Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

August 26, 2009 -

A 17 year old student detonated two pipe bombs in a San Mateo, California high school on Monday before being subdued by faculty members.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the boy was wearing a bulletproof vest and was armed with an additional eight pipe bombs, a two-foot long sword and a chainsaw. Police said that the student planned to set off the bombs and then attack survivors with the other weapons.

Gadget blog Gizmodo wonders whether there may have been a video game connection: 

If you're wondering why this is on Gizmodo—and you guys always do—it's because those weapons inherently remind me of movie and video game weapons. I'm not trying to say that video games cause violence or don't cause violence, but what I'm saying is that when a 17 year old man-child thinks he can corner his classmates while dual wielding a chainsaw and a sword probably played a lot of doom and zelda and didn't do very well in gym class, so would get tired very quickly.

A second report by the SF Chronicle describes the boy as a "techno wizard." His mother thought the bomb-making components were being used to build model rockets.


Comments

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Another dumbass excuse of games being the scapegoat, Phoenix Wright might have to take this case.

What we got here is failure to communicate!

What we got here is failure to communicate!

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Aw crap I'm late. Ok err the game would not give a kid reason to want to go on a rampage so no they're not responsible.

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---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Video games aside, I find this amusing:

The kid has 10 pipe bombs, a sword, and a chainsaw, and he gets tackled. 

Seriously? Between the sword and the saw... you can't defend yourself?

This kid redefines epic fail, and thank God he did. If any body with any real intelligence handled those weapons...

Well, anybody with any real intelligence would generally not attack a school, anyway.

 

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Well, an intelligent person definitely would not attack a school like that, anyway. Fortunately for us, crazy tends to affect intelligence, too.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

The article does say he wasn't very good at gym. He simply lacked the physical coordination, and plus carrying all those things probably put a heavy load on him.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

That Gizmondo article plays on stereotypes and jumps to unsupported conclusions, but it never suggests the attack itself was inspired by video games, only that the attacker's impractical weapon choices might have been.

 

It's not saying that action movies and video games turned the kid into a violent sociopath. It's just saying that this violent sociopathic kid might have gotten his stupid weapon ideas from playing video games or watching action movies.

 

Which is probably true, I guess.

 

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

I'd agree with you. I highly doubt that his attack was inspired by movies or video games, but I wouldn't be surprised if his weapons choice were. They're too ridiculous to be inspired by something that doesn't involve killing zombies.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

I concur as well.

And the important thing to take away from this is: violent games/movies don't train people to kill. We finally have conclusive proof.

 

Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They've got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however...

Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They've got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however...

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

To answer the headlines question, No. Glad that's taken care of. 

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Why Gizmodo, a tech-savvy blog, is attempting to draw a video game connection with the crime is beyond me. Seems like something for a slow news day/let's stir up interesting discussion for them.

A lot of things have been said about the boy, but the article does point out the funny bit that someone who is not good at gym class would lack the coordination to attack someone with a sword or chainsaw effectively. It's not Gears of War. In real life his target would move wildly struggling to get away from the chain saw, and cutting through bone would probably jam it (especially a small one).

GameSnooper

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Depends on the age of the chainsaw and chain.  If it's pretty new, nope, wouldn't work.  Bone, depending on where in the body, can be softer than most types of wood.  I worked construction and watches some people rough-in a heating system in a new house using a chainsaw.  Took them twenty minutes, for what ususally is two hours of cutting that would still wear out a regular sawzall blade.

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Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Well, I'm betting getting chopped with a chainsaw would probably still hurt like a bitch.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

once again parents = fail

My mother was fairly lenient but there was no way in hell I'd get away with making more than a half dozen pipe bombs, get a bullet proof vest, chainsaw, and two foot sword without her knowing. She'd have some questions that I better have some damn good answers.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Inspiration for such things is found in the dark recesses of the mind depression, anger, hatred sorrow brews a insipid volatile stew of regret and remorse.


Blaming fiction for the actions of the broken and the damned is unrealistic and quite petty....thus throughly human..... still must we fear the unknown so much we fear everything that is known?


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


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Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Game/movie inspired or not, he got himself tackled!

F YEAH! Give that teacher a raise and a medal! Most of these stories end with candlelight vigils and interviews with the survivors. I'm glad this had a better ending.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

They'll probly suspend the teacher for hurting a studant.... PC zero thought rules of zero brains is FTL........


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Actually, I doubt he will be. If you read the full article, the kid was a former student, so the teacher at least can't get in trouble for inappropriate contact with a student. I doubt the school has any rules against tackling non-student chainsaw-wielding psychos in the hallway...

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

You're right, but I wouldn't put it past some liberal nutjob to say that the teacher's gotta go.  "Violent tendancies towards children," or some bullshit.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

One word. No. Now go home.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Hum, so if you are under 18 it's not your fault and you can't be held responsible for your own actions. IT HAS TO BE a video game/movie/T.V show that caused it. God, this infantilization and babying of youth today is incredibly rediculous.

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

There are people out there who would say that it's someone or something elses fault no matter how old they are.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

To those saying it would be hard to get a kevlar vest:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_i_0?rh=i%3Asporting%2Ck%3Akevl...

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

The vast majority of those 'vests' have NO, repeat, NO ballistic protection to them.  They may look cool, but until you buy the PLATES, they're just cute looking vests for children.  Also, a lot of these seem to be made for airsofting.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Is it still made of kevlar? Then it's a kevlar vest.

Whether the kid in question knew such or not is irrevelant, because he may not have known. If it's made of kevlar, it is made of kevlar, and no amount of semantics or such will change that.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

From the list provided by the OP.

Number 1, 5, and 16 are 'plate carriers'.  As such, they have no kevlar in them.  You need to provide your own Kevlar.  Also, 16 is crap, basically made for airsofting. 

Numbers 18-22 are helmets, not vests.  I'm fairly certain that only 22 is a real 'bullet-proof' helmet.

Numbers 2, 3, 7, 8 ,9 , 12, and 14 have no kevlar in them.  They're basically made for motocross to protect against injury.  They wouldn't stand up to a bullet. 17 is a shirt that basically falls into the same category, but offers no protection to one's body.

Numbers 6 and 13 claim to have kevlar in them, but the seller admits they will not protect you from a bullet, which makes the claim somewhat questionable (likely they have no kevlar at all).

Numbers 4 and 10 would, in fact, stop a small bullet.  They do appear to be real body armor with level II protection.

However, the item I would most draw your attention to is Number 11.  The tactical vest, which is likely akin to what the would be murderer was wearing.

His vest was not made of kevlar.  It was made of low quality nylon, like most tactical vests you can buy for 69.99.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Austin, I would posit this:  Since nobody he encountered was likely to be wielding a firearm, the vest itself was most likely to be used for shock value.

Just throwing that out there.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Interesting, looks like they are used mostly for larping, at least, judging by the 'also bought' lists.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Techno wizard? Model rocketry and YouTube videos does not qualify someone as a techno wizard. 

But where else can we shift the blame?  Perhaps movies, there's plenty of chainsaw usage.  Maybe Bruce Campbell, his role as Ash in the Evil Dead series definitely makes chainsaws cool.  No no, it was the woodcutting industry, a major consumer of chainsaws.  Perhaps Alfred Nobel, for inventing dynamite, the predecessor to pipe bombs?  And prehistoric people, for discovering metallurgy and sword smithing.

Well, I kind of wanted to avoid this cliche insult, but maybe......HIS MOM (insert "your mom" joke here) for poor parenting?

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Or maybe he watched Texas Chainsaw Masscare, Kill Bill and The Terminator? Which also feature, in order, Chainsaws, Swords and Pipe-Bombs?

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

This isn't a blame thing -- nobody's using games as a scapegoat. The kid was crazy. And an idiot. But there are idiots and there are idiots. The crazy he didn't get from games. But the particular flavor of his stupidity looks like "applying game logic to the real world."

He'd have attacked one way or another. But his method seems game-inspired. It's interesting, but not really important. Actually, maybe we should credit the games here -- if he weren't thinking in game logic, it's possible he would've been smarter about his attack, and done more damage than just two bombs.

 

Lord, grant me the strength to finish what I

The Devourer of Time awaits... Lord, grant me the strength to finish what I

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Not really.

It looks more movie inspired to me. He's basically carrying all the things Bruce Campbell had in Army of Darkness.

But emulating movies doesn't make it a "hot button" issue now does it?

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Point. He definitely could've gotten his ideas from Evil Dead. Hopefully, we'll never know, because if anyone actually spends time and money to find out what he was thinking, somebody's misplacing their priorities.

 

Lord, grant me the strength to finish what I

The Devourer of Time awaits... Lord, grant me the strength to finish what I

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Maybe it was the school that actually inspired this, since it happened there? Perhaps?

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Is Sean Fallon Gizmodo's version of Kotaku's Mike Fahey?  All of Gawker's blogs seem to have a "must hire at least one conclusion-jumping fool" clause in their operation guides.

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The Mammon Philosophy

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Fangamer

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

I knew it! I knew the moment this school attack happened somebody was gonna try pointing the fingers on video games! ITS THE FUCKING KID'S FAULT!!!!

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

On your mark...

get set...

SCAPEGOAT!

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Isn't this stating the obvious?  People will use tools they are familiar with, even fictional ones.  Its no different than if a Reinassance Fair enthusiast went nuts- they would be using a rapier or some medeival weapons. 

The chainsaw is just plain stupid.  Also, unless the kid doled out the $$ for an actual forged & folded sword, the blade was likely too fragile to be deadly.  Those stainless steel swords sold in the mall break very easily.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

That's a bit of a reach to say the least.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Let's review this.

1) Occurred in California, a state where real weapons are notoriously hard to get.  A state where firearm laws are so out of control that most reputable distributors and manufacturers (last I heard Colt, Sig, Kimber, STI, Ruger, Nighthawk, Bushmaster) refuse to sell weapons to anyone that's not law enforcement, and, in some cases, refuse to sell to law enforcement.  So, it's not too big a stretch to realize that even though he probably didn't care about concealing the weapon (you know, because he had a chainsaw), he probably wasn't able to get his hand on a firearm.  So, he went to plan B.  Plan B, however, was retarded.

2) Pipe Bombs.  Since when did this become a 'video game or movie style' weapon?  It's a classic weapon for school massacres.  Did he duct tape a bunch of doorbells to it or something?  Because then, yeah, they might have a point about the videogame influence.  Otherwise, it's moronic.

3) Bullet-proof vest.  I'm going to call bullshit on this, for many reasons.  One could assume that if he had the money or a parent had the money for a bullet-proof vest, they would also have the money for, you know, a handgun, rifle, or shotgun.  As such was obviously not the case, I don't believe this is a 'bullet proof vest', but rather, A cheap imitation, like you see those little kids with airsoft wearing.  A lot of nerds seem to spend a lot of money on tacti-cool airsoft crap.

4) Chainsaw.  Probably gas powered, or else he'd have to plug it in to a socket at the school, which, if someone had let him do it, would probably be the most idiotic thing I've heard in my life. In what videogame was this a viable weapon?  Resident Evil 4 and 5?  What, did the kid like Bruce Campbell or something?  This weapon 'choice' seems more like he was either A) forced to use it because he couldn't get something better (and him living in California, I believe it) or B) a retard.

5) Sword.  Really?  REALLY?  Because obviously, someone who try to kill people with what is probably a cheap, shitty, 'ready for battle' sword they bought at a Ren-fair got the idea from video games and movies.  The kid just sounds like an idiot to me.

6) Mother.  Really?  What kind of retarded parent buys their teenage son the makings for a bomb and doesn't occasionally check what they're doing with it?  That's as dumb as the Columbine parents' excuse.

At the end, I'd like to take a second to mock the San Fran Chronicle for just being a mediocre newspaper.  There is no way in hell this kid had real body armor, but the fact that they printed it will, of course, raise a new scare about 'tactical equipment' in the home and such nonsense.

EDIT****
After reading the SF Chronicle's articles, I found that, in fact, the moron in question was not wearing body armor, but a 'tactical vest'.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

"Occurred in California, a state where real weapons are notoriously hard to get.  A state where firearm laws are so out of control that most reputable distributors and manufacturers (last I heard Colt, Sig, Kimber, STI, Ruger, Nighthawk, Bushmaster) refuse to sell weapons to anyone that's not law enforcement, and, in some cases, refuse to sell to law enforcement."

Uhmm....

Exactly what coordinates does your ethernet cord intersect with a dimensional rift. I'm just curious because in the California I know, getting a handgun is about as easy walking down the street.

As for the so-called bulletproof vest, I bet that thing couldn't stop a paintball.

As for the San Francisco Chronicle... I'd hardly call it a mediocre newspaper. He probably was sporting like some paintball body armor he got in a sporting goods shop; and it is not that difficult to obtain some body armor that can stop a 9mm round. Granted one has the proper materials available, they could possibly even manufacture their own.

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http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

 

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Papa Midnight

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

It should be fairly obvious I'm talking about legally getting a weapon.  Personally, I don't see this nerd going to South Central and buying a glock.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

It's illegal to sell or posse black tar heroin in the State of California. Yet, I can get a $20 ballon on Skid Row in downtown L.A. within 60 seconds. What's your point? That one kid would be either too scared or too stupid or too whatever to do it? Fine. O.K. But that don't mean that I can't do it.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

And it sounded pretty clear to me that he was saying it was nearly impossible for anyone to get a gun under any circumstances.

----
Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

----
Papa Midnight

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

I thought the same thing, too. But wasn't really surprised. Austin Lewis has a well-established and well-deserved reputation for saying shit which just don't make no fucking sense.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Look who's talking.

I read your argument against Austin about drug cartels up there, and from my perspective, it sounded like you were the one not making any sense.

--- I do more than just play games. I draw, too: http://www.silvermelee.deviantart.com

--- I do more than just play games. I draw, too: http://www.silvermelee.deviantart.com

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

I'll take notice of the fact that the operative clause in your statement is "from [your] perspective."

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Fine, don't reread the argument above. Don't make note that Austin was making sense and you were babbling complete nonsense. Don't acknowledge that maybe Austin is right.

Whatever helps you sleep at night, pal.

--- I do more than just play games. I draw, too: http://www.silvermelee.deviantart.com

--- I do more than just play games. I draw, too: http://www.silvermelee.deviantart.com

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

You can say whatever you want in defense of Austin Lewis. But I nevertheless will remain convinced that he, who claims to have matriculated from Duke University, actually graduated from The Duke School of Lawnmower and Small Engine Repair.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Well, we all know that you only take someone's personal experiences at face value if and only if they agree with you completely.

If you read any of Austin's posts and couldn't figure out he meant "legally" obtaining a firearm, then, even if he graduated from a small-engine repair school, you were dropped from regular class in third grade to special education, because the only way ANYONE could think he was talking about anything other than "legally" obtaining a firearm is to be mentally retarded.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Was High School Attack Inspired by Video Games?

Don't you find it strange that I wasn't the only one to draw that conclusion? And you're one to talk. It took me about seven attempts to finally get your retarded ass to understand that EA didn't license the use of the likenesses of the retired NFL players who made up the class of successful plaintiffs, something which should have been immediately apparent to anyone with an IQ above 50. 

And as the contestants leave the final turn and enter the straightaway, headed towards the finish line, you and Austin Lewis lead the field, running dead-even in the Dumbfuck of the Year Derby.  

 
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