Posts Tagged ‘Rocky mountain news’

A long time ago a time magazine article about columbine claimed a modified version of doom was found on Eric Harris’s Aol Site, with several dubious features, all which have been debunked by me. The features include a “second shooter”, “infinite ammo and extra weapons for both shooters” and the ability for the shooter who ran out of ammo first, to be killed upon this happening. I debunked these claims many, many times, because frankly, I am disgusted by news articles making up bogus crap to cause moral panics like this.  But I will again…

The “second shooter” would require friendly AI, and in 1999 only one sourceport could even do this, MBF (Marine’s best friend). But here is the issue, the ability to make any enemy in a modified dehacked patch (what Harris would need to do for this to work) requires documentation that didn’t come out till 2000. Now to debunk the “infinite ammo and extra weapons for both shooters”.  Number 1, infinite ammo is possible, but the extra weapons for both shooters is a complete nonsense claim. In 1999 adding new weapons without replacing existing ones was not possible, period. Dehacked was the only way to mod back then and it simply wouldn’t allow you to do this because it was a simple EXE editor to change simple variables. The extra weapons for the second shooter, is the second worst claim in this article, it requires the ability to script an entity to do this, to create a completely new enemy that has the ability to use all weapons the player does, plus the impossible “Extra” weapons, this would require Zdoom, which didn’t have the decorate language built into it necessary to do this till the mid 2000’s.

Now you get the most impossible feature of them all, the ability for the “shooter who ran out ammo first” to die. This is frankly, not even doable without both Hexen format levels that allow you to “tag” any entity to keep track of it so the next part the scripting language to kill them apon running out ammo (also scripted), and the scripted language itself (ACS). This wasn’t even possible till 2001 or later. The article is a bunch of bogus nonsense claims and inflammatory claims such as “They were playing their game in God Mode” and similar. But none of this stopped the writers to spread this nonsense to new articles featuring even more fake claims!!!! The Real stupid thing is that this claim of running out of ammo kills you is IMPOSSIBLE with the “unlimited” mentioned before in the same article!!! This writer got away with this nonsense and almost no one complained? WTF!

Lo and behold, an article by the Rocky Mountain News, mentioned how the same hate site tracking group that supposedly found this impossible to make in 1999 version of doom. But they only mentioned the infinite ammo, extra weapons, and second shooter claim, not the shooter who runs out of ammo dying first. They added their own dubious claim, Begging students that cried a phrase “`Lord, why is this happening to me?”.   This  article would be eventually mirrored on super columbine Massacre RPG’s Site (a sick RPG based on the School Shooting) but eventually was deleted…  But here comes the weird thing. APA (The American Psychological Association started citing the false articles (one of them) in a paper proving “video game aggression” (misquoted as proving video games cause real life violence by many “Experts” on Talk shows or news station reports from 1997 to 2006).  This made it’s way to an essay about the “effects” of violent video games and this is how I traced everything in reverse from the essay, to the APA paper, to the Rocky mountain news, and back to the Times article that made it up, and without me finding the Times and Rocky Mountain News Article I would never be able to debunk this…

Later on A Denverpost Article mentioned the begging students that cried the phrase but the phrase was now “shouted” and changed to “” ‘My Lord, why did you do this to me?’ “.  So which is it? This or the older quote. Neither. It’s fudged, made up, fabricated because they couldn’t even get  the way it was said or the quote right! The Denverpost article also fails to even mention any of the modified doom features besides this so no one would know it’s fake, and mentions that Harris made a Columbine High School Doom level, a known hoax, debunked by Snopes, and supposedly “proven” not to be a hoax by a pro-columbine-conspiracy journalist with no sense of the truth, quoting a report from a student saying Harris Did make the level, but the report in question he mentions most likely was based on the fake news article from the Conneticut Journalist who said the same exact same thing, “A Student friend of Harris said he made the School in Doom” but later own admitted he made the whole claim up. Lovely example of spinning the truth by idiots in Colorado, Isn’t it?

But it’s more than that… The 2 articles for Colorado Newspapers (the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News ones) are the only ones to mention the very Dubious “begging students” claims that can’t even get the quote screamed by these begging students right, or how the quote was even said… Right after Columbine you got a ridiculously paranoid witch hunt for Video games and their players that was worst in Colorado. People started fanatically believing that violent games and Doom Caused the Massacre, and that there was no other factor, whatsoever. It was a 20’th century Witch Mob! They also thought that  players of such games were sicko sociopaths with no heart, like Eric Harris. This was happening all over Colorado and it lead to ban violent games legislation, and lawsuits. But what triggered it? I have a theory, these articles, indirectly or intentionally triggered it using the people’ preconceptions of violent games as a base.

The “hack Psychologists” who went on talk shows during the 1997 school shooting in Paducah came back in force in 1999 with claims of nonsense, such as how the Military uses games like this to break down the Inhibition to killl, even though a blogger from the Military disproved this here. But the claims that violent games desensitize people to real life violence were starting to be believed and these hack psychologists kept repeating this and the break down the inhibition to kill quote ad-nauseum.  One even wrote a completely fabricated book claiming it was true and hires internet trolls to cite this book in comments attacking violent games in articles in newspaper sites attacking violent games. So what would a person who refuses to question anything they hear and believes it all, and has no gaming and doom modding experience think when they read the denverpost article?, they would assume Harris could easily, in 5 seconds, with a menu in the game, make the supposed mod, and this leads them to believe that “Doom Caused Columbine”. Why? They already believe that violent games make kids desensitized to real violence, which is just another way of saying that the kids playing such games, who before they played the games could tell the difference between reality and fantasy, loose that ability after obsessively playing them. Now combine that with the belief from the article that Harris was able with a click of a button turn doom into a school shooting sim, and you get people who think that this modified version of doom is responsible. Now comes the people wanting to sue id for allowing the game to be easily modified through a menu to make it a school shooting simulator. More backlash happens. Then you get paranoid people who are still trying to mourn the victims of the massacre, and not thinking straight as a result, assume that Doom had the school shooting simulator somewhere in it and it would have to if only “one click of a button” was needed to mod it like that. So in that case “doom” made harris want to kill the kids now, technically. Some people don’t understand games at all, and don’t even know what a Mod is, and they assume the original game is also a school shooting simulator. No where in any of these articles is it even made clear that the modded version required a lot of work with “third party” software and ID has nothing to do with this at all. That didn’t help any… None of the people are non-gamers who read that article understand how doom. They just assume it’s a violent game and they “assume” Doom is a school shooting Simulator. This lead to the BS claim “Doom Caused Columbine” after millions read and misinterpreted this article.

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After posting my really long post on news article saying “questionable” claims about modified versions of doom on AOL sites of the Columbine Killers, all being used against Video games on many sites trying to make it look like violent games cause aggression or violence, I came across even more evidence that suggests that this isn’t a small phenomenon limited to 2 Colorado Newspapers.  The Thesis article linked in the last post had a quote about an altered version of doom with at least 2 impossible features thrown in it. I wanted to know how many sites were quoting it when I came to an article that clarified where the idea came from.   This article goes into the facts some more and points out the quote about Doom came from the American Psychological Association. But the actual paper the APA wrote, where the quote came from reveals even MORE information on how the media started the biggest shitstorm on violence in games in April 1999 that STILL has yet to go away.

Searching through the references in the paper made me realize the actual source of the claim that this hate site tracking group found a modified version of Doom originated from a Times Magazine Article The article is linked  here:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,990917,00.html

I quote :

“Harris’ customized Doom game was programmed so that the shooter who runs out of ammunition dies first. ”

Something DOOM CANNOT DO IN 1999. Surprise!

<rant mode on>

In 1999 Doom editing to make mods (which is what this “modified version of doom” was) was limited to Dehacked editing to alter the Doom or Doom2.exe. Nowhere in Dehacked is it possible to create a “second shooter” with “infinite” ammo,  “extra” weapons, and the ability to “die” when it runs out of ammo…. There is Simply NO way back then to do ANY of this… PERIOD. You might think “Oh the enemies will kill the players who run out of ammo”.. But no. Read the article again. It specifically states that Harris “modified” Doom to make it so enemies WOULD NOT fight back.  So how does a character die in such a mod? He doesn’t. It’s not possible…  IF some of the enemies shot you in this mod, it would NOT be enough to Gaurantee that the “shooter” who ran out of ammo died first….  There is simply no way to script that before 2001.   I’ve played almost every major doom addon since 1993. NONE have ever had an enemy that dies when it “runs out of ammo”, or a friendly character that does the same. It’s never been done, BY ANYONE… Lets just say for a second that somehow in some alternate universe it is possible to create a friendly character that dies when he runs out of ammo, and that doom has ammo counts set up for enemies (it doesn’t but lets conveniently ignore that for now). Lets say Harris was able to make it so that this “klebold” actor died when he ran out of ammo. You still have the problem that without ACS Scripting it’s IMPOSSIBLE to make the player automatically die when he runs out of ammo, PERIOD. ACS Scripting in doom was NOT a reality till 2001!!!! Either way this ridiculous claim from that article COULD NOT HAVE BEEN DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

<rant mode off>

So writers from the Times, Denverpost, AND Rocky mountain news all wrote differing articles with the SAME hate site tracking group brought up, with different details and features, many impossible in Doom in 1999, and even different “quotes” in them, and NO evidence outside the articles that such a mod was even being made by Harris?  People had 1 month to check out his site before this hate site tracking group supposedly found this “modified version of doom”. Yet no one even mentioned it on ANY Doom Community. Around that times I was logging onto the doomworld.com f orums on a daily basis looking for more info about Doom’s Connection to Columbine. NOTHING like this was mentioned in any forum, in a form that made it look like a real Doom Addon found by the community.  IF it was real and the hate site tracking group found it, so would have the doom community.  Other addons by him were found, Uaclabs, Bricks, etc. None of his addons online even featured a school.  The begging students would have created a Massive Controversy if this mod was found by the community. That controversy, would end up spilling out to the media with pictures, etc of this mod. It never happened…..

You see these articles quoted like wildfire in HUNDREDS of violent game attack sites, all saying violent games cause real life violence. This whole thing is even accompanied by a coverup. The APA paper  on it’s original site was taken down when it was found out that the evidence supporting it was contradictory, according to that first article I linked. You cannot find the original paper on it’s site anymore, yet a duplicate version (linked above) still exists, and it’s still being quoted in attacks on violent games.  Right around that time the “Doom will become reality hoax” site was put up that had that quote on it, also used as evidence that “doom caused columbine”. This is no different.

http://web.clark.edu/mjackson/anderson.and.dill.html

The APA’s “paper” (linked here)  itself got quoted by 25 or so other sites all saying the same thing “video games cause real life violence”. The paper references a crappy  article with “questionable” claims,  to prove it. Hardly conclusive. Yet people still link to it in violent game attack sites. The Times article writer,  has YET to be attacked outside the idiots in the doom community. I heard one or 2 people from Doomworld, or Doomnation, or whatever the hell it was back then, rip (complain about) the article on the basis of the “they were playing in god mode” quote but the other stuff Doom cannot do has yet to be debunked outside this site, ONCE.. Gamers are hardly a good candidate for ripping media, are they? This crap by the media is a common thread in all anti-violence in games moral panics. There is always SOME article contributing “questionable” facts to make violent games look bad. I’ve read at least 100 over the 10 year stretch between 1999 and 2009. It has to stop. The media must be regulated to stop fueling the fire of anti-game legislation. To me, it is a reason why violent games are always a government scapegoat. Don’t think for a second that the government didn’t read articles like the 3 showcased above, when deciding that violent games needed to be banned to everyone in those 2 states back in 1999. How to you regulate the media? That’s for another topic. The government MUST step in…. That’s all I will say here.