Video games are the focus of a murder involving two teen boys from British Columbia. In March 2010 two teenage boys from British Columbia (18 and 16 years old) raped and killed an 18-year-old girl named Kimberly Proctor. The description of the crime is horrific: after the crime, the two boys mutilated and burned the body under a bridge.
Later the younger of the two alleged murderers bragged about the murder in World of Warcraft to a friend. He bragged about the crime to his friend and sent him newspaper clips detailing the crime. Naturally, the media wants a reason, and World of Warcraft has become a target.
The headline from CTV News gives you an idea where this is all heading: "Teens moved from online violence to real-life murder."
Looking to make the connection, CTV News taps Bonnie Leadbeater, a psychology professor at the University of Victoria, who says that some children have a problem knowing that what is acceptable in virtual worlds is not acceptable in real life.
"You don't know which aggressive kid is going to take the fantasies of video games and try them out in reality. You just can't predict those very rare occurrences," she said. "There would have been signs early. I don't know these two boys at all, but generally, kids who go on to kill other kids or to act out in this sort of extreme manner are having problems early."
The two boys are undergoing psychiatric evaluations, and a judge will decide in March of next year if they should be sentenced as adults.
Commentary: People that are sociopaths do not need stimuli to act out in grotesque and violent ways. If video games were not in the mix, it would be books, television, comic books, cave drawings, UFC, wrestling, football, etc. Some day we are going to get past blaming media for the ills of society when so many other factors - including genetics and environment - are really the driving factors in violent crimes like this one. In other words, maybe these kids are just evil. By blaming video games, prosecutors give murderers an excuse for their crimes, when they have no excuses for their behavior.