A 15-year-old boy in the U.K. has received a three year custodial sentence for slashing the throat of a rival online gamer when they met in person.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons (and who was 13 at the time of the attack), admitted that he attempted to kill another boy while they were at a friend’s house.
Fortunately, the victim did not die, but suffered a 15cm wound that has required extensive surgery.
The defendant’s lawyer argued that her client was desensitised due to overuse of violent video games and used violence as a way to solve problems. Also of note, the boy (at just 15) is already a father and “has particularly low intellectual ability”.
When passing the sentence, the judge concluded “I accept that exposure to violent video games increases the risk of violent behavior on the viewer’s part”.
Are the effects of violent video games to blame for this attack? Is the legal defence looking for a convenient scapegoat (i.e., violent video games)?
It seems rather likely that this boy had serious psychological and/or emotional issues above and beyond an obsession with gaming…
What do you think?