I'd like to point out that I in no way encourage or advise against the sort of abusive language used in the quotes I provided. While we might make this a discourse on semantics, I'd like to point out that in the spirit of insulting, anything can be used and turned into a word of moral outrage. In fact, most swear words were specifically chosen to do so. You don't like waffles? Wait till your kid finds you, it will insult you being a waffle. It is a bit like blood in video games, you have to be able to understand its context in order to inoculate you against it. If your kid wants to mess with you then it will continue probing words until it hits the one suiting its intent. You want to mess with your kid, be insulted when it calls you a waffle. During the sad story you are about to read one kid understood this concept too well for his own good.
Homeless Person Killed by 15 y.o., kid blames videogames.
So far so bad, blamegamers ready, set, go...
(1) Gabe from Penny Arcade (<-Warning Satire)
Originally Posted by Gabe from PennyArcadeThings the parents of these kids failed to teach them(in order of their severity):
1. Don’t drink until you’re 21.
Now this is a tough one. The 15 year old boys have admitted they were sharing beers with the homeless man. This is a difficult rule to enforce with many kids and that’s why I’ve listed first.
2. Don’t do drugs.
In addition to their beers these lads told investigators they had just finished rolling some phat doobie blunts, or whatever it is they do these days. This is an important one but also very difficult to enforce. I’d say it’s a notch above drinking but we’re still dealing with pretty common teenager issues.
3. Don’t murder people.
Ah here’s a big one. I wonder, did the parents simply avoid the “don’t murder people” talk the way other parents might avoid the “sex” talk? Maybe one day as the father was running off to work the mother called behind him,” Don’t forget, you promised to talk to Chris about not murdering people today!” The husband already half way out the door would holler back “Yeah yeah, I’ll do it when I get home tonight.”
4. Don’t take **** out of your butt and rub it on the hobo you just killed.
To me this seems like the easiest lesson of all. My son is only two and already he’s coming to understand that “poops” belong in the potty. How did this kid get to the age of fifteen years old without learning this? Here’s how easy this one is:
Hey son, come here real quick.
Don’t take **** out of your butt.
Sure thing Dad.
Done! How hard was that? What kind of crazy **** takes poop from his butt and rubs it on someone? I’ll tell you right now I’ve never seen that in Grand Theft Auto. These kids were twelve kinds of nuts and that’s a fact. Their parents either made them nuts or weren’t paying attention while they went nuts on their own. I don’t know which scenario is worse.
So far we are in the regular blaming circle between parents saying it's games, and gamers saying it's parents. Ever wondered what a parent of one of these kids sounds like? Buckle up, this is some real tough stuff.
Originally Posted by The Killer's StepmotherGabe,
Your news post about the kids and the homeless man yesterday made me sick to my stomach, before I even read the CNN article. I knew what it was going to be about before even reading the article. It was not the article itself, or even your post that made me sick, it was the fact that I know this boy. Or, rather that I could be considered one of the “parents” of this boy.
The boy’s father and I have been together for almost seven years, and I had what I guess could be called a “stepmother” relationship with the kid. To say that living with this kid was hell would be a complete understatement.
I don’t think I have ever actively hated anyone in my entire life, but this kid just makes my blood boil.
As I write this, my teeth are clenched, my hands are shaking, and my whole body is seething with the hatred I feel for this kid and what he has done. Seeing the article brings back all the horrible memories from when he lived with us.
He was constantly in trouble in school, with the cops, with us, with his mother, and with anyone else who was an authority figure. Not a week went by that the school or the cops wouldn’t call us for something. His attitude was basically “**** you, I don’t have to listen to you” said with a shrug.
We tried absolutely everything we could think of to get him to behave like a normal human being… we tried groundings, negative reinforcement / punishment, positive reinforcement, counseling, and anything and everything the counselors suggested. We tried to get him interested and involved in extracurricular activities, like hockey, drama, music, art, anything, but he got himself kicked out of every group he was in with his “make me” attitude. When we would ground him, we took away everything. No TV, no computer, no phone, no leaving the house, no snacks or junk food…. Everything. When he was grounded, he was only allowed to sit in his room and read or draw. He was actually a pretty good artist, and we tried to encourage him to spend his time working with his talent. He would just sit there and take it… the groundings had absolutely no affect on him at all. Most of the time, he didn’t even remember why he was being grounded. At the end of it, we would ask him if it was worth it to have everything taken away in exchange for what he did… he usually just shrugged. He could be grounded for weeks, or a month at a time, and then the very next day would do something to get back in trouble again. Most kids get grounded or punished a couple of times, and then they want to avoid having to go through it again… not this kid, nothing seemed to phase him.
And we’re not talking the usual teenager stuff, like coming home late, or refusing to do the dishes. We’re talking stealing cars, setting fires, drinking, getting picked up for drugs, beating up handicapped kids at school (yes, really) stealing things out of our house… all with this “I’ll do whatever the **** I want” attitude.
We had absolutely no idea what else we could do. We already had him in counseling, and we did everything the counselors suggested. We tried rewarding his good behavior (what little there was) to try to get him to see that when he behaves like a normal human being, things are good and people enjoy being around him. Nothing phased him at all.
Then, things took an even worse turn when he decided that whenever he didn’t get his way, or we did something he didn’t like, he told his counselors and teachers that we were abusing him. (Never happened.) And for some inexplicable reason, everybody believed him. I understand that child abuse is a very serious situation, and that they have to take every possible case seriously, but this was clearly a case of him manipulating people to get what he wanted. We had people from the school, cops, and social services over at our house or calling us on a weekly basis stating some new abuse that he had made up. At 14, the boy was already 6’3” and over 200 pounds. Of course, there was never a mark on him, because no such abuse ever took place.
One particular night (cops involved, as always) he decided that he didn’t have to listen to anything we said, and that he wasn’t coming home. He went to live with his mother, where things got worse by the day. He stole everything out of her home and sold it. He invited gang-bangers and drug dealers to her home, and she feared for her safety constantly. She called the cops numerous times because she feared for her safety, but again, the boy said that she abused him, and the cops always took his side. (For reference, the mother is about 5’3” and barely clocks in at 115.) He planted a loaded gun in her room, called the cops and told them that it belonged to the mother’s boyfriend. The boyfriend actually ended up serving time because of this ****ing bastard kid. She had two other young children in the house, and the gun and the abuse charges were an intentional plot to get the other two kids taken away from her. She tried restraining orders against the kid, but since he was a minor, they wouldn’t allow it. Every time he got picked up, she pleaded with the cops to take him to jail, maybe that would finally get though to him, but they just kept bringing him home to her. I don’t understand why everyone who was involved with this kid just blindly took this juvenile delinquent’s word over all else!
The night that he and his friends murdered that poor homeless man, the mother said that he was acting particularly cocky. Then he threatened to kill her. We had absolutely no idea of what he had done until they found the man’s body. He was immediately waived into adult court (at 15) and sentenced to 15 years. We were all absolutely sick with grief for this man.
We were also sick with guilt… “What could we have done differently?” was a constant question in all of our heads. After the kid was sentenced, all the cops, counselors, social workers, and people at the school that had been dealing with him contacted us and his mother and apologized for not taking us seriously. They are all trained to take all accusations of child abuse seriously, and as a part of that they blindly took the kid’s side for everything, and dismissed us as “the lying abusers”. Many of them told us that they wished they would have taken our pleas for help seriously. Everyone thought we were exaggerating about how ****ed up this kid was.
I completely agree with your statement of “These kids were twelve kinds of nuts and that’s a fact.” But the reason I am writing this to you is that, after reading your news post yesterday, I felt that I needed to defend the boy’s parents. His mother and father and I did absolutely everything we could think of to try to keep this kid in line. Even the kinds of things that normal teenagers get in trouble for would have been a blessing compared to what we’ve been through with him.
What I gave you today is a very small sampling of the kinds of things we were dealing with every single ****ing day with this kid. When people hear about what he’s done, I can always sense the “I’m sure there was something you could have done” comment coming up. What would you have done? How do you deal with a kid like this? Like I said, we did everything the counselors suggested, and nothing seemed to matter.
If you want to add another element to the “nature vs. nurture” idea, this boy has a brother. Both boys were raised in the same house, with the same values. The brother has developed into a kind, considerate, responsible, and independent young man. He is currently working his butt off right now to save up money to go to school for architecture. The only thing I regret is that we spent so much time and energy dealing with the bad kid that this boy missed out on having a normal family life with a normal sibling relationship.
I am sorry this got so long. I have been reading PA since the very beginning, and I feel that both of you are very much like me. I think we are the same age (29) and I have been a lifelong gamer like the two of you. I can’t stand hearing about the so-called correlation between games and real-life violence. Video games DID NOT make this kid who he was, and it’s unfortunate that the correlation is there.
The thing that really gets me with this whole thing is that the kid knows full well that by equating what he’s done to a video game, that he will generate controversy and media coverage. It makes me sick that the media is jumping all over this, because that is exactly the result that he wants.
The only good thing (if there is such a thing) that has come out of this whole ordeal is that the kid is behind bars. That is exactly where he needs to be.
Again, I’m sorry about the length of this. Thanks for allowing me to “tell my side” of the story.
Still with us JT? I believe the word fubar was invented to describe just that.