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Wednesday, April 19, 2006 

Anger: EMail

I just received an email from “David” (I will not publish the full name or the hotmail email address). He seems to be upset about an old post where I comment on the use of the “GTA Defense” in a high profile murder case (Devon Moore). (here is a related post) David seems to have stumbled across this site while falling out of the censorship echo chamber because I have heard this line of (straw man) argument many times before.

Click Here for the full text of the email, along with my responses.


The multi millionaires who created and extremely violent video game don’t need your pity.
The “multi-millionaires” (if they are still that considering all that is happened) don’t have my pity. Here is a short list of people that DO have my pity:
  • The people that work in the industry that censorship would unemploy
  • The buying public that censorship would deny choices
  • The taxpayers that would have to pay for a censorship board
  • The First Amendment
What do you mean, “It’s about time that people/Juries start to dismiss these sorts of bogus excuses.”
This statement seems pretty clear. The slimeball lawyers were trying to get him found “Not Guilty by reason of GTA”. That is a bogus excuse and the jury was right to dismiss it out of hand. I applaud this jury for turning the tide of bogus claims of “the devil made me do it”.
Like you mentioned the jury convicted the kid in just over an hour.
Just another illustration that the jury knew the stupidity of the GTA claim. Again, I love this jury!
Nine times out of ten people/juries are like you, ready to judge and punish in a heartbeat.
I’m not sure what you are getting at here. I am a law-and-order kind of guy, but I would not characterize myself as “ready to judge and punish” without proof.
Of coarse the jury is right to be concerned about the death of three men and their families.
This jury did what they could for those poor families, they sent the killer to jail for a long time, maybe even to death row. Unfortunately, that really is the best they could do.
However, I don’t feel sorry for the “unfortunate” rich guys who created a sick game.
It seems clear that you have no frame of reference or understanding of the games industry. Yes, a (very) few game developers get rich, but the vast majority work long hours for low pay in ridiculous conditions in order to create games.
Do you think the kids’ upbringing and playing hours of GTA had any influence over his actions?
Yes, the kid’s upbringing has a lot to do with what he became. I believe parenting is the single most important factor in the development of humans, Devin had extremely awful parenting. As for GTA causing this tragedy, no. Absolutely and without reservation a strong NO. I am not a psychologist, but all studies fail to find (no matter how hard they tried) a link between violence in video games and in real life.
If he wasn’t a product of his environment he must just be “evil.”
Here comes the fallacies! I don’t suppose that instead of “evil” he could be “stupid”, “ignorant”, “irrational and frightened” or a host of other attributes that would explain his abhorrent behavior.
And if you believe that then GTA is an “evil” game.
As far as something like a game could be considered “evil”, I agree. I don’t like it, I would refuse to work on it, I would rather that it not exist, but I would expend my last breath defending the right to publish it. Censorship is not the answer. If you want these games to “go away” (as I do) you might focus your energy on persuading the buying public to forsake them instead of creating more demand by banning them (see Motley Crue and Tipper Gore). As long as there is demand, there will be supply. (Cross-reference “drugs”)
I believe that nature and nurture both play a role, so any way you look at it GTA was a factor.
More fallacies! JOY! GTA “nurtured” this punk? Where were the parents when a video game took over their duties? Where did he get the game and the console? We know he had some abuse in his past, but sure.. OK.. GTA was totally to blame. I mean, how could it not be the sole cause of the deaths of these 3 fine officers? Oh brother!
I don’t understand what you’re so hostile about defending.
Hostile? Maybe strident, I don’t see hostile.

That’s the end of the email. This is not the only one I have received on this subject, most are unprintable. I print this one because David seems somewhat reasonable and echoes points that need to be refuted.

Now for a final thought:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
(Edmund Burke)

Censorship is wrong (yes even “Evil”) and I do not intend to stand idlely by while censorship is being forced down my throat. There are almost 100,000 people employed in North America alone in the games industry, I will not let those jobs slip away because Senators Clinton and Lieberman need votes. 92% of M and AO rated games are purchased with an adult present. If Devon was in the 8%, you would support taking away the right of the 92%. Worse yet, you would strip those rights away based on fallacies and hyperbolic rhetoric by blowhard Senators trolling for votes.

These stats and more can be found here (pdf).

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