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Violent video games blamed for Virginia Tech slayings

Pundit shoots off mouth before engaging brain
Wed Apr 18 2007, 09:11

TV pundits and rent-a-quotes have been quick to blame the shootings at Virginia Tech on the use of violent computer games.

Attorney Jack Thompson and noted TV shrink Doctor Phil McGraw have both blamed video games for Seung-Hui Cho killing all his school mates.

While it is fair enough for Thompson to make that sort of statement, McGraw should really have thought a bit before he agreed.

So far there is no evidence that Cho played a video game in his life, let alone a violent one.

However, there is a lot of evidence that suggests that Cho was a depressed loner whose creative writing was so bleak that his teachers referred it to he school counsellor.

Yet McGraw seemed to run fleeing from Occam's razor in favour of blaming video games. He claimed that "if these kids are playing video games, where they're on a mass killing spree in a video game, it's glamorized on the big screen, it's become part of the fiber of our society. You take that and mix it with a psychopath, a sociopath or someone suffering from mental illness and add in a dose of rage, the suggestibility is too high."

Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old English major went on his killing spree after his girlfriend dumped him.

He had been taking medication for depression, that he was becoming increasingly violent and erratic, and that he left a note in his dorm in which he railed against 'rich kids', 'debauchery' and 'deceitful charlatans' on campus.

He also managed to get his paws on a nine millimetre handgun and a 22-calibre handgun, but apparently that is normal behaviour for a depressed kid in the US. More here.


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