Drudge Report: Connecticut Killer 'Obviously Not Well,' 'Played Video Games...'

Now that we've got the right name of the killer in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre yesterday, the media profiles are starting to emerge. To the Drudge Report, playing video games is a remarkable enough thing that it bears mentioning in a headline. An italicised headline. Oh, it's factual enough, but that typeface and those ellipses raise a suspicious eyebrow, or at least mutter a "Just sayin'." Good work, Matt.

Having worked a cops reporting beat at a large newspaper utterly obsessed with tragedy, I can tell you what is going on: Reporters have been told to gather every single detail they can on Adam Lanza. They are. There is a bottomless desire to know as much as possible about the person who caused this tragedy. And it's absolutely fair game to mention Adam Lanza enjoyed computer games if it's part of who he was. If I was in my old job, I would have no trouble putting that into a story, as the Associated Press did — in the 16th paragraph, well below statements from investigators about Lanza's potential mental illness.

It's lazy and dishonest to list that detail in a headline stack along with the more likely causes of a mass killing, such as having a personality disorder, or being "obviously not well." I'm sure parents of autistic children enjoy seeing the suggestion Adam Lanza was autistic, too.

So, what does "played video games ..." really mean? Stories say Lanza belonged to a high school technology club whose members organised, and you can just see someone making the airquotes here, LAN parties. The game they played was not specified. I'm rooting like hell for the kids to have been StarCraft fans. The mind boggles at how this could be pinned on an RTS, but I'd like to see asshats like Drudge try.

Gamers are naturally defensive about this scapegoating, as they have every right to be. But let's focus our indignation where it really belongs: at a national conversation that cares more about whether a 20-year-old shot a bunch of fake guns in video games than how he so easily came into possession of real ones to go kill 27 people, including 20 grade-schoolers. Then again, America has never had the balls to forthrightly address its gun problem and I have zero expectation that it will grow a set after this tragedy either.


Comments

    Getting indignant at whatever the Drudge throws up is as much as a waste as that site is. Truth isn't something that's ever particularly concerned them.

    Last edited 16/12/12 3:51 pm

      Also, I've heard that the guys who run that site play video games...

        by the way the website is run, i sometimes doubt they even know what a game is.

    We shouldn't have to worry too much. According to what I saw on the news after the Colorado shooting. Gun store owners ( the fellas that sell assault rifles and the like ) are better are diagnosing mental illness than psychiatric physicians are. So don't worry peoples, we are all safe, because the gun sellers have a sixth sense for knowing which of their customers are and are not going to take their high powered automatic and commit mass murder with them.

      Unless the gun store owners also play video games...

        Don't listen to Ashley, I have heard that he played video games.....

      Funny. Mostly sad. Aww.

    As ive stated to my friends, and as said in the final paragraph, this is a gun crime issue. Americans are too attached to their guns, and until theres real change in thinking about 'rights to bear arms', this will occur time and time again. Im not even sure its a mental health issue, as their are 1/100 people affected with schizophrenia and the vast majority never cause problems. I myself am schizophrenic and bi polar, have played "violent" video games all my life, and have never injured or attacked anybody (although i do take my medication everyday).

    After port arthur, John Howard banned automatic weapons and called a gun amnesty. After Monash University (2 students were shot dead with hand guns by a registered owner) heavy restriction were applied to handguns. Since then the gun crime in australia has been reduced to almost 0%, except from criminals shooting criminals.

    While it isn't exactly relevant to the article I do want to note that Yahoo!7 have posted another article on the massacre, this time profiling the murderer: Adam Lanza, and in it they claim a source said to them that Law Enforcement found that Lanza played graphically violent video games.

    Which will no doubt mean tomorrow on Sunrise they're going to disregard everything else and proclaim to the world that this massacre was caused by the evils of Violent Video Games and their resident expert Jim Wallace will use this as reasoning why we cannot allow an EVIL R18+ rating to be allowed for Video games.

    All of this despite the fact that despite looking both nationally and internationally. . . no other news site has mentioned this supposed fact. . . most of them seem to be more interested in the fact that the mother was an apparent gun enthusist who was known to take her children to the shooting range. . .

    Last edited 16/12/12 5:15 pm

    I bet he was also one of those horrible deviants with an oxygen habit. He was probably an avid shoe-wearer and underwear enthusiast too. Maybe we should look into controlling these items? Serial killers have been employing them in their massacres for decades, and even the media hasn't picked up on the disturbing trend.

      Please don't use that argument. It's not really a valid one and it's the same drivel the gun nuts spew.

        It's actually quite valid. It only takes one person doing something horrible to suddenly demonise an entire sub-culture these days. Correlation is not causation, yet the media loves to think it is.

        Feeling defensive about your perverse hobbies? I bet you wear underwear and shoes yourself and associate with entire groups of people who do the same. Perhaps you're even wearing them right now... *shudder*

        How long until the statistical correlation gets the better of you? My god! I just realized.. you're on a VIDEO GAME website! Clearly, you're one of the ones we need to watch closely.

          You're comparing two entirely different things and its pretty much the weakest argument you could make. There are a thousand better arguments to be made and all of them smarter. I'm assuming you're smarter than that.

            So maybe you've had a rough day and your sense of humor isn't firing on this one. I'm not even trying to make a proper argument there.. just aping the scapegoating that focuses on irrelevant things while ignoring the herd of elephants in the room.

              /o\ you're right. Now that I read your second comment it is kind of obvious.

              Apologies.

                No worries. Maybe we all interpreted the profile wrong anyway? Perhaps they mentioned "played video games" not as an indictment of an entire entertainment medium, but in an attempt to relate him to the millions of completely normal non-serial killers who also play them? Wouldn't that be something?

                After all, they didn't mention violence at all.. just "video games".

    I'm just waiting for the day that someone writes an article of a twisted lunatic running down the street naked, screaming wild accusations at random passers-by and frothing at the mouth. Oh, and reliable sources will report that he "also wrote news stories for mainstream media". Just sayin'...

    I guess there's only one thing to do, make it so that those psychopaths who play video games can't buy guns anymore. Anyone who wants to buy a gun has to prove they've never owned a PC, smartphone (or dumbphone), any consoles, set top boxes, advanced calculator, etc.

    It's the only way to be sure this will never happen again.

      Would it count if they owned a Gamecube? I mean, were there any violent games on that?

        There's still someone that doesn't know Resident Evil went exclusive for the Gamecube?

        Dude, that's got the worst one of them all.

        Let me set the scene. You're a man, stranded in a strange place all by yourself and with no way of getting home. Your only means of transport has been gutted and scattered across the land. The bests that roam this foreign world are as dangerous as they are numerous - and for the most part, rather gigantic. All hope seems lost.

        But, it seems that some of the curious natives are less aggressive towards you. If anything, totally and completely trusting. The remainder of this game sees you exploiting this trust, forcing the natives into slavery serving to your every whim, be it recruiting more of their kind, aiding the repair of your transport or, worst of all, following you into battle. Not that you do much battling yourself, if any. No, your main role is to use these little guys to protect yourself, even picking them up and hurling them into the very face of danger. Throughout the course of this game, you'll have personally sent hundreds upon hundreds of them to their deaths, just so that you may live and eventually go home.

        And as if all that were bad enough, the sequel is even worse. After successfully making it home, you decide to RETURN to the planet, enslave the population again and go back to all the death marches - exploiting them once again all in the name of collecting treasure for profit.

        I don't know what place these dictator simulators have in our society. But from what I understand, they were some of the most popular titles for this Game Cube. I think we should be incredibly wary of any who owned one.

          Whoa. I had absolutely no idea it was that horrible! I see your point.

            Which is why Gamecube owners should be put on a special government watch list.

          That is the greatest description of Pikmin I have ever read, I assume that's what you are talking about yeah?

            Come to think of it, Pikmin fits this description almost to a tee!

            And I love Pikmin...

              ...what on earth did you think I was talking about? :P

    Love how everyone is having a cry over this shooting but not one single word on the chinese mass knife killer.

      Nobody cares if a knife dies.

        The spoon does. They eloped, don't you know?

          Don't tell the fork about the knife. I don't think it'll take it too well. After all, they had a child together called Spork.

      Well no one actually died in that one thankfully, which coincidentally happened around the same time as this. However I totally agree with the sentiment that there was hardly even a mention of this event in media around the globe.

    It says a lot about America where its easier to get a gun than it is to get mental health care.

    Everyone plays videogames now. Inclusind old ladies.

    Next time the news reports on an old lady who has a car crash that was too old to be driving in the first place, will they blame Mario Kart Wii?

      I leave explosive packages disguised as gifts on the road behind me for other cars to attempt to pick up. I've also been known to hurl turtle shells at other drivers.

        lol. I wondered who that was.

        Please stop dropping banana peels on the road. I don't want to be the last one to arrive at work again :(

    Killer "watched TV"... "ate food".. "used the toilet"..

    All this does is objectify the killer.. we need to ignore the killer as much as possible and focus the attention on the people (the children and adults) who died and those who have been affected by this and other tragedies.

    It was Dance Dance Revolution according to a news.com.au article this morning. I hope they power though the funerals before those Westborro assholes can mobilise.

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