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View Full Version : A Mother Speaks Out: Video Games Not Responsible for Murder


Labyrrinth
02-23-2007, 12:18 PM
Penny Arcade has posted a very somber letter from the stepmother of a teen who was charged with killing a homeless man. The teen said that when he and his friends were killing this man, it reminded him of playing a video game. Of course the media jumped all over that statement. Another fantastic story on how violent video games are corrupting our youth. In a surprising twist, in the letter Penny Arcade has posted (http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/02/21/#news_22069), the stepmother absolves the video game industry of any responsibility stating that

Video games DID NOT make this kid who he was, and it's unfortunate that the correlation is there. The thing that really gets me with this whole thing is that the kid knows full well that by equating what he's done to a video game, that he will generate controversy and media coverage. It makes me sick that the media is jumping all over this, because that is exactly the result that he wants. The only good thing (if there is such a thing) that has come out of this whole ordeal is that the kid is behind bars. That is exactly where he needs to be

Bregalad
02-23-2007, 02:34 PM
Penny Arcade has posted a very somber letter from the stepmother of a teen who was charged with killing a homeless man. The teen said that when he and his friends were killing this man, it reminded him of playing a video game. Of course the media jumped all over that statement. Another fantastic story on how violent video games are corrupting our youth. In a surprising twist, in the letter Penny Arcade has posted (http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/02/21/#news_22069), the stepmother absolves the video game industry of any responsibility stating that
Frankly, some things about that letter don't just ring true - the kid was often in trouble with cops and at school for all sorts of things (records of which should exist), was taken to counseling - again, record should exist, backed by counselor words. People in charge of interest groups he was kicked from for his attitude might also testify - and then they claim that despite all this track record, everyone believed his abuse tall tales? Something does not add up there.
That said, with all this abuse craze, parents afraid to lay a finger on a kid, it will take so long before there finally is a backlash, a drive to let parents take control again.

Bellstian
02-23-2007, 09:48 PM
I feel bad for the stepmother. I mean really, it's hard to beleive there's really people like that kid in the world. We all went through a rebellious phase, but hell the worst thing I ever did was steal a cigarette from my mom, smoked it, then got sick and never smoked again.

Vryce
02-23-2007, 10:26 PM
Frankly, some things about that letter don't just ring true - the kid was often in trouble with cops and at school for all sorts of things (records of which should exist), was taken to counseling - again, record should exist, backed by counselor words. People in charge of interest groups he was kicked from for his attitude might also testify - and then they claim that despite all this track record, everyone believed his abuse tall tales? Something does not add up there.
That said, with all this abuse craze, parents afraid to lay a finger on a kid, it will take so long before there finally is a backlash, a drive to let parents take control again.

Actually all that acting out is often blamed on abuse. As soon as a problem child claims abuse all the "experts" exclaim, "We've found the answer! He's acting out because his parents abuse him!"

And yes...if I was the father of this kid, I would be in jail. I would have punched him in the face the first time he told me to go f**k myself. Everyone would call me a horrible horrible person, but after reading this letter and hearing the actual story, I'm pretty sure no one here would blame me.

This kid needed a couple good beatings. Some animals don't respond to anything but raw violence. This kid was one such animal.

Jacosta
02-24-2007, 02:58 AM
The kid is a sociopath and shows classic signs of it. The only thing that he cares about is himself and some kids are just born like this. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and the majority of serial killers are just born as sociopaths lacking the ability to feel empathy towards another person or creature. There is no known treatment for a sociopath and the best thing society can do is lock them up far from society.

Iwantthisgame
02-25-2007, 09:49 AM
The kid is a sociopath and shows classic signs of it. The only thing that he cares about is himself and some kids are just born like this. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and the majority of serial killers are just born as sociopaths lacking the ability to feel empathy towards another person or creature. There is no known treatment for a sociopath and the best thing society can do is lock them up far from society.

I do hope you mean after they commit a crime.

Faite
02-25-2007, 01:56 PM
The kid is a sociopath and shows classic signs of it. The only thing that he cares about is himself and some kids are just born like this. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and the majority of serial killers are just born as sociopaths lacking the ability to feel empathy towards another person or creature. There is no known treatment for a sociopath and the best thing society can do is lock them up far from society.

And some kids are so damn spoiled they become this.

This is why even though my daughter could have just about anything, she has to work for things and more importantly WAIT for things.

She is a good experiment as to how violent video games could make a kid. She is 10, plays WOW, does pvp...and is quite a little stinker about pvp.

However....in real life, she will not harm the hair of a bug, she carefully gets a papertowel and said bug is lifted to safety and placed outside. The mice in our wood pile all have names etc. She is quite cute and caring and so yea I believe the stepmom, video games are not to blame.

Most likely this kid felt entitled to anything and everything and as such had no feelings for others. I know someone like this that is around 23....sad to see people with no conscienses. Oh, and the person I know that is like that never played a video game in her life.

Tamsyne
02-26-2007, 11:13 AM
/agree Jacosta

My husband is a teacher in an Abeyance center where kids as young as elementary school are sent because they have commited felonies or managed to get themselves tossed out of school for something stupid. Many of the felons are here to avoid JDC and get themselves kicked out quickly. From what I can tell about 80% of these kids have simply made some mistakes and can recover and lead normal lives. Then there are 15% who will continue to commit crimes. Then there are 5%, who are scarey indeed. These youngsters are violent at a very young age. Many the age of the young man in this story.

The first sign was when he beat up the handicapped students at his school. He was violent. Imo also was a key to his future crime against others. Segments of the population who he could not relate to, who are the objects of disdain by those in our society lacking empathy. Kids like this need to be separated from the rest of society and evaluated. Incarceration with mental evaluation or even long term care in an inpatient mental health facility. Somewhere where they are not able to hurt others and simply roam the streets.



I apologize for bad spelling and grammar. My husband is the teacher not I.

Jacosta
02-28-2007, 08:57 PM
/agree Jacosta

My husband is a teacher in an Abeyance center where kids as young as elementary school are sent because they have commited felonies or managed to get themselves tossed out of school for something stupid. Many of the felons are here to avoid JDC and get themselves kicked out quickly. From what I can tell about 80% of these kids have simply made some mistakes and can recover and lead normal lives. Then there are 15% who will continue to commit crimes. Then there are 5%, who are scarey indeed. These youngsters are violent at a very young age. Many the age of the young man in this story.

The first sign was when he beat up the handicapped students at his school. He was violent. Imo also was a key to his future crime against others. Segments of the population who he could not relate to, who are the objects of disdain by those in our society lacking empathy. Kids like this need to be separated from the rest of society and evaluated. Incarceration with mental evaluation or even long term care in an inpatient mental health facility. Somewhere where they are not able to hurt others and simply roam the streets.



I apologize for bad spelling and grammar. My husband is the teacher not I.

I took a class in college called Evil and the Human Condition. I had gone in thinking it was going to be typical liberal bs, but it shocked me to find out that it wasn't. It got me to think long and hard about a few subjects namely the one about socio and psychopathic kids. There is no way to rehabilitate these kids, so I share the mindset of one of the author's we had to read on the subject. His idea was to lock them up as far away from society to prevent harm these kids were going to commit.

Veingloria
03-01-2007, 10:12 AM
I took a class in college called Evil and the Human Condition. I had gone in thinking it was going to be typical liberal bs, but it shocked me to find out that it wasn't. It got me to think long and hard about a few subjects namely the one about socio and psychopathic kids. There is no way to rehabilitate these kids, so I share the mindset of one of the author's we had to read on the subject. His idea was to lock them up as far away from society to prevent harm these kids were going to commit.

I feel very much for the step-mother who wrote the letter in the OP. I am happy for her family that this young man is now in the custody of the state, and not capable of disrupting their lives or manipulating the system against them any longer. I am also going to just give PA the benefit of the doubt and assume they did something to ensure the letter was genuine.

However, Jacosta seems to miss the ultimate irony in his statement that the appropriate action to take when confronted with children whose mental illnesses make them a danger to themselves or others is to lock them away from society to "prevent harm these kids are GOING to commit" (emphasis mine). So, Jacosta, you feel that the POTENTIAL for doing violence is an adequate reason to segregate someone completely from society and to deny that person any chance at a normal life? Guess what. That kind of detachment from and inability to feel empathy for others is the greatest hallmark of sociopathology.

Mental illnesses in children are not immutable, nor are they always predictors of how these children will behave when they become adults. Childhood mental illness is poorly understood, and many who suffer from it "age out" of their symptoms by adulthood. What you suggest is essentially that we completely abridge the rights of citizens who fall into a specific category in order to guard against future harm. What you seem to be unaware of, is that your lack of a moral or empathetic understanding of the very critical flaw in that plan is a symptom of exactly the illnesses you suggest we "punish" in these ways.

I am not trying to diagnose you - I'm not even a clinician - but I am suggesting that in this case you might want to take a look at your own walls and see if they are made of glass before you start tossing these particular stones.

Jacosta
03-01-2007, 01:35 PM
I feel very much for the step-mother who wrote the letter in the OP. I am happy for her family that this young man is now in the custody of the state, and not capable of disrupting their lives or manipulating the system against them any longer. I am also going to just give PA the benefit of the doubt and assume they did something to ensure the letter was genuine.

However, Jacosta seems to miss the ultimate irony in his statement that the appropriate action to take when confronted with children whose mental illnesses make them a danger to themselves or others is to lock them away from society to "prevent harm these kids are GOING to commit" (emphasis mine). So, Jacosta, you feel that the POTENTIAL for doing violence is an adequate reason to segregate someone completely from society and to deny that person any chance at a normal life? Guess what. That kind of detachment from and inability to feel empathy for others is the greatest hallmark of sociopathology.

Mental illnesses in children are not immutable, nor are they always predictors of how these children will behave when they become adults. Childhood mental illness is poorly understood, and many who suffer from it "age out" of their symptoms by adulthood. What you suggest is essentially that we completely abridge the rights of citizens who fall into a specific category in order to guard against future harm. What you seem to be unaware of, is that your lack of a moral or empathetic understanding of the very critical flaw in that plan is a symptom of exactly the illnesses you suggest we "punish" in these ways.

I am not trying to diagnose you - I'm not even a clinician - but I am suggesting that in this case you might want to take a look at your own walls and see if they are made of glass before you start tossing these particular stones.

Sociopathic and psychopathic children exhibit certain behaviors that are indicative of their future behavior. One of the major ones is animal mutilation and the killing of animals in the most grotesque ways. Children that have one or both of these types of behaviors cannot be rehabilitated because their brain lacks the capacity to feel empathy. Sociopathy and psychopathy are not mental illnesses but a genetic brain configuration that these kids are born with. In short, they're hard wired to be destructive and nothing can be done to prevent them from committing crimes. This is different from a mental illness since a mental illness can be treated with a combination of therapy and medications.

Veingloria
03-01-2007, 02:01 PM
Sociopathic and psychopathic children exhibit certain behaviors that are indicative of their future behavior. One of the major ones is animal mutilation and the killing of animals in the most grotesque ways. Children that have one or both of these types of behaviors cannot be rehabilitated because their brain lacks the capacity to feel empathy. Sociopathy and psychopathy are not mental illnesses but a genetic brain configuration that these kids are born with. In short, they're hard wired to be destructive and nothing can be done to prevent them from committing crimes. This is different from a mental illness since a mental illness can be treated with a combination of therapy and medications.


I don't know where you are getting any of this information, but it is all wrong and self-contradicting. (The reason people need medication to treat certain mental illnesses is because many mental illnesses are organic brain diseases... which is as close to "hardwiring" as humans get.) Can you at least quote some source material?

Jacosta
03-01-2007, 03:14 PM
I don't know where you are getting any of this information, but it is all wrong and self-contradicting. (The reason people need medication to treat certain mental illnesses is because many mental illnesses are organic brain diseases... which is as close to "hardwiring" as humans get.) Can you at least quote some source material?

In current clinical use, psychopathy is most commonly diagnosed using Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Hare describes psychopaths as "intraspecies predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret."[2] "What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony."[3]

Since psychopaths cause harm through their actions, it is assumed that they are not emotionally attached to the people they harm; however, according to the PCL-R Checklist, psychopaths are also careless in the way they treat themselves. They frequently fail to alter their behavior in a way that would prevent them from enduring future discomfort. Dr. Joseph Newman contends that the behavior displayed by psychopaths is the result of "an inability to process contextual cues." [7]

It is thought that any emotions which the primary psychopath exhibits are the fruits of watching and mimicking other people's emotions. They show poor impulse control and a low tolerance for frustration and aggression. They have no empathy, remorse, anxiety or guilt in relation to their behavior. In short, they truly are devoid of conscience. However, they understand that society expects them to behave in a conscientious manner, and therefore they mimic this behaviour when it suits their needs.

Most studies of psychopaths have taken place among prison populations.

Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociopathy#What_is_a_psychopath.3F)

Sociopathy

The difference between sociopathy and psychopathy, according to Hare, may "reflect the user's views on the origins and determinates of the disorder."[19] Most sociologists, criminologists and even some psychologists believe the disorder is caused by social conflicts, and thus prefer the term 'sociopath.' Those who believe as Hare does, that a combination of psychological, biological, genetic and environmental factors all contribute to the disorder are more likely to use the term 'psychopath'.

David T. Lykken proposes that psychopathy and sociopathy are two distinct kinds of antisocial personality. He holds that psychopaths are born with temperamental differences such as impulsivity, cortical underarousal, and fearlessness that lead them to risk-seeking behavior and an inability to internalize social norms; sociopaths, on the other hand, have relatively normal temperaments; their personality disorder being more an effect of negative sociological factors like parental neglect, delinquent peers, poverty, and low intelligence. Both personality disorders are, of course, the result of an interaction between genetic predispositions and environmental factors, but psychopathy leans towards the hereditary whereas sociopathy tends towards the environmental.[14]


Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociopathy#Sociopathy)