Attorney discusses the ‘games made me do it’ defense

We’ve railed against the anti-games lobbyists helping to make the “videogames” excuse a valid one for criminals, and today an attorney has admitted how good a defense it is, and which judges are the best marks for such a defense. Terry Boesky pretty much admits why videogames are so readily blamed in court for violent crimes, and suggests that “old rural” judges are often receptive:

The goal of the ‘video games’ defense is to both shift blame and to explain to a judge and jury why this good kid is suddenly acting like a terrorist. Portraying your client as the victim of outside forces… humanizes the client and shifts the culpability… my job is to present ANY theory to a jury that would explain why my client did the things he did…

[The games made me do it defense works on] an unsophisticated, typically older, somewhat more rural jury pool or judge. To an extent, the defendant is playing on the prejudices that these members of society already have towards video games…

The manufacturers do everything they can to make sure that [the games] are a household name… Restricting supply to create buzz, sensationalizing their own violence to the media, doing idiotic things like leaving the “Hot Coffee” code in the game…the jury knows that a lot of kids today are playing this Grand Theft Auto game and that it’s very violent or adult before we even walk into the courtroom.

It’s quite amusing how Boek blames the videogame companies themselves for this issue — now that’s the mark of a good attorney. Not only will he blame games for murder, he’ll blame games for being blamed for murder. If I ever kill somebody, I want this guy on my side!

James Stephanie Sterling