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”.

The article goes on to lament that it’s enough to make you want to take the games away from the poor children. Don’t forget to take their mobiles while you’re at it.

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.

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    Comment by haruthebum
    17:21 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think they have it mixed up. I think kids who are bullied or don't feel safe or welcome in society usually turn to games or anime as a way of escaping reality, I think games and anime are actually one of the few things KEAPING kids from going out and killing people.

    just think what would happen if all those messed up bastards on 2chan, 4chan, gurochan etc. would do if they had allot of free time because all there virtual entertainment was suddenly banned by the government.

    there would be mass riots and war.japan would be filled with blood. banning games and anime is like "cutting the chain that holds the dog an inch from your neck" its just retarded.

    people see all these murders/rapes as if its something new, these things have been going on since the beginning of time and will never truly disappear. the only reason it seems as if there is more is going is because we now have the ability to read news from around the world easily, when before we only heard of the important things from other countries. rant rant etc.

    Avatar of Ch1nGFuX
    Comment by Ch1nGFuX
    22:27 27/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, you do have a point. Children can "escape" reality using these methods but whether can they differentiate between fantasy and reality depends on those around them. Especially their parents.

    Think about it, who told you barney was fake??

    Avatar of drastikhate
    Comment by Dee
    11:27 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    SO many advatages. Games make us...
    Not spinless
    and Honest

    The doc is blinded by theses facts.
    Virtual games actually train people for the REAL nasty world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:40 15/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And of course this will make lots of parents think that everyone is this stupid and bad their children from playing games. None of them will realize that there was crime before games even existed and that just because 1 gamer in a million for some reason thinks that it's ok to kill people all gamers will think so.

    If they can't definite between game and reality there was something wrong with them before they started playing games.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:50 26/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Although being betrayed in the virtual world (which is highly likely) may give you a predisposition to distrust people (not that it isn't already sewn into Asians by their parents, to read as deeply as possible into anything).

    Ever been told by your parents that your best friend could be your enemy? (usually in relation to grades or something else to compete in)

    Comment by Asuka
    15:43 24/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Arg, this is why Japan's psychological counseling system is so behind. This shrink himself is committing the error of "mistaken causality". Just because two things are correlated does NOT mean one causes the other. There could be other factors (depression, social isolation, low self-esteem etc.) that predispose one to both play games AND commit crimes. Is this so hard to understand for a nation that prides itself on its superior scientific/technological developments?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I am inclined to agree with all of you.

    Comment by Thomas
    15:22 23/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    More reason to disregard these so called 'experts'...
    Sure there are some genuine experts in psychology but these sorts of guys just piss me off.
    Their facts are fished out of the depths of their own colons.

    Comment by DrmChsr0
    12:53 23/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    And while we're at it, let's revive a wholesome tradition from the Heian era: raping women! Fun for the whole family! And the woman too!

    Comment by Thomas
    15:31 23/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    What's worse though is how the mas-gomi will jump on this like flies to dung and attempt to prove that this theory is universally applicable :(
    In that case all us gamers and anime/manga lovers must be potential murderers *sarcasm

    I think they should look at the true and serious problems facing society such as depression from a stressful upbringing or work environment etc.
    Maybe the person had a horrible childhood, pressured and bullied at home and at school.
    They are avoiding these problems by the sounds of things and this worries me (this is not an exclusive problem to Japan as the media do this all over the world sadly)

    Comment by Kresnik
    16:41 23/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Thomas: I like your usage of words. Mas-gomi (Mass-Garbage) ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:46 26/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I second that

    Comment by Frostea
    18:16 23/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Argh, so much for space shrinking. Anyways, most should understand what that meant.

    Comment by Frostea
    18:15 23/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think this calls for...

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