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Halo 3 Criticized In Murder Conviction 839

oldwindways writes "An Ohio teen was found guilty of murdering his mother and shooting his father in the head after they took away his copy of Halo 3. One has to wonder if this is going to have any effect on the games industry. Clearly, the AP thought they could stir up something controversial by asking the IP owner for a statement: 'Microsoft, which owns the intellectual property for the game, declined to comment beyond a statement saying: "We are aware of the situation and it is a tragic case."' I suppose the good news is they did not accept his insanity plea, so no one can claim that Halo 3 drove him insane. Even so, I don't think anything good can come out of this for gamers." Unfortunately, it seems somebody can claim that the game was a contributing factor; the judge who presided over this case said he believes that the 17-year-old defendant "had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever." GamePolitics has further details from the judge's statement. It doesn't help that the boy's lawyers used video game addiction as a defense.
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Halo 3 Criticized In Murder Conviction

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  • by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @06:35AM (#26446097)


    "The Court must enter a finding of guilty on the counts set forth in the indictment. That being said, it's my firm belief as a human being - and not as a jurist - that Daniel does suffer from a serious defect of the mind.

    "This Court's opinion is that we don't know enough about these video games. In this particular case, not so much the violence of the game because I believe in the Halo 3, what it amounts to is a contest to see who can shoot the most aliens who attack.

    "It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing. The dopamine surge, the stimulation of the nucleus accumbens - the same as an addiction. Such that when you stop, your brain won't stand for it.

    "The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever."

    Another article notes... []

    During the first day of testimony on Monday, his father, the Rev. Mark Petric, said his son had apologized to him and he has forgiven Daniel, who was 16 at the time of the shootings. The elder Petric told Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge, who is hearing the case instead of a jury, that Daniel told him and his wife, Sue Petric, to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them. According to prosecutors, Daniel Petric then shot both of his parents, killing Sue Petric and wounding Mark Petric. When he came to a few moments later, Mark Petric said, he saw that his wife wasn't moving, and Daniel was trying to place a 9 mm handgun in his hand.

    So the son was trying to frame the father for murdering the mother. Seems to indicate that he knew death was permanent...

  • by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @06:36AM (#26446111)
    The problem here is clearly the teen which is a sociopath, not the fact he played halo 3. It was halo 3 his parent withdrew, but it could have been a red toy car, or whatever he was using at that time. Once you are in your teen you are supposed to be able to separate fantasy to reality, and to know that death is definitive. If you don't even know or realize that, then you clearly have a mental problem. The guy was 15 at the time he shot his parents.

    Miscellaneous quotes : (
    Petric may have been addicted, but the evidence also showed he planned the crime for weeks, said Burge, who found the teenager guilty of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and other charges.

    Deputy prosecuting attorney Anthony Cillo argued during the trial that the teenager had planned to make it appear to be a murder-suicide by putting the gun in his father's hand.
  • Re:guns (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @06:37AM (#26446113)

    For what it's worth: "Prosecutors contend that Daniel stole his father's key to the lockbox where the gun was kept and retrieved the semiautomatic pistol along with a copy of the sci-fi video game 'Halo 3' that his parents had confiscated from him before the shooting." (link [])

  • by El Lobo ( 994537 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @06:51AM (#26446195)
    Unfortunately, there will always be idiotic trials. This reminds me of the infamous Judas Priest trial [] where "experts" tried to present evidence that an album by the heavy metal band Judas Priest contained subliminal messages that drove two youngmen to suicide.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:20AM (#26446391)

    now he gets a life of tax paid housing and college education...

    If by "college education" you mean "will be someone's bitch before his first day in prison is over" then yes, he's going to get a college education.

  • by moranar ( 632206 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:46AM (#26446573) Homepage Journal

    About the permanent death: implemented in Diablo and Diablo 2, on the harder difficulty levels.

  • by calmofthestorm ( 1344385 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @08:16AM (#26446801)

    The whole commandments things is taken pretty loosly. But joking aside, the text can be better translated as "you must not murder". Murder is unjustified killing. Remember, we have free will and reason. In nearly all adherents to Exodus, we see little to no reluctance to kill when they deem it "necessary". All the disagreement is over when it's necessary.

    This is why I don't really see most religions as "war-like" or peaceful, with a few exceptions like the Society of Friends.

  • by Lachlan Hunt ( 1021263 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:05AM (#26447165) Homepage

    Well, the opposite end of the spectrum is people who think they are 'rational' because they believe (without proof) that people came from lightning and mud... :)

    Ha! That sounds a lot like the kind of strawman arguments commonly thrown around by creationists and is a poor attempt at attacking Evolution and Abiogenesis. Of course, no rational person believes that "people came from lightning and mud".

  • by hobbit ( 5915 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:06AM (#26447175)

    I'd warrant, then, that the kid's probably had as much exposure to the Old Testament as he has to Halo 3. Personally, I'm not in favour of banning either, but if anything...

  • by pm_rat_poison ( 1295589 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:10AM (#26447229)
    Not really. Christians believe that when the world is over, after the second coming, you will be reincarnated. It made clear in Credo, which is a summary of their dogma.

    ConfÃteor unum baptÃsma in remissiÏOEnem peccatorum; et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:13AM (#26447251) Homepage

    Afghanistan was already in the Stone Age. Perhaps you forgot the part where the Government of Afghanistan harbored the man who murdered thousands of Americans and refused to hand him over to face justice?

    Just to keep things in perspective:
    a) The Taliban always maintained that they did not know where Bin Laden was, and even if they did, they had no control over his actions.
    b) To this day, no evidence has ever been presented suggesting that Bin Laden was even to blame other than some obviously heavily doctored tapes, many of which were proven to have gross mistranslations. References follow: [] [] []

    This will likely be disregarded as conspiracy theorist whackoism, but I throw it into the ring as food for thought.

    If you're going to launch the most expensive war in history then perhaps make sure there are not gigantic questions surrounding what appears to be a poorly constructed false pretext as a reason for doing it.

    Wars of aggression? Afghanistan is a war of aggression? Hmmph.

    Hmmph indeed. Your blind acceptance of the drivel that the public gets spoon fed by the media makes me wonder why you read this site.

    Over here we question the crap that media shits out on our plate. You want to eat it and say "yum" then will suit you better.

  • by who knows my name ( 1247824 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:44AM (#26447513)

    "The Petric's also worked with troubled teenagers as house parents" - From the website.

    Would it be insensitive if I ROFLMAO?

  • by _bug_ ( 112702 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:53AM (#26447611) Journal

    Hmmph indeed. Your blind acceptance of the drivel that the public gets spoon fed by the media makes me wonder why you read this site.

    The blind dismissal of what the media/govt tell us just because they're the media/govt is just as bad the blind acceptance.

    As for the videos being faked, I'm sure there are plenty of "experts" who will say it's not faked as well. Just like there were "experts" who said building 7 was intentionally demolished while other "experts" say it was the natural conclusion to a fire inside the weakened structure.

    As there is no direct evidence in either case, what a person wants to believe will ultimately be what the person sees. You want a conspiracy, so you see one. Others can't possibly believe such a conspiracy could ever happen so they flat out ignore this "whackoism" and never question their own beliefs.

    So I went to your links. Read what was there. And concluded that they present no evidence that the videos were faked. The first simply contains what-ifs and statements from pro-Taliban sources (not very reliable sources, IMO). The second compares screen captures to photos, but fails to compare properly scaled photos. One image is smaller than the other and they use that to claim one shows a smaller nose than the other. Well gee, I wonder why. And it uses very small screencaps with heavy mpeg distortion as proof it's a fake bin Laden, even though the size and distortion from that one from would more than account for the differences. The third link isn't even about bin Laden, but quotes the results of a researcher who wrote his own software to analyze the video and then draw assumptions from the results. It was not a strong argument.

  • by khardiss ( 1271428 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @10:54AM (#26448371)
    Not entirely accurate.

    First, I don't even know what "Credo" is, so I feel safe in stating that it is not the summary of my dogma (yes, I am a Christian). Judging by the fact that the gibberish at the bottom of your post looks like Latin, I'm guessing you're referring to Catholics in particular. Please remember that "Christian" is a title given to everyone that is a follower of Christ. We don't always agree on the "right" way to do that, hence the division in the Church (i.e., Catholics, Protestants, even Mormons (though most Christians will deny that Mormons are Christians)). Please don't lump all Christians into the beliefs of some Catholics. Pretty much the only thing that all Christians agree on is that Jesus existed and was the son of God. Just about everything else is debated between the different denominations.

    Second, as a general rule, we Christians believe in we will be resurrected, not reincarnated. Big difference. The Hindus believe in reincarnations, not Christians. Reincarnation indicates that you will be reborn into a new body. That is not the case in Christian resurrection.
  • I'm not sure you quite understand the difference between reincarnation [] and ressurection [], at least as they are understood in various religious traditions. Christians generally believe in resurrection (the latin term in the Credo you quoted which, incidentally, not all brands of Christianity accept), but not in reincarnation.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @11:44AM (#26449235) Homepage Journal

    You can't be serious. Moses is a revered religious leader for Christians, Jews, and Muslims -- in other words, the majority of the religious world. Lot is barely remembered, and it's not for anything good.

    I am some sort of agnostic, but one of the bible stories I remember vividly is the story of lot, who lost his wife and gained a pillar of salt when she disobeyed god's order and looked back to see what had become of the only home she had ever known. They repaired to a cave where, thinking that they were the last of their people, lot's daughters got him drunk and seduced him for the purpose of continuing their race. Although incest is supposedly not a good thing even by this point in history, they are lauded for doing what they think is necessary for the purpose of continuing their people, though it wasn't even necessary.

    Of course, the true story could be that lot got drunk and raped both his daughters. It's pretty hard to tell at this point, and besides, who really trusts an account of events they read in a book?

    Lot, however, is considered to be a particularly good servant of god because he grabbed up his family and fled, never looking back, as he was told. DO AS YOU ARE TOLD, that is the message... And Lot is not forgotten. But you're right, that was a pretty sophomoric mistake to make. People who know nothing about the bible or Christianity should educate themselves before criticizing. There are plenty of things genuinely wrong with mainstream Christian faith, there is no need to attack straw men.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:20PM (#26449957)
  • by Cornflake917 ( 515940 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:10PM (#26451059) Homepage

    Doesn't "kamikaze" translate to Divine Wind/Spirit Wind?

    I'm not a huge WWII buff, but I believe during the Pacific War (or whatever), the Japanese government recruited literally all of their young men (including college students). They basically were given a kamikaze short course on how to fly, and then were sent on their final mission. My guess is that the gov't used the spiritual connotation as propaganda. I think very few kamikaze pilots believed they were doing it for divine ascension.

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!