Posts Tagged ‘AOL’

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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I’ve been avoiding blogging on this one blog for one reason…. There hasn’t been any anti-gaming news stories of note lately… Until now.  On my first blog post I utterly debunked a hoax claim that was used to attack video games on many sites, ranging from medical journals, to newspapers, etc, the infamous “Doom will become reality hoax”. This is the first post  I am referring to. That hoax has been used to justify attacks on violent games, Doom specifically in at least 100 different “attack” sites.  Of course it wasn’t something the real school shooters said on their website, it was obviously fake.   Which brings me to this article.

http://extras.denverpost.com/news/shot0504f.htm

This article was written on May 4, 1999, right after columbine by 2 denverpost writers. They claim that on Harris’s AOL site there was a modified version of Doom that had begging students saying a certain quote, “god mode”, etc…. Among other things.  Similar stories with a similar “modified” version of doom had been popping up in other newspapers around then… I find this problematic that this hate site tracking group has to be the only group that even had knowledge of this “modified” version of doom.  Number 1 the hate site tracking group would have to know the EXACT Web path and file name to get this file if He did have such a modified doom version on his site. Since no one else has any corroborating evidence this mod exists (Harris’s Doom levels are freely available online, you’d think someone would have found this too…), then how the hell did some hate site tracking group (who by the way has no business tracking video games related stuff at all) find the file in the first place? If there is no link to the file at all, this is impossible.. PERIOD. They’d have to log onto his site to get a site file listing..  And without the password that is impossible, without hacking.  The article also goes into a claim that his school was made as a level for doom and duke3d. But this snopes article completely debunks that completely. There were never any CHS maps lying around on his site, nor was there any indication he was building one.  That disproves that… But what about the begging students supposedly found in this “modified” version of doom?

I have been literally playing AND editing doom in every way possible since 1997. I KNOW what is doable in doom with each source port. Since the source code for Doom was released online there have been multiple source ports that are basically souped up doom programs with new features. I know in 1999 the only major source ports out were Dosdoom, Legacy, Boom, MBF and some others.  If these begging students could be done in doom, I was going to find out. Using a doom Exe Editor (dehacked), I decided to run a test to see if Doom could even do what the articles claimed. I tried to debunk this claim through using dehacked  to see if it was possible and it was,  however upon searching for more info I came across This forum posted an article that was written in another newspaper 1 day before…  The first thing you notice is that the quote is         COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in this article. Also the denverpost article mentioned how the quote was “shouted” while this article says it’s “cried” out.. Hardly consistent. It’s like multiple writers all decided to write the same article but couldn’t get the details right, makes both articles very suspicious, in the truth department.  As a doom fan, reading the second article made me realize how impossible some of the claims are because, they mention the modified game had “Unlimited” weapons and ammunition right from the get go plus “God mode”. 2 out of these 4 are doable, but “unlimited” weapons are something that no game did in 1999, nevermind doom. And starting with unlimited weapons and ammunition is not even doable in doom.  The engine isn’t THAT customizable. It’s close but still could not be done back then.  What’s even worse is that another site brings up this hate site tracking group with further “evidence” a doom version like this exists (even though there is absolutely no evidence to support it’s claim), with completely DIFFERENT features:

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1723

This is a paper on violence in video games, a thesis. In it the same hate site tracking group claimed to have found a modified version of doom. In this version infinite ammo is brought up again as well as enemies that can’t fight back (students, probably), and this time it brings up the claim the mod added in a “second shooter”.  The second shooter thing could be multiplayer. But I don’t think the hate site tracking group is an expert on how to set up multiplayer games. So what else  could it be. Friendly AI? Not quite. Doom can do that, but here’s the catch. The first source port (altered doom program with more features) available to allow friendly characters to be made was called Marines best Friend, and was released in 1998. But… here’s the thing. The text file included in the port didn’t even mention what code pointers are needed in MBF to create a friendly “second shooter” using a dehacked patch (needed to make a “friendly” second shooter – it’s the only way). Not till 2000 did wads (doom addons) come out that even used this concept. The problem is that the paper then claims that the “second shooter” had extra weapons just as the player did. ANOTHER thing doom could not do in 1999. The whole “begging students” screaming out “lord, why did you do this to me?” thing has bothered me since I got my life threatened on the denverpost messageboard back in april 1999, by some moron (apparently a lawyer), who responded to my post on the forum basically ripping the columnists who wrote the article from denverpost, which I had read for the first time 5 minutes before posting.

So who is behind this nonsense? People might think the hate site tracking group is behind it, but I doubt it. For one there is not a SINGLE corroboration from them that they found this on ANY site. Number 2 searching for more info only lets you see news articles and other anti-gaming articles quoting the said news articles that end up quoting the same person from the hate site tracking group, but make that person say different things, and  at least one of those things wasn’t doable by doom before 2000.  I don’t know if the articles are fabricated or not my gut feeling tells me this “modified version of doom” is unlikely to be real. Who would gain from such articles?  We obviously had a ton of idiots who wanted violent games completely  banned since 1997 and even before that, merely for the fact that the games “offend” them. Of course they have to bring up the “save the children” card because saying “ban the game, it offends me” doesn’t work in this country for the most part.  Something like this could (and has) been used against ID Software for lawsuit purposes. Some people DO blame ID for the mere ABILITY to make such a tasteless mod. These articles,  Their being cited like wildfire in arguments to attack violent games. If you search for sites on google that quote the thesis article linked above you get these search results. At least 15 different sites are using the article to attack games. One post, which was obviously done by an anti-gaming moron, was posted  in a message board for an article condemning the SCOTUS decision on Brown VS EMA links to it to use it as “evidence” that violent games lead to real life crime, all while saying “SCOTUS doesn’t care about kids!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”, basically, citing some case where the supreme court ruled in favor of “surprise!” not the kids…

You add in the troll on the denverpost message board who threatened me for merely saying one line he didn’t like “games shouldn’t be banned just because kids were killed”, and you end up getting possible motivation for the “lawyer” to threaten my life… I had posted the contents of the above denverpost article on their forum, said I was pissed off at the media. Since then I’ve been wondering just who this moron was.  I don’t know. He was basically  a “lawyer” troll with a pseudonym, who basically kept on insulting gamers over and over again calling us “gamer shitheads”, threatening to kill me, saying I should have been aborted, “crawl up your mothers fly infested c**t”, and much worse. What makes me think this moron was a lawyer?He had a justicemail.com email address, justicemail, email for the “law community”. Yeah. He even posted at the end “I have enough evidence to prove gamers get violent…” but that was deleted 5 minutes later. The suspicious thing is that 1) that last quote on evidence was deleted 5 minutes later 2) The justicemail.com account he used was deleted 5 years later, that entire forum doesn’t even exist online now. There is NO evidence but my word that this happened, and believe me it did. It basically made me absolutely despise morons like this who are (unfortunately) behind the anti-gaming movement. We have these questionable claims,  and the “doom will become reality” hoax that was “supposedly” written by Harris on his AOL site, and proven to be a hoax by the FBI. Yet literally hundreds of anti-violent games sites STILL Continue to use the articles, and the hoax as evidence that violent games make people violent, (and not being a racist, psychopath who wanted to be famous – the real reason!).Now we have these articles and even till this day, morons are still quoting them as evidence to attack SCOTUS, etc.

Even if this “modified version” of doom was REALLY found on his site by the attack group, it doesn’t rule out the idea that the modified version was NOT made by Harris, and was put online along with the fake “doom will become reality” hoax by unseen perpetrators who wanted to use Columbine as a reason to ban violent games. ANYONE with doom modding knowledge could have made this, just because HIS name was on a wall pattern doesn’t mean HE actually made it.  Hell even me, back in 1998 with crappy doom modding ability could have made something like this… In the 1999-2000 period there were at least 3 examples of “questionable” evidence being used to attack games. This is the worst. This whole thing is a shirtstorm that will never end.

Then you have the Attempted Violent game Bans in 1999 by two states. They failed. These would have banned violent games to everyone, not just kids. Everyone thinks just because our country has more freedoms then others, no one will attempt to ban things like this. It ALREADY HAS HAPPENED. Supreme court shot it down, thankfully. However all we need is another big tragedy like Columbine, with ties to violent games, and the morons have another excuse for the next complete violent game ban. It’s quite probable that stuff like the hoax and the MANY articles by newspapers all making up utter BS about violent games, lead to the government getting involved and attempting to ban violent games that year. You had at least 1 moron (the troll mentioned above) blaming ID software for the  “modified version of doom” being possible, not knowing that ID software had NOTHING to do with the modding for classic doom. It was several very dedicated fans with hex editors finding out the specs of the format of the game. Same for Wolf3d. ID software didn’t even release 1 EDITOR for the damn game. Not till quake (in 1996) did they do that (for quake not doom).  It keeps going on. It never ends. This stuff keeps fueling the fire of the anti-gaming movement.  It’s a never-ending cycle of BS.

 

The future defenders of the right to make/buy/play/own violent games has to be vigilant for the next wave of BS after a supposed video game related crime, of this degree. I wrote this article because 99% of the Gaming community does NOT know about half of this. It was swept under the rug by the media, and forgotten. Never forget the faked and “questionable”  evidence used to demonize games and the result (attempted outright bans of violent games).  This wasn’t the only major thing of this type where lies were used to try to legislate morality on this scale. Back during the SCOTUS Brown VS EMA thing in 2010, a certain violent games hating group submitted an Amicus Brief mentioning at least 3 known lies 1) Violent games are used in the military to break down the inhibition to kill 2) The “Doom will become reality Hoax”  3) Micheal Carneal became a better shot all because of Doom. They wanted the Supreme Court to believe this stuff and the Justices, not knowing these were NOT facts but absolute BS might have ruled the other way. You can be thankful they did rule the right way to prevent the badly constructed CA bill from being passed. You can’t use an Obscenity Clause (like the CA bill Did) to regulate what violent games to legislate in any way. Lacking “scientific, educational, or literary value” is not ground for fining companies who sell a game that the judges in the state find “offensive” because of these things, because those three values are…..Subjective!!!   Be on guard for the next attack when the censors will undoubtedly try something like this again with another game.

Addendum:

My work with dehacked to attempt to disprove the claim was done in the hope of a complete debunking of the “begging students” concept. I literally tried 2 times over the last few months to find SOMETHING in doom (a bug, an issue with 1 code pointer, etc) that would prevent this from even being possible. I failed. Twice. It sucks too, because I did come across a few bugs with the sound system but none of them really stopped the begging sound from being played, just partially obscured it. Without the internet search I would have found nothing to write about, really.

Punchatz's acclaimed Doom cover art

Image via Wikipedia

I…. Have been virulently anti-censorship since a certain “expert” on video game violence threatened to “crack my skull open”  online back in 1999, right after the columbine school massacre. I was on a forum, expressing my displeasure at how the media was lying about the nature of video games, especially Doom, a Game I’ve literally grown up with.

Also Being a brutal death metal nut, and a fan of all metal but metalcore, and Nu Metal, I end up hearing various ill formed stereotypes of us Metalheads being satanists, and worse… And babbling about a “global satanic cult” that is deeply routed in the metal community. Of course all of that is BS… And in later posts I will be debunking many of the claims I have heard…

But that’s partly, what this blog is about.. Debunking claims made about violent games and metal, from the moronic ones that are obvious fabrications (doom will become reality hoax I debunked on my old blog on wordpress on the subject), to the almost believable claims that claim to have solid scientific evidence behind them…. But are still BS deep down inside… I am here to tell the people who don’t know the truth the real facts behind the debacles effecting my 2 favorite forms of entertainment around today.

Now… I do my best to back up my statements, I need to. Many of my opponents outright refuse to do some real research to back up their claims… They just make a bunch of ridiculous claims and many times don’t even back them up.. But…  I am not a newspaper writer, just a person who has researched these claims by doing various google searches on them for eons. I am not a professional and never will be. This blog may be somewhat immature… But that’s my nature… Not that it will be swear-ridden rants every post…. But I am just saying I don’t really give a crap if it’s badly written…

The articles I post are in 2 categories… The first is new material found online that I am writing about brand new… The second is Material recycled from an offline version of my old blog on the subject… Due to me posting an article on a reddit.com and getting trolled by a bunch of conservative supporting idiots there I had to take down the blog… Why? Because one of the articles called a major anti-gaming/pro family group “nutjobs”… And they are… But due to all the Libel lawsuits I keep reading about being thrown against bloggers (WTF!)… I decided to shut it down…

Ok… On to the first claim I will debunk… The Doom will become reality hoax… This phrase, supposedly put on Eric Harris’s AOL Site before Columbine is used to link the massacre to violent games by dozens of idiot violence “experts” and parental/religious groups, all attacking the industry… A google search here shows how widespread the citing of this “claim” are…

However… He never even said this.. It’s a blatant hoax… And Acolumbinesite.com proved it here… But I will show you it myself…

The Doom will become reality quote there seems to make it look like Doom influenced the Columbine shooters. Maybe it did.. But this is an Obvious Hoax…

According to this the AOL page in question in the first screenshot (that is cited by dozens of anti-violence in games groups) is just a hoax, proven by the FBI… Because It was set up after April 20, 1999. Now who would gain from this hoax… That topic is for another article… But you can see the nonsense behind the scenes in the anti-violence in media world, and how idiotic it can be…