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Monday, August 27, 2018

Let's Hope There's No Madden Movie About The Jacksonville Shooting

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's also hope there's not another Jacksonville shooting that happens in the future that makes this article title ambiguous.

You probably have heard through any news outlet out there that there was a Madden NFL 19 tournament last weekend that got interrupted by an idiot competitor who shot the place, killing two people and himself, after losing in the winners and losers brackets. It was the Southeastern Qualifier for the Madden NFL 19 Classic tournament taking place at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida — the winner of this 100+-man tournament would get $250 and qualify for the finals taking place in Las Vegas in October, for a prize pool of $165,000. The winner would get $25,000. Big stuff.

The competitor-turned-murderer, entered in the tournament as david_katz, competed against other names such as Young_Kiv (who we saw on-stage at the Electronic Arts E3 2018 press conference, as the winner of the Madden NFL 18 tournament), and the two deceased victims of the shooting, Trueboy and spotmeplzzz. (There is a gofundme for the victims here you can donate to.) A few handfuls of other people were wounded but are expected to recover.

After losing, he went outside, got his semiautomatic gun, came back to the tournament venue, and started shooting at people. Not necessarily at the people who beat him.

While I said david_katz lost the tournament, Florida investigators don't have a motive yet. The investigation is on-going. As such, KoopaTV will not ascribe a motive to the shooter's actions. Speculation here is dangerous. So let me talk about how this affects you.

I've seen many gamers’ reactions to this event. There's sadness about the senseless act of violence and tragic loss of life of fellow gamers. There is unity — people who identify as part of gaming culture, despite differences in what games we like and other disagreements, all agree that what happened was wrong and terrible.

There is also fear — in two types:
  1. Fear that this might happen to them the next time they go outside in a public game setting. Tournaments, conventions, whatever — there might be a malicious shooter among them. (Reminder that this same thing nearly happened in a competitive Pokémon event in 2015)
  2. Fear of political opportunists — on the left and the right — looking to once again blame videogames for a violent event, and then take action to destroy the hobby through government intervention

There is no way to truly stop a determined madman, but there are ways you can deter one. Shine 2018, a Super Smash Bros. tournament taking place the same weekend but in Boston, took lessons from the Jacksonville event and implemented heightened security measures, to the relief of those present:

To those that say that there needs to be more laws about this, keep in mind the already-existing rules and laws that the criminal broke:
The guy did obtain his guns legally from his home of Baltimore, Maryland, but he also had a long series of mental issues that his (divorced) parents were concerned about and tried to get help for. He had depression. He was taking psychiatric drugs. They were worried he would become violent and hurt his mom. At the same time, he had some kind of outlet in gaming, specifically Madden NFL — while he still didn't have friends in the gaming community, he did win some prior tournaments. He had skills.

There's no point or sense for me to try to psychologically analyse the guy or figure out what he was thinking. I'm not trained in that. I just want to present to you a complete picture of what's going on.

Madden NFL 2019 Jacksonville shooting Trueboy Joe Rice Controller Disconnected
Trueboy was actually playing on stream in the tournament at the time the shooting began.
...His controller would never become reconnected.

I have a few hopes about this. One, the political opportunists don't succeed, whether they target games or guns. Two, that this creep is expunged from the public consciousness. Long-time readers, really long-time readers of KoopaTV, know that from 20132014 we investigated the Madden Curse movie. It was announced and then discovered, by us, to be cancelled. (Madden Curse referring to the propensity of football stars on the cover of the Madden NFL games to become “cursed” and subsequently playing terribly after getting on the cover.)

We don't want this murderer to get a movie. If Madden NFL is getting a movie, it should be about the Curse. Not the crime. A documentary about the victims would be acceptable if they'd get a documentary anyway for their accomplishments while living. (Not sure they've... earned that much success, though.)

While writing this article, Electronic Arts and their CEO Andrew Wilson put out a statement about the incident here. It starts with a tribute to the two victims, and then goes on to say the Madden Classic qualifying tournaments in other regions are canceled. I'm not sure what happens to the Las Vegas main event, but I think it's still going to happen with an alternative way to get in it. EA's priority is to ensure the safety and security of everyone, and I think that's a very good, grounded approach that all tournament organisers should take from now on. Put a security surcharge in the registration fee if you have to — I don't think entrants would mind.

Andrew Wilson then curiously writes,  “I believe [this incident was] the first time our gaming community has dealt with a tragedy of this nature.” Depends how you look at it. The gaming community has withstood many incidents where people have incriminated it. E3 2016 featured every presenting gaming company except Electronic Arts doing an on-stage tribute to the Orlando night club shooting (also in Florida), as well as the murder of Christina Grimmie. But whether it's the first time or not, we all hope it's the last time.

Ludwig prefers to write articles where he can express KoopaTV's signature levity skills without getting glares from the audience, so serious topics like this aren't what he wants to do. Still, it's very important to get this message out there, since this is so deeply impacting the gaming community. You should feel free to write whatever thoughts you have in the comments section.

Ludwig thought the Madden fanbase was just a bunch of dudebros and not talented eSports athletes. Go figure.
While Ludwig wants gun-free zone designations abolished as a general goal, he doesn't actually think this would've limited any of the death that occurred in this specific incident.
Ludwig also thought the only thing he'd write about Madden NFL 19 was that it is not going to be on the Nintendo Switch, and the Colin Kaepernick lyrics controversy was dumb.


  1. This was an isolated incident in which a competitive gamer of a popular sports franchise shot others just like himself, yet there has already been at least one person in the media suggesting that there should be more regulations of video games. Their arguments are simply red herrings that distract from the main issue and that is the gunman was able to obtain a weapon even though he was clearly mentally unstable. He could have been stopped beforehand, but the authorities failed to properly test him. It's tragic that these events happen so often, especially in a developed nation such as ours. It is time we properly fund mental health facilities.

    1. Who is that one person in the media?

    2. I was referring to the following segment that aired on Fox News two days ago. There could be more that I'm unaware of, however.

    3. Well, that's two people — Carol Swain and Steve Hilton — both examples of non-thinkers on the right.
      And Martha MacCallum wasn't helping when she said the shooter "brought this videogame [Madden] into real life". And then they compare gaming to cigarettes.


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