The media titled “Halo Killer”, Daniel Petric, now age 17, has finally been sentenced. However, the tragic story continues on with its sadness as he is only sentenced to 23 years to life, and the media continues to blame the game Halo 3 for the crime. I’m going to examine and point out a lot of the holes in this “blame the game” madness.
For those of you not in the know, let me explain what happened. Daniel Petric (Petric), then 16 years old, was in a severe accident which incapacitated him for months. Over the course of his incapacitation, Petric played Halo 3 for up to 18 hours a day, even getting so engrossed in the game that he would forget to eat. After realising the major health issues and mental issues their child was undergoing Susan Petric (S. Petric), his mother, and Mark Petric (M. Petric), his father, took the game away from their child. Petric became so enraged over having the game taken away from him, that he went into his parents’ room and told them that he had a surprise for them. Petric instructed his parents to close his eyes, at which point he shot them both. After the shooting, Petric attempted to make the crime appear as a murder-suicide by placing the gun in his father’s hands. Petric ran away with the game after the murder.
M. Petric, a minister to his local community, surivived the attack and even defended his son.
I understand that not everyone is a video game fan and there are many people who still don’t know what the game Halo 3 entails. Allow me to explain the game by first quoting the description listed on a retailer’s website.
The epic saga continues with Halo® 3, the hugely anticipated third chapter in the highly successful and critically acclaimed Halo franchise. Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood, and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax. Halo 3 represents the third chapter in the Halo trilogy—an international award-winning action series that grew into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 14.5 million units worldwide, logging more than 650 million hours of multiplayer action on Xbox LIVE®, and spawning action figures, books, a graphic novel, apparel, an upcoming film adaptation, and more.
Now allow me to explain the story of Halo 3. Halo 3’s story centers on the interstellar war between 26th century humanity, led by the United Nations Space Command, and a collection of alien races known as the Covenant. The player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced supersoldier, as he wages war in defense of humanity, assisted by human Marines as well as an allied alien race called Elites,which is led by the Arbiter. The plot of Halo 3 has Master Chief fending the Earth off against the Covenant who are looking for an item called “The Ark”.
The entire point of Halo 3 is to protect the Earth and protect humans from alien invaders. Online multiplayer consists of separate game modes such as Capture the Flag, Slayer (individual aganst everyone) and Team Slayer (team against team)
The point of Capture the Flag is obvious. It is a team against a team match in which each team is protecting their flag while trying to get the other team’s flag back to their base.
Slayer and Team Slayer pits individuals or or teams against another team in order to score the most points by eliminating the other team’s players. After an individual is defeated, a timer is set and after the timer reaches zero, the person respawns and rejoins the battle.
Now that everyone is familiar with the game’s plot and story, I can get down to the real meat of this entry.
The (mass majority of) media is dead set on branding Petric as a product of playing violent video games and Halo 3 caused him to shoot his mother and father. At no point in the game are you tasked to assassinate a member of your family, kill people you are attempting to protect, or kill someone who is not attemtping to end your in-game life.
So, because Petric got upset that they took a video game away, the video game made him kill?
If I’m reading what the Associated Press has been writing correctly, and I know that I am, they are claiming that a game deemed as violent made Petric kill, only he didn’t want to kill anyone before he was not allowed to play it, which makes it the game’s fault…
Now, being that I’m actually intelligent, that doesn’t make any sense to me. Had he been addicted to Barney Hide and Seek Adventure and it was taken away, he’d have killed as well. In other words, Halo 3 didn’t compel Petric to kill, he decided that he was going to kill someone because they took an object he was addicted to away.
Sounds like the kid needs some major therapy and anti-psychotic medicines to me. Honestly, no one plays a game and starts believing there is respawn. I didn’t start thinking a giant gorilla was going to kidnap my girlfriend and throw barrels at me after playing Donkey Kong on my Atari 2600 for so long.
The judge, Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge (Judge Burge), has been quoted as stating, “I feel confident that if there was no such things as violent vidoe games, I wouldn’t know Daniel Petric.” Judge Burge believes that Petric was not a predator until the attack and blames Halo 3 for Petric’s actions.
Judge Burge needs a reality check. He obviously has absolutely no idea how psychotic addiction and mental instability works. Had Petric constantly been drinking Coca-Cola and suddenly had it taken away, would the judge be claiming, “I feel confident that if there were no such a thing as Coca-Cola, I wouldn’t know Daniel Petric.”? Of course not.
Petric’s laywers claim that Petric had become so addicted and worn down by over exhaustion by playing the game, he could no longer discern the difference between real life and fantasy. In other words, Petric believed his mother would “respawn” after a set amount of time and because of this, Petric should not be held accountable for his crimes.
I’m going to assume everyone else here is intelligent like me and are laughing at such a statement. Is it not obvious Petric knew what, at the time, he was doing was wrong and permanent because he attempted to make the scene look like a murder-suicide in order to avoid being convicted of the crime? Such an act sure sounds like someone who is very coherent at the time of the crime. If Petric honestly believed the alleged disillusion, why would he have attempted to cover up the crime? Petric obviously knew what he was doing at the time was wrong.
This is the issue we, as gamers, face…non-education and ignorance of the general public. Don’t worry. As we get older, we get into the jobs where we are in position of power and have a broader understanding.
Now, if we can just get the majority of the media to start real journalism again.
Posted 6/17/2009 at 4:15 PM on Xanga