imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Friday, February 25, 2005
YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW
This story reminds me of the 1986 movie The Color of Money. It was a sequel to the 1961 movie The Hustler. Paul Newman returns as Fast Eddie Felson who finds the young pool player Vince, played by Tom Cruise, and grooms him for the big time. Cruise is an arcade game addict who loves the games which put him in control of flying bombers. When Newman asks him about the games, Cruise offers a chilling answer. He said that wars will be fought with young guys whose surgical bombing skills were learned on such video games. I’ve been trying to locate the dialogue online but have had no luck, but I’ve always remembered that because he was right.
I do NOT believe in censorship, but I am appalled by what parents allow they children to see and do. Teenagers are especially susceptible to the violence and/or sex laden games. Simply because they know about something does not make it wise or appropriate for their age. Devin Thompson should bear the full brunt of the law for the evil he committed. The unfortunate victims’ families should be ashamed of trying to profit from their loss. The fault lies with Devin Thompson, not the deep-pocketed companies which produced the games.
When 16-year-old Devin Thompson shot down two Alabama police officers and a dispatcher in cold blood in 2003, local journalists, teachers, and coffee-shop commentators began the usual round of soul searching. Some wanted to fix point the figure at the boy's negligent parents. Some wanted to blame a wayward society that had in so many ways failed the boy-killer. A few even wanted to blame the boy himself. But the victims' families had other ideas
It turns out the real guilty party was a software manufacturer. Also complicit in the homicides were corporations like Wal-Mart and Sony. According to a civil suit filed on behalf of relatives of two of the deceased, Take Two Interactive Software's crime-action game Grand Theft Auto "trained and motivated" Devon Thompson to steal a car, and, once apprehended by Fayette police officers, snatch a service revolver from one of cops and open fire, finally making off in a stolen police car. During the melee officers Arnold Strickland, James Crump, and dispatcher Leslie Mealer were killed. Apprehended a second time Thompson, according to the AP, told the cops that, "Life is a video game. You got to die sometimes."