Videogame Deprivation Caused Columbine Massacre

Videogame Deprivation Caused Columbine Massacre

A new research published in American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry proposed that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a killing rage at Columbine High School in 1999 because they were abruptly denied access to their M-rated games.

According to the study written by Jerald Block, a researcher and psychiatrist in Portland, the two young men relied on the virtual world of computer games to express their rage and to spend time, and cutting them off in 1998 sent them into crisis. "Very soon thereafter - a couple of days - they started to plan the actual attack".

Block sifted through thousands of pages of documents released by Columbine investigators and found that Harris and Klebold had each been temporarily kept off computers at school or at home several times, and after each incident, according to Block, the boys' writings or behavior became more violent.

After the Colorado rampage, the Secret Service searched for common threads in more than three dozen school shootings, said Cheryl Olson, co-director of the Center for Mental Health and Media at the Massachusetts General Hospital. "The commonalities they found were male gender and either being treated for depression or showing signs of depression". Some of the shooters were good students, some bad; some were bullies, some were bullied; and some played video games, but most did not, she added.

"Two-thirds of middle- school boys play M-rated games regularly", said Cheryl Olson. "They're not turning kids into killing machines. The evidence just isn't there".