Cases Linked to Video-Game Exposure
Columbine is the earliest case where games have faced outright blame for oozing hostility, on the part of Harris and Klebold. The pair was known for playing “Doom" for long periods of time, and it was speculated they even designed a level to mimic the school. A psychiatrist named Dr. Jerald Block believes that Harris/Klebold acted out a fantasy due to being banned, by their parents, from playing the game.
Initially psychologists, and media sources, were convinced that the “vivid" portrayal of violence, and repeated exposure, was one of the crucial elements in shaping the killers. Eventually, some of the victims’ families even went on to sue the game company. Peter Langman, author of “Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters," does not mention “Doom" at all in his book and firmly believes there were other major contributing factors.
The case against Dustin Lynch, convicted of murdering JoLynn Mishne, is notable for involving Jack Thompson, attorney and renowned game-basher, and marking the beginning of the “Grand Theft Auto" controversy following the defendant’s insanity-plea. It did not stand and Lynch was charged but Thompson has made numerous other attempts, in various cases, to prove the detrimental influence of GTA, Manhunt and other “killing simulators."
The Virginia Tech massacre called “Counter Strike" into question. An article in the Washington Post briefly cites the influence of CS and other games, while attorney Thompson eagerly launched into a diatribe, disguised as an expert, denouncing the ill-omened nature of the medium whilst completely disregarding other blatant inadequacies.
A Chicago Tribune article, regarding the abhorrent acts in the Northern Illinois shootings, begins with ‘He wanted video game-style bloodshed’ whilst not citing a particular gaming title. The main culprit, again, is “Counter Strike" and, as you may have guessed, Jack Thompson was quick to spout more uninformed bile regarding the effects of violent video games.