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1,469 hits since 16 Feb 2010
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

momoiro kakaricho16 Feb 2010 7:59 p.m. PST

<Sigh>…

link

Pictors Studio16 Feb 2010 9:09 p.m. PST

The best quote is the one at the end where they say some people blame it for everything bad that has ever happened in civilized society other people "say it is just a game."

I wonder if more murders are committed by people who are football fans or play D&D?

"The suspect, who avidly watched football, was arrested last thursday for a doulbe homicide. Football is a game that its critics say has violent aspects which are coupled with sexual images in advertising and cheerleading and has been a common link between many people involved in homicides recently, other people say it is just a sport."

And yet you never read that.

The Black Tower16 Feb 2010 9:48 p.m. PST

I think this harks back to the 1980's religious right and priests claiming that D&D players were invoking demons and opening themselves to demonic possession

Maybe she also drove a car… think how many drivers kill folks every year… it must be a sinister plot!

boy wundyr x16 Feb 2010 10:16 p.m. PST

The moral of the story is before one goes homicidally crazy, figure out who/what you want to pin the blame on, then leave that out in easy view for the police to find. Margaret Laurence, Canadian novelist, is going to take the heat for me. I'm going to have 5 copies of "The Stone Angel" out on the coffee table, with words randomly underlined, then maybe they'll never make a high school kid read it again.

I'm beginning to feel a bit of pressure though, all our RPG stuff from when we were kids ended up with me, so if my three brothers go crazy, they're off the hook; me – I got to think about my hobbies before I lose it…

McWong7316 Feb 2010 11:18 p.m. PST

That's some of the laziest journalism I've ever read.
Whatever happened to quality journalism? Of all the possible motives they seize on this one?

They totally missed the LARPing angle too. Now that would of been good journalism!

McWong7316 Feb 2010 11:30 p.m. PST

Far out, check the writing in this piece in the same paper (another Bishop story)
link

The common writer is Laurel J. Sweet, but where was the editor in this? The piece starts well, but about mid way when I suspect Laurel takes over it turns to Bleeped text quick.

"During the mid-1990s, when the couple lived in Newton, they called the cops twice"

Plynkes17 Feb 2010 1:23 a.m. PST

"Suspect in slays fan of Dungeons."

Is that even a sentence? Never mind about lazy journalism, I'm not sure the writer can actually speak English.

clibinarium17 Feb 2010 3:15 a.m. PST

It might be if it had a comma after "slays", but to me it would suggest they misspelt sleighs, which makes more sense, but still not enough to be a coherent sentence.

Mind you it fits with the deeply stupid take on this tragedy.

BigLee17 Feb 2010 4:09 a.m. PST

For me the idea that owning a copy of D&D, or being a player is an obvious motive for murder is just ludicrous. The article is suggesting a cause and effect based entirely on pre conceived bias and supposition. Its like saying that 100% of Murders occur after the murderer was born. Its a completely accurate statement but utterly disingenuous.

BigLee
Blog link

Jakse37517 Feb 2010 4:12 a.m. PST

what really bothers me is that they found 2, only 2 books. If he was a fan of it he wasn't a really good one. I probably have at least 20 1st edition books and such lying around and thats just for AD&D not to mention any of the other games. Imagine what they would do if someone from the "outside" read "Paranoia", "Tale From the Floating Vagabond" or my fave, "Escape from Westerville Estate".

Chalfant17 Feb 2010 4:49 a.m. PST

"A federal appeals court recently upheld a prison ban on the game in Wisconsin, where prison officials reportedly testified they were afraid the game could promote "hostility, violence and escape behavior""

Luckily, the criminals still get to work out until they are strong enough to rip the heads off of normal people… I feel much safer knowing Tony "the Knuckles" is pumping iron rather than rolling d20s.

Chalfant

Sloppypainter17 Feb 2010 5:31 a.m. PST

The headline is total rubbish. It grabs your attention because you read it and say, "what-the-f@@@?" That's it. I'm going out and getting that Sherman tank I always wanted and am going on a spree. When the cops see my FOW stuff they'll know what it was that pushed me over the edge!! Bwahahahaha!!

John the OFM17 Feb 2010 6:39 a.m. PST

She's a liberal college professor. That explains everything. No need to bring in D&D.

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut17 Feb 2010 6:51 a.m. PST

The funny thing is, everything I know about the occult I know because of D&D. Funny how a few snippets in the 1st Ed. DMG led to all kinds of library research. The bad news for everyone else is that the end result of that research was me joining the Catholic Church…

Hexxenhammer17 Feb 2010 6:59 a.m. PST

One positive thing is that I read three pages of comments and every post is talking about how idiotic the story is. That's got to count for something.

And as others said, only TWO D&D books? Amateur.

richarDISNEY17 Feb 2010 8:05 a.m. PST

Well, when they went from 3.5 to 4.0, I was a little 'angry' too… Not that I went on a spree or anything, but… laugh
beer

jpattern217 Feb 2010 8:15 a.m. PST

"Slay" is not a noun in common usage. This is the second article I've seen about this tragedy that used "slay" that way. Idiots.

(I make fun of others)17 Feb 2010 8:38 a.m. PST

Ok, devil's advocate -- we are all reasonable people who would not be influenced by D&D to use violence to solve conflicts in our lives. But is the game possibly a catalyst for some people who might be more impressionable to think that violence is a way to address conflict?

That said, I think if these people did a study of D&D gaming and violent crime, they'd be a bit embarrassed. Violent crimes tend to be committed by poor people, and I think D&D is not generally played by people in the lowest income brackets.

ps: I love the headline "Oddball Portrait of Amy Bishop Emerges" -- makes me think that a painting of her making a crazy face comes up from a slot in the ground. grin

Hexxenhammer17 Feb 2010 8:41 a.m. PST

But is the game possibly a catalyst for some people who might be more impressionable to think that violence is a way to address conflict?

Sure, in the same way that movies, video games, TV, sports, and the nightly news do.

(I make fun of others)17 Feb 2010 8:52 a.m. PST

Not exactly the same for most of those, except video games. TV's entire purpose is not to use force to solve problems. Same goes for sports and the news.

And as you know I'm sure, there are people who make the same claim about video games.

There are some people who play D&D creatively where it is not just one killfest, but they are the exception, I've observed.

I'm not saying it's automatically true, but is it automatically not true?

momoiro kakaricho17 Feb 2010 8:54 a.m. PST

I agree with Hexxenhammer. Besides, if D&D was what influenced her, why a gun, and not a sword?

Hexxenhammer17 Feb 2010 9:05 a.m. PST

I'm not saying it's automatically true, but is it automatically not true?

Yes, it is automatically not true. If a person is violent, a person is violent. This may attract them to violent things like action/horror movies, video games and rpg's. But the movies, heavy-metal music, video games and rpgs didn't cause the violence, they're there because that's what the violent person already was attracted to.

Serial killers often study true-crime books about serial killers. Did the book turn the person into a serial killer? Of course not.

Hexxenhammer17 Feb 2010 9:10 a.m. PST

Put another way, bad guys have hobbies too.

This is illustrated very well in the Clint Eastwood movie, "In the Line of Fire." John Malkovitch's character used his model car making skills to make a plastic pistol. Clint even calls the model makers "a weird sub-culture" That doesn't make model car making evil.

(I make fun of others)17 Feb 2010 9:49 a.m. PST

Yes, it is automatically not true. If a person is violent, a person is violent. This may attract them to violent things like action/horror movies, video games and rpg's. But the movies, heavy-metal music, video games and rpgs didn't cause the violence, they're there because that's what the violent person already was attracted to.

People have tendencies that are triggered by certain activities; it could very well be that the activity may indeed be responsible for the harmful acts, if only as the trigger. I'd like to know the basis for your conclusion that people with violent tendencies will inevitably be violent, and that there's no such thing as a trigger to bad behavior.

In fact I think that's demonstrably untrue, for example by studying mob psychology. Mobs have a mind all their own, and the people in them only behave the way they do because they are in mobs. If mobbing is a trigger, why can't RPGs be one, or watching lots of violent vids?

Much about human behavior is still pretty poorly known, there's really no basis to claim that something about it is automatically true or untrue.

Serial killers often study true-crime books about serial killers. Did the book turn the person into a serial killer? Of course not.

Then again, she didn't play a rolyplaying game in which teachers shoot their co workers.

But in any event, how do we know that? Nothing "of course not" about it. Reading about serial killers may well have been what set these people off.

Does it? I certainly don't know. But I think we can't just write off the possibility either.

Personal logo UltraOrk Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2010 10:21 a.m. PST

It's all a load of hooey! Just wait until trial. I am willing to bet real money that the reason she did it was because she was insane. At least that is what the defense will try to prove.

The Black Tower17 Feb 2010 10:50 a.m. PST

She seems to be under considerable mental pressure due to her tenure being ended, that seems to have been the trigger.

I know nothing on how US collages evaluate their staff but if she was as bad as a lecturer as the students claim say I am surprised she was not terminated earlier

As for her neighbours, I think they would have driven me mad as well – typical 'burbs!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2010 11:32 a.m. PST

She's a nut. Pure and simple.

D&D isn't the "cause."

Being an extreme left-winger isn't the "cause."

Not mixing well with "normal" people isn't the "cause."

Now, one might be able to do considerable research into her childhood experiences and discover some aspect of home life or upbringing that produced her apparent disconnect from social and moral norms— e.g., that it is not a good thing to make pipe bombs or shoot your brother or kill your coworkers— and then we might actually have a picture of actual long term influences upon her thinking and behavior. But whether any of this is a "cause" is hard to say. In the end, even if she possessed no concept of "right" and "wrong," she at least knew that society and government condemned such behavior and would act to punish it. She may have deluded herself into thinking that she was "too smart" for anyone else to catch or comprehend, but she still knew her actions were proscribed (at the very least). In the end, regardless of anything else, she's a nut who chose to do evil. She was her own cause. End of story.

Personal logo mmitchell Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Feb 2010 12:31 p.m. PST

Reporters almost NEVER write the headlines. They are written by editors.

As for the story, it was also rubbish. It hardly made sense. Honestly, it was one of the worst stories I've read in a long time (and, by the way, I used to work professionally in newspapers, as a reporter and editor -- so I have written numerous headlines).

Now, if you excuse me, I've got to rush out and get some Holy Water to reinforce the wards around my First Edition D&D books. Can't risk those evil powers breaking out and getting me to kill again!

The Black Tower17 Feb 2010 1:05 p.m. PST

"A federal appeals court recently upheld a prison ban on the game in Wisconsin, where prison officials reportedly testified they were afraid the game could promote "hostility, violence and escape behavior""

I guess that rules out Monopoly too, it has a "get out of jail" card!

Lion in the Stars17 Feb 2010 1:26 p.m. PST

No, I game with a criminal psychologist who works at the prison.

The problem is that the average roleplaying game encourages problem-solving through violence, which is not something you want to encourage among people who already have violent tendencies. Most RPGs are not conducive to teaching more socially acceptable problem-solving solutions, which is what the prison-keepers want!

Hexxenhammer17 Feb 2010 1:27 p.m. PST

Here's some real D&D related violence. Guy doesn't like what his DM did to his character and that his fellow player was macking on some chick, so he beat them with a hammer.

link

Testimony Monday suggested a motive for the attacks may have grown from the trio playing the fantasy role-playing game "Dungeons and Dragons" and jealousy over a girl who King and Bryson knew.

Bryson, 23, suffered a concussion and bruises in the attack; Shokrian, 20, lost some vision and his ability to read and write, which he is trying to recover through therapy.

Bryson and King knew each other at school and had spent time the previous day playing "Dungeons and Dragons" with Shokrian, who was acting cocky during the game, according to Detective Nathan Williams. Shokrian was directing the game as Dungeon Master, and King didn't like what he was doing with King's character, Williams said.

And what Penny Arcade has to say on this matter (no bad words for the meek):
link

The Black Tower17 Feb 2010 2:20 p.m. PST

It seems murder is a lot more common with online games and perhaps more chilling because it means the players killings were planed and the killer had time to cool down if they had wanted too.

Here are just 3 examples

link

link

link

momoiro kakaricho17 Feb 2010 2:46 p.m. PST

Testimony Monday suggested a motive for the attacks may have grown from the trio playing the fantasy role-playing game "Dungeons and Dragons" and jealousy over a girl who King and Bryson knew.

Why link D&D and jealosy together as a motive? Why not add the Mountain Dew they were drinking during the gaming session, or the pizza they were eating…

Zephyr117 Feb 2010 3:18 p.m. PST

She also repeatedly punched another woman in the head over the last baby high chair in a restaurant. Guess having kids will also be a defense in her insanity plea….

Warbeads17 Feb 2010 3:27 p.m. PST

"The problem is that the average roleplaying game encourages problem-solving through violence, which is not something you want to encourage among people who already have violent tendencies. Most RPGs are not conducive to teaching more socially acceptable problem-solving solutions, which is what the prison-keepers want!"

Do you honestly think they don't know how to use violence to get their way already? puhleeeeze!

Gracias,

Glenn

The Black Tower17 Feb 2010 3:46 p.m. PST

Role playing is often used to try to get folks to change their behaviour – perhaps they need a guidance during their game,
"No Hulk, don't try to kill the nasty Ork, reason with it! "
Maybe the warden could act as dungeon master!!!

Warbeads17 Feb 2010 4:22 p.m. PST

TBT,

With all due respect that you deserve, those single source examples seem to be dealing with unstable people playing virtual reality games on-line, not a pen and paper game involving (relatively) mature adults (I read a study summary that implies that the human brain does not mature at the same time for different functions, with the part dealing with spontaneous reactions maturing last.)

"…some of the most obsessive fans in the world, especially in Korea and Russia,…"

"…The China Daily newspaper reported that a Shanghai court was told Qiu Chengwei, 41…" well, can't blame youth for bad judgment, I admit.


Gracias,

Glenn

Warbeads17 Feb 2010 4:26 p.m. PST

LOL, "…jealousy over a girl who King and Bryson knew…" and "…Bleak said that King had an issue with Bryson for dating a girl after both said they would not date her." That's a lot older than D&D. Shall we outlaw sexual desire?

Gracias,

Glenn

Hexxenhammer17 Feb 2010 4:30 p.m. PST

Why link D&D and jealosy together as a motive? Why not add the Mountain Dew they were drinking during the gaming session, or the pizza they were eating…

This article actually isn't that bad. The guy thought the DM was acting like a jerk so he tried to kill him with a hammer. The article doesn't use it as an excuse or say that D&D was the reason he attacked, just a motive, which it was. Just like a fight over a game of pool at a bar could be a motive.

Jojojimmyjohn17 Feb 2010 9:33 p.m. PST

And now for something completely different:

humpin.org/mst3kdd

(I make fun of others)18 Feb 2010 9:22 a.m. PST

Do you honestly think they don't know how to use violence to get their way already? puhleeeeze!

So you don't think that there is such a thing as outside influences on human behavior?

I knew someone who lived in an SRO in the late 70s and early 80s. He had mental illness but as long as he stayed on his medication and had a place to live, he hung on. I worked with him; that's how I knew him.

When Reagan was elected the manner in which SROs was funded was changed and many of the SRO buildings were shut down or converted into tenement housing. Many of the people who were in the SROs couldn't afford the significant price hike, or just got evicted. The guy I worked with was one of them. He was evicted and went to live in a homeless shelter. It wasn't too much longer after that that he stopped coming to work. It was clear as soon as he lost his little place and went to the shelter that he was losing his grip; his work, which had always been pretty good, started to suffer and his behavior became more erratic.

I eventually left that job, but heard from someone I'd worked with about five or six years later, and she said she'd seen him on the streets and he was full-blown mental, I mean a ranting psycho. I remember him as being very different, as long as the environment wasn't so unfavorable for people on the margins. I've never seen crazy people in the street quite the same way since she told me that.

I don't think that people with tendencies automatically pursue them, I think that outside factors do push buttons. And I would suggest that Lion in the Stars' criminal psychologist friend probably knows more about this than your typical wargamer dude does.

Hexxenhammer18 Feb 2010 9:42 a.m. PST

You keep talking about people with pre-existing conditions. What everyone is saying is that media don't CAUSE these conditions. Some people are screwed up. If one thing doesn't set them off, something else might have.

hwarang18 Feb 2010 11:21 p.m. PST

95% of all murderers have eaten bread in a 24 h span before comitting murder…

more seriously, while overall violence might or might not have increased (most likely its forms are different now, so hard to compare) there would be a link between social disruption (people basically having few social contacts, the network being much looser, no one there to set you right from time to time, or just talk to you. less social control overall) and some of the new forms of violence.

chaingunr26 Feb 2010 7:53 a.m. PST

@Hex:

"One positive thing is that I read three pages of comments and every post is talking about how idiotic the story is. That's got to count for something. "

Yeah, I read the first two pages of commentary (before I read your comment) and noticed the same thing.

I think we've reached a point where only the most naive, gullible and misinformed actually put any creedence in this sort of hogwash.

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