Rag Gendai suggests that top shrink and noted game hater 岡田尊司 / Takashi Okada’s theories on “mental pollution” are directly applicable to the case of Akiba stabber Tomohiro Kato; in his view children into games lose the ability to discern fantasy from reality, exhibiting all the symptoms of drug addiction, and so degenerate into inhuman killers shorn of all pity or remorse.
Okada presents statistics to back his claims; in a survey of middle schoolers, we hear that gamers exhibited the following abnormal characteristics in comparison to wholesome non-gamers:
“I’m lucky to be alive, I like myself” – gamers five times more likely than normals to answer “no”.
“I don’t know whether a person is a friend or enemy” – gamers two and a half times more likely to think these distrustful thoughts.
“When somebody hurts me, I want to get back at them” – gamers were twice as likely to think this compared to spineless normals.
“I’ve teased or injured small animals” – wicked gamers were a terrifying three times more likely to respond thus as opposed to angelic normals who would never admit to doing such things.
Okada theorises: “Children who become unable to maintain a balance between the real and the virtual can be said to be living in a completely different world. That virtual world becomes their very reality. When this situation persists, they can even come to lose the taboo against killing fellow man”.
It should be noted that this bears all the hallmarks of the article publisher, a noted tabloid rag, fishing for a response (which they certainly have obtained with 2ch), particularly as the book was published a few years ago and no direct statements by the psychiatrist in question are available, but I think the fact that the mass media seems to leap at any chance to print anything critical of games and otaku culture is news unto itself.