Did Too Much PlayStation Lead to Samurai Sword Death?
It’s not know whether or not playing too many violent games on
PlayStation can lead to violent behavior, much less if there was even a
connection between video games and the recent death by samurai sword of
one Baltimore man. What is known is that a samurai sword wielding Johns
Hopkins student living in off campus housing had recently had his home
broken into which led to two laptops and a Sony PlayStation being
stolen, and apparently he wasn’t about to give up any more of his
According to the reports, the Johns Hopkins student heard some commotion in his detached garage around 1:00am and he went to investigate. However, because he and his roommates had recently been burglarized, he didn’t go unprepared. Instead, he brought with him a samurai sword which he kept in his bedroom with him.
While the exact circumstances of what transpired next are still under investigation, what is known is that one man is dead due to what appears to be a single blow from the sword which nearly severed his hand completely from his arm as well as inflicting a substantial body wound. While neighbors heard screaming that was described as someone in a lot of fear and/or pain called the police, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Was it Sony's 1:1 Sword Fighting Game?
According to the student in question, when he heard the commotion in
the garage he grabbed his sword for personal protection and went to
investigate. When he got to the garage he found the door ajar from
being forcefully pried open and a man inside. The student says that the
man, upon seeing him, lunged at him, though there is no proof that the
man (the intruder) was armed and an investigation is underway.
Nonetheless, Baltimore police said that it is not illegal to possess a sword in Baltimore, and furthermore “individuals have a right to defend their person and their property.” What the police did not comment on (yet) was whether or not “appropriate force” was used in this situation.
The dead man has been identified as a person with a history of prior convictions for crimes such as breaking and entering, and unauthorized removal of property for stealing a car. Apparently this was the first time where he tried stealing from someone in possession of a samurai sword, and tragically, it will also be his last. It is still not clear whether the sword wielding student was a fan of Sony’s 1:1 sword fighting game.
Sadly, this story ended in the death of an individual. While I don't
blame the student, I have to imagine he wishes he could have it all to
do over again. having been in a similar, yet far less dramatic
situation in college when a car bike rack was stolen from our property,
I know I wish I had handled the confrontation differently. After all,
the things that were at risk of being lost, (a car bike rack, a bike trailer
and some spare parts) were easily replaceable. The memory of the
confrontation is not something that can be replaced, though I often
wish it could.
With all that said though, I cannot fault the student for protecting his property; I just don't know if the force was justified. I guess time, and the courts, will have to determine that.