The FBI on Wednesday asked for communications logs from Earth Empires, the massively multiplayer online game played by Jared Loughner, accused of the shooting Saturday in Tucson, Ariz. that left six dead and 14 wounded, including a member of Congress.
Earth Empires’ administrator told the Wall Street Journal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation asked him to hand over Loughner’s communications records, which an earlier Journal article revealed to be filled with messages spouting antigovernment vitriol and describing violent tendencies.
David McVittie, the administrator, told the Journal that the FBI’s request covered 131 messages written between April and June 2010. McVittie said he may make the messages available to the public after they were given to federal investigators.
Loughner’s posts ran the gamut of repulsive topics, covering misogyny, rape, racism and violence toward children. He was ultimately banned from Earth Empires’ private forums, on the suspicion he used them to cheat at the game.
McVittie said the close-knit Earth Empires community has dealt with two suicides over the years and finds itself soul-searching over Loughner’s actions and his association with the game. “Looking back, everyone had the same kind of reaction: How could we have helped? What could we have done differently to make sure this didn’t happen?” McVittie told the Journal.
FBI Seeks Suspect’s Web Game Records [Wall Street Journal]