somewhat sociopathic and are venting their already existing aggression through something safe like a video game, and that sanctuary disappears, then… well… idle hands and all that.

  71. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    What I’m suggesting that in this case, if they had any relationship with the shootings at all, all that video games did in the Columbine case was delay the inevitable.

  72. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That’s more or less what the report is saying.

    The message I get is that Harris, in particular, had made focuses in his life for venting his inbred anger, his Diaries, Violent Media etc. However, the anger, the plans to perform one horrific act, and he was never, ever blind to the fact that what he planned was an act of evil, he was proud of it, were never forgotten, merely vented through other sources. It WAS at this point that it should have been picked up on, but most parents would think twice about reading their childs’ diary etc, it’s hard to know where to establish the line between parenting and trust, though his violent writing at school would certainly have triggered alarm bells these days, we’ve learned that much of a lesson.

    When the Computer rights were removed, to two young men, who had already developed a mindset of feeding on their own bitterness, decided that the removal of this outlet was enough to warrant doing ‘it’, something they had been planning for a long long time, as I and other people have said earlier, from Frank Zappa onwards, that trigger is immaterial, it could have been anything.

    Basically, my own take on what Dr Block is saying is that when someone who is compulsive-obsessive forms a link with something, there’s value in researching just how that link is formed, and how wise it is to simply break it rather than wean them off of it. Most people cope fine with having restricted access to their pastimes for a while, though anyone would get frustrated after a while, but compulsive obsessives may react exponentially more radically to it than an average person. I’m not sure I agree with the whole ‘Computer as a Friend’ idea, I think it might be worth casting the net a little wider and seeing how other obsessions work, but I do think he’s touching on something, but more about obsessives than about computers and Video Games.

  73. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:


    Good analysis. I think if an individual is to be weaned off of a certain kind of stimuli for any reason though, there definitely needs to be something new in place to fill the void as a means of support. There was a time during high school when my mother (probably inspired by that awful Dr. Laura who was popular at the time) went through all my stuff and took away all the music, movies, and video games she found offensive. It was the single most devestating moment in my life because it left me with nothing.

    Fortunately I am not a violent or destructive person. If I did have access to a lethal weapon however, suicide would have been a very likely reaction at that moment and in the coming weeks. My problems were largely academic and psychological at the time, and the only thing I had to get me through were my friends, who lent me a large amount of the material my mom had taken away.

  74. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I never really wanted to shoot anyone, but I had some serious episodes of depression after being banned from video games as well, though I was weasly enough that I could never be banned all that much. I do think of losing a role in a play because of my inability to keep track of the rehearsal schedule, though. If it was anything like that, it could be pretty devastating. That leaves wide open the question of one should do instead, though.

  75. 0
    Jerald Block ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’ve been listening to the dialog, resisting the temptation to jump in…I suppose like a psychiatrist should. I’ll just wanted to thank all of you for the read; I hope I can incorporate some of what was discussed in my future work.

    I do read Game Politics and my compliments to Dennis for the great job he does.

  76. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thank you for taking the time to respond, and glad you enjoy Game Politics.

    I must say, it must be a unique experience, from a psychiatrists” point of view, to read Internet discussions about you. 😉

  77. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    It could be, but I have a theory that jack thompson is purposely making himself look like an idiot so that we as gamers will underestimate him (and if that’s the case then so far it’s gone pretty smoothly)

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

    @ Jerald Block

    I would like to comment and add some new insight to your idea that the lack of the game was a trigger.

    In many instances where addictive personality can lead to a blowup of frusteration and anger, I doubt that this was a major factor in the Columbine massacre. With all the things that the two boys were going through, even if they had the ability to escape into games I doubt that it would have prevented the attack. It may have delayed it, but it was not a significant factor in any way. If you take into account that they saw the world as a place of hostility, then reason would dictate that this series of events would have happened either way unless action to prevent it was taken (aka. the parents or school officials or even the police predicting where the events would take them and putting a stop to that process).

    I belive you well know that this is very hard for even the most seasoned professional in the field of psycology to predict. If one is to reason this unreasonable act out, then it is clear that all the factors that are working togeather make this situation possible. And even then it is hard to predict. I would very much doubt that the lack of video games were the reason that the two boys went on their rampage. Maybe with all the factors looked at, without special intrest interference, can any of us possibly get close to the triggers that occured on the day they decided to commit their criminal act.

    Just a thought.

  79. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    columbine would not have happened if klebold and harris had learned a better way to deal with their bullies and the people who picked on them. when you push and push and push someone, you will eventually are going to get pushed back. they just did not know the right way to do it and deal with their problems in a more logical manner.

  80. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m sorry I came in kind of late to comment on this, but I didn’t want to until I had read Dr. Block’s paper in its entirety. I have to say it was very interesting and one of the more cogent and thought-out essays on the subject. It holds more water at least than the “video games trained them to kill” angle mined by Grossman and Thompson.

    Speaking of which, JT’s almost as bad as the criminals who keep changing their stories during interrogation. If what he just said at the top of the thread is true, then it simply proves he’s out to completely ban video games and doesn’t want them being played by anyone. Not just children.

    Where the “video games trained them to kill” angle suggests that it turned Harris and Klebold into soulless killing machines, Dr. Block’s theories make their actions easier to understand and maintains their humanity. Depriving them of their preferred outlet only made tham angrier and more inclined to violence, whch stands in stark contrast to the idea that playing the games made them more predisposed to it.

    What jumped out at me the most however, was the assertion that once the reality of what they were doing hit them after their first few murders, they no longer perceived what they were doing as “fun.” And this is borne out by Dr. Block’s analysis of their actions throughout their rampage; something I don’t think has ever been done this comprehensvely before.

    If it is true, then Harris and Klebold probably had felt remorse for their actions. Unfortunately, they had committed to the course of action they had chosen and that point probably felt that they had no alternative but to follow through as best they could and make good on the promises they had kept to themselves. Once they finally realized there was no good way out for them and that their lives were now totally ruined was the point when they committed suicide; the closest thing to “hitting the reset button” that they had.

    Again, this paints a more human picture of them than previous accounts had. But I suppose most had held back from fear that they would be accused of sympathizing with them. But this is not the case. If anything, this analysis more than any other I’ve seen comes closest to helping us understand what really happened that day.

    That having been said, I agree with the others that deprivation was not the overriding cause. If anything it merely hastened the inevitable, and it only could have been prevented if more people had been aware of the other red flags that were being sent up.

    In the end, what’s really needed are improvements to our mental health care system to better find these people and readily get them the help that they need before they are too far gone.

  81. 0
    Vagon says:

    What it comes down to is that there are some people who dont fit in with society. So they look for ways to escape it. Games offer a way out. So does tv, music, movies, reading, etc.

    To people like me, when our escape method goes away, we are suddenly thrust into a world that we have no experience with. There really is no way to deal with this. Personally id just sweep the whole thing under the carpet. People want to escape from the world? Let them! There is a reason people like me hide.

    If you really wanted to “fix” people like me, make it easier for us to integrate into society, so we dont feel like we dont belong, so we can understand what is going on around us!

    Otherwise just let us escape… Our problem, not society’s.

  82. 0
    Vagon says:

    What it comes down to is that there are some people who dont fit in with society. So they look for ways to escape it. Games offer a way out. So does tv, music, movies, reading, etc.

    To people like me, when our escape method goes away, we are suddenly thrust into a world that we have no experience with. There really is no way to deal with this. Personally id just sweep the whole thing under the carpet. People want to escape from the world? Let them! There is a reason people like me hide.

    If you really wanted to “fix” people like me, make it easier for us to integrate into society, so we dont feel like we dont belong, so we can understand what is going on around us!

    Otherwise just let us escape… then we arent society’s problem anymore.

  83. 0
    Jonathan Janosi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Jack Thompson, Attorney

    Attorney for how much longer now Jack?


    Anyways, I love the article, and I think this guy knows what hes talking about.

  84. 0
    AlbinoGoldfish says:

    I’m new here, so go easy on me people. These kids were messed up for sure, but besides looking at video games for the answer to why, what the hell was going on at school that made them want to do this, I’m genuinely curious, with all their planning, I have yet to hear anyone seriously debate why they directed their hatred towards their classmates. I do believe that something such as being cut off from games could trigger this, but only if you hated the parts of your life that didn’t involve games. I used to get bullied at school myself, I also had a dog at that time, a kind of “only friend”, I know that if anything had happened to my dog as in dying, I would have flipped, I would have done something irrational and something that I would have regretted. But people wouldn’t blame my dog. Luckily things have since changed, happy ending all that good stuff. Anyway, my point is don’t look at the straw that broke their backs, look at the rest of the stuff that they were carrying.
    First post…kind of hoping it would be shorter…
    If anyone actually has any info about their classmates I’d love to hear it, lots of people are born messed up, but a lot more get made messed up.

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