Manhunt on trial

July 30, 2004

I just wanted to toss out my take on the story about the kid being murdered and blaming it on Manhunt. My favorite part of the article is this:

Lawyer Jack Thompson, who is campaigning against the sale of violent video games to children, said he had written to its producers warning that there would be copycat attacks.

He said there was evidence to suggest that teenagers playing such games had difficulty distinguishing between the fantasy and reality.

Last I checked Rockstar made games for adults. 17 year old kids are not adults. So a few things happened here to lead up to this. For starters, someone at the store sold it to him without checking his age. At 17 I barely had enough money for small stuff much less new video games. So we could make the assumption that his parents helped pay for the game, system, or tv he played it on. If they never saw the game then he must have a tv in his room. If he played it enough to influence him to kill someone then his parents must never go in his room or talk to him. How many of those are the direct fault of the game? Yeah, thought so.

Regarding the stupid quote above, I would love to see this evidence. When I was a teen we played games like that all the time (not as bad as manhunt, but still) and I never had a difficult time discerning reality from fantasy. One more fun quote:

“We have had dozens of killings in the US by children who had played these types of games. This is not an isolated incident.

“We have got to stop selling them to children because there is hard science – brain scan studies – that show that the games are processed in a different part of the brain in an adolescent than in an adult.

Dozens eh? What about the other 10 million teens that play this game on a daily basis and don’t kill anyone? Were they part of this study? That little part about the adolescent brain? Adolescents shouldn’t be playing ultra violent adult video games. If they are then I refer you to my previous paragraph. Luckily for us, Rockstar has been conducting some research of their own and has essentially concluded that there is no direct link between these games and the children’s violent behavior. I really wish people would mix in a tiny bit of responsibility and stop blaming everything. You chose to have kids now raise them.