The New York Post, a daily tabloid, has a story in this morning’s edition with this screaming headline:
College Killer Crazy for Violent Vid Game
The article, written by a pair of Post reporters, claims that NIU rampage killer, 27-year-old Stephen Kazmierczak, was “obsessed” with Counter-Strike, which the paper describes as “an ultra-violent video game.”
The Post quoted a former dorm mate of Kazmierczak’s, Ben Woloszyn:
He played a lot of video games, especially Counter-Strike, really loud.
The Post article appears to draw a linkage between the player’s actions in the game and Kazmierczak’s shooting spree:
In the game, players use imaginary money to buy shotguns, pistols and other equipment they need to move around an imaginary world in which they’re constantly under threat of being killed by roving terrorists.
In real life, Kazmierczak – who had become “erratic” recently after shunning medication for an undisclosed illness – purchased weapons like those used in Counter-Strike, including a Glock handgun and a pump-action Remington shotgun…
Down near the bottom of the article, the Post also mentions the killer’s very short-lived stints in the Army and as a corrections officer. These episodes appear to suggest an unstable nature.
GP: While the Post article seems to confirm other reports indicating that Kazmierczak had significant mental health issues, exactly why the paper chose to focus on his past video game play is not clear. Personally, I’m far more concerned about a disturbed person with a gun than I am about a disturbed person with a video game.
We should note that the New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News, which, as GamePolitics readers well know, frequently uses sensationalized reporting to smear video games.
Is there a connection?
Hey, as they say on Fox, we report. You decide.
I’d be remiss not to point out that game violence critic Jack Thompson alerted me to the Post report via several e-mails, one of which arrived under the subject line:
Screw Dennis McCauley and Hal Halpin and the ECA Donkey They Rode In On…
I kid you not.
Full Disclosure Dept: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.
UPDATE: A piece in the Northwest Herald also mentions the shooter’s Counter-Strike play:
Kazmierczak often would play the video game Counter Strike, a first-person shooting game, the roommates said, but they were quick to add that the game was nothing unusual for dormitory halls.