School Violence Case Blamed on Minecraft
I don't know if Jack Thompson is dancing in glee at another strike against the video game's fast-beating heart, or if he's sitting in a corner weeping at what kind of shenanigans his attempts at alienating the public from the violence in video games has led to.
Earlier this Wednesday, a nine-year-old boy in Orlando, Florida brought "an unloaded handgun, a magazine with six bullets inside, a steak knife and a small-handled sledge hammer" to his elementary school in Hunter's Creek, according to WFTV-TV in Orlando.
Officials at the Endeavor Elementary School on Balcombe Road said that the boy told three of his friends before school that he had the weapons, and they immediately reported the information to the school resource officer who found him, isolated him, and searched him.
According to the boy's father, he was playing a character he learned from the video game (wait for it), Minecraft.
The boy's father went on to explain:
"They use hammers to dig and knives and guns to protect themselves from zombies."
The boy was so tiny that his detention uniform engulfed him, and he could barely see the judge over the podium on Friday. Nevertheless, this did not stop the judge from ordering the child to home confinement, and ordering his parents to keep any and all weapons away from him.
The boy is charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds, possession of a concealed weapon, and possession of a firearm by a minor.
No injuries were reported in the incident and the father insists his son was just acting out the game. Furthermore, he believes the gun could never have been fired because while the gun was stored in a drawer, the firing pin had been removed.
You're kidding me, right?
This is Minecraft we're talking about, right? Minecraft? The game they've let grade one students play because it is so good for conceptive learning?
I'm calling bullshit on this one.
If he started punching trees at school? Maybe I could see the influence. Hissing at people and pretending to implode in the school cafeteria? Creepy, but not beyond the scope of an (evidently disturbed) child's imagination. Started building some really epic (and angular) sand castles? Yeah, I'd get it.
Since when does Minecraft have guns?
Bow and arrows, yeah. Swords, sure. Maybe even that pickaxe if you're in a tight spot. But no guns, not as far as I know. That'd be too easy. I don't need guns to kill zombies. I just need to force them to falling lemming-like from the sky or to punch them satisfyingly to death. Maybe even use a sword if I felt the need to be big and manly (my Minecraft skin is Aeris from Final Fantasy VII, a total he-man's man). As is understood by anyone who tries out this deceptively simple time-waster, creativity is the name of the game when it comes to Minecraft.
It's a shame the boy's father failed to see that. And that he obviously has not actually played or seen much of Minecraft at all.
It's a copycat accusation.
And a bad one too.
This is just one more drop in the bucket of the latest wave of real-life violence being blamed on video games which has sprung up recently following the burgeoning success of super-violent GTAV. And it's even more ridiculous than any of the GTA V stories. We gamers didn't need to have to deal this going on our rep, nor do we deserve it.
The boy's father is just looking for a scapegoat. Maybe the Xbox just looked like the easiest target. However, that doesn't change the fact that bad parenting is bad parenting. Don't try and excuse it as anything but.Originally Published Sep. 29th 2013