Gaming Implicated In Colorado Shootings

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Gaming Implicated In Colorado Shootings

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Last October Stefan Martin-Urban attacked a carful of strangers in the town of Grand Junction, Colorado. Now authorities in the area are suggesting that videogames may be to blame.

Martin-Urban shot and killed Terry Fine and Floyce Gallagher and wounded Fine's wife Linda as they prepared to leave for a weekend break to Las Vegas. Floyce's husband Michael, who miraculously escaped the attack uninjured, said that Martin-Urban's face was devoid of emotion as he opened fire on Gallagher's car. Martin-Urban pursued Gallagher as he raced the injured Linda to hospital, wounding a neighbor who came out to see if he could help. Martin-Urban later took his own life when he was spotted by police.

After the attack, investigators picked through Martin-Urban's bedroom, looking for some kind of motive. They quickly realized that Martin-Urban had no prior connection to his victims, and left no journals, notes or diaries. Martin-Urban had no criminal record or any history of psychotic behavior, and the only thing they could find that gave them any insight into his mental state was his computer.

Apparently Martin-Urban spent an inordinate amount of time 'playing games where the object is to kill and steal', even spending a family vacation holed up in a hotel playing games while his mother and sister went sightseeing. Speaking to the Denver Post, Sgt. Tony Clayton of the Grand Junction police theorized: "It could be that he was simply acting out a part in a video game. Maybe he had interjected himself into a game in his mind."

Sgt. Clayton said of Martin-Urban's behavior, "In the last year, he had no friends. No boyfriend. No girlfriend. No pets. He was consumed with the video games. He spent an enormous amount of time playing them."

The picture that is painted by Sgt. Clayton is that Martin-Urban was an isolated individual with emotional issues and an obsessive personality. His father committed suicide in 2007 and among favourites on his YouTube profile was a video from a cult that prophesied the arrival of alien beings. It's easy to see why such an individual would lose themselves in games, but to suggest that the games were the cause seems to be mistaking the symptom for the disease.

Source: via GamePolitics

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"Maybe he had interjected himself into a game in his mind"?

Come on, even he must know that's speculating of the highest order, and shouldn't even be trying to pass it off as a provable theory.

Ah, yes, the one talking about the emotionless killing machines that are WoW warlocks...

nilcypher:
It's easy to see why such an individual would lose themselves in games, but to suggest that the games were the cause seems to be mistaking the symptom for the disease.

I think you hit the nail right on the head.

I won't say that video games aren't entirely blameless in this situation. He could have very well been set off by Counter-Strike or something. But to suggest that video games are the sole or only cause of this is ludicrous at best.

Video games, just like any other media, have the potenial to be harmful and put negative effects in its audience. But the thing is that it's not the only reason nor is it the most prominent of other reasons.

Damn it. The media ALWAYS blames video games. How many news articles are on the Escapist that are very similar to this? It's always the video games. These make me want to go on a murderous rampage or something.

Say Anything:
Damn it. The media ALWAYS blames video games. How many news articles are on the Escapist that are very similar to this? It's always the video games. These make me want to go on a murderous rampage or something.

I've written three articles on the subject in as many weeks, I can tell you that much.

Stories like this always piss me off. I spend plenty of time playing and it has never given me the urge to hurt,maim,or kill anyone. This kid was probably just really messed up. Why do some adults feel the need to blame video games for problems that have existed long before video games even existed.

I'm honestly not surprised that video games are blamed but due his other problems I hardly think that video games are to blame, they may have given him some training. God knows the first time I brutally murdered someone I learnt if from a game, I blame the CIA mind rays for my murderous tendacies though.

This is about as surprising as the sun rising in the morning. I mean come on, if this Sgt. Clayton is right then the kid clearly had problems. These kinds of people should be sectioned before they can get anywhere near a firearm. Or a console for that matter.

The Meta news:

<Random shooting by loner with mental problems and access to guns>

Police: "We don't know what caused it"

Jack Thompson jumps out of the woodwork and into bed with Fox News Man (OH YEAH!): "GAMES DID IT! I TOLD YOU, I WARNED YOU, OH HOW I TRIED AND YOU MORALS FAILED ME! NOW THE STAR BORN ONES SHALL CONSUME US ALL!"

Police after 10 minutes work and feeling lazy: "Games made him into a cold killer!"

Wow. Games certainly seem to be getting more finger pointing than usual lately. I wonder if THAT has anything to do with this suddenly coming up in a case from last year. Honestly, I want to see a murderer found to have been playing Tetris or Peggle frequently. I'm dying to see what kind of leaps of logic they'd make to point the finger at games then.

My brother plays... WoW... OH GOD! HE'LL KILL US ALL!!!

It's just bullshit. First it's Marilyn Manson's music (Seriously, pop music is more likely to send me on a murderous rampage.) then it's games. What next, violent movies? Oh hey, I might be on to something here. Someone call Freud.

Odd thing...I'm wondering if it's been good old fashioned ageism at work this whole time? I mean, when we read stories like this, the first things that pop out at us is that the primary targets are games/music/roleplaying games etc., and yet at the same time the people who commit these acts described are all in their teen years.

It's almost as if it doesn't matter why a teenager would do such a thing, after all, there's always a something to be found, but underneath all that seems to be the idea that, because the person in question isn't an adult, that they therefore have reduced mental capacities and have to have been influenced by something, and at this point is where the accusations are forwarded against the popular scapegoat of the day.

And amongst other thing in the story, that bit about the guy's father committing suicide, oh, that's just completely incidental. No effect on him whatsoever, it's them durn games!

I think the kid was messed up. Not the game.

AlexTheBucket2112:
I think the kid was messed up. Not the game.

Of course he's messed up, but "suburbanites murdered by son of man that committed suicide and believed in aliens" doesn't sell as many papers as "violent video game player kills couple" or something along those lines.

Wow I live in Grand Junction and I haven't heard about this...
I really, really hate it when video games are blamed. However if you are in a broken household I could maybe see how this could happen.

Jarrid:

AlexTheBucket2112:
I think the kid was messed up. Not the game.

Of course he's messed up, but "suburbanites murdered by son of man that committed suicide and believed in aliens" doesn't sell as many papers as "violent video game player kills couple" or something along those lines.

lol yeah.

nilcypher:

Say Anything:
Damn it. The media ALWAYS blames video games. How many news articles are on the Escapist that are very similar to this? It's always the video games. These make me want to go on a murderous rampage or something.

I've written three articles on the subject in as many weeks, I can tell you that much.

And to that I say BULLSHIT! Where's the VG industries propoganda? They should be all over this saying Videogames aren't to blame, why won't any of the companies stand up for themselves? The Cigarette companies sure didn't bend over and take it, and they -actually were- killing people.

We get 1 story per year about Videogames as a teaching tool and 600 about them being Ikeman trainers. Oh yes, I just Godwyn'd it.

*YAWN*

Oh, wow, another of those "video game killings", how exciting! NOT!

I wonder when people will stop to care, finally. I did. Video games are the scapegoat of the decade, as violent moves, pot and metal music were in the day. It will pass, and personally I can't wait...

NeutralDrow:
Ah, yes, the one talking about the emotionless killing machines that are WoW warlocks...

its alright, a well placed Rogue would have help get him.

its been said before but i will say it again. video games do not cause violence. there has to be something severely fucked up in a persons head before they go out killin'

people fear what they don't understand.

"what do you mean you can't complete world war craft?"

Oh don't you just love the media today eh?

Its perfectly fine to bull**** about people you have no connection with (e.g. The Sun), but playing Super Mario is immediately going to influence you to get hooked on magic mushrooms....

People are just pointing fingers at gaming because its become something everyone accepts and is the easiest way to solve a crime.

Bartiism:
Oh don't you just love the media today eh?

Its perfectly fine to bull**** about people you have no connection with (e.g. The Sun)

Heheh, so true! The Sun is the British front for Fox News man (oh yeah!), brother of duffman, only he sells misinformation rather than cool, crisp duff beer.

I agree, watching 'Terminator 2' at the age of 8 caused me to make my arm turn into a knife at will and stab people.

Y'know, I live in Colorado. The killings were a tragedy at the time, and I was really sorry for the losses of the family. BUT, I know the police in this state. For the most part, they are lazy, so trying to find an excuse to wrap things up is understandable, seeing as it has worked in their favor before after all. So, because they are lazy, they look at one piece of evidence and proclaim it solved. If they had more brains then Badges, they would have seen that this person was an Introvert psychopath, and that Shooters are the biggest videogame market demographic in America, as well as most of the world as well. So, like the problems the Aussies and Germans are having, what stopping these games would mean removing one of the three legs of the videogame market (Fun, Innovation, Violence)that games are sold off of, and there are way more violent games then innovative ones, thats for sure.

How come there isn't any week where something DOESN'T get blamed on video games nowadays -.-

I am seeing a pattern in this, a crime happens, the media blames video games.
OH MY GOD THE MEDIA IS KILLING EVERYONE!
I'm so fucking tired of video games getting the blame for EVERYTHING nowadays.

The general public need something to blame and so they pick video games. If Jack Thompson was still a lawyer he would be all over this case perverting it even further than it has been perverted.

Video games are not the cause of this but of course flak will be given to the game industry like it always is.

Oh yes you had soemone that did not like people or society in general, had mental issues of high stress and self loath(that's me and 1/3rd of the nation so far) and whats picked out and paraded around as the cause media......

Humanity is the only creature that's stupid enough to blame imaginary things for tragedies ban them and then after a few years of hard repression under fascist rule figure out that if you ban/restrict everything that might be(Media,games,music,film,knifes,bats,cars,guns,power tools,2X4's,led pipes,rocks,bricks,manure,gas,fertilizer,sex toys,asthma inhalers,cold medicine, bwains, feel to to add to the list) you create a bland and hard society that can only implode under its own weight.

The only thing or person to blame is the person who went nuts, we as a society can have better programs to teach ourselves basic mental health stuff(which will help de stigmatize / mysticize), allow law enforcement to get a warrant and take people to be checked out mentally if they do not comply with dealing with their mental shit(it sucks but there is little alternative) which means we are going to ahve to reinstate mental wards and prisons or group homes to house these peopel who are unable to cope with life and that may break.

Banning things only leads to banning more things when ever certain(as in will happen) random tragedies happen, we either see the cause as uncertain human nature or blame objects,story's, music and conversation.

TsunamiWombat:

nilcypher:

Say Anything:
Damn it. The media ALWAYS blames video games. How many news articles are on the Escapist that are very similar to this? It's always the video games. These make me want to go on a murderous rampage or something.

I've written three articles on the subject in as many weeks, I can tell you that much.

why won't any of the companies stand up for themselves?

See, I think that these videogame companies think their way of reasoning is so stupid that they really don't feel the need to say anything about it. Publicizing their feelings to the threat and getting the word out would probably cost more money than maybe losing fifty potential gamers every time gaming is blamed for a shooting.

Yeah! Can't find the 'cause of a murder? Blame it all on video games!

Wanna get out of jail fast? Blame it on video games!

That's right Kids, the all new TV show tonight only on Fox teaching you how to murder and get away by blaming it on video games!

Hmm, I played Fallout 3 from start to finish two times now. I guess I go now and murder someone with a weapon I built in my garage from a pressure cooker, some metal pipes and a car battery. It shoots railroad nails.

Then I tell the police it was video games that killed the guy, not me. And they will believe it.

Oh look there is Jack Tompson.

nilcypher:

"It could be that he was simply acting out a part in a video game. Maybe he had interjected himself into a game in his mind."

Sgt. Clayton said of Martin-Urban's behavior, "In the last year, he had no friends. No boyfriend. No girlfriend. No pets. He was consumed with the video games. He spent an enormous amount of time playing them."

1. When in the history of the world has someone reinacted something violent from the mass media who wasn't already mentally unstable?
2. When you're living a miserable life, people withdraw into a vice, wether it be food, television, alcohol, or video games.
3. Where was his parents? I mean, if they had left him to play video games while they went sightseeing, then there's part of the problem. If they couldn't get him off the computer once, than his parents should have realised that he has problems. And as parents, its their responsibility to do something when their child has problems.

Oh, and The ESRB. Use it.

God, they don't give people enough credit.

This guy obviously had no real life, and no friends, a mental problem and no help. He took to games like a drug to ease his own pain.

The only person who knows why he did it is him, and hes dead now.

Do they dare to make an accusation like this against any other form of entertainment, sports encourages violence as much as video games, but nobody would dare to say that in all honesty.

This guy should have gotten real help, now all he needs is a coroner.

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