ECA Issues Statement on NIU Rampage

niu.jpgThis just in from Entertainment Consumers Association president Hal Halpin:

We’d like to extend our condolences to the families, friends and classmates of those who were affected in the school shooting at Northern Illinois University.

Separately, we are disgusted, but no longer shocked, to find that anti-game activists are again rushing to conclusions about what drove Stephen Kazmierczak, the clearly disturbed 27-year-old who police say was responsible for this tragedy, to commit such an act.

Blaming video games for the behavior of the mentally-challenged is vile on many levels. And, as Generations X and Y mature, it is extremely likely that just about all of us have played at least one video game at some point in our lives.

Drawing a parallel between games and violence without any substantive proof is sensationalism for its own sake.  This is a sad event, made worse by the irresponsible actions of attention-seekers and the media that has given them a platform for their reckless venom.

Full Disclosure Dept: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0

    […] News of the Now: Game Developer’s Conference. By Hass MD (Believe it or Not, He Hasn’t Wrote an Article here for over a week) If you live under a rock, in which case it’s most of our Editors (BOOYAH I SLAMED MY WHOLE WRITING STAFF!), you would know GDC or The Game Developer’s Conference is going on… Don’t know what GDC is? Well it’s like E3, but it’s for everybody to share ideas, and be at peace for a brief moment, kinda like a U.N. Conference. As we continue on, let’s check out all the coolest things that happened at this year’s GDC…   ALL OF THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM JoyStiq Thank’s For Being So Bitchin’! Red Ring of Death Shows up at GDC: That’s right, Xbox 360: NUMBER ONE in Gaming! Quake Zer0 is actualy Quake L1ve! Quake Live will be available, cleverly enough, at, along with an assortment of features like stats, matchmaking, and of course, the game itself  I hope everyone is ready to die… all you Halo Bitches, aint got nothing with the Power of QUAKE! Wonderful Wii dates that are Willy IrrWIItating The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo’s highly anticipated and equally exhausting balancercise board and game, Wii Fit, will arrive arrive beneath American feet on May 19th. The exercise program and peripheral, a result of designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s habitual monitoring of his own weight, has sold over a million units in Japan following its launch in December. There  is a trailer trash coming soon,  but let’s just say that It looks like one of those things you would play twice, then get sick of it, HOLY CRAP I FORGOT TO CHECK MY BRAIN AGE! The Big “No Shit” Story of the Day! Sony Stock Went Up, because PS3 Has Blu-Ray, and HD-DVD Died Once again, BECAUSE NO ONE HERE  (except alpha) DOES GAMING NEWS Here’s Long Story Short… 1. Walmart only sells bluray 2. HD-DVD dies 3.PS3 has built in Blu Ray 4.BluRay wins 5.Transitive Property. I am glad I now have to spend another $600 just for a bluray player… THANK YOU! PSP Store in the works! Chris Eden from Sony Computer Entertainment made mention of PLAYSTATION Store on PSP in his Game Developers Conference session. Currently, players must use a PC in order to download content and transfer it to the PSP. Going forward, PSP fans will be able to download games directly to their systems from within the PSP itself. “Access native PLAYSTATION Store on PSP via wireless hotspot,” the slide notes. “Purchase and download content direct to PSP (no USB cable).” Launch is currently “TBA.” More details are promised for the future. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long. Wow, even Gaming News websites are lazy sometimes…  Gears of War 2 Announced Yay! Ninja Gaiden II Announched  Yay! ToysRUs Drops Xbox360 Price in Canada Yay! and finally… JACK THOMPSON GOES FUCKING INSANE.  The Entertainment Consumers Association on Friday responded to allegations from that day that video games were somehow connected to the shootings at Northern Illinois University, where 27-year old Steven P. Kazmierczak killed five students in a lecture hall. Said the response, “Blaming video games for the behavior of the mentally-challenged is vile on many levels. And, as Generations X and Y mature, it is extremely likely that just about all of us have played at least one video game at some point in our lives.” I KNOW WHAT THE HELL!?!  COULD WE JUST IGNORE HIM…. Wait… Wait… YES! Breaking News Everybody! MSNBC Reports Video Games are an “Easy Scapegoat” In a piece entitled “Playing the blame game: Why search our souls when video games make such an easy scapegoat?” MSNBC’s Winda Benedetti writes, “Faster than you can say wild speculation and reckless sensationalism, [Thompson] leapt in front of Fox News cameras and suggested that video games were to blame.” Later, Benedetti adds, “The fact is, one would be hard pressed to find a young man of Kazmierczak’s age who has not played video games.” Please pay no attention that the “MS” in “MSNBC” is Microsoft, and Microsoft does make a Game Console…. MSNBC IS MY FAVORITE NEWS CHANNEL NOW! Take that Anderson Cooper! [Digg] […]

  2. 0
    Colonel Finn says:

    I love how in the MSNBC article the psychiatrist spends half of the piece writing about how we shouldn’t harp on about the killers and instead focus on healing the families, then suddenly pulls “Video-Games are EVIL” out of nowhere to lambaste and blame them.

    The problem is likely to remain with us for at least the next 10 years, until the current generation of hack journalists, lawyers, psychologists and psychiatrists are pushed out by the younger generations who grew up with Gaming as an inherent part of their lives. Until then well just have to suffer the idiocy and rhetoric of fools who know little and say far more.

  3. 0
    Yuki says:

    Not to toot my own horn again, but once again, Jack proves my point for me. ESA made a statment. Thats nice. HOw bout this esa?

    ” TO fox news.

    We, the Esa, representing the publishers and distributors of Digitial entertianment software worldwide, Demand from fox news the Following.

    1. An immediate apology for placing Jack THompson, a Lawyer known for and currently under investigation by the florida bar for multiple ethics violations in cases he has brought against video game publishers for the sole purpose of furthering a personal vendetta. Since no game industry or other offical was allowed counterpoint, Fox new will be held responsible for any inacuracies he has spoken that are brought to light in the near future. If no apology is given and the industry not offered a chance for counter point, Fox news will face Legal ACTION.

    2. If the subject of video games is brought up AT ALL in regards to this shooting, the INdustry will be given equal time to debunk the falsehood fox has spread about this industry, as was seen in Mass Effect debacle that recently occured.

    If these demands are not met withing 48 hours, then the industry will Seek imediate legal action against FOX news for allowing a man currently under ethics investigation to speak without counterpoint about a subject he has been proven to lie and slander about on a regular basis. “

    THats what they should do, not statements, not vauge promises. Solid legal Threats.

  4. 0
    Tom90deg ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I find it more surprising and much MORE worthy of note that someone who was on medication for behavioral problems (just a guess, but seems likely) was able to LEAGLY buy two guns. That is the important point, but everyone seems to be ignoring it.

    To use an example, when someone gets drunk, and goes off and crashes their car, no one says, “Oh, it was something else, the car makers should of done something!” No, people say it was the alcohol’s fault. But it’s never the gun’s fault, or how easy it is to get guns with no regard to any sort of medical history.

    This may be crass, but if you can stop the mentally unbalanced people from walking into a store and buying a few guns, then we may make some progress.

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

    “Separately, we are disgusted, but no longer shocked, to find that anti-game activists are again rushing to conclusions…”

    That’s how I feel right now, too. You can almost assure that a massacre is going to be chased by anti-game activists nowadays. Are Americans even shocked by school shootings anymore? This is what are generation has now become used to seeing.

    My opinion, though rather cold, is just “figures”.

  6. 0
    Martuk says:

    I think the responsibility lies with the person who made the decision to carry out an action. Video games didn’t do it, movies didn’t do it, music didn’t do it. Nor did they cause it or force the person into performing an involuntary action. The blame lies solely, and only, with the person who decided to do whatever violent action they have carried out.

    I know this is a scary word for people like Jack Thompson, but did you know that people are responsible for their own actions? ~gasp~

  7. 0
    James Collette says:

    @TBone: I sincerely doubt that.

    My name is James Collette. I live in DeKalb, Illinois right off campus. And my brother and my mother both go to Northern Illinois University. My brother goes as a student. My mother as a chef in Stevenson Dormitory. This hits very close to home for me because my brother took classes at the same building at roughly the same time the shooting occurred.

    Thankfully, my mother and my brother were not harmed by the incident, but this circus that has occurred because of the incident is a travesty to myself as a gamer, an NIU graduate, and as a member of this community.

    Everybody is on the bandwagon trying to say their piece of god only knows what, but the fact still remains: 15 people were shot in my town on a campus my brother and mother go to. To the media, they are a statistic. To me, they are my family. To turn this into a fiasco is an absolute injustice. This is a time to pick up the pieces and try to get some semblance of a normal life, not drag it out and put it on display for the world.

    To put it in layman’s terms for Jack Thomson: Have a nice cup of STFU!

  8. 0
    Anon says:

    @ Rodrigo Ybáñez García
    No, I think they were right on this one, the problem they have had in the past is IGNORING such people jumping for joy about such terrible events.

    But I also don’t think this is going to do much to the fact that the media is willing to accept any UN-informed, no way qualified, opinionated people giving their flawed and biased take on something when not even the cops know or give out anything about the person(s) committing such an act.

    The way the ECA handled it was the best for now, they didn’t act like a vulture, they didn’t jump onto TV the minute such events occurred and make assumptions, and they waited for some info to get out on the individual who caused this and what their motivation might have been. It is best for them not to be so defensive in matters that are VERY likely to blow up in the opposition’s face(again).

    My suggestion for ECA supporters is that you take such individuals to task. While such stations probably won’t listen to you or let you speak live, do call them up and question the validity/integrity of those they have featured. Bring up things like “where are you getting this info? The police have said nothing…,” “Isn’t this the same person who turned out to be completely wrong about another such incident?,” “What makes someone a ‘qualified’ ‘School Shooting Expert’? I haven’t see such degrees offered at college…,” “If you keep predicting these things, why haven’t you done anything –realistically– to stop them?,” etc.

    Questions like those do get to such individuals, and knocks their creditability down a notch. Another benefit of this is it will get others to question the things they hear/read from such people.

  9. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    IMHO, traditional media won’t pick up ECA statements anytime soon, because they take the wind out of the sensationalism that non-video game media sources need as news.

    Fast forward the clock some 10+ years from now, and things might start to change.

  10. 0
    chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I tell you what. If the ECA press releases start getting picked up by the major News outlets and their voice getting heard above the wankers (sorry, not censoring my language – people are shot and those that cash in on it deserve the abuse) like Jack, consider me enrolled for membership.

    Unfortunately I doubt my money will be being converted into dollars across the pond any time soon.

  11. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think ECA just rushed in this statement a little. They should have waited a little more to wait more for more accusations from “massacre chasers” like Jack Thompson or “Faux Noise”.

    Now everytime a madman (or a stupid kid) shots on a school, first we got a Jack Thompson accusation and then the ECA response?

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

    I find it quite horrible that people blame video games when it was clearly a mental condition. And then this leads uninformed people to believe that games are the problem, and try to find a solution to video games, as apposed to finding a solution to freely available guns and psychological problems, especially those two things together.

    It’s really good to see the ECA defend the Gaming industry and exposing Jack and friends as the attention seekers they are, but unfortunately this probably will fall on deaf ears and never actually be brought to attention in the public eye. But it’s a good step nonetheless, it shows that they mean business.

  13. 0
    Papa Midnight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Halo3Guy… That’s pointless. I have easy access to John Bruce’s phone number, address, etc. Did you know that as a member of the Bar, their information is public domain? Do you see me wasting my time of life calling his office with pranks and dumb shit? No. I’m above that. Meanwhile, John Bruce may stoop to that level (with emails atleast), but I will not and refuse to do so.

    Ironically, said Florida Bar website does not have a history for John Bruce in terms of disciplinary actions for the past 10 years… Additionally, they have him as “In Good Standing” and “Eligible to practice in Florida”… I see a severe problem with that.

  14. 0
    Thomas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Good to see the ECA standing up and saying it, even if it will never get heard by the general public.


    Presuming what you say is true, you are a fool. Such actions do not do us any good at all, and in fact only provide extra fuel to those trying to prove that gamers are dangerous, anti social or lacking in morals. If you want to combat this stuff, do so by behaving in a mature and intelligent manner, not prank calls and cursing.

  15. 0
    Papa Midnight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Andrew: Likelihood of CNN reading from such a press release? Next-to-nothing, then again, granted the fact that they haven’t given J.B. airtime…. As for FOX airing the press release? We all know damn good and well how quick they were to apologize for Mass Effect (we’re still waiting). I believe enough has been said.

    Anyway, it’s about time the ECA got off it’s hands and actually said something. Even Hal himself said that they’re previous policies was to ignore J.B. in the hopes that he’d just go away.

  16. 0
    AgnostoTheo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Alright it’s official. I’m joining the ECA. This is the sort of response we need from gamers when Thompson decides to be a disgusting human being

  17. 0
    Ichi says:

    I really hate Thompson, have you ever seen his track record. The man is such a damn sleeze

    I talk about it a lot more on my blog for game politics


  18. 0
    Mark of Cain says:

    As a student at NIU I am grateful that the ECA has issued such a statement. Nice to someone reach out to those there without furthering their own agenda.

  19. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You go!
    On a related note, the debate I mentioned in the last article started up again. This was the older mother talking to me. She was asking me what made a movie director put a sex scene in the middle of a kids movie, what had changed with society to make that acceptable. I told her I didn’t understand, please give an example. She gave her experience with Ace Ventura, saying out of no where, there is a sex scene, and she had 7 and 8 year olds all asking what was going on, what were they doing. I asked what the movie was rated, PG-13. I indicated that that meant the movie was for 13 years and up, to which she replied that it had Jim Carry rescuing puppies and wearing a tutu, as if that trumpts the rating. She asked why they would put that in a children’s movie. I asked if there were teenagers, say 13, there, would they be confused or asking questions. She replied, no, they probably had already seen worse. I indicated again that was why it was rated PG-13. She then went off on how the movie makers were putting anything in the movies with no limitations at all. Again, I pointed out that by definition, PG-13 WAS a limitation.

    At that point she said I just was side stepping the question and could see I wasn’t going to be discussing this correctly.

    Personally, I’ve never seen the enemy this close before.

  20. 0
    Michael O'Hara ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Very well put Hal, this kinda thing needs to get picked up by the major media and presented with a unbiased view to let everyone in this world know that all gamers, including those of us who play FPS games (I count myself in this) are not a bunch of trained killers.

  21. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The problem is, and always will be that no one will give game proponents equal time. Because it debunks their sensationalist claims. While I applaud the statement and agree with it 100% I don’t think anyone who disagrees will really care.

  22. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    =( I hope people will ignore the attention-seekers and get to the bottom of this school shooting phenomenon. There has to be a way to end it, blaming video games will never get you to that solution.

    RIP to all lives taken during this disgusting and insane act.

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

    If my experience in other areas is any indication, the media is likely to report this as being a statement from the “violent game lobby” or some such. Likewise, they would probably take bits of the second and third paragraphs out of context, and make it sound like an admission that all psycho killers play games. Assuming they bother to report it.

Leave a Reply