After Tragedy, Dr. Plays Violent Game Blame Card

The heartbreaking story of a nine-year old Texas boy committing suicide at school led a Clinical Psychologist to attempt to pin part of the blame for kids acting out in ways outside of the norm on violent videogames.

The fourth-grader in question was a student at Stewart Creek Elementary School. He asked a nurse to use the restroom, locked himself inside and tragically hung himself. In a CNN video report on the story, Clinical Psychologist Dr. Brenda Wade was brought in for commentary.

The doctor cited two factors for why children are acting out in ways “never imagined possible”. The first was that there is now “more instability” in families, because of external stresses and the economy.

The second factor? Violent videogames of course.

Dr. Wade stated:

The other factor is that younger and younger children are exposed to very violent videogames with content that I would shudder to have an adult watch on a regular basis.

We just covered, a couple days ago, the story that children are watching as much as 52 hours a week of TV and sitting in front of a screen. A lot of that content is not uplifting and it’s not teaching our children how to handle problems and feelings.

These statements came moments after the Doctor cautioned that we “don’t want to blame and cast dispersions” at what role the boy’s family may have played in the tragedy.

Dr. Wade bills herself as a nationally syndicated talk show host and best selling author (as seen on Oprah). Visitors to her website are also offered a free love lesson.


Thanks Sean!

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72 comments

  1. 0
    sharpshooterbabe says:

    This lady is soooooooooooooooooo off her rocker on this story it’s pathetic! They little boy committed suicide b/c he was being bullied at school b/c the kids wouldn’t leave him alone. & he had nowhere else to turn. So he hung himself. I feel sorry for his family, but video games had nothing to do w/this little boys death. I live in Texas & since I heard the story on my local news, my local news even said he was being bullied at school, which lead him to his death.

     

     

    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  2. 0
    Inimical says:

    If this is true, why is youth crime on a plateau and why is the youth suicide rate on a 50 year plateau in Canada? Sure, youth suicide is rising in the United States but we are exposed to about as much violence as they are.

    There is much more at work here.

  3. 0
    floydhead42 says:

    TBQH, this kind of story needs a response no more complicated than this: "Where the hell were the parents at? What went on at home?"

    EDIT: I’d also like to see at least 3 commercially-published games that have suicide as a key gameplay element. I can only vaguely recall one JRPG whose name I cannot bring to mind.

    Representin’ starmen.net

  4. 0
    Father Time says:

    No you hang someone else in that game. Nice try though.

    —————————————————-

    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.

  5. 0
    Father Time says:

    So grand theft auto? Gee if GTA was so dangerous you’d think it’d be the parents responsibility to keep it away from their kids.

    "I always kept my copy of GTA on the top shelf in the closet, how was I supposed to know he could still get at it. I thought I had the sfety latch to keep to keep the box closed but I didn’t."

    Why yes I am comparing GTA to a handgun and since people think it’s just as dangerous…

    —————————————————-

    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.

  6. 0
    Erik says:

    So why should the parents be immune to any scrutiny?  They are supposed to be the ones who have the greatest impact on their progeny.  And either they are having that impact and that impact sucks, or they aren’t having an impact and they failed.  When did parenting become taboo?

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  7. 0
    PHOENIXZERO says:

    Wow…. That idiot quoted the PTC…. Wow… Just… Wow….

     

    You know, if this was an every day occurance that was happening by the thousands then MAYBE there might be something to it but I can fucking assure anyone that this sort of thing has happened an thousand times in the past, before TV and videogames were common place. But of course there wasn’t a 24/7 national media desperate for content and willing to put any idiot with a online degree in front of a camera to be an "expert".

  8. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    You’re missing the real point.  It spares asking the question ‘how did no one see this coming?’.  That’s why video games are always scapegoats for parental and administrative inadequacy (Columbine, VTech).  It’s so much easier to blame something that can’t fight back then to ask ‘how the fuck were your children making pipe bombs in your basement and you didn’t notice?’

  9. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    We need the turbo-facepalm pic…

    http://fc01.deviantart.com/fs28/f/2008/100/e/3/FACEPALM_by_mayuzane.jpg

    But seriously, why does a NINE YEAR OLD get the idea to hang himself? That definitely isn’t a theme brought up in video games (most murders are done by guns or weapons, not hanging). He must have really had something messed up in his life to have brought on such a horrible thing.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  10. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    "Many experts attribute such surprising behavior in young children to the obvious: excessive violence on television and in video games. I agree with them wholeheartedly. And as much of a "no brainer" as it may seem…"

     

    Hmm, "no brainer" and she agrees. I think you can make up your own punchline to that one… Personally I feel a Picard Facepalm coming on…

  11. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    its also "cast aspersions", not dispersions. If she can’t get that right I have to doubt the veracity of her claims.

    Also what kind of fucked up life must a NINE YEAR OLD have to commit suicide? I say look fucking hard at the school and even harder at the family and you’re very likely going to find some causal factor that isn’t super mario wrist-slitter adventures

  12. 0
    Stoli says:

    This. Aren’t violent video games "supposed" to cause aggression? Where is she getting her sources? What content in these games (that he supposedly played) caused depression to this level?

    She was reaching, and I mean REACHING. WOW.

  13. 0
    Father Time says:

    What game teaches you to solve problems by killing yourself?

    This theory is so mind-bendingly stupid.

    Listen just admit you’re not entirely sure what caused it and that worries you. This scapegoat won’t benefit anyone.

    —————————————————-

    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.

  14. 0
    Longjocks says:

    "These statements came moments after the Doctor cautioned that we “don’t want to blame and cast dispersions” at what role the boy’s family may have played in the tragedy."

    …Just quoting for emphasis…

  15. 0
    johnmarkley says:

    This.  The educational system is a hellish experience for a lot of students, and people generally don’t give a damn.  Blaming tragedies like this on video games (or heavy metal, or Dungeons and Dragons, or whatever) provides an easy explanation that spares people from the burden of thinking about how badly many children are treated, and how despicabbly callous most of society is about it.

    Check out my video game humor and commentary blog, Pointless Side Quest!

  16. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    What about depression? Suicides just don’t happen because of media consumption. Hanging is generally not a quick way to go. And this sounds like it was planned.

    I suffered from horrible depression in grade school. I had the twin prongs of social issues along with academic pressures and a learning disability, but my problems were recognized and I got help. It saddens me to think this kid might not have gotten the help he needed.

  17. 0
    Erik says:

    All news outlets have bullshit, even CNN.  But that doesn’t change the fact that Fox News is much much worse.  You are trying to compare the molehill of bullshit of CNN to the mountain of T-Rex shit of Fox news.

    Does everyone remember when Fox News put out newspaper ads saying that the other news outlets didn’t cover the teabagger rallies and used an image from CNN’s tower cam at that event for their picture of said image?  Yeah, go Fox news.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  18. 0
    djnforce9 says:

    Now obviously I’m no doctor myself but that doctor seemed pretty quick to blame videogames (personal bias?) but I wonder why "bullying" was never factored in. That kid could have been picked on so badly by his peers that he completely lost all self esteem to the point where he felt worthless and figured living was pointless. Couple that with a poor home/family life and surely the extreme amount of depression got the better of him.

  19. 0
    Beacon80 says:

    Well, there was a flash game where you had 5 minutes to kill yourself in order to avoid going to an endlessly boring meeting.  There was also some RPG where your characters unlocked spirits (or something) by shooting themselves in the head with special guns.

    I’d bet that the kid didn’t play either game, though.

  20. 0
    Lou says:

    Quacks like this give honest psychologists a bad reputation and a bad name. Dr. Wade should just relinquish her license and just leave the practice. Her baseless and rethorical coments should be condemed by the medical community.

    On a lighter note I got a bit creeped out when GP just posted this line even though there is a link on it.

    "Visitors to her website are also offered a free love lesson"

    Nuff said. (yes I have a dirty mind)

  21. 0
    Geryon says:

    I could talk about how reactionary, baseless, and stupid her claim is, but I think we all know that already so I’ll just leave it at this, people are hanged, things are hung.

  22. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    Fine Miss Clinical Psychologist.  Explain what violent video games caused these suicides recently:

    http://www.ndtv.com/news/cities/3_more_student_suicides_in_maharashtra_toll_9_now.php

    And a more recent update of the horrid running tally:

    http://www.ptinews.com/news/460931_Another-student-commits-suicide-in-Mumbai

    I found these while looking for other articles and news organizations covering the suicide of the 9 year old mentioned in the main article here. 

    C’mon Miss Clinical Psychologist, show us just how much an expert you REALLY are.

    I really wish I could post a comment directly to that CNN story.

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  23. 0
    gamegod25 says:

    wow so you’re saying that unstable homes/lives can cause kids to act out? That’s shocking!

    I played videogames when I was nine and went through some hard times then (not going to talk about it) but I didn’t kill myself.

  24. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Completly puker-type and Mommy it hurts my eyes style website.

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  25. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    Yeah, let’s not bring the family into this, however abusive or neglecting they may have been. Let’s point fingers everywhere but ourselves. Games are always the easiest scapegoat! Let’s blame them…AGAIN! Hey, “Hang Yourself 3: Bowels of the Bathroom” just came out; kid must have played that!

  26. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Enough with the Game Blame already(Although opinions should be taken with a grain of salt)

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  27. 0
    mr_mlk says:

    "serious the gaming community is"? All it shows is how immature a section of the gaming community is. We can not argue on facts so lets attack the people attacking us.

    Great job guys, well done!


    A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

  28. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    (Just to play Devil’s Advocate) I can see why people would down-rate her books, just out of principal. It won’t have any real effect, sure, but it’ll work to show how serious the gaming community is.

    If she can play the slander-blame-game, so can we.

    I’m not taking part in those types of shenanigans, but I don’t think that it should be discouraged. Better that than, say, threats.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  29. 0
    Father Time says:

    Let’s just hope it doesn’t succumb to Godfather syndrome.

    —————————————————-

    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.

  30. 0
    Father Time says:

    Gee I hope it doesn’t involve nuclear weapons. That was the grand finale for the second world war and it’d be lame to just repeat the stunt over and over and over.

    —————————————————-

    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.

  31. 0
    Zero Beat says:

    We’re waiting for World War III now, because everything’s a trilogy.  Everything else is a reboot or spinoff.

     

    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  32. 0
    Beacon80 says:

    It’s all part of the conspiracy, you see.  Video game companies created a shared world setting based around widespread fighting in Europe.  Then they decided they could sell more games if they went back in time and made it actually happen.

    World War 1 (AKA "The Great War") never actually happened.  It was all a huge propaganda work done because they liked the way "World War Two" sounded better.

  33. 0
    Zero Beat says:

    The reason they’re the "good old days" for them is because whereas today they have responsibilities and stuff, they were kids way back then.  They didn’t have any responsibilities aside from going to school and paying attention.  It was pretty much stress-free after the polio vaccine.  For the most part, they didn’t have to worry about food, or clothes, or shelter – they had their parents taking care of them.

    They see the early years of their as sunshine and unicorns because that’s what the world is to kids, which they were.  As you grow up, you start to see how ugly the world is.  From there, you can accept it, exploit it, or try to make it better in some way.

     

    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  34. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Or more specifically, they see a past where things that shamed family were simply hidden from view.. a time where little girls who got pregnant vanished for 9 months to one of those horrible shame schools, or simply was forced to have an abortion (kinda strange.. abortion was not immoral in the evangelical community when fathers could force it on an unwilling daughter)… when troubled little boys were quietly locked up where they would not disturb the neighbors….

  35. 0
    Beacon80 says:

    Technically, I think she just said we shouldn’t blame the family (Because why should we actually hold people accountable for creating and shaping a life?).  Nevermind that even if video games did somehow cause this, it would be said family’s fault that he had them in the first place!

  36. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

    They can’t take out stains from my carpet!  That’s what Oxyclean’s for!

    Brainwave:  an Oxyclean videogame!  Then they can do everything.

  37. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    Why bother?  Love Lessons ranks over the 2.5 million mark.  A far, far cry from even the top 1000.

    Another book ranks over the 1.4 million mark.  And a third, dealing with relationships and race (not even VAGUELY interested in how the explaination of dealing with the issues of individuals having relationsonships with other individuals can, or even should, be segregated by race considering that according to the summary, African-American men and women are having trouble relating to each other because of European-Americans), is over the 300,000 rank.

    And, though there are a few blithering kissy-hug-hug blind followers giving her high marks on one of the books, it looks like the books amounted, and still amount, to diddly squat.

    So, why bother?

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  38. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Not this again -Gets ready to laugh at the situation- google her books on amazon if you want to, just leave this site and it’s members out it

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  39. 0
    Moriarty70 says:

    Considering she bills herself as a family/relationship specialist, she’s much more qualified to comment on the role the family played. I’d leave any potential effect media had on the kid to a child psychologist. Specialties exist for a reason.

  40. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    They put on rose colored filters and look at the past, and al lthey see are polite little angels and a world where wearing your sunday best and minding your manners somehow magically made you a good citizen.


  41. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

    Or…..kids were always like this?  Really, there’s no bit of evidence that today’s kids are any different than decades ago.  Saying that something was better in the past usually seems to me to be a case of nostalgia and personal bias rather than something based in reality. 

    So no, today’s youth are not more estranged or messed up in the head than in the past.  Video games have no blame in anything.  It certainly isn’t making the youth of today more violent or suicidal.  Case in point, the FBI has shown a steady decrease in youth violence over the past decade and more.

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