A Treatise Against Dicing, Dancing, Plays, and Interludes, 1577
Take away the whore, there will be no whoredom; take away fire, and there will be no burning; take away powder and shot, none will be murdered; take away poison, none can be poisoned, etc.—take away play, there will be no playing. For dice playing is a door and window into all theft, murder, whoredom, swearing, blaspheming, banqueting, dancing, rioting, drunkenness, pride, covetousness, craft, deceit, lying, brawling, fighting, prodigality, night watchings, idleness, beggary, poverty, bankruptcy, misery, imprisonment, hanging, etc. St. John Chrysostom says that God never invented games, it was the devil—for the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play in honor of a most filthy idol. When they had worshipped the calf and committed idolatry, they seemed to have obtained this reward of the devil, namely to play. St. Ambrose says that games and pastimes are sweet and pleasant when they are contrary to the rules of Christianity. Sir Thomas Eliot, knight, says to those who are dice players: everything is to be esteemed after its value, but when someone hears of a man he doesn’t know to be called a dicer, does he not quickly suppose him to be of ill repute, dissolute, vain, and remiss? How many gentlemen, how many merchants, etc., have in this damnable pastime consumed their possessions—acquired after a long time of great study and painful travel—and finished their lives in penury and debt? How many good and bold young men has it brought to theft, whereby they have prevented the course of nature and died, by the order of the laws, miserably? These are the fruits and revenues of that wicked merchandise of dice playing.
REV. STEVE STRICKLAND
Testimony before a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on video games, 2006
My name is Rev. Steve Strickland. I am one of three brothers of Arnold Strickland, who was a Fayette, Alabama, police officer, who was murdered by Devin Moore on June 7, 2003. Devin made a statement in a local newspaper one day that made no sense to me whatsoever, until it got in the hands of our attorney, Jack Thompson, who knows all about what that statement meant. ‘‘Life is like a video game, everyone has to die sometime.’’ This is the violent video-game world—a world that, as far as I am concerned, is straight from the pits of hell. As I gather more information on the people who call themselves ‘‘gamers,’’ I could see how someone like Devin, who at one minute did not put up any resistance when arrested for stealing a car or when being booked, to the next minute, getting my brother’s gun from him in the police station, shooting him, and then killing two other men in a matter of less than two minutes. A game such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City could and did teach him how to do this. In this game, the people we put our faith and trust in to protect us from harm, the police officers, are the ones being targeted as the bad guys. Devin Moore practiced on this game hour after hour to kill our loved ones. It made him a more effective killer. When a society gets to the point where law enforcement are the bad guys and the thugs and the murderers are the good guys, our society will take a turn for the worse. I do not believe most of us are ready for that. Jack Thompson and others have facts and experts to back up what these games are: they are cop-killing simulators, and they will bring more deaths in the future. Our loved ones in Fayette are not the only ones to die at the hands of teens who trained on this game to kill.