The accused killer of 9-year-old Anthony Maldonado during the kid’s last ride on the PlayStation version of Tony Hawk: Ride supposedly told cops that a voice in his head told him to stab the boy, according to current reports.
Nothing can ease the pain of the boy’s family, but at least gamers are somewhat relieved. They note that the press aren’t screaming about how videogames caused this murder.
On the other hand, sometimes they do. Click the jump for a yarn about how a gamers’ war in Russia spilled over into the street and directly led to a real murder.
As far as the story of Anthony Maldonado goes, however, latter-day Frederic Werthams aren’t jumping on this Harlem case as an example of how videogames make people commit murder.
Terminal Gamer carried the story straight, but other gamer sites added commentary.
“While there is nothing good about this heart-wrenching story,” Greg Tito says on The Escapist, “perhaps we have finally reached a point where the mainstream media resists the gratuitous potshot at our hobby.”
The real story of how Anthony died, seemingly at the hands of crazed Alejandro Morales, 25, who was a roommate of the kid’s uncle, will probably never be known because Morales was already mad as a March hare and reportedly had served time for assault.
Not officially insane were the two groups of Russian gamers — the “Coo-clocks clan” (mostly students) and Platanium (older gamers) — who took their war into the streets in 2008 in the city of Ufa, capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan. Go to Russia Today for the video and story, “Online game rivalry ends with real life murder.”
The story notes that this was far from the first game-related murder: “A twenty-year-old from Petrosavodsk killed his grandmother after she interrupted his game calling him to eat.”