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

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

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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Andrew EisenIf you do, I hope you can provide some examples of people (again, other than random no-name numbnuts on Twitter) who are genuinely trying to dictate what should and should not be allowed so far as themes, topics, language, plot devices, etc. go.07/01/2015 - 9:43am
MattsworknameI'd go into why I think it's a bigger problem then most realize, but nows not the time really. I'll catch up with everyone later07/01/2015 - 9:42am
Andrew EisenThat's the thing though, rarely is anyone (again, other than random numbnuts on Twitter) attempting to dictate what can and cannot be said or done.07/01/2015 - 9:39am
Andrew Eisen"Don't write rape scenes" is being offered as advice (along with reasons for that advice) not a mandate.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
MattsworknameOh, on that last one andrew I wasn't talking about the article, I was being more general, lately it seems like all the news and media is trying to decide what is and isn't proper to say. Thats what i was refering to.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
Andrew EisenPerhaps you should consider reading the entire article. Despite quotes you can pull from the intro and conclusion, the author isn't arguing that you can't or shouldn't be allowed to cover a certain topic.07/01/2015 - 9:35am
MattsworknameOne of the things I hate right now is that people are trying to be the deciders of what is and isn't proper to be said. It's political correctness to a level that makes me angry.07/01/2015 - 9:29am
Mattsworknamemake them, i just tell peopel that I think what they did sucked. Just cause I dont like what they did, doesn't mean I can tell them "You shouldn't wrtie that" cause thats just another step on the way to telling them "YOU CANT WRITE THAT".07/01/2015 - 9:24am
MattsworknameNo, but you or I aren't the one to tell someone else what they can or cannot do beyond EXTREMELY narrow limits. Telling a person then shouldn't write something or say something. I may hate certain movies or music, doesn't mean I dont' tell peopel not to07/01/2015 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightHasbro is taking steps to fix its Dinosaur gender issues. http://io9.com/the-jurassic-world-dinosaur-toys-are-clever-girls-again-171513589607/01/2015 - 9:20am
TechnogeekImagine that level of accuracy, only applied to something that has actually caused physiological and psychological trauma in more cases than just whatever the equivalent of the CD-i Zelda games would be.07/01/2015 - 8:40am
TechnogeekThat's the issue I see as well, E. To put it in terms anyone reading this site will likely understand: you know how any time video games show up on TV, they feature absurdly outdated 3D graphics and/or audio from the Intellivison era?07/01/2015 - 8:40am
InfophileWell, you CAN go to a crowded streetcorner and tell everyone who passes by your social security number and bank account PIN, but you shouldn't. Is that censorship?07/01/2015 - 8:36am
E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
InfophileIn other words, you stopped when you found out it was arguing for a position you disagreed with, but before you found out why.07/01/2015 - 5:29am
Goth_Skunk"In short, anyone can write a rape scene—but should they? Chances are, the answer is no." And that's where I stopped reading.07/01/2015 - 5:11am
 

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