Gaming addict kills mother then plays Counter-Strike

   17/01/2010 at 17:05       NewYork       13 COMMENTS.
 - counter-strike, gamedirt, stabbing
None For MultiformatA 15-year-old Romanian boy has killed his adoptive mother after she refused to pay the Internet bills. Ionut Silviu Savin, who is known to be dependant on video games, stabbed his adoptive parent 17 times before leaving to play Counter-Strike at a local internet cafe.

She had considered that the only solution for Ionut to no longer spend much time in front of the computer was to no longer pay Internet fees. This decision would result in her death.

The tragedy happened on Wednesday. Only three hours after stabbing the woman, Ionut was seen at his favourite internet cafe, where he played the violent shooter Counter-Strike for four hours. The cops later discovered Ionut had taken all the money he had found at his house.

The woman's dead body was discovered by her husband, as he returned home from work. Immediately he called the police. However, Ionut turned himself in to the police of his own accord, calmly saying "I think I'm the one you're looking for."

The boy was addicted to gaming and the internet. Ultimately his addiction led to him staying at home and not going out with friends. He clocked up over 200 absences from school.

The supervisor of the internet cafe noted that Ionut would come in all the time and play Counter-Strike quietly alone, with a hood over his head. She noted that he wouldn't swear like most players when he was losing, and never got angry. He would rarely speak.

His teacher called him "quiet" and "introverted".

However, his actions surrounding this tragedy have shocked everybody close to him.

Ionut discarded the murder weapon in a garbage container. Police later found the weapon at a nearby landfill.

Ionut is currently hospitalised under guard in a psychiatric clinic. Psychiatric examinations will reveal if Ionut was fully competent at the time of the crime. If he is found guilty of murder he faces 12 years in prison. Experts have commented that the nature of the crime (17 stabs) is indicative of mental health problems.

If you are concerned about your kids and the amount of time they spend playing games, we recommend you head on over to Microsoft's helpful family page

Source: (non-English)
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NewYork - on 18/01/2010 at 08:59 wrote:
Interestingly you never get this "gaming had nothing to do with it" reaction in relation to a positive story where gaming encouraged weight loss, or helped somebody learn to fly, or improved somebody's health.

Heads in the sand, gamers.

HairyArse - on 18/01/2010 at 09:14 wrote:
/applauds NY

peej - on 18/01/2010 at 09:29 wrote:
That is true, though in the case of the nerd that applied videogame-like goals and objectives to his dieting, gaming really didn't have anything to do with it. Will power did.

TBH it would be stupid to claim that Counterstrike wasn't an influence on this guy, but on the flip side - anyone still playing that shit has to be a little deranged in the first place, so it's just the catalyst for flipping the switch in the guy's head.

It's becoming less of an argument that videogames don't have a negative influence, but again you have to balance that out by cherry-picking news stores to find all those with the taint of violent gaming-as-influence about 'em. Like you said, NY, you'll barely ever seen positive videogame-related stories making the news compared to stuff like this

NewYork - on 18/01/2010 at 09:36 wrote:
Nah, my point was that you do see positive stories making the news, but you never see gamers protesting it. And why would they? It portrays gaming in a positive light.

Did that UK teen really learn to fly a plane with the help of gaming? Doesn't really matter - gamers were happy to read that news, either way. Why didn't anybody respond to that story with "well, clearly this kid is just a naturally talented flier; I don't see what gaming has to do with this"?

Just for the record, of course I think this kid is mentally deranged and gaming just happens to be part of the story. Gaming often is part of these "lonely teen kills people" stories because guess what lonely teens do with all their spare time. The thing I have a problem with is the double standard among gaming enthusiasts: they won't have a bad word said about gaming, and will do their best to dismiss any link between gaming and negative effects, but they'll happily lap up any mention of gaming and positive effects, even though the link is just as valid in either case.

peej - on 18/01/2010 at 10:08 wrote:
I think it's human nature to stand up for and defend something you're interested in though. Hell, if anyone can get into physical fights or stand-up arguments over their choice of consumer brand loyalty, then it's not really much of a stretch to see why most gamers will staunchly defend their hobby even in the face of compelling evidence that it's a negative influence.

On the flip side, the press know it generates controversy and presses the right button on the section of society that reaches for the torches and pitchforks every time something's seen as an insidious external influence, particularly on the young.

Can't really see what the solution is though.

NewYork - on 18/01/2010 at 17:15 wrote:
"If he wasn't addicted to gaming, he'd be addicted to something else"

Speculative thinking which completely sidesteps the fact that people become addicted to games by virtue of the addictiveness of games. What exactly would the lonely, introverted teen have been addicted to instead?

Maybe he'd have turned to television or books or DVDs, but it would be silly to claim that any of these are as addictive.

Maybe gambling or drugs. These activities tend to be controlled legally. Even if the youngster was able to gamble, that is an activity that requires you to step out of normal life to take part. You don't accidentally become a gambler.

Gaming, for all its addictiveness, is different in that it is readily available, in the home, and from a young age. Parents certainly wouldn't allow their young teens to gamble, yet they happily allow them to play WoW.

Of course he turned to gaming and the internet. To claim that he'd be addicted to something else if these weren't around requires a stretch of the imagination.

peej - on 18/01/2010 at 17:24 wrote:
Depends though, there is a well documented psychological "switch" that people convicted of crimes like this somehow lack. Various case studies into addiction and also will power and contributing factors to "an addictive personality" show that in cases of rehabilitation for one addiction, often an addict will seek out an alternative.

In this case though it is indeed a bit of a stretch to imagine an alternative universe where games like Counter Strike did not exist, and another massively popular pasttime, media influence or other contributing factor led to a mental breakdown and eventual homicide.

The problem is, the solution is seen as a blanket ban of violent games or in some extreme cases a blanket ban of gaming in its entirety. There doesn't seem to be much offered as a halfway house for people who genuinely claim an addiction to gaming and want a cure, unless you're talking about expensive therapy / rehabilitation.

What bothers me about the way these stories are reported is that the background is comfortably not filled in, in order to heighten the sensationalist nature of the stories. They could've been arguing for ages, there could've been heightened emotional and angry exchanges on both sides before the guy snapped. But that wouldn't make for a neat game-orientated killing story, that would merely serve to offer padding around the story's central and rather shocking outcome.


HairyArse - on 18/01/2010 at 18:55 wrote:
Call of Duty Rage would probably make me want to stab someone 3 maybe 4 times. 17 though, that's just clinically insane.

NewYork - on 18/01/2010 at 19:12 wrote:
Yeah, I think one of the reasons gamers are so quick to defend gaming is that they know this is fodder for those who wish to restrict games. But I don't think being delusional is going to help matters.

A lot of people are saying "why blame the game" when it could have been one of many factors, or that they should examine what caused the kid to get addicted to videogames, because that's the real problem.

But this too is a misguided assumption that every negative article about gaming is out to blame games as the root cause. Why can't we look at gaming as a symptom? Why can't we admit it is a common symptom seen in these cases? Of course it is rarely the root cause, but if I know someone who is addicted to gaming I won't just leave them be because gaming addiction alone isn't the root cause of bad things (and I disagree with that).

People should be able to admit that whatever was going on in this kid's life, socially or mentally, his gaming addiction was a major symptom, a big part of it, and a glowing red sign that something is wrong. Gamers seem to want to sweep that under the carpet and act like the gaming part is circumstantial.

peej - on 19/03/2012 at 16:21 wrote:
You keep on spamming, we keep on deleting :)

peej - on 04/05/2012 at 16:44 wrote:
Dear Spammers. You may have noticed by now that we will change / alter / mercilessly take the piss out of any stupid links to payday loans or viagra you post on this article. Go home, reassess your life, make sweet love to your wife (or your hand), eat some junk food, go kick a ball about in the back garden, climb a tree, play with your kids (your kids, not someone else's!), dip your toes in a stream. Think about the shit someone's going to chisel into your tombstone when you're done tappity-tapping away on that nicotine-stained keyboard you creak your life away in front of. But please, heh, just fuck off there's a good scout.

HairyArse - on 30/06/2012 at 18:35 wrote:
OK. So payday loans should be permanently banned as I've disabled anonymous commenting.

Hellvis - on 16/01/2015 at 16:10 wrote:
That's the reason I use parental control called PCWebControl...

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