School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

November 18, 2009 -

Authorities in Beauvais, France believe they have prevented a possible school shooting by a 13-year old “computer games enthusiast."

A TimesOnline story details the unfolding events under the unfortunate headline “Computer Games Fan ‘Planned School Massacre.’” Suspicion was initially raised when the boy, named Bastien, left extra early for school, eventually leading his parents to a blog post of his that read: “This is my last message because Tuesday November 17, 2009 will be the last day of my life. Sorry to leave you..."  Police were alerted and sealed off the boy’s school, Saint-Esprit. The teen apparently saw police at the school and avoided it, ditched a shotgun and 25 cartridges in a field along the way. He was found later at a cyber-café.

A friend of Bastien said that, “He always wanted to go into the Army. He loved battles. He was passionate about history, warriors. He played video games up to one or two in the morning...” Other buddies told reporters that Bastien was a World of Warcraft player.

Even the Mayor of Allone, Christian Sadowski, painted Bastien as a gamer, saying that he knew the boy was a fan of computer games, adding, “Many young people end up finding it difficult to tell the difference between dream and reality. He played his little fantasy on the net and then carried it out.”

The boy was anxious about an upcoming parent-teacher conference as a result of receiving less-than-stellar grades.

GP: Glad they caught him obviously, but the secondary focus on games in this article is gratuitous as is usually the case.  But as we, and Lorne Lanning, know, this is how the mainstream media rolls. At least they didn’t call WOW a “murder simulator.”

Update: GP reader Soldat_Louis rounded up and translated a handful of other stories and media outlets that played up the videogame link:

• "Considered as a good student coming from a normal family, the middle school boy, a video game adept, (...)" (Le Point)

• "According to a police source, 'bad grades could be the cause of the murderous intentions' of the student, a video game adept."  (France-Soir)

• "It's on his blog that the student, a video game fan, has published his intention to make a name of himself (...)" (Le Télégramme)

• "The kid is considered as a good student. He comes from a normal family. He is a video game adept and maintains his own blog. (...) [The attempted shooting] revives the memory of [the Winnenden shooting]. Perpetrated by  Tim Kretschmer, 17-years-old, also a video game adept, (...)" (La Dépêche)


Soldat_Louis also pointed us towards (and again translated the relevant part) a debate over “How to protect your children against the dangers of the Internet” that took place on French radio station RTL this morning.

Véronique Fima of the Action Innocence nonprofit group apparently came to the defense of games and gamers in the debate, while noting that in the case of the Beauvais story, the Internet played a positive role and assisted in stopping any violence.

On the point of videogames, she stated, “First of all, I wouldn't want them to be incriminated in the first place (...) rather than knowing that he was a video game aficionado, I would like us to ask the question : what was the deep discomfort that made this child act that way (...) All children and teenagers all play video games, yet they're not all mass murderers."


Comments

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

At least Véronique Fima stated that this had nothing to do w/games. Finally! Or the problem wasn't games. One of very few adults that don't say that. I'm not complaining. I'm glad the authorities stopped him before he did harm. That child needs to be told what is reality & what is fantasy. But they didn't say what games he played. Hopefully it was GTA.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

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Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

Lorne Lanning is right - the media want to sensationalise this (as they do all similar tragedy stories) so they can grab the attention of the public and get exposure. They always present easy answers, to persuade simple-minded people or to intrigue the more intelligent person who is curious.

It's absolutely ridiculous, we'll REALLY have to work hard to get the media to stop this bullshit.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

"Obviously false if you actually PAY ATTENTION to the facts. The farewell letter he left behind is MORE then enough to tell us that he damn well knew what he was doing and that he wasn't just mixing up fantasy and reality...."

True, if the kid has left a note saying that he would go kill a few people, then himself, but would BRB once he respawns, then YES, there would be some serious reality/fantasy judgment issues with him.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

“Many young people end up finding it difficult to tell the difference between dream and reality. He played his little fantasy on the net and then carried it out.”

Obviously false if you actually PAY ATTENTION to the facts. The farewell letter he left behind is MORE then enough to tell us that he damn well knew what he was doing and that he wasn't just mixing up fantasy and reality....

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

It seems like the kid was trying to mimic the Winnenden shooting.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

Look at the update, from the translations of Soldat Louis:
• "Considered as a good student coming from a normal family, the middle school boy, a video game adept, (...)" (Le Point)

• "The kid is considered as a good student. He comes from a normal family. He is a video game adept and maintains his own blog. (...) [The attempted shooting] revives the memory of [the Winnenden shooting]. Perpetrated by  Tim Kretschmer, 17-years-old, also a video game adept, (...)" (La Dépêche)

It's obvious! Normal families fill you with murdering intents.

The point is, saying a kid is a video-game adept should be something as trivial as saying the kid rode a bike or eated cereals. Not all kids do it but you can find an imense number who do.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

Do they even know he was planning on going on a rampage?  The description of his blog sounds more like a suicide note than anything else.

Admittedly, carrying a shotgun and a box of shells raises some questions in that regards, but I still feel like I'm not getting a complete picture here.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

It's not absolute proof, per se, but it looks highly likely. He'll need a damn good explanation. Carrying more than one bullet surely reduces the chance of him going out to attempt suicide.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

SBC perhaps?

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

"Véronique Fima of the Action Innocence nonprofit group apparently came to the defense of games and gamers in the debate"

Now if only the ECA was a bit more pro-active about doing that. Once in a blue moon doesn't cut it.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

I don't think the ECA or even ESA for that matter operate in France.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

I was talking about in the USA, but if you want to be facetious then: "That's no excuse!"

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

“Many young people end up finding it difficult to tell the difference between dream and reality. He played his little fantasy on the net and then carried it out.”

Ever notice the people saying this often have trouble telling reality from fantasy themselves?

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

i've always wondered how they can add such things into their stories when i was tought adding unfounded information and personal opinion is a big no no when writing.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

Are there any teens these days who don't play games? 

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

are there any adults who honestly don't play games? even Jack Thompson admits he plays GTA, maybe not for fun, but he has admitted to playing it :p

kinda funny.. since then he's all but stopped mouthing off about the game too..

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

Actually, at the risk of awakening the grue, I have to ask one question. Where in the world is The asshole Jack Thompson?!

 

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

In the back mirror. Don't look back. You do remember Orpheus don't you?

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

I find it odd how inconsistent French gun Laws are.

Okay not really, gun laws tend to be inconsistant when they aren't an across the board ban.

 

Also, if this was in the United States, people would be demanding to know how he got his hands on the gun, and ranting about how we need to fix our gun laws.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

Well, that's surprising 'cause we're not supposed to own guns here (it's strictly prohibited), maybe for hunting purposes (with very strict verifications) but there's a limitation of what kind of gun you can have. So yeah, i'd like to know where this little idiot got his gun.

EDIT: Kay, just red some articles provided above, the kid took his father's hunting rifle, the father is to blame here. Oh, and btw french papers are as accurate as faux news when it comes to sensational.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

It's not a rifle, it's a shotgun, rather important difference.

In France pump shotguns with a magazine capacity of less than 3 shells(I believe) are not regulated. Break action shotguns are also unregulated.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

Nope, it says "fusil de chasse" which means hunting rifle, shotgun is "fusil à pompe" in french.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

sounds like a copycat crime to me, trying to mimic columbine or some crap.

as for joining the military or fantasy battles, ummm.. militarys one thing, but a few people enjoying fantasy battles or fighting have been insane enough to try and create their own fight. Sounds like to me he was just doing that, he became enthralled and wanted to go for it. You can't blame games on that, books, movies, folks tales, and songs all give the mind something to play with as well. But without half of that, we'd all be idiots.

 

not to mention the war history buff thing probably puts that ahead of the games, the games were probably an outlet he became bored with IMO.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

"Many young people end up finding it difficult to tell the difference between dream and reality"

Yeah it takes me 10 minutes at most to realize the thing I just dreamed didn't happen. As for video games no teen has difficulty knowing they aren't real (unless they have serious problems).

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

At least the Dutch media don't bother mentioning the game-part. -_- They're a bit more neutral in that. Hey, he was gonna go after his teachers. That suggests he had a hard time at school, not a game issue.

Re: School Shooting Averted, Story Plays Up Link to Games

Also, the comment sections on three of the articles (Le Télégramme has no comments) that Soldat_Louis sent in have people pointing out the ridiculous focus on video games, and saying the focus should be on how he obtained the gun so easily.  And mocking the phrase "adepte des jeux vidéo".

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
 

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