First off, the victim survived despite numerous stab wounds. So thank goodness for that. If you are unaware of the story, yesterday two 12-year-old girls in Wisconsin stabbed a classmate 19 times after luring her into the woods. What I just discovered today was that the act was a sort of sacrifice to appease Slender Man. I think the summary on Jezebel is good. It avoids blaming internet and gaming culture by pointing out how obviously fictional the character should be to anyone aware of the well-dressed man. However, with brutally violent acts becoming a common part of life in the U.S., the article also notes that possessing some explanation provides something lacking in most cases of violence lately.
I'm curious what people think. This country has a ubiquitous gun-culture, and only extremist talking-heads singularly blame violent video games for shootings. But in this case, putting aside possible mental health, family, and bullying issues related to the crime, there is a simple link between the reason the girls give for their act and the one and only Slender Man of internet/gaming fame. While not responsible for their actions, do we all have some responsibility to curtail the misuse of our culture?
For example, I am in grad school studying religion. Many academics are liberals when it comes to the meaning of theological issues, and simply ignore all the violence done in the name of God. "They are not one of us (Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.) and so are not our responsibility" was the usual response for many years. But recently there has been criticism of this stance which refuses to engage admittedly perverse views. Only preaching to the choir will never increase its membership, so to speak. This issue also made me think of @patrickklepek in two ways. He introduced me to Slender Man with his videos on the site. And I also think this question of how to engage an outlying position is relevant to some topics he has been engaging lately like online bullying and, mistreating women in gaming.
So I suppose I am asking something much broader than thoughts about just this case in Wisconsin. But it is what brought up these broad issues for me again, as I felt some degree of personal unease with the Slender Man link that I don't feel in violent cases lacking links to things with which I identify.