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

Meh, not sure that's the real one. Didn't seem like enough of an arrogant ass, and they typo seems out of character.

@JT:
Gamer friendly society? With jackasses like you running around trying your absolute damndest to squash our freedom to play whatever we like? you really have jumped off the deep end, haven't you Jackie-boy?

“In a way, you’re all to blame.”

Of all the, vitriolic, grossly offensive, and horrendous BILE you've spewed on this website, this is beaten only by the incident where you made fun of a sucidal gamer. To accuse all video game players of a massacre in a blanket statement is not only patentedly ignorant on every level of rational and irrational thought, but is also proof positive that your thought processes are so biased and unstable that you should be banned from ANY form of discussion or debate that requires more than minimal IQ.

If you had accused me of being partly responsible for VTech in person, I would backhand you across the face. How DARE you accuse us for the instability of one fruitcake. I'm willing to bet that if a lawyer went nuts and shot up the local courthouse, no one would DREAM to blame the lawyering profession, which has proven time and again to be filled to capacity with lying snakes like you!

Tad DeMartelaere, hoping to GOD you get disbarred before you actually do something effective.

For those just coming in and who did not find the real jack quote:

http://gamepolitics.com/2007/08/30/va-tech-report-rampage-killer-not-a-g...

The Fake Jack that blamed us all for V-Tech is gone.

Well shit. *looks up at response to a phony jack.* Now I feel stupid. xD Most of it is still my honest opinion though.

Eh, fake Jack's opinion was unique at least. Real Jack's Opinion is still the same old predictable parrot who sings the same tune. *yawn*

Really, I'm surprised even the first guy was the real JT. He didn't have his usual "Attorney and you're not" name.

It's funny that he refuses to admit he's ever wrong. He claimed Bully was a Columbine simulator before it came out and after it came out and was nothing like one, did he admit he was wrong? No, he put a different spin on it saying that he was referring to the bulling going on there even though we know that's not what he meant since he refused to ever blame bulling for the shootings before and focus solely on video games as the problem.

Ah. Yeah, that sounds a bit more like the real one, I was referring to the earlier comment. (Also, how ironic that I made a typo myself)

Hey, maybe he will be disbarred and knows it, maybe that's why he's not using "Attorney and you're not" anymore.

"The report deals with his gameplay at V-Tech. That’s half the story."

Sorry JT, but dredging up stuff he did 4-5 years ago and hasn't done since... that's just reaching.

You're just mad that they disproved your "his classmates are all LIARS" theory.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Also, I'd just like to point out that the very religion that JT constantly brings up and uses in his crusade against video games is the very same religion that is actually responsible for probably millions of deaths, so I still can't take anything he says seriously.

For now it looks as if no one knows for sure how much violent video games the guy did or didn't play. Let's just leave it at that.

There are two important lessons to be learned from this article.

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

1) Video games apparently make you *SANE*, since most of the other students didn't shoot anybody.

"favorite actor is Nicolas Cage"

2) Nicholas Cage makes people kill. I know I wanted to kill someone when I saw the trailer for Ghost Rider, perhaps that was a contributing factor for Cho as well?

I am kinda... you know... dissapointed that we can only get the fake Jack here. I kinda want the real one to show up so that we can say "told you so!"

Is it wrong for me to feel these "laugh in his face" urges? DO I need to see a doctor? Maybe its just gas 0-o

@JT

"ask Dr. Brad Bushman of the Univ. of Michigan, there is a demonstrable long-term effect of violent video game play."

Hey Jacky, Dr. Bushman is the same researcher who conducted a study on the Bible - identical to the study on video games - and guess what? He found the exact same results! So Bushman is credible when he studies video games, but is not credible when he studies the Bible?

@Dustin1986

Oh, then yeah, I'd have to agree with you on that one.

@Jack

Good for you. And Fox News claims Bush is the greatest President ever, and how may people believe that? Exactly; just because it's on the news or in the paper doesn't make it true.

Here's a dare for you, on a random thought, sue me! Sue me for disagreeing with you, I dare ya :P Maybe losing might help with your problem there, you know, the cranial-rectum insertion you suffer from. It's like those anti-drug things, "Everyone is a victim."

I guess I should feel vindicated, but it's tempered by the fact that our hobby's vindication came after the lies where so quickly believed, and still are upheld by the forked tongues who perpetuated them.

I will apologize for nothing. I assume responsibility for my actions, and my actions alone. Millions of gamers had nothing to do with this shooting, and nothing to do with crime in general. It is reprehensible hold the many culpable for the actions of the criminal few.

I responded to the fake JT post, so Now I'm going to respond to the other.

It's been said before, so say it once more, the washington post took down the part about cho being a gamer because it had no evidence, and there is still no evidence that he was a gamer.

Not to mention there are still no studies that prove game violence = cause of real violence.

Well, jack thompson gets it wrong again. How monotonous. So exactly how big is this video game conspiracy now jack?

*/me falls off office chair laughing at Jack Thompson's comment in this page*

I will say that after seeing Ghost Rider, I wanted to kill something... simply because the movie was so bad.

@Rob

You should realize that the deaths Christianity has caused pale in comparison to the deaths atheists have caused. By way of example, Communism (which of course is aggressively atheist) outdid the crusades and inquisition combined easily, 10 times the deaths in a far smaller the time period.

I happen to think that one Jack heard that Cho was in his twenties "heavy set" and asian in the news reports, that was all he needed for his "a gamer did it" testimony.

@Rob

Don't forget the gay sex allegations

is it just me who didn't notice that other (real) Jack despite reading through all the posts?

GP: real Jack invariably gets stuck in the new spam filter and I haven't yet figured out why... so his posts sit until I can manually clear them. I've encouraged him to register to avoid this delay and to negate the problem with the fakes. However, that apparently make too much sense...

Hm, Washington Post vs. the panel whose sole puprose was to investigate the shooting. Hm, yeah I think i'm going to go with the panel on this one.

@Jack Thompson

"As the Washington Post reported at the time, Cho was a massive player of Counterstrike"

That's bollocks.
The Washington Post remeoved all references to Counter Strike when it was disproved, and you accused them of a cover up. And you failed to realise they have no ties to anyone in the Games Industry.

You know, it is scary how accurate I was in my preemptive quote of Jack. I can't seem to get over it. I knew he would still hold fast to that Washington Post article. I wonder why he stopped reciting the NY times article. Maybe it is because that quote doesn't exist anymore.

There was an NY Times article? What exactly did it say?

The NY Times article had a paragraph about a high school friend that said Cho played Counterstrike. But the paragraph was removed the same day after no sources could be found. Jack claims it to be a coverup by the game industry.

"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."
(my impersonation of Jacko):
Hey guys, I talked to someone who had something to do with a game Cho used to kind of play 5 years ago who also happened to go to the school where those events took place. That game also is pretty popular, byt the way.
(/impersonation)

I remember reading the book Foundation by Isaac Asmiov, and there was a section that he is reminding me of: Some politician came to the planet full of scientists for some diplomatic meeting, and after a full week when the politicion left they calculated what had actually been said, minus political nice sounding fluff. Nothing had been said. Not a single productive word had been uttered. It sounded nice to those who didn't pick it apart, but it had amounted to nothing.

This is the story of Jack Thompson's entire crusade against video games. It sounds nice to soccer moms, but there's absolutely nothing behind it. His anecdotes are either lies or irrelevant. What a pathetic excuse for a man.

@ Jack Thompson

Looks like you need a healthy does of RTFA, Google it if you can't figure it out.

Cho himself wrote about his interests and hobbies in high school and imagine that, no Counterstrike. Not to mention the fact that he apparently didn't really have any friends, in fact, the only specific friend in that chapter of the report is the boy that lived next door when he was 9.

I think I'll take Cho's own words over those that claimed to be his friends.

I think we can say it's Arse-Whopping time for Jackie.

"GP: real Jack invariably gets stuck in the new spam filter and I haven’t yet figured out why"

That is one smart algorithm. Detects bullshit and it's just a bunch of code.

Ive said it before and i'll say it again

JT is an intellectual masochist

why else would anyone with a sane rational mind return to post after a story that outs their own opinion, even the washington post thing was thrown out and cited as being taken down during his TV interviews.

His entire response can be brushed off in moments and he probably knew this.

What a sad pitiful excuse for a man he is.

"Well, Dennis McCauley gets it wrong again."

Someone definitely got something wrong, but I don't think it was Dennis...

"This is getting monotonous."

Truer words were never spoken.

"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"

Ah, you mean the brief mention of Counterstrike in the Washington Post that was subsequently removed when they realised what the rest of us already knew. Video games had nothing to do with the actions of this disturbed, violent individual.

"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:"

When asked to clarify the results of the APA study on which Brad Bushman worked, a spokesperson for the APA said:

"To clarify, the APA Resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media stated that there was an increase in aggressive behavior as a result of playing violent video games. The Resolution DID NOT state that there was a direct causal link to an increase in teen violence as a result of playing video games"
http://gamepolitics.com/2006/09/24/regarding-the-controversy-over-monday...

So, according to people who actually do study this stuff, you are wrong.

If indeed there were a demonstrable long term effect on people who play violent video games, why is it not apparent in me? I've played every violent game you have blamed for tragedies for many years and I'm about as peaceful a person as you will meet. Am I simply an exception?

"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. "

Well, I think it's not unclear anymore. The report found no-one who said he played Counterstrike, or any other videogame at college. He had a computer, so it would have been pretty easy for him to play, but he didn't. If he was obsessed with the game and trained on it, why did he stop laying it years ago?

There have been so many holes poked in the "Videogames cause violence" argument by now it could be used as a fishing net.

Off topic: The comments counter is broken. It stopped at 123 against Jack, 1 by Jack.

Say, jack, can I blame Michigan's economic decline on you? I mean, by your logic I can.

I really hope this takes the wind out of critics' sails. I really hate to bring up Jack Thompson, but his appearance on the news the same day as VT really upset me. Up until then, I disagree with his methods on views on video games, but that incident lead me to believe he's truly a sick man, to look at this tragedy and immediately think "I need to get on TV..."

I wish I had the balls that Jack has. He could be facing death from the wrong decisions and false acusations he has made and still not admit he was wrong. Here we are with a professional Federal investigation Report that makes no connection to game playing with Cho's Massacre and Jack is still claiming it.

It takes a real evil man to hold fast to lies in the face of overpowering truth.

@Meggie

As many said "before they finished the body count."

I think the more accurate saying would be "before the ambulance warmed up."

OMG THIS IS FUCKING HILARIOUS!

Where's the real Jack Thompson? I want to rub his nose in this and hit him with a rolled up newspaper. Bad dog. BAD!

@Austin Lewis

look up.

@ Meggie

Yeah that upset me as well. How shallow and dispicable do you have to be to use the death of 32 innocent people for your own agenda. Not even before they had a body count or identified the killer he was claiming video games. That is just sick.

@E.Z.Knight

or hes an intellectual masochist, he cant get enough of being made a fool of.

This statement alone has more evidence backing it than any Jack arguement.

@Shoehorn O'Plenty

Hah! You basically wrote the exact response I would have written. So thanks for saving me the trouble. 100% completely agreed with everything you wrote there in response to Jack.

Proving Jack Thompson wrong yet again, with me, Austin Lewis, as the host.

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.

1.
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.

Jack, you are full of shit and you know it. The Washington post quoted YOU when they wrote the original article, and have since pulled it. I just went to the aforementioned site, and found NO ARTICLES MENTIONING CHO IN THE LAST WEEK!
So once again, you are quoting us bullshit and lying through your teeth.

2.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.

Funny thing, back then the game was free. It wasn't made by valve at the time, it was a game made by an individual.

As always, you are a liar and a snake.

To the rest of you, may your day be bright and enjoyable; today, Jack Thompson has lost 45% of his argument.

@ Kurisu7885
Yeah, sorry, totally missed that.
Don't worry, i've done my bit of tearing him apart.

http://www.sitemaker.umich.edu/brad.bushman/files/BRDKB07.pdf

Don't forget, religion causes agression and violent tendencies, too. JT is merely acting out his faith.
...wait a minute! Cho likened himself to Jesus Christ! Maybe he had some religious issues, as well as the fact that he was unbalanced, bullied in school, and a loner.

In regards to the study that you mention, the one by Bushman - http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bbushman/BBS06.pdf

Now, I know you're a lawyer, so you obviously don't know a thing about statistics (See? I can make generalizations too!), but if you actually read the study, you'd know that all the study does is show a link between violent video games and an increase in desensitization, the results still show no correlation between violent video games and actual BEHAVIOR. In fact, psychologist Jonathan Freedman of the University of Toronto in Canada will back that up (See? I can pick a psychologist out of a hat too!) -

"Although games can 'habituate' the brain to violent images, there is no good evidence that exposure to lots of [video] violence desensitizes you to real violence."

@austin

Are you saying the Washington Post's source for Cho playing CS in the first place was JT?
 
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