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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

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Posted on Wednesday, April 18 @ 19:40:40 Eastern by Duke_Ferris
I can't say I'm a fan of Rush Limbaugh, but unlike some media pundits, he seems to be making reality checks about the VT tragedy.

Palm Beach Police Dept. 4/28/2006
Booking #2006021379
His radio show Tuesday mirrored some of my own thoughts from Monday - lousy, self-serving people trying to spin the horrible shootings to further their own political agenda. When confronted by a caller theorizing that video games were to blame for the crime, Limbaugh had a more rational response that I would have expected.

CALLER: What I really think is an issue is video violence, video gaming. I will guarantee you, I'll bet my last dollar in my pocket, that this shooter will be found to have been a compulsive video gamer, and when people are living that kind of lifestyle -- and college students do this a lot.

RUSH: (sigh) Let's say you're right. Not every video gamer goes out and murders 33 people on the college campus though. There's more to this than that. We can find all kinds of societal problems and ills, but the fact of the matter is that whatever you would look at as a bad influence -- video games as you mentioned -- it may desensitize people, but it doesn't turn everybody into mass murderers.

I know it's natural that everybody wants to throw their theories into this, and perhaps come up with perhaps a unique explanation or to understand, and I think it's natural, because people have a tough time accepting a relatively simple explanation for something of this scale. But how many people are playing video games out there? How many millions of people play video games, and how many millions of people have guns?

If you start blaming the video games, you may as well demand video game control because it's the same thing when you start trying to blame guns for this. You have here a sick individual, an evil individual who committed a random act. But if you want to start blaming the video games, this guy was this or that, weeeeell, then you've gotta maybe talk about banning them because that's the same tack that's taken with guns. You got one guy who used a gun that's it. You're falling prey to the same way the Drive-Bys propagandize, and that's, "Well, we need gun control! We gotta get guns out of the hands of people.


Unfortunately, anti-video game activists will probably point smugly at the arrest of Andrew Rosenblum, awkward gaming nerd and founder of the GameLife video show (video to the right). Shortly after the VT shootings, he sent threatening messages to a girl he dated a couple times.

""i'm gonna (expletive) bring a gun to your school and kill you and (another female student) and everybody you love. It's gonna be VT all over again."

"killing people can change people's lives forever," and "the best is in the end when I pull the trigger on myself, too."

GameLife's awkward, geeky charm had even attracted the interest of Viacom and MTV who helped them produce later episodes. With his arrest by the Boston police, that relationship seems unlikely to continue.

Dammit, Andrew, that's just not right. Get some help, seriously dude.



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