Australian Media Plays Up 'Violent Video Game' Angle in Murder Trial Coverage

November 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

While the news media in Australia is using headlines about how a man accused of murder was playing a violent video game prior to allegedly committing the crime, the unnamed game is never mentioned in court as some sort of catalyst or influence to the events that unfolded outside of an Ambarvale home in south-west Sydney on June 20, 2012. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped Sky News from using the headline, "Stabbing 'followed violent video game.'"

So just to clear up any confusion, here are the facts taken from the same Sky News report: 37-year-old Viengsavanh Phanekham is accused of murdering his neighbor, 34-year-old Mark Puffet outside his home last year. Crown prosecutor Gina O'Rourke laid out the facts of the case at the start of Phanekham's Supreme Court trial on Wednesday. O'Rourke said that the defendant was playing an unnamed 'violent action hacker, slasher' computer game online when he heard the victim yelling on the street outside. He had apparently been locked out of his house by his partner after an argument and was intoxicated. Phanekham yelled out at the victim to "shut the f up," who in turn told Phanekham to come out and fight him. The prosecutor says that the defendant then armed himself with two kitchen knives and went outside to confront the victim.

"It's the Crown case the accused held a knife towards (Mr Puffett) and deliberately stabbed him in the abdomen," O'Rourke said.

Phanekham contends that he simply held the knife towards the victim, who then walked into it. The victim said out loud in the street that "He's trying to kill me," according to the prosecutor. Phanekham gave chase, before giving up and returning to his home, according to testimony. Puffett was pronounced dead at the scene shortly afterwards.

O'Rourke also said that Phanekham told the 000 (the equivalent of 911 in Australia) operator: "I think I just stabbed someone." He later told police that the victim ran or walked into the knife he was holding towards him.

"It's the Crown case that (Phanekham) deliberately stabbed (Mr Puffett) in the upper abdomen because he was angry, because he was fed up with his annoying behaviour and he did so with the requisite murderous intent," Ms. O'Rourke told the court.

Phanekham has pled not guilty to all charges. The case continues this week.

Source: Sky News


Comments

Re: Australian Media Plays Up 'Violent Video Game' Angle in ...

"Viengsavanh Phanekham, 37," He was 37 not 73. Might want to correct that :)

 

The defendant should have called the police about the noise. The moment he decided to go out with knives he was taking the law into his own hands and as a result a man died. Whether he was playing a "slasher" videogame or making French toast doesn't seem all that relevant to me.

 

Re: Australian Media Plays Up 'Violent Video Game' Angle in ...

"Viengsavanh Phanekham, 37," He was 37 not 73. Might want to correct that :)

I don't think this sentence means what you think it means.

Re: Australian Media Plays Up 'Violent Video Game' Angle in ...

Story had it wrong.  I fixed it.  Just got distracted before I could say so.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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