Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 8th Jun 2008 15:53 UTC, submitted by sonic2000gr
Legal The story of Hans Reiser, the eccentric file system programmer, is a tragic one. The author of the ReiserFS was arrested under suspicion of the murder of his wife Nina Reiser in 2006, and was declared guilty in April 2008. Some still placed doubts about the conviction, stating that he might be innocent. It now seems that all doubt has been quelled, since Alameda County District Attorney Thomas Orloff has revealed that Hans Reiser will disclose the location of Nina's body for a reduced sentence.
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Really long and written in typical wired style, but ill quote the relevent bits

At the end of 2004, as the divorce and custody proceedings get under way, Nina asks Reiser to stop playing violent videogames like Battlefield Vietnam with young Rory. In that game, napalm explosions envelop villages in fire, bodies are hurled through the air, and, when shot, characters collapse to the ground and choke on their own blood, realistic sound effects included. "Hans has a deeply held unreasonable belief that it is good to show children, no matter how young, violent videos and movies," Nina writes to the court. She wants him to stop.

For Reiser, this is not about videogames; it's about life and death. "Little boys take to violent computer games like monkeys take to trees," he says in a court filing. "[They] do not have instincts that favor combat rehearsal activities for no reason, they have them because they affect whether they live or die a significant amount of the time." Violent videogames are an ideal way to hone these survival skills, for several reasons, he says. A kid is clearly not going to become battle-hardened in the quiet, idyllic neighborhoods of the Oakland hills. Reiser believes that history — in, for instance, an Electronic Arts videogame set in Vietnam — is the best teacher, though he is quick to point out that the learning process will not necessarily be easy. "Becoming a man normally is psychologically traumatic for boys," he says. What matters most, he says, is that the exercise "allows him to achieve results in defending family and country."

Rory has nightmares. When he's awake, he spends time drawing monsters and soldiers, and he tells his mother that he and his father have a secret. Nina thinks that Reiser is still playing videogames with their son and worries that Rory is developing a condition called sensory integration dysfunction, which can make the smallest sound or touch overwhelming.

Reiser claims that Nina may be consulting with "memory creation specialists" in order to implant memories in Rory's mind. He insists that he never told Rory to hide the fact that they play Battlefield Vietnam together and is convinced that the specialist created this memory. "I am just lucky these memories only involve a computer game so far," Reiser writes to the court. "I don't want to find out that my child remembers being satanically sacrificed by me in a past life."

He also has a simple solution for Rory's nightmares: magical dynamite. "I explained to him that he could learn to fight the monsters in his dreams and blow them up with the magical dynamite," Reiser recounts. "I did this in terms that expressed a quiet confidence that he could handle the job.

"Note the similarities between how an effective army sergeant would rally frightened men to learn to attack the enemy and the technique I used to teach a small boy to deal with monsters in his dreams," Reiser adds. "One of the sad facts of dream life is that monsters who are lots of joy to blow up will start to leave one's dreams and not want to return."

Reiser says he has a right to blow up monsters, whether in dreams or videogames. The government — in the guise of family court — should have no place prohibiting him or his son from playing Battlefield Vietnam or Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, a fantasy strategy game featuring elves, dwarves, zombies, and wizards. "Should the government be keeping me from showing my son how to direct brave goblin suicide bombers against their elven oppressors?" he asks.

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PLan Member since:

I suppose if you're going to murder a boy's mother then immersion in violent video games is a good way to convince him that violence is a normal part of life ...

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hobgoblin Member since:

i dont know if ecentric is to little or mad is to much.

something tells me that family had deep deep issues...

Reply Parent Score: 2