Judge bans boy from playing violent video games following shooting threat

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

In the two weeks since the Florida high school massacre that saw 17 people murdered, it seems that video games have become the scapegoat for these violent acts. Now, the spotlight has fallen on the medium once again: a judge banned a teenager from playing "violent" games after he threatened to commit a school shooting on social media.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the unnamed 16-year-old sophomore at Lake Park High School in Chicago was arrested after posting a Snapchat video of himself playing a shooting game. In the clip, he wrote, “Y’all need to shut up about school shootings or I’ll do one.” Prosecutors say this was his “annoyed” response to a false threat that closed his school on Friday.

A fellow student reported the message to police. The youth was arrested on Monday and kept overnight in a juvenile facility. He was later charged with felony disorderly conduct. Police said no weapons were found during a search of his home.

The boy’s public defender said his comments were a joke in poor taste and not intended as a threat, but Judge Robert Anderson ordered his parents to place him under indefinite home detention. He was also ordered to hand over his smartphone to his parents and was banned from playing violent video games during this period.

The ban on games only covers those considered violent. Anderson told the boy he could “Play Mario Kart all you want."

We don't know what game was being played in the Snapchat post, though the Daily Herald reports a hashtag that referenced a "post-apocalyptic war video game" was included; a description that covers a lot of titles.

It’s unclear exactly why the Judge has prohibited the boy from playing these games; there’s no evidence they can lead to violent crimes.

Not since the Columbine shootings almost 20 years ago have video games come under such scrutiny. In the wake of the Florida attack, Rhode Island Representative Robert Nardolillo said he plans to add ten percent tax on all video games rated Mature and above as a way of funding counseling and mental health programs in schools. While Kentucky governor Matt Bevin says “garbage” games have desensitized people to the value of human life.

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Prosercunus

TS Maniac
It's not video games. It's technology in general. It doesn't take a lot to figure out that kids today are not socializing at the same "proper" level that myself or kids before me did. Texting is not communicating in the traditional sense. You need human interaction. Kids need to physically be with other kids and see human beings as more than just usernames on a computer screen. If you look at any sort of mass murder or killings in past centuries the offending party almost always sees their victims as something less than humans with hopes, dreams, kids, etc

Locking yourself in your room and being on the internet all day is not healthy. It's not about gaming specifically
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
We are seeing the rise of the social media sociopath.

The media itself (Fox, MSNBC, CNN and affiliates), are fueling this.

This country is a "toxic environment" (Supersize Me).

It is excellent at creating violent sociopaths and now the media allows them to spread their misery and anger like never before.

MY SOLUTION: eliminate the national media and make "news" great again. Local stories/ weather/traffic and national stories only of significance.

Bring back educational media instead of this "what celebrity hates who"/negative/ Kardashian/ nonsense.
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
Prosercunus pretty much nailed it. You add in the social media copy-cat factor, "Look at all the FAME he got, I'm going to do one better!" and it shouldn't be a shock to anyone that you have socially alienated kids making violent statements and tragically some of them following through with it.
 

Prosercunus

TS Maniac
Prosercunus pretty much nailed it. You add in the social media copy-cat factor, "Look at all the FAME he got, I'm going to do one better!" and it shouldn't be a shock to anyone that you have socially alienated kids making violent statements and tragically some of them following through with it.
I didn't even mention how easily parents medicate their children nowadays. Shutting yourself down socially, being thrown meds for your ADHD or whatever else they diagnose you with after one session and broken homes in general just create a perfect storm of angst.

How can people possibly think this isn't a perfect storm on the developing psyche of kids and adolescents?
 
S

senketsu

While I agree with all of the above,
WTF!! Felony Disorderly Conduct. They searched the home for weapons, did they send the SWAT team? They didn't find any. Indefinite home detention? "Threatened to commit a school shooting on social media"
There are way too many details missing. This could have easily been a comment (very far from a threat) by someone upset that his school was shut down due to the empty threat made on his school. I would have easily said something like this but no Snapchat in my childhood. I sure hope there is more going on than is reported here, something that would point to this guy being some kind of actual risk that this is defusing.
 

Prosercunus

TS Maniac
While I agree with all of the above,
WTF!! Felony Disorderly Conduct. They searched the home for weapons, did they send the SWAT team? They didn't find any. Indefinite home detention? "Threatened to commit a school shooting on social media"
There are way too many details missing. This could have easily been a comment (very far from a threat) by someone upset that his school was shut down due to the empty threat made on his school. I would have easily said something like this but no Snapchat in my childhood. I sure hope there is more going on than is reported here, something that would point to this guy being some kind of actual risk that this is defusing.
The Felony part is indeed insane. Way to ruin the kids life before it even started.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
I think the problems are deeper than suspected, and have been posting about this in other threads. I tend to agree with the above comments, however, I do not think changing the media itself will help much without broader and more wide-spread changes. The problems, as I see them, are systemic and will only change when we find a system that invites participation in society rather than fostering isolation. I see modern capitalism as not much different than feudalism.

Charging someone with serious crimes like this may not help them, and it certainly will not help the system become better.

Someone recommended this to me - http://sacred-economics.com/ I have not extensively looked at it, but it does seem to parallel what I think about modern capitalism being not much different from feudalism.
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
While I agree with all of the above,
WTF!! Felony Disorderly Conduct. They searched the home for weapons, did they send the SWAT team? They didn't find any. Indefinite home detention? "Threatened to commit a school shooting on social media"
There are way too many details missing. This could have easily been a comment (very far from a threat) by someone upset that his school was shut down due to the empty threat made on his school. I would have easily said something like this but no Snapchat in my childhood. I sure hope there is more going on than is reported here, something that would point to this guy being some kind of actual risk that this is defusing.
The Felony part is indeed insane. Way to ruin the kids life before it even started.
As a juvenile, all charges are removed from your record once you turn 18. So if found guilty, and at 16 years of age, this will be on his record for only 2 years.

And the reason it's a felony is because of the threat, specifically addressing a school shooting. We all saw what happened in Florida when that nut-job made internet school shooting threats and no one did anything about it. People are paying attention now and they want everyone to know it's not going to be a simple slap on the hand for doing that.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
It all begins at home. Take away all the toys and make a kid learn to appreciate the nicer things in life and they will be more grateful .... teach them to think they are entitled and that's exactly how they will act. MOST of all, tell the courts and police to stop the BS of arresting and charging parents that determine corporal punishment is the only way to get through OR, better yet, formulate a law that allows the parents to drag the kids into the police station and under supervision, fire up the little brats tail! Pain, embarrassment, humiliation, they all send a message that will make the kids think twice. It's time for the adults to start working together again!!!
 
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Stiqy

TS Booster
Or maybe the judge should be encouraging him to play violent video games...

https://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/features/video-games-school-shootings-w516863

"Those who perpetrate acts of violence in schools are more than three times less likely to play violent video games than an average high school student"

The propensity to play violent video games actually correlates to less chance of being involved in school violence... but lets not cloud their preconceptions with facts.
 
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IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
There is a lot of missing information here for sure, and felony seems a bit much... and banning violent video games? How are you going to enforce that? What defines a violent video game?

Anyway why the hell didn't Nicholas Cruz get arrested for making threats? He should have been arrested and booking into juvenile corrections/detention, then gone through multiple mental evaluations.

Also a bit off topic here but I don't think Trump's idea of "take away the guns before-hand" would solve anything. It would probably just piss the kid off more and he would then either go steal a gun or use another method to commit mass-murder.

This all comes back to our corrupt and damaged society / culture in America. That is the source of the issue and there are many, many "things" that may influence people but ultimately you have to take care of yourself and your children. Problem is people don't take care of themselves or their children then you end up with screwed up wack jobs that have no moral compass and loads of hate they don't know what to do with.
 
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Emexrulsier

TS Evangelist
Scapegoat and nothing more. The uneducated need some reason as they can't simply fathom that some people are just mental so they need justification to settle a case.

Oh and mario kart is uber violent, throwing missiles at moving cars, leave objects in the middle of the road to create a collision what message is this giving to the young kids of today :D
 

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
It's not video games. It's technology in general. It doesn't take a lot to figure out that kids today are not socializing at the same "proper" level that myself or kids before me did. Texting is not communicating in the traditional sense. You need human interaction. Kids need to physically be with other kids and see human beings as more than just usernames on a computer screen. If you look at any sort of mass murder or killings in past centuries the offending party almost always sees their victims as something less than humans with hopes, dreams, kids, etc

Locking yourself in your room and being on the internet all day is not healthy. It's not about gaming specifically
So what's your reasoning for 64-year-old Stephen Paddock perpetrating the largest mass shooting in modern US history? Did the then-non-existent technology you're referring to ruin his childhood too?

I love the 'kids today' arguments. They've been the same for at least the 350 years that novels have been around. Seriously, (my fellow) 'adults these days' need to come up with better reasoning.
 

Prosercunus

TS Maniac
So what's your reasoning for 64-year-old Stephen Paddock perpetrating the largest mass shooting in modern US history? Did the then-non-existent technology you're referring to ruin his childhood too?

I love the 'kids today' arguments. They've been the same for at least the 350 years that novels have been around. Seriously, (my fellow) 'adults these days' need to come up with better reasoning.
What does this have to do with school shootings? Do you think one instance means my argument holds no water? Or even several instance? Of course things are not so black and white and it's not a "kids today" argument. You are purposely misconstruing what is a serious societal issue. It's not to say motivations or upbringing of other mass shooters may not be different.

Good grief.
 

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
What does this have to do with school shootings? Do you think one instance means my argument holds no water? Or even several instance? Of course things are not so black and white and it's not a "kids today" argument. You are purposely misconstruing what is a serious societal issue. It's not to say motivations or upbringing of other mass shooters may not be different.

Good grief.
You said in your initial post, this:
If you look at *any sort of mass murder or killings* in past centuries
So I figured you were talking about more than school shootings, given that that's what your words mean.

You also said:
It doesn't take a lot to figure out that *kids today* are not socializing at the same "proper" level that myself or kids before me did.
Leading me to also characterise your post as a 'kids today' argument.

I appear to have taken you at the words you used and you've said I'm misconstruing them.

Technology is certainly having a huge impact on society, and that impact is almost certainly felt greatest amongst the younger generation who have grown up alongside these advancements. But the specific claim that such technology has led to an increase in violence I think is incorrect. Almost all measures of violence have been shown to be declining over the last 50-or-so years, just the period in question.
 

Prosercunus

TS Maniac
You said in your initial post, this:


So I figured you were talking about more than school shootings, given that that's what your words mean.

You also said:

Leading me to also characterise your post as a 'kids today' argument.

I appear to have taken you at the words you used and you've said I'm misconstruing them.

Technology is certainly having a huge impact on society, and that impact is almost certainly felt greatest amongst the younger generation who have grown up alongside these advancements. But the specific claim that such technology has led to an increase in violence I think is incorrect. Almost all measures of violence have been shown to be declining over the last 50-or-so years, just the period in question.
Would it have helped you if I said most and specified school shootings? Why would someone just assume that every single shooting is going to have the same MO and that the shooters background is ALWAYS going to be the same? You are just picking apart nothingness. Of course a much older man is probably going to have a different background growing up.

It's not a kids today argument. Do you think I am somehow attacking youth with no justification? This isn't solely that kids today are messed up. Ultimately their parents are letting them lock themselves in their room and cheapen their social skills. I am well into my 30's now and have experienced this first hand as a manager and also working at universities in the past. It's important people wake up to some of the digital addiction people are suffering from. I say this as someone that works IT. I am a Sr Systems Admin with managerial duties and that doesn't make it any less true.
 

MaikuTech

TS Evangelist
It all begins at home. Take away all the toys and make a kid learn to appreciate the nicer things in life and they will be more grateful .... teach them to think they are entitled and that's exactly how they will act. MOST of all, tell the courts and police to stop the BS of arresting and charging parents that determine corporal punishment is the only way to get through OR, better yet, formulate a law that allows the parents to drag the kids into the police station and under supervision, fire up the little brats tail! Pain, embarrassment, humiliation, they all send a message that will make the kids think twice. It's time for the adults to start working together again!!!
You are too kind, the right thing to do is, rent out a paddle from school or buy one, learn to swing it 4 times on your kid.
Slam the computers and consoles inside your car trunk or a personal locker at work.
Talk to your kid and put the fear of god in them for the next time should it happen again.
When school year ends and summer time ends, they can have their technology back when they learn.