World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

October 30, 2010 -

Video games are the focus of a murder involving two teen boys from British Columbia. In March 2010 two teenage boys from British Columbia (18 and 16 years old) raped and killed an 18-year-old girl named Kimberly Proctor. The description of the crime is horrific: after the crime, the two boys mutilated and burned the body under a bridge.

Later the younger of the two alleged murderers bragged about the murder in World of Warcraft to a friend. He bragged about the crime to his friend and sent him newspaper clips detailing the crime. Naturally, the media wants a reason, and World of Warcraft has become a target.

The headline from CTV News gives you an idea where this is all heading: "Teens moved from online violence to real-life murder."

Looking to make the connection, CTV News taps Bonnie Leadbeater, a psychology professor at the University of Victoria, who says that some children have a problem knowing that what is acceptable in virtual worlds is not acceptable in real life.

"You don't know which aggressive kid is going to take the fantasies of video games and try them out in reality. You just can't predict those very rare occurrences," she said. "There would have been signs early. I don't know these two boys at all, but generally, kids who go on to kill other kids or to act out in this sort of extreme manner are having problems early."

The two boys are undergoing psychiatric evaluations, and a judge will decide in March of next year if they should be sentenced as adults.

Commentary: People that are sociopaths do not need stimuli to act out in grotesque and violent ways. If video games were not in the mix, it would be books, television, comic books, cave drawings, UFC, wrestling, football, etc. Some day we are going to get past blaming media for the ills of society when so many other factors - including genetics and environment - are really the driving factors in violent crimes like this one. In other words, maybe these kids are just evil. By blaming video games, prosecutors give murderers an excuse for their crimes, when they have no excuses for their behavior.

Source: Kotaku, CTV News


Comments

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

It seems odd that these articles never mention that both of the alleged perpetrators were rejected romantically by the victim within the recent past.  Oh...much better to blame it all on video games instead of someone's warped psychosis.

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

Aren't we all glad to see that the media is still making connections that don't exist?

The CTV article says that the messages sent via WoW were collected by the prosecutors, so WoW actually provides evidence of their admission to murder.

In an unrelated note, I think the sign-off commentary was unnecessary, for regular GP readers it's preaching to the converted, and for non-readers it interferes with the objectivity of the article.

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

There's only one thing I feel the need to point out here: One of the teens admitted that the murder didn't feel like he thought it would .

The game is irrelevant. These kids are sociopaths.

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

 I'm curious what did he expect it to feel like?  The warm embrace of an all knowing being that makes it part of its glowing light in which you to glow?  I mean seriously its killing we may make war on each other naturally but it will always be an unnatural act for one of us to kill another one ... just not in most peoples wiring.

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

 Seriously. That's one of the more disturbing statements I've ever heard, including fiction. 

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

I find it funny that they only used WoW to brag about it.  They didn't play the game to "warm up" for the killing.  It'd be like me bragging on Facebook that I killed someone.  Does that mean Facebook made me do it? I can't help but laugh at the logic.

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

never know, cause them facebook games can cause gruesome crimes too after all.

i mean look what farmville caused a lady to do! we need to start banning these overly addictive casual games right away! (wait.. isn't that similar to JT's reason for crusading anyways? something about solitaire..)

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

 Hey solitaire is a violent game ... it teaches Suicide (one of the kings shoves a friggin sword through his head) ... Homosexuality ... I swear those Jacks are winking at me ... and when you win extreme violence the cards are thrown from the top of the screen to the bottom where they bounce teaching you that throwing people from buildings will make them bounce and you win.  Horrible Horrible game.

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

"...some children have a problem knowing that what is acceptable in virtual worlds is not acceptable in real life."

"You don't know which aggressive kid is going to take the fantasies of video games and try them out in reality."

I don't play WoW so I must lean on the readers.  Does that game allow players to rape, murder, mutilate, and immolate their victims?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

 The other comments are so far wrong ... except the rape part.

There is an entire quest chain in Northrend where you go into a Vyrkul town kill the people mutilate their corpses and burn their homes to the ground.  There are other quests where you immolate dead bodies so they can't rises as undead and there is even a quest where you take a poker and strike a captive till he talks.

As for acting out a video game ... that can be claimed of books tv comics etc like the author points out.  Frankly this is nothing more than giving the captives a cheap excuse to blame something else and hope the jury is dumb enough to buy it so they get less time.

I'm sure if someone paid attention they would have notice other warning signs long before WoW was a glimmer in a developer's eye.  Maybe torching things, hurting animals, power trips from being a bully?  All signs that the person is mentally unstable. 

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

You can't rape them, and you certainly can't do all the rest on your own. Multilate is a Rogue ability, and Immolate is a Warlock spell. Totally different classes.

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

Rape?  Shift into bear form and /sit repeatedly on their corpse!

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

Yeah, I think was on the Feral DPS Flowchart, wasn't it?

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

Feral tank to be more precise.


Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

No, I checked. It was the feral DPS one.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e388/vertidog/catdps.jpg

Re: World of Warcraft Blamed for Teen Murderers' Actions

I used to play it.  No, you can't.

 
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prh99The unflattering characterization "‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction..." probably didn't help.10/02/2014 - 1:52am
prh99Probably not many as it was purely a vindictive move. The headline alone was plenty of ammo, but for those that did read and complain..10/02/2014 - 1:42am
Andrew EisenI wonder how many of those who complain about that article actually read past the headline.10/02/2014 - 1:37am
prh99http://intel.ly/1tjh1AH http://bit.ly/1rGPHOY http://intel.ly/Zu6go9 it isn't surprising "Gamers are over" didn't go over very well.10/02/2014 - 1:34am
Papa MidnightCan you parlay that to #WriteAGawkerArticle? The cesspool of horrid crap over there extends far beyond Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 12:34am
Andrew EisenWow! Intel dropped Gamasutra due to GameJournoPros? Over Matt Matthews? The only Gamasutra guy in the group? Who hasn't written a single thing about #GamerGate at the site? Where did you read that?10/02/2014 - 12:32am
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Neo_DrKefkaSo Intel has dropped Gamesutra due to there support of your Gaming News Cabal Fudge. Anti GamerGate article soon? Or like your e-mails are you hoping this narrative dies down soon?10/02/2014 - 12:14am
Andrew EisenWell, time to eat some dinner and work on the Hyrule Warriors guide until bedtime!10/02/2014 - 12:11am
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