News Reports Use Games to Depict Terror Suspects as Ordinary

October 27, 2010 -

Two alleged young terrorists arrested over the past two weeks were described as "gamers" in various news reports, though that portrayal seems to be more of an attempt to paint them as “normal” rather than an effort to cast dispersion on gamers.

In a New York Post story on the arrest of 21-year old Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, the Staten Islander, who was busted in Hawaii by U.S. marshals for making false statements, was described by a former landlord as a typical “all-American kid” who liked sports and was a “video-game fan.”

Shehadeh had been on the radar of authorities since attempting to get to Pakistan on a one-way ticket in 2008. It was reported that Shehadeh was hoping to make his way to Dubai from Hawaii, and then get to Somalia. He was thwarted due to his name being placed on the no-fly list.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal details the story of 14-year old Mohammad Salaam (pictured), who was arrested in Pakistan with two other alleged members of the Pakistan Taliban. The trio was purportedly preparing a suicide attack against the Pakistani state. A search of the house the three were arrested in turned up a suicide jacket, packed with 48 pounds of explosives, buried in the garden.

It was reported that the boy’s favorite pastime, “until a few months ago,” was playing Counter-Strike, described for the unknowing as “a videogame in which terrorists take on law-enforcement agencies.”

Salaam, who has yet to be officially charged, is expected to be released due to his age.

In any case, it’s a bit refreshing that these two reports did not paint videogames as a factor in the young men turning towards terrorism, or label games “murder simulators.”  Perhaps the bar has just been set very low when it comes to how mainstream media treats videogames.


Pic from the WSJ/Tom Wright


Comments

Re: News Reports Use Games to Depict Terror Suspects as ...

“a videogame in which terrorists take on law-enforcement agencies.”

Yes, that's all Counter-Strike is. It in no way allows you to choose your team. /Sarcasm

But still, nice to see video games as being a connecting factor to the humanity of an alleged criminal, rather than as a causation of their alleged criminality.

Re: News Reports Use Games to Depict Terror Suspects as ...

Hm.  I...guess that's progress?

 
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WymorenceOh sweet god, Kung Fury is freaking awesome...05/28/2015 - 10:03pm
E. Zachary KnightWonder, I know you can revise content and resubmit it, but I can't findany information about a formal appeals process.05/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Wonderkarpever wonder if there's an appeals process for AO?05/28/2015 - 6:55pm
Matthew WilsonDanny and Andy play the first couple of levels of the upcoming Hatred http://www.gamespot.com/videos/hatred-gamespot-plays/2300-6425016/ imho it does not look like it should be AO.05/28/2015 - 5:57pm
Andrew EisenHey, remember Kung Fury? That short film that was funded via Kickstarter a few years ago? You can watch it now. I suggest you do. It's fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg05/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Goth_SkunkOriginally, yes. Some content was cut out in order to reduce its ratign from AO down to M, but PC users could work around that an unlock the full content by means of a patch. Which is what I did. :D05/28/2015 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenKarp - Yes, for strong sexual content. Although the recent remaster contains all that content and was rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenDepends on if you consider Hatred misrated. I haven't played the game or seen the ESRB's rating summary so I'm undecided.05/28/2015 - 3:53pm
WonderkarpDidnt Fahrenheit have an AO?05/28/2015 - 3:52pm
Matthew Wilson@AE that is why I said it seems more moral panic to me.05/28/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - From what I've seen (just the trailers) the game is nowhere near as gory as many, many other games. But again, I'm guessing the AO rating comes from theme and tone rather than outright gore.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Andrew EisenKarp - It didn't show penetration or nudity.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
WonderkarpI'd say Mortal Kombat X has more Gore and Violence than Hatred.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Matthew Wilsonwhat I mean by worse in this case its not more gory/violent than others.05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
WonderkarpI forget....did Hot Coffee actually show Penetration?05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
Andrew EisenKarp - The Skyrim mods are external mods. The Hot Coffee mod unlocked content on the disc. Big difference. Still, the content that was unlocked was still perfectly in line with an M rating in my opinion.05/28/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew EisenThemes are factored into ratings, not just mechanics. Still waiting for ESRB's rating summary. Very curious to see what it has to say.05/28/2015 - 3:46pm
Matthew WilsonHatred is a top down shooter though, and isnt any worse than other top down shooters?05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Wonderkarpyeah, San Andreases rerating was ridiculous. Why not rerate Skyrim with all its crazy sex mods out there? But yeah, ESRB is good as policing itself. 05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Andrew EisenManhunt 2 and Hatred though? Eh, there's an argument to be made for the higher rating.05/28/2015 - 3:43pm
 

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