Despite assertions from some quarters that violent video games played a role in the February, 2008 shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University, CNN reports that shooter Steven Kazmierczak had a troubled mental health history and was obsessed with the Saw series of horror films.
Games are not mentioned by CNN, which reports that it was granted access to a copy of the NIU investigative report by an author who claims to have obtained it from a law enforcement source.
GamePolitics readers may recall that, in the days following the shooting, disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson alleged a violent game connection and threatened to sue NIU for records relating to Kazmierczak’s supposed use of violent games.
In addition, Illinois legislator Rep. Robert Pritchard (R) blamed violent video games while absolving guns in the rampage.
From the CNN story:
Kazmierczak was known as "strange Steve" to roommates, studied the Virginia Tech and Columbine massacres and idolized the sadistic killer in the "Saw" horror films, according to documents from the year-long investigation into the NIU killings.
The still-unreleased police file on the shootings, which also left 18 students wounded, shows that 27-year-old Kazmierczak had been hospitalized several times as a teenager for psychiatric issues and had a history of suicide attempts…
freshman suitemates recall him as being obsessed with infamous figures such as Adolf Hitler and Ted Bundy…
GP: As we have pointed out in the past, Kazmierczak was 27 at the time of the NIU rampage. Even if he had been a fan of violent games, no age-based content restriction would have applied to him.
But, the fact that games were mentioned in connection with the NIU killer once again reinforces GP’s theory that games will invariably come in for blame when mass shooters are under 30 (see: How Old Is Too Old For Game Blame).
UPDATE: Our old pal Jack Thompson writes in to remind us (and call me a "lying son of a bitch" in the process) that there were reports that Kazmierczak played the first-person shooter Counter-strike.
Note to Jack: we’ve already covered that several times here on GamePolitics.
Today’s story, however, is about the CNN coverage of the NIU investigative report which mentions only Kazmierczak’s mental health issues and his affinity for horror films.
THANKS TO: GamePolitics reader Jason Bentley for the tip!