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Warriors Of Freedom Prompted Rampage Attempt? 771

Posted by simoniker
from the scapegoat-time-again dept.
Thanks to an anonymous reader for pointing to a Philadelphia Inquirer article linking videogames to an alleged spree killing attempt. According to the article, "Investigators suspect the three teens arrested.. as they allegedly were about to launch a killing rampage in the small town, found inspiration in violent computer games.. [police] learned that the name the three reportedly had given themselves - Warriors of Freedom - is also an Internet-based combat game." But only a few media reports mention that the violent game connection was made by Jack Thompson, a Miami lawyer and outspoken critic of violent video and computer games - is this a case of shameless Googling to find any obscure game with a similar name and make a connection, or is there genuine evidence here?
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Warriors Of Freedom Prompted Rampage Attempt?

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  • Boo to the media (Score:4, Informative)

    by egg troll (515396) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @11:45PM (#6397760) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that poverty and easy access to firearms is much more of a cause of violence than videogames. All videogames do is occasionally have the misfortune to draw some violent people to them (although only a small percentage of videogame players are sociopathic, mind you.)

    I just wish the media would give these causes as much airtime as they do trumped-up, sensationalistic stories.

  • by Ikari Gendou (93109) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @11:53PM (#6397814)
    Is a freaking browser based RPG. I'd have to say this is a pretty thin stretch of a Googling if I've seen one.

    This whole thing makes my brain hurt.

  • Warriors of Freedom? (Score:5, Informative)

    by syr (647840) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @11:55PM (#6397823)
    The article mentions that the youths were obsessed with Warriors of Freedom. I've never heard of the game so I did some googling and this is what I've come up with so far. Warriors of Freedom is apparently a browser-based RPG which involved the leveling up of fantasy themed characters who are either evil or good. So in essence its like any other RPG out there.

    It appears that the official website for the game is either at this [] clan server or at this [] game company. Google returns the fact that Warriors of Freedom RPG is now ... "The Guardians of Har". So maybe the Alternative Games company changed the name of their moderately popular browser-based RPG.

    It's interesting that these youths would be corrupted by a simplistic browser RPG. Most previous stories of this type involve games such as Doom or Counter-Strike or sniping in Halo. I guess we might be able to assume that these youths didn't need the first person perspective to corrupt their perspective of reality.

    This Columbine article [] quotes Jack Thompson (the attorney who brought up the video game connection) as saying "We intend to hurt Hollywood. We intend to hurt the video game industry. We intend to hurt porn sites". Mr. Thompson [] has tried suing the video game companies, tried pressuring Best Buy and Wal-Mart to not carry certain titles and tried to get a bill introduced to outlaw mature video games being sold to minors.

    I don't believe that video games caused these youths to go beserk. So I will continue playing games [] and wondering what exactly is wrong with Jack Thompson.

  • by steelframe (590694) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:20AM (#6397973)
    "having no guns makes it a hell of a lot harder for these would be killers to go on killing sprees."

    Having lots of guns makes it a lot harder for these guys to go on killing ME.

    Please do your own Google on crime stats for those countries that have feelings like yours.

  • by Sevn (12012) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:21AM (#6397980) Homepage Journal
    That strictest anti-gun states have the highest
    crime and murder rates. Neat how that works out.
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:40AM (#6398063) Homepage Journal
    Japanese mass media (TV, movies, etc) are perhaps the most violent of all "First World" media. Exhibit A [], Exhibit B [], just to give but two examples.

    However, the murder rate in Japan is currently hovering at one in 100,000, where the murder rate in the US is at 7.7 in 100,000. This does not count suicides though, which have gotten hideously high (18 in 100,000) in Japan. However, I haven't seen people blaming violent movies for suicides. Judas Priest, maybe []. Not violent movies. At least not yet.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:43AM (#6398072) Homepage
    That game doesn't have any visual violence. It doesn't have any visuals. It's a text-based role-playing game. It's not even a product. It's someone's toy web site.
  • Re:does it matter? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:51AM (#6398112)
    In my personal opinion, people who are to stupid to realize that a game is a game and not your life should be banned from games and locked away in a mental house. But hey, what are you going to do? On another note, some games are created to twist people. The creators of "ethnic cleansing" put out their second game recently and they are claiming that 1/3 of the people who play bought a book on white supremicy People are getting down right stupid these days.
  • by Paddyish (612430) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:18AM (#6398239)
    "Bowling for Columbine," Michael Moore's bittersweet masterpiece, explores this issue (and many others) in depth.

    For better answers and more questions on violence in the American culture, watch this film.

  • Bowling for Columbine is a typical Moore propaganda piece, ripe with inaccuracies, out-of-context quotes, and unfair portrayals. []
  • I beg to differ, Ignorant Aardvark. A possible outcome is: "Blecch! Rotten food! The world spins and goes dark." After which you could be killed by the kitten.

    This is perhaps the most geekiest argument ever, but let's delve a bit deeper into this. I quote from the Nethack 3.4.1 source code eat.c line 1184...:

    } else if(!rn2(3)) {
    ... snip ... pline_The("world spins and %s %s.", what, where);
    flags.soundok = 0;
    nomovemsg = "You are conscious again.";

    Eating a rotten corpse can indeed cause 1d10 turns of "helplessness".

    And now from line 1277 of the same source file:
    if (!tp && mnum != PM_LIZARD && mnum != PM_LICHEN &&
    //Call rotted food function

    (The comment is my own to avoid the lameness filter).

    Rotted corpses can have negative effects such as blindness and helplessness except for when the corpse is of the lizard or lichen variety. I mistakenly thought that jelly fit into one of these categories; indeed, it does not. Eating jelly can lead to death by kitten during helplessness. I was wrong.
  • Re:does it matter? (Score:5, Informative)

    by The_dev0 (520916) <hookerbot5000 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:41AM (#6398315) Homepage Journal
    I'm assuming you're Australian. The secret biological weapon against cane toads: Dettol. Splash some of that on 'em and they smoke and melt into a little puddle. I keep a water pistol full of Dettol to squirt the little buggers when I'm in the backyard, a quick spray and you know they have about 10 minutes of life left before they turn to soup.
  • Parent is plagarism (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:44AM (#6398321)
    Above is plagarism, although with better formatting.

    Compare it [] with another comment posted 15 minutes earlier [].

    Credit where credit is due, please.

    Although he did leave out the last sentence:

    Something to think about I guess, rather than the prevailing view among gamers that videogames don't affect people, and are good because you can release tension through your onscreen avatar.
  • by BobTheBooser (573732) <grofras@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:45AM (#6398509)
    I only found it in this document /2001/pape rs/Stohl.pdf

    A chairman of the joint chiefs said: "In every corner of the world our troops are at work. These warriors of freedom, these men and women who love peace, who are prepared to die for its preservation, are doing their important part to help fulfill the concepts of the United Nations Charter."

  • Re:does it matter? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mkro (644055) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @04:00AM (#6398692)
    I could probbably make an equally persuasive argument that violence is movies and videogames reduces violence because it releases peoples agressions in a nonviolent way.
    Someone already did, and it is called the catharsis theory [].
  • Re:does it matter? (Score:2, Informative)

    by GigsVT (208848) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @09:11AM (#6399595) Journal
    Last time I checked, it's not illegal for an 18-year-old to have firearms.

    You can't purchase a handgun until you are 21, though you can get rifles and shotguns when you are 18.
  • Re:does it matter? (Score:3, Informative)

    by aborchers (471342) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @09:17AM (#6399623) Homepage Journal
    I have to call this post out on blatant proof texting.

    A few facts omitted or misrepresented above:

    * The weapons were locked in a closet
    * The majority of the (whoo scary) 2000 rounds of ammunition were a few 500 boxes of ancient target rounds.
    * The "kid" was 18, a legal adult.

    Blaming the parent without knowing the full facts is just as idiotic as blaming video games.

  • Re:does it matter? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @09:18AM (#6399630) Journal
    They were introduced to AU to combat a beetle that was eating sugar cane crops. However after introduction they turned out to be a far greater theeat than the beetle they were introduced to eat. They reproduce prolificly, have few predators and eat pretty much anything they can get into their mouths.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:23PM (#6401320)
    Even fewer people seem to realize that Apocalypse Now is based not-so-loosely on Joseph Conrad's novel, "Heart of Darkness." Blew my mind when I read it, after having seen the movie; much too similiar for coincidence, and I don't think any credit was given to Conrad.

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