Official VA Tech Report: Rampage Killer Not a Player of Violent Games

August 30, 2007 -
The final report of Governor Tim Kaine's Virginia Tech Review Panel has been made public, and video games are NOT identified as a factor in the massacre.

Quite the opposite, in fact. The only game cited as being played by Cho is Sonic the Hedgehog. An overall non-involvement with games is detailed by his college roommates.

In Chapter IV, Mental Health History of Seung Hui Cho, video games are mentioned several times, but not as any type of causal factor in the April 16th shootings:
Sun and her parents recall that Cho seemed to be doing better. He was enrolled in a Tae Kwon Do program for awhile, watched TV, and played video games like Sonic the Hedgehog.

None of the video games were war games or had violent themes. He liked basketball and had a collection of figurines and remote controlled cars. Years later when he was in high school, Cho was asked to write about his hobbies and interests. He wrote:


I like to listen to talk shows and alternative stations, and I like action movies…My favorite movie is X-Men, favorite actor is Nicolas Cage, favorite book is Night Over Water, favorite band is U2, favorite sport is basketball, favorite team is Portland Trailblazers, favorite food is pizza, and favorite color is green.

...Cho’s roommate never saw him play video games. He would get movies from the library and watch them on his laptop. The roommate never saw what they were, but they always seemed dark. Cho would listen to and download
heavy metal music...

...Cho went to bed early and got up early, so his roommate just left him alone and gave him his space. The only activities Cho engaged in were studying, sleeping, and downloading music. He never saw him play a video game, which he thought strange since he and most other students play them.

The report will be well-received by the gaming community, which over the past few months has endured supposed video game links to the shootings as espoused by Jack Thompson, Dr.Phil, and the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.

Comments

Re: Official VA Tech Report: Rampage Killer Not a Player of ...

Pretending evidence does or does not exist does not help your argument, Jack.

GRRR those youngins and their heavy metal. :P

Damn that U2 with their violence-inspiring music of pacifism!

Great, now Sonic will be branded as a terrorist...

Time for the Jack Thompson was wrong parade, clear undenyable proof that he went out blaming games with not a clue in his head for the facts.

And the last sentence supports my point that should be made whenever such tragedies occur. The gamers are the ones getting shot, not the ones shooting.

I wanted to post a joke about Sonic the Hedgehog, but I remember this game was labeled as "violent" by some media activists (I'll have to search the exact quote).

By the way, although I'm relieved by this final report, I don't like how the term "war game" is being used.

You all know what this means, don't you? It means that it's not the games that make kids violent, but it's that kids who want to play games are already violent. Gamers are the problem, not games! Quick, Yee, ban gamers! Get Arnold and Spitzer on the case! God damn it, where's Hillary and Joe? They need to see this!

I suppose Jack Thompson will be sending a letter of apology to Bill Gates?

Not a fucking chance.

We can always hope that news stations will stop having JT on their programs from now on, considering his lunatic theories, but...that probably won't happen, due to their lust for controversy.

Sigh.

Ah, I love the smell of vindication in the morning. All along we have said that games had nothing to do with the VA-Tech massacre and now they have found for themsleves that this is true.

It pretty much leaves the people who blamed video games with egg on their faces. Unless of course we now need to ban Sonic the Hedgehog... Or it might be the fact that the Virginia Tech Review Panel are in cahoots with Blank Rome, Rockstar, Take Two, the ESRB and the Florida Bar! Damn industry stooges!

I will preemptively quote Jack Thompson:

"But the New York Times and the Washington Post both said he was an avid agamer. Clearly Gov Tim Kaine and this review panel are in cahoots with the game industry to hide this fact. Hooah!"

I will preemptively quote the Lyndon LaRouche Movement:

"Games are the source of all evil. They even corrupt high profile investigations. Games are a factor and they should not have released this report until they found Cho's hard drive."

These people will not change their stance with the release of this report. They will just accuse them of covering the facts up.

quick! who's got that Jack thompson just got owned clip URL?

Jack will always claim video games as the source for the VT shooting. This report will just be ignored by him.

"They will just accuse them of covering the facts up."

Well, of course. The VATech Review Board is filled with a bunch of avid gamers. I personally know that instead of investigating this, they sat around, smoked some pot (gamers do drugs, remember?), and played GTA while fabricating this story.

Zachary,
Actually, the LaRouches will probably scream that it's a coverup by the US military. That Cho played CS and the government, at the behest of the video game industry, paid off or assissinated anyone who could "prove" that Counter Strike was to blame.

John Bruce might voice a similar opinion, though just barely more sane. He'll just blame the conspiracy on the video game industry and leave out the US government/military conspiracy.

Nightwng200
NW2K Software

JT vs U2
JT vs Portland Trailblazers
JT vs Pizza Hut & Dominoes & Papa Johns

Please let me get what I want. Please let me get whaI want . . .

that is 100% incorrect. The LaRouche-ites will say that it is a conspiracy perpetrated by Dick Cheney, who went around and shot anyone who said that video games were to blame in the face, then stored them in his man-sized safe.

Two Words...


HA HA.

@ Tubatic

Don't forget:

JT vs All things Green
JT vs Marvel (That would be a cool game by the way ;) )
JT vs Cage

Etc. :)

What now, Jack? Enlighten us.

Anyone remember when Jack tried to convince Bono to join in the crusade against video games? It was an article on the now defunct starttruth.com shortly after that whole "Sims 2 is a pedophile paradise" phase he went through.

I knew that blue little jerk was trouble, What with all his running and spinning and jumping on the heads of perfectly humble robots to free nasty little forest creatures. And that obsession with rings! Surely he was selling those for crack. *nodnod*

As for Jack, I imagine he'll do one of three things. (He's that predictable)
1. He'll deny the report and accuse the writers of covering up the 'real' facts.
2. He'll continue to assert that games caused the VTech incident, report be damned.
3. He'll let it go quietly and redouble his efforts on some other incident.

Of course it will take a while for Jack's comments to show up. I have noticed that they have been getting flagged recently and not being published right away. I guess Dennis is filtering out the obvious fake Jacks.

"...and had a collection of figurines and remote controlled cars."

Does that mean model kit otaku are now branded as potential terrorist threats? Methinks the feds will start clamping down on all the Perfect Grade Gundam kits in circulation.

After all, it teaches us how to build a weapons of mass destruction...

@Agnostotheo

He files a lawsuit against Sega for publishing Sonic The Hedgehog.

Oh we can only hope. It would be comedy gold.

It's still annoying that they need to mention games repeatedly, as if it's so unbelievable that they weren't involved that they need to keep repeating it. There's millions of things he wasn't involved in, and I think it's still bad that they needed to single out games.

He probably also wasn't interested in nascar, tea ceremonies, non-euclidean geometry, or 19th century French literature, but there's no point in mentioning any of that because it had nothing to do with the event.

i am sorry. I preemptively misquoted the Larouchites. I have been corrected by many people here. Clearly they will say this:

"Clearly Gov Tim Kaine and this review board have been threatened by Dick Cheney and his army of video game trained soldiers to release this report that obviously covers up the fact that Cho was an avid gamer."

Personally, if Jack Thompson comes up and starts going 'It's a cover up! They're siding with the game industry, etc. etc.', then I'll just go, 'Your whole crusade is just a cover up for you to sell bootlegged copies of GTA San Andreas with the Hot Coffee element still active for hundreds of dollars without anyone suspecting!'

If he can make bullshit up, then so can I. :)

@ Forrest

Nascar, tea ceremonies, non-euclidean geometry and 19th century French literature haven't been consistently blamed for violent acts over the course of the past decade.

Looking at your list, though, the only one that I could say for certain hadn't caused violence would be tea ceremonies. They're nice.

Nascar? Any other DC area GP readers take the beltway every day? Violence!

Non-euclidean geometry? Well, maybe that one's just me.

19th century French literature? I defy anyone to read Proust without getting violent. He's just so boring!

"He never saw him play a video game, which he thought strange since he and most other students play them."

Most students play them?
And they're NOT psychotic killers?

@E. Zachary Knight

Oh, I would totally play JT vs. Marvel!

Wolverine: "BERSERKER BARRAGE!"
JT: "FRRRRRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT ASSAULT!!! SUPER FABRICATED STATISTIC KICK!!!"

{Thirty seconds later}

JT: "DENIAL OF FACT SHIELD! MEDIA MISDIRECTION!" *tags in Leland Yee, goes off-screen to recovery from Humiliation Attack*

Would totally play that game.

Lest gamers feel too comfortable and self satisfied, let us not forget that there still is a link to violent games, violent people, and our violent society. While I'm pretty sure that it isn't games that have caused our love of violence, the violence in games reflects something....

It is nice to see JT shown to be an arse. Too bad no one in the mainstream will remember that he blamed Vtech on video games.

I wonder if Jack (or someone calling themselves Jack) will post a comment on this article; even if it's just to say "mm mm this is some darn tasty crow".

I always knew that, one day, Sonic the Hedgehog would drive someone to murder.

He killed 32 people. Why the hell are we talking about video games? I like video games, I care about what happens to the industry. But honestly this seems so trivial. I really have trouble understanding why it's even an issue. It's absurd.

Well, Dennis McCauley gets it wrong again. This is getting monotonous. The report deals with his gameplay at V-Tech. That's half the story. As the Washington Post reported at the time, Cho was a massive player of Counterstrike, and, as anyone who studies this stuff knows (ask Dr. Brad Bushman of the Univ. of Michigan, there is a demonstrable long-term effect of violent video game play. Nice try, Dennis:
Counter-Strike & Va. Tech
A story that appeared on washingtonpost.com yesterday mentioned that the Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung Hui was a fan of the terrorist-vs.-counterterrorist game Counter-Strike.

Small world. Counter-Strike was co-designed by a Virginia Tech student, Jess Cliffe, who graduated in 2003. Cliffe now works as a designer for famous game developer Valve. I spoke to Cliffe once, back in 2001-- back when he was still surprised that anyone had downloaded his game. These days, Counter-Strike is the most popular online PC "shooter" game on the globe.

UPDATE: The Washington Post spoke with people who knew Cho during high school who said Cho played the video game "Counter-Strike" then, but it was unclear whether Cho played the game at Virginia Tech.

And guess how much the mass media will report this? If they report it at all, it'll be quiet and hushed up. No one wants to hear the counters to the nice, attention-grabbing scare stories that move papers and viewership.

You know what I think is great? I pretty much indulge in every thing that a stereotypical "mass murderer" would. And yet I am one of the most least violent guys you will ever meet. The only time I was in a fight, it was when this dude punched a girl in the face. And I didn't even punch him once, I simply joked him out, then kicked him out.

I play violent video games. Have been since I was 8 years old. I am an avid hunter. I have access to guns. I listen to heavy metal music...a lot. I was hazed and picked on in school. Never was popular.

I'm everything the "specialists" would say that makes a serial killer rolled into one, peaceful, passive person.

I've had a friend for the past 8 years, and he has never seen me angry. Not once.

So Jack, Dr. Phil, ect. Why am I not a ruthless killer? Why, in fact, am I more peaceful and passive then I probably should be?

Dustin, the only reason they're putting this in is to make folks like JT, Dr Phil and the Larouche folks to shut the fuck up and move on. Had they not kept harassing the V-Tech panel, they wouldn't even mention video games in the first place.

JT claims to have "insider" information about Cho being an avid player of CounterStrike. He has claimed that the absense of videogames in the reports is due to a massive cover-up by the games industry.

I don't know if there is any truth to what JT claims, but he also claimed to have knowledge of hidden blood, nudity, and killing in Bully (with help from a "hardcore gamer"). He has since never come forward with any evidience of this hidden content. My theory is he was duped by a gamer.

@Tristram

Right, there is that link, but the key there is 'violent people.'
People that are already violent may have those feelings exacerbated by the playing of video games. However, given that these people hardly make up a majority of the population, and that they are already violent to begin with, it's illogical to think that video games are the largest causal factor in their tendencies.

Like I've always said, if a person is already out of touch with reality, or unable to distinguish between virtual and real, then yes, video games will only blur the line further. But that's their fault, not the games'.

After I played Sonic, I went around shooting people, so I could collect their rings. When the cops shot me, I tossed all the rings up in the air, but ran of at an incredibly fast pace.

My weekends are always amusing.

Ironically enough I wonder if video games would have been just the haven that Cho would need to calm his aggression to a level that would have prevented such an outburst.

Specifically I wonder if the sense of community and the 'people like him' he might of been able to find in an MMORPG or other online community might have given him enough of an outlet to just be another sad victim of MMORPG-addiction or depression rather than such an explosive rage.

Chances are probably not but the thought is interesting (and I'm not a psychologist or anything).

I think they only focused on the video game issue because they were sick of LaRouche's PAC and didn't want to be open to charges they ignored. I like how they specifically said it was unusual to not play games. It made him about the only student his age who didn't.

Am I the only one who wants to see what the LaRouche has t say on this subject?

Okay E. Zachary Knight and Lumi

Now someone HAS to make a lash game of that, or at least some kind of fighter game with JT in it.

It sounds like so much fun.

If anything, it seems really odd that Cho didn't play games- especially being a male college student.

@ Chris

And risk a frivolous lawsuit from JT himself?!? Oh yeah!

AH HA!

So its Sonic the Hedgehog which is brainwashing the youth of America!

Its time to stop the evil blue menace once and for all! Come on People! We have children to protect!
 
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