Hoaxed evidence used to blame Doom for Columbine?

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Moral Panics, Video Game Violence, Video Games
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Doom s level of graphic violence made the game...

Doom s level of graphic violence made the game highly controversial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This might be a very long post. I don’t care. I have to get this off my chest. First thing’s first, I will say is that I have been a gamer since 1993 when I started playing Simcity, Wolf3d, Doom, the list goes on. I have played every single big FPS game for the PC till around 1999. Then came the columbine massacre. Despite how horrible it was (I am NOT condoning it), what pissed me off is how the media kept on blaming violent games.  Doom was blamed for it almost right away. Claims that the shooters were influenced by it. Blah Blah Blah… I started reading really bad, sensationalist articles on newspapers around that time, all blaming Doom for the crime, saying they were living in a game world, playing out the game in “god mode”, blah, blah, blah….  Then came the article and the incident that caused me to become an pro-violent games pro-freedom anti-censorship activist.

An article was written by a Colorado newspaper which I won’t mention here by name. It said that some hate site tracking group found a modified version of Doom on Eric Harris’s AOL page, which they claimed was used to plan the shooting, with begging students saying a quote “oh lord, why are you doing this to me…”, and other dubious features.  I couldn’t stand the game-bashing by the media any more so I signed up to that newspapers forums, and posted how I couldn’t stand the lies being spread by newspapers making up bunk claims to make violent games look like a cause of what we would learn later was a botched terrorism attack by two really messed up individuals, not game obsessed murderers turned that way by Doom. I physically blamed the media and condemned people in schools trying to “reform” and “discipline” Doom playing students after the shooting, and complained about 2 bills that were being worked on in 2 states legislatures that would have completely banned violent games, to adults, not just kids.

Immediately I was threatened by an internet troll, using a fake name, who started insulting me right and left, and called me and some other pro gamer types on the forum “gamer shitheads”, and then threatened my life after anger drove me to say a particularly rude reply in return, with an underhanded attempt to quote themselves from a previous post saying “you’re sick” as something I said later on… The whole thing wen’t on and on, with the same old BS replies to anyone who even dared to defend Doom, every sentence was quoted, and followed by insults, then the next sentence, more insults, etc. The insults were lewd, sexually explicit and full of swears, threats, racial slurs, you name it.  After 3 months of this happening every 1 minute 24/7, with only a few breaks, and 99% of the forum posters on the Troll’s side condemning the “gamers who like to twittle with their joysticks” – yes another quote by a moron who sided with the troll,  the troll then was asked “prove that Harris was Inspired by Doom”, and then he used an internet hoax “doom will become reality”  to back it up, which I debunked on my first blog post at this  blog, which is here. So that’s what I set out to do, debunk BS claims said about violent games. And I did for 3 years on this blog, but a lack of followers and viewers have always stymied me there.. So I am posting this article here… Now onto the main point of this article..

The poster who threatened me on the forum of the newspaper said one very suspicious thing, “I have enough evidence to prove gamers get violent”. This post was taken down no more than 20 minutes later. 3 years later the entire forum was removed, all of it, and then the email address on “justicemail.com” was completely removed from their system, in fact the whole system was completely purged.  Justice mail is advertised as “email for the law community” or was then…. So the thought crossed the mind of my friend who was there to fight the troll for me, “it’s a lawyer!!!”. So for a few years I kept on trying to reverse trace the morons email with NO good results on 100’s of reverse email lookups. I needed info on who this moron was… But every attempt lead to “no results”, over and over again.

So I gave up, and forgot about it, till I opened the wordpress blog 3 years ago and debunked the hoax. That brought back bad memories, and I started wondering about the news article with the modified version of Doom found on the AOL site of eric harris. Immediately something pissed me off about it the first time I read it. I had a “gut” feeling it was a much more elaborate hoax like the Doom will become reality one, but couldn’t really prove it. While researching BS claims made by violent game haters that mentioned Doom and Columbine one day for a blog post I ended up discovering this thesis which claimed Doom was licensed by the military to train soldiers to kill better (a lie, Doom was used as an Unnoficial mod to train group tactics, not to break down the inhibition to kill – a BIG lie spread by anti-gamers (my term for radical censors who spread lies about violent games)), and the fact that a modified version of doom was found by the same exact hate site tracking group without the begging students but with “2 shooters, infinite ammo, and extra weapons for both shooters”.  I knew right away the 2 shooters and extra weapons were NOT doable by Doom in 1999. I’ve been editing doom since 1995, I know what can be done and what can’t be done. In 1999, the only way to modify a doom .exe is with the program dehacked. There were no source ports with the features needed then.  So this Thesis was spewing Bogus claims. But further research found out that the claims were quoted from an APA paper which is not online anymore. It mentioned the same features 2 weapons, infinite ammo, extra weapons, and so did an article from another Colorado news paper, but that newspaper article was even more dubious, because it mentioned the quote said by dying students in the mod, but it was a completely different quote than in the first newspaper article I read , plus “infinite weapons” as a feature, something NO Fps can do. There is no way to even have infinite weapons, the idea simply doesn’t compute. Weapons are a finite asset, not something you can never run out of, in fact running out of weapons is impossible, It’s ammo you run out of, not weapons. The idea is so dumb that I don’t know where to start.  Further research lead to the original source of the BS, an article written by a magazine writer talking about columbine on the first 3 pages, and then mentioning this modified version of doom being found on the AOL page again with no sign of the begging students being mentioned, but the article did mention the 2 shooters, infinite ammo, extra weapons and one feature that I knew Doom could not do “when one of the shooters ran out of ammo, he died”. Or something along those lines.

Ok… That’s the long part out of the way. Now to the more interesting part, proof that all of these articles are putting claims in that simply cannot be done in Doom…  Here is a screenshot from the program dehacked I mentioned above.

This shows the property set used for all “things” that dehacked allows you to edit. Examples of things, for the non-Doom Editing people out there, are Ammo, Items, Weapons, monsters, basically anything that can move and isn’t a wall, floor, etc. Every thing in the game uses this exact set of properties. Lets say I was trying to make a “second shooter” in dehacked. I would need a property to make one of the peaceable enemies in the game (lets say the chaingunner), friendly to attack enemies that look like students, via some graphic editing used.  You look closely and you can see that there is no property for friendly AI, whatsoever… But that’s not even the last part in these articles that is an outright impossible claim.

Here is the Generic Player Properties, cheat changing panel and weapon properties list in Dehacked. The generic properties allow the player to have more total bullets, more total health, armor, and more ammo at the start of any level. The weapon properties allow someone to change properties of each weapon in the game. Adding “extra weapons” for each “shooter” with this is simply impossible. Why? Doom has only 8 weapons, Fist/Chainsaw/Pistol/Shotgun/Chaingun/Rocket Launcher/Plasma Rifle and BFG. Doom 2 adds the double barreled shotgun. There is absolutely no way to add a new weapon without replacing an old weapon, with this program. Look for a “new weapon” button. You won’t find one. Dehacked won’t let you do that. Another claim of the article, proved to be impossible.

Now look at the above image again. Is there any variable that stores the players current ammo at any time editable through dehacked? No. That variable is always in memory and can’t be edited directly, because it always changes. The problem is that  there is no way to make the player die if he runs out of ammo, period.  No way. No variable for current ammo on that screen at all. So how could someone have even made a feature where the shooter who runs out of ammo dies first?

This first image again of the player’s properties. Look for a property or ability to make the player die first when he runs out of ammo. There is none!!! No way whatsoever to even do this!!! In fact the magazine article in question even says the modified version of doom had infinite ammo then said the player who ran out of ammo dies first. How is that even possible when running out of ammo is impossible with infinite ammo? IT ISNT! As you can see many of these features this modifed version of doom had simply don’t work in 1999. Not till 2000 did friendly AI even become a real thing in Doom Sourceports via Dehacked, and not till 2002 did ACS scripting, the first scripting language get implemented in Doom that would have made “killing the player who ran out of ammo first” even doable.

The more I look at this, the more I see how suspicious this article and the Doom will become reality hoax seem. The 3 articles (the magazines one, the first colorado newspapers one, the 2nd colorado newspapers one) all mention the same hate site tracking group, but cannot even get the features consistent among them. The first article, the magazine one failed to even mention any begging students. The second one, which was published by a colorado newspaper, doesn’t even mention the running out of ammo and dying thing, but mentions that the quote was cried out, and Infinite weapons. Then the 3rd article, the one by the 2nd colorado newspaper, mentions a completely different quote, says it was shouted, not cried, and left out everything else, the infinite ammo/weapons, the dying when running out, etc. The more you look at it, the more it looks like a sloppily done article series with impossible in doom claims done by 3 newspaper/magazine writers, that all borrowed the same hate site tracking group but added in their own features, all in an attempt to cause a massive outcry against violent games. If these articles and the doom will become reality hoax never even happened, the link between the shooters and Doom would be less defined…

All I know is that certain things just don’t add up to me.

The hoax mentioned above, “Doom Will become Reality” is used in over 7 pages of anti-video game attack sites, all blaming doom for columbine. We still don’t know who put up the hoax on the fake Eric Harris AOL page mentioned at this site,  (look at the link on the bottom right). This site proved it was a hoax but was swept under the rug by such attack sites. The only other site corroborating the fact that this was a hoax was “mysteriously” taken offline by someone. I found it search results, some newspaper. It is gone now. Now you take the articles with the impossible features and search for them, using this quote from the second newspaper article,  in the search results, and you get over 13 pages of results. (make sure to let google put in the search results that are omitted). You combine the search results for the doom will become reality hoax search and the search with the quote and you get over 20 pages of results all claiming these articles are genuine and are reporting the god-fearing truth, but only 3 pages debunking them with facts, 4 at one point but it was taken down. The problem is that none of these attack sites even proved without a shadow of a doubt that this modified version of doom was even real. In fact no one has. All of the other Eric Harris Wads are available online if you search for eric harris wads. People around 1999 were trying to get their hands on addons by him for some sick reason, but not once on his AOL site did he even mention this modified version of Doom. And since the way file/website hosting works involves knowing the exact file path needed to download it off his site, which intern requires finding a link posted by someone else (who found it), how did  this hate site tracking group even find it, without knowing the directory listing of all his files on his AOL site? If it really wasn’t found by people in the doom community like all of his other wads, how could they have known the file name? I don’t think they could have hacked his password in time, but maybe it is possible… However even if they did find something, the proof that  these claims are impossible to do in doom dispute any rational idea that this mod even existed at all.  More questions, less answers, that’s all I have to say.

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