Beltway sniper trained on video game

Makers of game "Halo" should be sued by victims

News release
Contact Jack Thompson
December 14, 2002

On October 11, two weeks before the Beltway Snipers were arrested, Miami attorney Jack Thompson was interviewed by Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today. Thompson stated that the "Beltway Sniper" investigative team should look at the plausible scenario that the shooter was "a video gamer trained on sniper video games and as young as 15 years of age." Thompson talked with Mr. Lauer about how murder simulation games can be switched to train in "sniper mode." Chief Moose ignored twenty telephoned and written pleas by Thompson offering information and help in this regard.
 
Thompson was the first person in the world to posit publicly this video game scenario. He based his prediction on what he has learned as co-counsel in the Paducah school shootings case in which Michael Carneal, like many school shooters, trained on murder simulation shooter games to enable him to murder three girls and wound five others. The games both broke down his inhibition to kill and gave him incredible shooting skills.
 
The video game industry designs these games by hooking up teenaged "testers" to polygraph machines to see what killing scenarios most increase their heart rate, respiration, and conductivity of sweat on their finger tips.
 
Last evening, Friday, December 14, Stone Phillips reported on Dateline NBC that the Beltway Sniper investigation found that John Lee Malvo, aged 17, prepared for his sniping spree by training on an XBOX shooter game, Halo, switched to "sniper mode." Phillips reported that John Muhammad had Malvo train on this game to break down his inhibition to kill because it swtiched Malvo from two-dimensional rifle range targets to virtual human targets. Killing humans would then be easier.
 
NBC is to be commended for its journalistic ethics and courage in reporting what to some is startling news, as Halo and XBOX are owned by Microsoft, with whom NBC owns and operates its cable sister, MSNBC.
 
The United States Supreme Court has before it, on a petition for writ of certiorari, the Paducah school shootings case that seeks to hold liable, among others, the manufacturers of adult-rated first-person shooter video games that trained Carneal, just like certain other school shooters, to murder by breaking down his inhibition to kill. World-renowned forensic pediatric psychiatrist, Diane Schetky, trained at Yale, found in Carneal’s criminal case that this was true.
 
The video game industry knows it trains civilians to murder, as it provides the United States military slightly modified versions of its shooter games to break down soliders’ inhibitions to kill.
 
Indeed, Thompson appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings after Muhammad and Malvo were apprehended to point out that the United States Army now has its very own sniper video game called "America’s Army," downloaded free from the Army’s web site, that trains civilian teenagers to be snipers as a recruitment tool. "While the Army was trying to catch Malvo and Muhammad it was training new snipers to take their place," Thompson told the national television audience.
 
Microsoft should be sued and held liable for money damages by the victims of the Beltway Snipers. Certain children near Washington don’t have parents today, and certain parents in Paducah don’t have children today, because the video game industry, even after Columbine, whose killers trained on Doom, has targeted American kids with violent games that train them to kill. These games are nothing more than adult-rated murder simulators that make killings foreseeable and likely.
 
The law and the facts support huge verdicts against Microsoft for the role it played in the Beltway Sniper murders.
 
It is time for this greedy industry to pay for its mayhem.
 
Contact Jack Thompson for additional information and interviews at 305-666-4366 or at jackthompson@attbi.com. His web site is www.stopkill.com.

If you want the Devil’s advocate for the other side of this debate, contact Doug Lowenstein, paid lobbyist for the video game industry, at the Interactive Digital Software Association in Washington, D.C. at idsa@idsa.com .