Russians Blame Postal Game for Murder of 8 Jews; Cite Imaginary Video Game Disease

Russians Blame Postal Game for Murder of 8 Jews; Cite Imaginary Video Game Disease


Alexander Koptsev, a twenty year-old Russian man, has stabbed eight people in a Moscow synagogue. The man had been reading anti-Semitic literature and was also a big fan of the video game Postal.

Jewish leaders have expressed concern over a growing wave of violence against Jews and other ethnic minorities.  Although the Jews seem to be concerned about this expanding problem, Russian media has been quick to blame the incident solely on video games. According to a translation by Game Politics, Pravda wrote:

“Alexander Koptsev was a quiet and unsociable young man…became a secluded individual, started spending most of his time indoors and developed an addiction to computer games…was playing a game called Postal-2 before he left home and went to the synagogue…The game which the young man was playing made him a zombie. The man was programmed to demolish and kill…those addicted to computer games often suffer from the so-called video game epilepsy syndrome. Ardent games suffer from headaches, facial muscular spasms and eyesight disorder. The syndrom does not lead to aggravation of mental abilities of a human being. However, it develops certain peculiarities typical of epilepsy: a person may become highly suspicious, aggressive, and hostile about everything and everyone. A person who suffers from the video game epilepsy syndrome can easily grab a kitchen knife, leave the virtual world, and look for victims in reality.”

“The incident in the Moscow synagogue is an alarming signal indeed. However, this signal warns about the growing influence of virtual reality on the human mind. This is not a matter of ‘fascism knocking on people’s doors,’ as spokespeople for the Jewish community in Russia put it.”

We are not sure where the Russian newspaper got its information, but we would like to state that video game epilepsy syndrome does not exist.

“Reports in newspapers and on television have heightened public awareness that playing video games can, in rare cases, trigger seizures, but there is no scientific evidence that video games can cause epilepsy. Playing video games is an extremely common pastime for many children, and they often play them for long periods of time. Because epilepsy is a common disorder, it is not surprising that some children will have their seizures while playing video games, just by coincidence,” wrote James W. Wheless, M.D. on epilepsy.com.

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