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Games as murder simulators = laughable

7:31 PM on 02.17.2008 // Jim Sterling

Crack-a-Jack Thompson has been out in full force since the NIU shooting, going so far as to send tips to Destructoid and even join its community. It's very clear that the murders of youngsters excite him, as he grows steadily more active and wild in their wake, especially as he gets to complain about what he deems "murder simulators." In fact, in the comments for yesterday's post, that's the exact term Jackpot used:

"We need to get you sociopathics kiddies off these murder simulators and back to doing your homework."

Of course, this begs the question: Do any of we "sociopathics kiddies" actually play murder simulators? What exactly are murder simulators, and is Grand Theft Auto, BioShock or any other videogame worthy of such a label? Don't ask me, try asking simulator expert Robert Gauss. Gauss has worked with simulators for the US Army and knows a fair bit more about them than some defense attorney who's close to getting disbarred. This is what he had to say:

How well does GTA simulate murder? Just even a cursory look can see how GTA fails this test: Everything is presented via a 3rd person view… weapons auto-load and auto-aim… computer people mostly walk and drive around aimlessly and helplessly… computer people don’t… act in a realistic manner when attacked… bodies disappear and respawn — hardly like murder if they keep coming back to life

Our “gang games” mentioned above do not even represent murder, but rather a cartoony environment… It’s not just unfair to call Grand Theft Auto a “murder simulator,” it is laughably incorrect…

Laughably incorrect. That's laughably incorrect, for those unable to read properly (and I'm thinking of a certain new reader here). In fact, to paraphrase Mr. Thompson himself, let me just say that I know facts are inconvenient things for ambulance chasing social parasites, but there they are, and here I am, right, oh so right, yet again.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

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