19.00 1 November 2021
The Kesgrave shooting highlights the danger of weapons and the “glorification” of violence in online computer games, Judge Martyn Levett said.
An expert had stated that playing first-person shooters using a screen and headphones was a significant factor in Jacob Talbot-Lummis’ violent fantasies.
He said Talbot-Lummis’ plan to take the victim to a forest and fire shots was similar to the plot of a game called “Hitman”.
Judge Levett said: “I am not immune to hearing the raised voices of frustration from those who perceive the clear and secure link between violence and the role weapons currently play in computer-based video games, and the frequent glorification of shooting a character on the screen.
With the current trend stories and announcements about Metaverse, the cloud-based internet medium of virtual reality, where young people are captivated and preoccupied with this new virtual world, which gives everyone the opportunity to experience the realities by shooting another person, it looks like to get listeners to the warning that weapons are dangerous, weapons must be stored properly, and weapons must not be used for conflict resolution, ”the judge said.
“Violence affects entire communities, and it’s time to focus on the impact of those traumatized by gun violence,” he added.
Diana Ellis QC, for Talbot-Lummis, said he had been desensitized by being introduced to violent video games, suitable for over 18s, since the age of nine and then had moved on to violent reality games, where he was the “first shooter.”
“His life outside of school seems to have involved watching these very violent games.”