That guy I said I wouldn't talk about? I guess 60 Minutes has edited up a short version of that interview, now focusing squarely on cranial menus and shown it around. I've been getting some questions about this. But I'm still not talking about that guy. I'm talking about this case.
So let's recap. The Playstation 2 is technology sophisticated enough to brainwash a teenage mind and train Devin Moore Thompson well enough to overcome an armed veteran police officer from within the confines of a police station. Do not pay attention to anything else.
Well, that's one scenario at least. Here is another:
"I kept telling people about it, going to the church and telling people he was a troubled child, but people didn't pay me no mind," he said. "I raised him from a baby, but people don't listen."
Kenneth Moore said he sent his son to live with the young man's mother two years ago because he couldn't control him. He said that his son would often steal his car and that last year his mother found a gun in the house belonging to him.
What's interesting about that story is that it doesn't mention video games. Not once. Here is a story which interviewed Devin's father, that also has nothing to do with video games:
exited the courtroom, yelling questions as he repeated, "No comment."
Standridge said that Thompson's family is sorry for what has happened.
In an earlier interview, Thompson's father, Kenneth Moore and Fayette
County High School Principal Radford Hester told The Tuscaloosa News the
teen had many discipline problems at home and school.
Kenneth Moore describes his son as someone who loved trouble, stealing
cars and dabbling in drugs.
"He was a good kid to people in town, but as soon as you get to know him
he would change for worse," Kenneth Moore said.
These are from 2003, when the crime in question happened. December, 2004, is when the "Life is a video game" phrase jumped out and suddenly this was all about Grand Theft Auto. And here's the kicker ... there is some doubt that he even said that:
And at that point that nameless guy walks in and started to get everyone riled up against the video game industry. But,
Wait, diminished capacity? Frightened? Why aren't we hearing any of his father's statements? How is it that 60 minutes couldn't go back to 2003 and dig up any of these quotes about his troubled youth, his broken home and his criminal tendencies?
How does a trial go from being about psychological problems and media gag orders to brainwashing and interviews on 60 Minutes? In 2003, this was problem youth and a tragic event that the media wasn't supposed to be involved with. In 2005, it's a media circus about how innocent the kid really was, if only it wasn't for his game console. Why the shift in attention?
Because if you look at all the facts, there is no other way to see this but for what it is. A troubled black kid with emotional problems facing certain jail time in a predominately white area, frightened and unstable enough to decide take another's life for the hope of just getting away. Is this such an unbelievable scenario that we have to add in murder simulations and brainwashing? I don't see how anyone who has lived in the real world would need to go that extreme. This was violent, this was tragic and this was horrible. This wasn't science fiction. This was real. It might not make as good of television as Ed Bradley decrying how horrible violent media is, while repeatedly flashing the screen with images of pixel gore ... but it is true.