Throat-Slashing Blamed On A Gears Of War Relationship Gone Bad

A 14-year-old admitted to slashing a 13-year-old's throat in an assault Scottish authorities blamed on a soured online friendship developed over Gears of War. Of course the game itself is blamed but when the 14-year-old already is a father, you're not talking about someone with good decision-making and impulse control.

The Daily Mail is all over this one, so, caveat reader, but prosecutors and police officials, in statements, pin this one on Gears of War 3. "The reporting officer was of the opinion that the violent video games played online by the accused may have been a factor in his conduct," the prosecutor told the court.

"These games are rated 18 and shouldn't be played by children of this young age — but online gaming may be outside their parents' knowledge," the chairman of the Scottish Police Federation said. "We need to look again at what we can do to stop this."

At the trial, prosecutors said the two met online around Christmas 2011 and played Gears of War 3 together. Later they met in person. But then the friendship devolved to "name-calling via the messaging system used in the game."

In a chance meeting in April 2012, the older boy slashed the younger's throat so deeply it exposed his windpipe. "Then," says the Mail, "in a scene reminiscent of violent video games, the accused sneered at his victim: 'Don't die', before calmly walking off." It's a scene reminiscent of a 1980s action movie, too, but I don't see anyone blaming Commando.

The accused, now 16, faces being locked up, though for how long is not said.

Xbox player, 13, slashed friend's throat with knife after they met online playing ultra-violent game Gears of War 3 [Daily Mail]


Comments

    “These games are rated 18 and shouldn’t be played by children of this young age — but online gaming may be outside their parents’ knowledge,”

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse. This is the FIRST thing people learn in legal studies. This is the first thing you also learn when you're taken to court. It is a parents legal responsibility to know what their child is playing in the home at that age. As a parent I'm damn well aware of what my child is playing on and offline in my household. Sorry but I don't buy into this. Its nothing but slackness on the parents part that they had no awareness of what he was playing.

    That being said I have not one part of me that believes that playing GoW3 led to him slicing his 'friend's throat. For a child to progress to such sociopathic impulses such as actual acts of physical violence against another, there's something far more insidious going on inside his mind than just the impact of a video game.

    Last edited 05/05/13 12:04 pm

      Agreed. Many gamers have been shooting, stabbing, and strategically targeting orbital destruction upon virtual enemies for most of their lives and yet continue to be completely normal individuals. Some goes for anything violent. Gun owners, action movie fans, martial artist. All these people usually have the knowledge on how to cause harm upon others yet get through their whole lives without doing so. Yet the few that do make us all seem like unstable crazies.

        I just slaughtered over 1000 chinese people in Dynasty Warriors 7 with a pair of nunchuks. Do you people see me going to China Town and fighting people? Well I'd hope not. But I wouldn't be. I definitely agree with your end point Jaygee. The minority of us are so much more easy to notice than the normal gamers that it's easy to just assume we're all nuts.

          While reprehensible and horrific, if you were to hit Chinatown and somehow make it to 1000 kills with a pair of nunchuks, I would be disgusted, mortified, frightened, and VERY impressed.

          It'd certainly be an interesting experiment...

            I need someone to come with me and keep count.

    Owen, Good, write good article, very well structured, will do again, for profit, to feed family, because Owen already is a father. Owen sleep now.

    13 yearold father attacks another child but a game is to blame? Is the game to blame for him being a father at 13 as well? For that matter, why was he wallking arround with a knife? Does he always walk arround with a knife? And if not, this was therefore premeditated. If he does always walk arround with a knife, why are his parents allowing him to do so?

    I cannot, for the life of me, recall where a throat is cut throughout the Gears of War universe. Lest we forget the use of a box cutter in season 4 of Breaking Bad. Not to mention every other time a throat has been cut or even been spoken about being cut in any form of entertainment or media. But since the easy finger has been pointed I doubt authorities will go out of their way to assume it has anything to do with the child's upbringing or his history with torturing small animals.

      Watched that episode of BB last night, probably most tense moment in the show, if not, any show. Now I'm feeling that tenancy to re-enact what I saw on the moving picture screen, and go do the same to my meth lab assistant.

    So, has anyone pointed out that there's nothing like this that actually takes place in any of the Gears of Wars games?
    Hell, Marcus doesn't even come close to doing this to Griffin, and he's the guy who deserved it most, probably. Not really. Maybe from Marcus' point of view. Griffin wasn't that bad.

      Pffft, I distinctly remember that scene where Griffin was all like "WE'LL SETTLE THIS ANOTHER TIME, FENIX." and Marcus was like "NO, WE SETTLE THIS NOW, BITCH" before leaping on top of Griffin with a knife and savaging his jugular.

      We must both play very different games :-P

      Last edited 05/05/13 1:22 pm

    I had a discussion about this with my wife, she's quite anti gaming and I'm pro so you could imagine how heated things got. We came to an agreement however that there needs to be something done not so much around the age of people playing the games but the mental health of the individual. I think in these cases the person doing the killing clearly isn't right in the head. In this scenario though, neither kids should be playing the game, period, and the parents are to blame for this.

    Sandy Hook shooting however, was committed by a 20 year old who played violent video games. Once again, he had a mental health issue. This guy was of legal age to play said video games though, so how do we police this? Even if he was already a troubled and twisted person, surely the games he played didn't help matters. It's not a stretch at all to suggest that violent games would impact a person with mental problems, people who could struggle drawing the line between reality and make believe.

    In the end I don't really have an answer, and I certainly don't think everyone should miss out just because of a very small minority of people are affected by games. The troubling thought though is while I don't believe my son would hurt anyone, or be affected in such ways by a violent video game, but what if he ended up being one of the victims you hear about, all because someone else thought it was fine to let their troubled kid play a video game.

    Last edited 05/05/13 1:17 pm

      How does that relationship work :-P
      Like, are you a gamer or do you just support the hobby, lol?

        Being a father, husband and gamer all at once isn't really possible, not without someone/thing missing out. Father and husband foremost and I set aside a few nights a week to game. I still read about gaming through the day though, so the hobby lives on.

          That's fair enough :-P
          Just when you described her as quite anti-gaming, I thought "... She married a gamer..." :-P

          How can being a father, husband and gamer not be possible if you are doing all three?

          More on the subject though, whilst there's not much we can do to prevent an adult from buying a videogame of his/her choice, it certainly doesn't hurt improving the system when it comes to children. That's one reason I didn't understand the lobbying against an R-rating here in Australia "for the sake of children" - the black label has always been a deterrent for parents buying their kids stuff. And it's usually treated much more seriously in retail, as is the same with goods like alcohol.

          We saturated the MA classification with content that had largely varying degrees of impact; on one end you have the Grand Theft Auto games, whilst on the other you have more mild content (that is, mild in comparison) which may actually fit the rating. This makes it hard for parents (especially those that aren't so gaming-inclined) to have a fixed idea on what to expect.

          With an adult rating now, there's definitely no confusing content unsuitable for children (and that IS a step forward), but it's still the responsibility of the parent to monitor what their children play. And how a child is raised has a great effect on how maturely they distinguish the difference between the content they're exposed to and reality, as well as who they become as a whole.

          At the end of the day I don't have an answer either :-P I understand exactly what you mean when you say it's not your son you worry about, it's the potential for him to come to harm by others who may have been careless in raising their own... Which I guess is why I say that it's a tough issue, and that things such as the new adult rating (and the restrictions that it imposes) are at least a step in the right direction.

          Last edited 05/05/13 2:35 pm

            I agree totally with you Fruitlewp, the game that these children was/is way out of the age bracket and instead of the media and law always falling back on content that may have encouraged them do such a violent act that they should be looking at the irresponsible parents that let their children play a game like GoW3. But not only that but how neglectful/irresponsible must the parents of both children be to let there children at that age just walk around town unsupervised.

            Its coming to the stage where I believe that video game stores need to be regulated same as the sale of alcohol and tobacco. ID should be required if someone wants to purchase a game with an adult rating.

    Stop blaming the game, and start blaming stupid parenting.
    Games are rated 18+ for a reason. Maybe it's time to start enforcing this more.

    The game is at fault to some degree. By having a child, especially one who makes bad decisions, gain access to a game of this nature, it is creating a "perfect storm" so to speak. It's hard to notice these tenancies unless you can find something that triggers it. This game was that trigger. Plus you take into account that the child built a relationship based on insults with another person, then at that point things should have been noticed and changed. That part lies with that parents, but then again, the parents aren't doing a good job if the child is a father himself at 14 years old.

    Yes, in the end the blame is on the parents for buying the game, not teaching their child to be having sex at 13-14 years old, and not noticing the bad psychological patterns when he was playing the game. However, games are more often than not an outlet or trigger for such issues. It's just needing to know the difference between "using games as a means to release stress & frustration" and "psychopathic urges".

    It's always easier to blame video games then the parents.
    This current trend reminds me of Columbine where they threw the blame at heavy metal bands.

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