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A video game called ‘School Shooting,’ backing the video gaming industry, and a qualified lawyer on hold

By Steven Brill
December 3, 2013

1. Is there really a game called “School Shooting”?

Last week, the Connecticut State’s Attorney issued his official report  about the shooting a year ago at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. On page 26 the State’s Attorney noted that among other video games found in the home of murderer Adam Lanza was: “The computer game titled ‘School Shooting’ where the player controls a character who enters a school and shoots at students.”

Is there really such a game? The CBS-owned website Gamespot, which covers news related to video-gaming, reported two days later that, “The ‘School Shooting’ game is somewhat of a mystery. In the 44-page Sandy Hook report released this week, no details are provided regarding who made the game or where it can be purchased or downloaded.”

I hope someone is working on that mystery.

2. “Advocating” for video games?

While trying to learn more about the School Shooting game I came across the website of a trade group called the Entertainment Consumers Association, which represents the video gaming industry. Its “Advocacy” page led last week with the good news that the State’s Attorney’s report did not directly link video games to the Sandy Hook massacre (though the report did spend a lot of space listing all the violent games found in Lanza’s home).

“From both a political and a cultural perspective, these are challenging times for gamers. New issues that concern consumer rights broadly, but effect gamers specifically, have made our work that much more important,” the Advocacy page declares.

Trade associations are usually a good window on the arguments, money and politics associated with controversial issues. So the group that defends the gaming industry, whose revenues are increasingly dependent on products that simulate violence, would seem to be fertile ground for a good story on how the industry seems to have staved off fallout from Sandy Hook and similar tragedies.

3. What does this guy do all day?

Last June, President Obama announced the appointment of a Washington lawyer to reopen and run the State Department’s office in charge of trying to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The man the president appointed, Clifford Sloan, is not just any lawyer. He has one of those classic gold-plated D.C. resumes: Harvard Law School, Supreme Court clerk, associate presidential counsel in the Clinton White House, vice president for business affairs and general counsel of Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive, publisher of Slate Magazine, co-author of a highly-regarded book about the Marbury V. Madison Supreme Court case, and, finally, partner at the blue chip law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom.

Why I am I listing all those high-powered jobs? Because I can’t imagine why a guy like Sloan would take a job like this one. The effort to close Guantanamo seems to be on permanent hold, with Congress not allowing any of the prisoners into the United States and no other countries apparently eager to accept them.

So what does Sloan do all day? If my hunch is correct, this could be a story of a highly-qualified guy doing little more than playing the bureaucratic equivalent of solitaire at Foggy Bottom in between fruitless phone calls to countries around the world. If I’m wrong, it’s an even better story.

PHOTO: Visitors play “Diablo” during the Gamescom 2012 fair in Cologne August 16, 2012. 

Comments
8 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Irony: America’s view on violent video games.

Posted by BidnisMan | Report as abusive
 

If violent video games were in any way responsible for murders, Japan would have the highest murder rate in the world. Do they?

No, quite the opposite

So give it a rest

Posted by Benny27 | Report as abusive
 

Apparently the video game is Counter-Strike. It’s described in this article: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/4145-sch ool-shooting-video-game-sparks-outrage-p hoto/

Posted by BillGa | Report as abusive
 

Whenever someone mentions the Sandy Hook massacres, I think of my six year old grandson’s face in one of those classroom desks, and my heart breaks all over again for the parents and families of those children who were murdered. I can barely stand it.

Do we blame video games? Not exactly. But we do have a cultural underbelly in America today that says “kewl” to blood and guts which I can’t see as healthy in any way. However, I have to ask this: Chainsaw massacre movies were/are wildly popular, but we don’t have many chainsaw massacres in the U.S. today. I grew up on cartoons that were relentlessly violent…You saw it, too, the one where the cat gets smashed to bloody bits by an oversized sledgehammer, but immediately bounces back to fight the mouse in the next scene (I never thought that was funny). We don’t have many sledgehammer massacres either.

It’s our youth. The problem is with our American youth. I don’t have a suggestion of what the root problem is, but I can tell you this: I look into my six year old grandson’s eyes and hope he is not a victim, and that I and his parents can teach him to be a kind, ethical, generous human being, and I hope that lots of other parents are trying to teach their kids the same thing.

I don’t think it’s the video games. I think it’s the way we’re raising our children.

Posted by JL4 | Report as abusive
 

People tend to do the type of things that on their minds. If a type of crime is on every ones minds the people it appeals to are more likely to do it. That is why fiction is dangerous. In a democracy people must know about happens but the dry facts not a taste of some odd satisfaction for odd, dangerous minds. Fiction does not aim at giving facts it aims giving a taste forbidden satisfaction to individuals who may get pleasure out of it (including torture and murder). In fact fiction usually distorts the facts.

The media should be limited to what has a likelihood of being what happened or is happening. Exact, complete facts of criminal or other hidden events are never available.

Posted by Samrch | Report as abusive
 

I think it is beyond dispute that video games give kids ideas they may not otherwise come up with. After Grand Theft Auto Three was released you began hearing reports of teens trying to carjack and run over people. Did the games give kids the idea that it would be fun, cool or just something they can get away with, most likely. However, books, tv, comics, music and any other form of artistic impression has similar evils. It is just a matter of where someone learns the idea and if they are nuts enough to imitate. Remember back in the 80′s Heavy Metal was the ultimate evil and cause of corruption in young? You do not hear Ozzy or Judas Priest being blamed for bad behavior anymore. Also, I can not remember this new Knock Out game ever being placed in a video game or anywhere else. So original ideas do happen.
However, in the case of Sandy Hook, I think that boy was very disturbed and games or not he was eventually going to do something violent and harmful.

Posted by Slammy | Report as abusive
 

Benny27

I hear that same old argument time and again. All it shows is that violent video games, in and of themselves, are not the sole cause of violence. Nor is the ubiquity of guns, in and of itself, the sole cause of violence. But that doesn’t mean violent video games do not shape the minds of children and young people or erode empathy in children.

Posted by Calfri | Report as abusive
 

I grew up watching the original Tom & Jerry cartoons – and I seem to have missed out on a life-time of animal cruelty – after all according to the thinking of some I should have been running around hitting my cat with a frying pan, putting her in the oven, making her run into ironing boards….but nope!

Its all down to the way some kids are brought up….oh there weren’t swarms of gibbering do-gooders bleating about the despicable violence being portrayed in said cartoons.

Posted by umkomazi | Report as abusive
 

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