Blame Game: Cops Finger Video Games in Separate Incidents

January 8, 2008 -
We're not quite sure of the connection, but WSOC-9 reports that police in Gaston County, North Carolina say three 19-year-olds who set fire to eight cars and a vacant home were inspired by the ultra-violent 2003 PC game, Postal 2:
Police say [the suspects] got the idea from a video game, "Postal 2".

Investigators say the... arson spree lasted three weeks and targeted vehicles in neighborhoods... Detectives also say that [suspect] Jones has been charged with arson before and that he led them to the other two suspects.

GP: Hmmm... maybe the guy who had committed arson in the past "inspired" the other two? We're just sayin'...

Meanwhile, in Lafayette, Georgia police fingered a more unlikely game as the inspiration for a separate vandalism spree - 2004's T-rated Tony Hawk Underground 2. As reported by the Walker County Messenger:
LaFayette police are now saying that the New Year's Day arson of the water-sewage building is linked to teens emulating roles portrayed in a popular movie and video game.

Public Safety Director Tommy Freeman told the newspaper:
The arsonists called their criminal act ‘the destruction tour. They told us directly that [Tony Hawk Underground 2 and the film Fight Club] influenced them...There was no remorse for their actions. They were high-fiving each other after they were brought in. It was simply a game.

I've not played THUG2, so I can't assess whether the Walker County Messenger's description is accurate:
In the video game, the mission is to complete what is called a “destruction tour.” Characters are rewarded bonuses for destroying or stealing objects. The emphasis of the game is depicted as the more destruction created by the player, the more points he will accumulate.

The ESRB descriptors for THUG2 include blood, crude humor, language, suggestive themes, use of alcohol, violence.

But not arson...

Comments

And setting fire to something is only done in Postal 2. Nothing else in the entire world could have portrayed a similar idea to them. NOTHING.

They must have been fairly sheltered if they got a general concept of setting things on fire from a video game. The game shouldn't be held for presenting the idea, the criminals should be held accountable for their actions.

People stepping on turtles, influenced by Super Mario Bros.

I can draw out the timeline of recent history as created by the logic of these police officers:

- Youth crimes had many motives and influences
- Video games were invented
- Youth crimes are now just influenced by video games

@ Ace of Sevens

*puts on child act*

NO, ITS YOUR FAULT!

*stops acting like a child only to realise there is no difference*

@Bill
Ron Paul is the guy you're looking for. I don't know about his stance on games, but he is against internet regulation and wants to keep government within constitutional boundries.

*Still fuming about Fox "News" kicking Ron Paul out of New Hampshire forum.*

I hear that McCain just won New Hampshire. *shrugs* What's his stance?

It boggles the mind how people can suggest that because a game inspired an action (possibly) that they purpetrators are somehow less culpable. Should we have been more forgiving of Hitler? I mean, he was clearly inspired by Nietzsche and others, so logically, he is less culpable for his own actions.

I mean, does that make sense to anyone?

@Buckeye531

Ron Paul is a nutcase on almost every issue except taxes; I don't think games are worth flushing the country down the toilet.

wait for it...... wait for it..... i bet hes going to say something.


(-_-)

anyways, the fact is that, something is not right inside these kids minds and i do mean "kids"19 year old kids. no sense of direction, no sense of reasoning they have to understand what they did will infact get them killed, and you cant hit the reset button for that.

somebody has to investigate their life style and backgrounds because sure as hell if "they got training from tony hawk" for doing these horrific acts then something is serioulsy wrong with these 19 year olds. some officials dont want to look at the facts, there solution is blame the first thing that comes to mind.

There is a little bit of hope left. One of the officials says there's no evidence that fight club was an influence.

http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?show=localnews&pnpID=730&NewsI...

But he does say TV and games influence kids so . . .

@shaeysco

Don't feel too bad my friend NC really isn't that bad (plus they have idiots in every state).

Umm it seems some people have got this backwards the 19 year olds were reportedly(despite a lack of evidence and no actual testimony to support the claim that I've seen) played postal 2. The way I see it in P2 they give you the gas can and matches as an OPTION no one forces you, to my knowledge, to burn things if you do that's your choice and if not same thing. As it was an option all the blame, if any (and I would argue the latter),still falls on the criminals themselves since they chose to commit these crimes. Having limited playtime with Postal I'm wondering if it makes you steal things from the private property you burn.

As for the 15 year old idiots they're just using the video games to shift blame from themselves to seem less culpable but at least the police chief recognizes this but I can see JT going off about this one...two(?) soon.

@Jormungand

your right in postal 2 you are not forced to kill anyone (you can actually go thru the whole game without hurting a soul)

So, if I blew up Chicago with a nuke hidden in an electric guitar shaped float... could i say that listening to "cities on flame with rock and roll" made me do it as a defense in the Hague?

Postal is a screwed up game, allright. It's even worse than Manhunt because it doesn't even have Rockstar's innovative gameplay. It's a disgrace for the industry and it's obviously aimed at kids and very immature young adults. Too bad GTA is targeted by retarded newssies much more often. As for THUg2 that game is just Jackass on skateboards. Centuries old graphics and shitty gameplay saved (again, for kids) by ridiculous pranks of the Family Guy quality.

Both titles named above are utter crap. Unfortunately that will also throw dirt onto videogames as a whole.

Cops alway finger "media" as a reason......

I blame the cookies.

Or maybe the lack of. These cops need to sit down and take a cookie break.

well, you heard it here first, Arson was invented by THUG2.
but seriously, wot??
this is madness
(in before sparta).

Hey I live in Gaston County and this whole area for at least 100 miles or more is filled to the brim with morons and filth. Those kids should have peed on people instead, would have been funnier that way.

[...] Blame Game: Cops Finger Video Games in Separate Incidents [Game Politics] [...]

Does anyone want to tell them that Fight Club was originally a BOOK.

So films, books and games... we're all as bad as each other.

media is influential, but there are potentially bad influences everywhere.
 
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