News Reports Use Games to Depict Terror Suspects as Ordinary

October 27, 2010 -

Two alleged young terrorists arrested over the past two weeks were described as "gamers" in various news reports, though that portrayal seems to be more of an attempt to paint them as “normal” rather than an effort to cast dispersion on gamers.

In a New York Post story on the arrest of 21-year old Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, the Staten Islander, who was busted in Hawaii by U.S. marshals for making false statements, was described by a former landlord as a typical “all-American kid” who liked sports and was a “video-game fan.”

Shehadeh had been on the radar of authorities since attempting to get to Pakistan on a one-way ticket in 2008. It was reported that Shehadeh was hoping to make his way to Dubai from Hawaii, and then get to Somalia. He was thwarted due to his name being placed on the no-fly list.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal details the story of 14-year old Mohammad Salaam (pictured), who was arrested in Pakistan with two other alleged members of the Pakistan Taliban. The trio was purportedly preparing a suicide attack against the Pakistani state. A search of the house the three were arrested in turned up a suicide jacket, packed with 48 pounds of explosives, buried in the garden.

It was reported that the boy’s favorite pastime, “until a few months ago,” was playing Counter-Strike, described for the unknowing as “a videogame in which terrorists take on law-enforcement agencies.”

Salaam, who has yet to be officially charged, is expected to be released due to his age.

In any case, it’s a bit refreshing that these two reports did not paint videogames as a factor in the young men turning towards terrorism, or label games “murder simulators.”  Perhaps the bar has just been set very low when it comes to how mainstream media treats videogames.


Pic from the WSJ/Tom Wright


Comments

Re: News Reports Use Games to Depict Terror Suspects as ...

“a videogame in which terrorists take on law-enforcement agencies.”

Yes, that's all Counter-Strike is. It in no way allows you to choose your team. /Sarcasm

But still, nice to see video games as being a connecting factor to the humanity of an alleged criminal, rather than as a causation of their alleged criminality.

Re: News Reports Use Games to Depict Terror Suspects as ...

Hm.  I...guess that's progress?

 
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MattsworknameOff topic, but, who heres playing Bloodborne, and if so, is it mercillesly murdering you every chance it gets?04/25/2015 - 7:35am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
 

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