Report: Police Want To Know If Sandy Hook Shooter Was 'Emulating' Video Game

The Hartford Courant has published a long profile of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who shot and killed 27 people at Sandy Hook Elementary last December. One particularly interesting tidbit: Lanza owned "thousands of dollars worth" of violent video games, and police are looking into whether the shooter was "emulating" a "video game scenario" when he murdered all of those people.

He said the guns and the violent video games Adam played may well have been an unhealthful combination for a troubled boy.

During a search of the Lanza home after the deadly school shootings, police found thousands of dollars worth of graphically violent video games.

And detectives working the scene of the massacre are exploring whether Adam Lanza might have been emulating the shooting range or a video-game scenario as he moved from room to room at Sandy Hook, spewing bullets, law enforcement sources have told The Courant.

Before he killed his mother and set off for Sandy Hook Elementary, Adam Lanza destroyed the hard drive on his computer, which probably kept some of the records of the games he played and who he played with. He also may have destroyed any chance to see if he had a manifesto or had written down anything indicating that he planned the shootings, or why he chose the elementary school.

I suppose we'll have to wait and see what these detectives unearth. Are there any "video game scenarios" that put you in an elementary school and ask you to shoot kids?

For more on violent video games and the research that has been done to date, check out our in-depth report.

Raising Adam Lanza [The Hartford Courant via Polygon]

Picture: Jessica Hill/AP


Comments

    He was a 20 year old male living in a Western country. Honestly, it'd be a bigger surprise if he DIDN'T own thousands of dollars worth of violent video games.

    Seriously - this is from the story about this on news.com.au yesterday:


    Even back in kindergarten Adam had been identified as needing an ‘individual education plan’ and extra attention in the classroom and at home.
    One friend said, ‘there was a weirdness about him’ and his mother once warned, ‘Don’t touch Adam’, adding that he ‘can’t stand that’.
    "I guess she was worried that he had … some kind of neurobiological condition," said Wendy Wipprecht, whose son attended Sandy Hook Elementary School with Lanza.
    When Lanza was a teenager, his mother told a Newtown High School staff member that her son had Asperger's and had also been diagnosed with sensory integration disorder, which meant he had difficulty coping with loud noises, bright lights, confusion, and change."

    So... you've got a person with issues like that living in a house with multiple firearms that he had easy access to.

    But, yeah. Videogames.

    Last edited 19/02/13 9:39 am

      Yeah, except there are other interviews with neighbors who say he seemed like a normal kid, nothing out of the ordinary, whole thing is media farce, dodgy reporting, terrible journalism at its best.

        I wouldn't add much weight to interviews with neighbours... I grew up in a small town roughly the same size as Newtown and I couldn't tell you a thing about my neighbours.

        The guy definitely did have some sort of mental illness: he massacred a bunch of children in cold blood. That's not the action of a sane individual any way you slice it.

        Incidentally you'll find that neighbors and sometimes even family members would say the same thing ("seemed perfectly normal") about most serial killers as well. Which is often the most terrifying thing, in a lot of cases you simply can't tell what's lurking beneath people's facade.

          So you guys are prepared to believe what 'One friend' has said? But not what a neighbour has said? I'm not saying the guy was sane, just that the reporting on this situation is ridiculous, was this friend a psychiatrist? I doubt it, in which case they have no expertise on the matter of mental health. Show me a psychiatric report on him, show me the crime scene, show me the weapons he used, don't show me conflicting reports, or a coroner stating all the deceased had bullet wounds from a long barreled weapon when the police report states only pistols where found in the school, the rifle was locked in his car.

          Obviously the guy was not right in the head, and what happened was terrible, but I don't believe what is being said about it, the media is spinning this tragedy for their own gain, politicians are spinning it fit their agenda, and my bullshit meter goes off when all I hear is conflicting un-verifiable reports about a situation that I dare say would be pretty well documented.

          Last edited 19/02/13 12:46 pm

            What I was trying to allude to is that the US should be investing in gun control and mental health initiatives, not trying to find the latest scapegoat to explain away the combination of bad government and bad parenting.

      I emailed KotakuAU yesterday pointing out that very same thing in that very same article. Glad you posted it here. Thanks!

    No, he wasn't

    I answered their question for them :)

      This kind of response is idiotic.

      How can you prove that?
      The kid was clearly nuts, but who’s to say that sitting at home all day playing games didn’t influence his nutty decision to do what he did?
      Obviously the games he was playing weren’t “kid shooting simulators” but you should be able to see how playing an unhealthy amount of games where he’s shooting people with guns might make an already unhealthy kid think about taking his readily available firearms out to shoot at some real people.

      There’s obviously a bunch of very good reasons why this could be the fault of a whole bunch of factors. At the same time there’s a lot of people (myself included) who regularly enjoy blowing long periods of time playing games. A guy who’s already nuts, socially excluded and playing a lots of violent games could certainly be influenced by their content.

      It would be f*cking awful if games took the sole blame for this tragedy, that would be really unfair. MILLIONS of people enjoy these games and don’t go out and do what he did.

      At the same time it would be nice to see gamers take the high ground and be a little more realistic than the mouth breathing gun-nuts. I know the idea of any kind of censorship of games is terrible (it really is) and would ultimately be a half-baked and idiotic “solution” to the problem, but if gamers are going to be as small minded and absolutist as the people willing to attack their hobbies then we lose the right to complain when we get extreme outcomes.

        Article = police are looking into whether the shooter was “emulating” a “video game scenario” when he murdered all of those people

        @spaghett = No, he wasn't

        There isn't a game that I am aware of where this specific scenario plays out, therefore I'm inclined to agree with @spaghett.

        Foggy = This kind of response is idiotic.

        Being rude kinda spoils the rest of your post. You should register so that you can edit posts afterwards and clean up simple mistakes like that.

          Thanks for being a bro Ash :)

          Clearly you have my back

    Quick everyone, hide your copies of "Child Murder Simulator 2012: Elementary School Edition" before Fox News find out.

    Lanza's mother legitimately believed the world was ending and that she needed guns to protect herself when Obama came to take them away from her. She's responsible for Lanza's firearms training and experience, not that having guns did her any good when her son murdered her in her sleep.

    Of course the media has decided to blame video games, and wouldn't you know it, they finally found a shooter who actually plays video games, unlike every other school shooter they falsely associated with video games over the last 12 years. (I think maybe the Columbine kids had played Doom?)

    They won't let it go easily.

      But I only have the 2011 edition... do I need the latest toddler shotgun patch???

        They have those in Borderlands, they refer to them as Shotgun Midgets.

        Hell yes.
        But if you don't get the full upgrade you miss out on "Pleading Cowering Teacher" scenario, as well as the new weapons packs. Plastic spoons FTW!! I never knew they could do so much damage.

      Video games are the new Metal music are the new Rock music are the new Comic Books are the new anything else that kids are into and the generation in power don't understand.

    It's the same old song and dance.

    In 10 years, dirty cops will be placing violent video games on us as evidence to justify arrest and detainment.

    ...Can't think of it, gotta stay positive.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmw4lzjEqD8

    I think we are forgeting the most likely cause here - Possession.

    What about the violent movies in his house, or the violent books he owned? So sick of Americans retarted blame game... how about they look at the abuse the guy recieved from bullies and his mother.

    Video games dont put the player down with verbal and physical abuse, they dont alienate someone because they are mentally or physically different. Instead games are some peoples only outlet where they can be themselves and forget their real world troubles for a little bit.

    Sick of the pathetic witch hunt against games by people with no clue what so ever.....

    Last edited 19/02/13 9:54 am

    Oh and guess what game, and scene they are totally going to use:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMnnMRWJ-0

    Yep, games are doomed :D

      It's hard to defend games with stages like that used... that was a pretty despicable level. I understand you have the choice, but really... defending against things with that. It's very hard...

        Would you like me to list you 20 movies that are harder to justify show much more despicable acts?

          You miss the point entirely. When the argument is, that some levels inspire violence due to their despicable nature, some games are indeed indefensible, at least portions of them are, in terms of their content.

          I can, off the top of my head, name you at LEAST 20 - 30 movies and television shows with despicable topics far worse as well.

          Saw - 1 - 7
          Breaking Bad (God I love this show.. but the shows topic is horrendous)
          The Walking Dead (2 children killed so far... zombies, but yeah...)
          The Collector (Mediocre)
          The Collection (Great fun!)
          Hostel
          Hostel 2
          Day of the Dead (original)
          The list could go on, but I won't.

          The point is, that every art form is going to get its detractors and people slinging blame, and some games are indeed artful. Some aren't. It's why games in general are never going to be seen as art, but SOME might individually. Just as SOME movies are seen as art but not all movies are.

          But then there's those in that artform, that are indefensible. Movies such as 'A Serbian Film'. Yes, as an adult you do have the right to play them, yes as an adult, you do have the right to be exposed to them. But equally, as an adult, you have the responsibility to accept it for what it is. Exploitative shit. Because that, for instance, is what 'No Russian' is. Exploitative shit. There was no actual artistic need to have that level. It could have served just as effective purpose as a cutscene. There was no actual ramification for ANY of your actions during that scene. There's a few other games like this, they, like movies, are a subgenre, an exploitation genre. They deserve to exist because they're part of that artform. But with them existing comes the acceptance that they ARE exploitation and they are the worst of their kind because of that.

          (A slight footnote: I do not for one moment believe that asshole copied videogames. It was proven beyond a doubt he was not a gamer initially. They're just in the blame phase of grief, looking for an excuse. They did this with Columbine and DOOM, they're doing it now... it'll blow over.)

          Last edited 19/02/13 6:21 pm

    He was emulating all the other shooters who have done the same thing and been turned in to glorified role models for crazy people like this. The "here's how he did it, how he was caught and how you could do better if you did it yourself" news reports don't help.

    I should probably check myself in to a jail right away. I play violent video games and ENJOY them! I even enjoyed and LAUGHED at Postal 2. That must mean I'm a psycho.

    I feel more influenced by movies and the news than Computer games. I still see kids playing out their favourite TV shows when they play instead of the video games they've played.

      Haven't a group of world class psychiatrists pointed out that the news stories about these shooters with a scoreboard of kills, 24/7 coverage and naming the person are precisely the wrong things to do as they encourage others (who are mentally disturbed) to try this.

    I'm sick of hearing of the attitude "How could violent video games NOT have an impact on the behaviour of a young, impressionable person?"

    At one stage people also thought "How could the Earth NOT be the centre of the universe?"

    That's an easy one, because it's completely demonstrable to someone how our solar system works, where it's situated in our galaxy, and what our universe is. The studies that continue to happen about links between violent behaviour and exposure to violent video games will continue to find no links, and there will always be room for the media to portray video games as the bad guy.

    I think it's time we started taking the stance that you have to take with theists. The burden of proof should be on those purporting the existence of something that's not there. What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

      I think it's wise, though, to at least consider the fact that a small percentage of people will always be affected/influenced by violence; be it in a video game, a movie, a book, or displayed in the home by mum or dad. I think it's dangerous to assume that violent video games are the root cause of all shootings and violent behaviour, but it's equally naive to think that no-one will ever be affected by them.

      What we should be doing, as a community, is accepting, promoting and supporting research and the development of strategies to ensure that people who shouldn't be exposed to violence of any kind aren't; which may include the mentally ill, the far too young, or the highly impressionable.

      Regardless of where your opinion lies, I think we can all agree that it is far too easy for kids under 15 to get their hands on games intended for adults, and it's the small number of kids that can, and are vulnerable to the content in these games, that need to be protected. (May I also say, that any mum or dad that buys their 12 year old a copy of GTA or CoD should be ashamed of themselves)

        An unbalanced individual can find inspiration in just about anything to set them off. Catcher in the Rye has been associated with multiple shootings. Other people have used religious texts.

        Quite simply, we should not promote this sort of sensationalist attitude that video games could be part of the problem. It has never been proven that they are and it's getting incredibly tiresome to have to keep pointing it out just because people keep saying "well, maybe they are."

        If they are, prove it. I will not oppose any actual evidence but constant speculation based on nothing is counter-productive.

        The problem isn't the media that unbalanced people read/play/view, the problem is the lack of care that unbalanced people have and the access to deadly weapons that they have.

          How can you possibly argue that one form of media, books, can influence people, and another form of media, games, can't?

          EDIT: And I did say that violence in all forms can influence susceptible people.

          Last edited 19/02/13 12:19 pm

            Because that's not my argument.

            My argument is that people that are susceptible to that behaviour will find something to influence them. Going after video games or books won't stop that, they'll just find something else. It's not the root cause and you need to address the root cause or you're not doing anything.

              So when I said this:

              What we should be doing, as a community, is accepting, promoting and supporting research and the development of strategies to ensure that people who shouldn't be exposed to violence of any kind aren't; which may include the mentally ill, the far too young, or the highly impressionable.

              What part of you thought I was going after video games?

              EDIT: Also, whether or not it was your argument, that is exactly what you said: That Cather in the Rye/Religious texts have been associated with shootings.

              Then:

              Quite simply, we should not promote this sort of sensationalist attitude that video games could be part of the problem. It has never been proven that they are and it's getting incredibly tiresome to have to keep pointing it out just because people keep saying "well, maybe they are."

              Last edited 19/02/13 12:35 pm

                Video games have been blamed. Catcher in the Rye has been blamed. Religious texts have been blamed. Dungeons and dragons, heavy metal, comics, take your pick. Many things have been blamed and associated with acts of violence.

                That doesn't mean that they are actually part of the problem.

                That which has been asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Until people can demonstrate that media like this can cause harm to the mentally ill, the young and the impressionable, we should demand that anyone making those claims go back to trying to find evidence.

                Our responsibility as a community should be to promote rational discussion. Not sensationalism that seeks to blame something despite a clear lack of evidence.

                I am so incredibly tired of this debate. Where people continually want to point the finger at something because it might have had a hand in it somewhere. The problem wasn't the thing, it was the person. Deal with the person.

                  Once again, when I said this:

                  What we should be doing, as a community, is accepting, promoting and supporting research and the development of strategies to ensure that people who shouldn't be exposed to violence of any kind aren't; which may include the mentally ill, the far too young, or the highly impressionable.

                  And this:

                  I concur, and this is exactly why as a community of gamers, we need to be sensible about the way we discuss and comment about this kind of issue. I know that not many will agree with me when I say this, but I believe that if we can do our best to be the voice of reason amongst the shouting masses, the people who's opinions and decisions matter will eventually see sensationalism for what it is. What we need is representation, someone who can carefully and confidently navigate through the journalistic minefield that is Australian media, whilst still representing our community.

                  What part of you thought that I was going after video games?

                  EDIT: Have a read through this http://www.thepci.org/articles/anderson_Research.pdf

                  Once again, I'm not contending that everyone who watches or plays anything violent will murder en mass, I am simply saying that the idea that no-one will be affected is closed-minded and naive.

                  Last edited 19/02/13 12:56 pm

                  @spenceradams: This part:

                  I think it's dangerous to assume that violent video games are the root cause of all shootings and violent behaviour, but it's equally naive to think that no-one will ever be affected by them.

                  People can be affected by anything.

                  EDIT: As for Anderson, it's easy to find many people that disagree with him and his studies have been completely rejected by the Australian government during the debate on the R18+ classification.

                  Last edited 19/02/13 1:01 pm

                  I can't directly reply to your comment below, so I will here.

                  I freakin' said earlier that people can be affected by anything. You are proving my point you jackass. My contention: Some people, somewhere, will be affected by violent video games. Your contention: people can be affected by anything. I fail to see how you are able to argue against me when you have stated multiple times that you support my argument. FOR THE BILLIONTH TIME: I am not saying (it even says this in the comment you quoted) that violent video games are the root cause of violent behvaiour. I AM SIMPLY STATING THAT SOME PEOPLE COULD POSSIBLY BE AFFECTED BY THEM. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

                  EDIT: By the way, if you had bothered to read that paper, you'd realise that your argument:

                  Because that's not my argument.

                  My argument is that people that are susceptible to that behaviour will find something to influence them. Going after video games or books won't stop that, they'll just find something else. It's not the root cause and you need to address the root cause or you're not doing anything.

                  Is virtually the same one found in Anderson's study, as well as this study: http://web.comhem.se/u68426711/12/sem2/browne05.pdf

                  Last edited 19/02/13 1:07 pm

                  I understand that you are saying that people could be affected by video games. I'm saying that is meaningless.

                  Anderson has published studies showing similar changes in aggression when people play or view competitive sports. There are studies out there showing increases in aggression from non-violent competitive games and non-violent frustrating games.

                  If you did one of those aggression tests right now, you'd show an increase in aggression from talking to me.

                  Video games have nothing to do with this discussion. People could be affected by them but they could be affected by literally anything. To bring up video games in a discussion about the causes of violence is a distraction from the actual discussion and that's why I'm sick of it.

                  This is what I'm talking about. That isn't a sensible point of view, particularly because you yourself said that people can be affected by anything. What I have stated all along is that as a community, we need to be measured and sensible about how we discuss this issue. You simply cannot deny that there are people out there that are affected by violence in video games, just like movies, TV shows, books, magazines and whatever else there is out there. However, if we do our research, and argue the point of helping ensure that the people who are at risk are protected/helped/cared for, we are arguing from a much better position than simply: "No! video games have nothing to do with it. Please, re-read my first comment and understand that I'm not calling for violent video games to be burned in giant piles, but for a fair and balanced discussion.

                  Last edited 19/02/13 1:35 pm

                  "Anyone can be affected by anything" is a broad statement that can be interpreted two ways:

                  1) Anyone can be affected by anything, so it is pointless to focus on what those things are.

                  2) Anyone can be affected by anything, so we should find out what those things might be.

                  The former assumes that the thing influencing the person is insubstantial. The latter assumes that the thing influencing the person is substantial.

                  Look at it this way, there are studies out there showing that competitive sports increases aggression. If a rugby player gets into a bar fight, do we blame it on the fact that he's a rugby player or do we assume that he's just a thug? After all, some rugby players are model citizens, it's only a handful that are thugs.

                  A man has a bad day at the office, gets frustrated and beats his wife. Do we blame office culture or the fact that the guy is an asshole?

                  In almost every other discussion about violent behaviour, we address the person who has performed the action as the cause and the external influence as a detail. As soon as the discussion turns to someone being influenced by something more abstract, particularly something less socially acceptable, that gets turned around.

                  Anyone can be affected by anything. The discussion isn't about video games, it's about how some people do bad things.

                  But the culture of a family and it's environment is always examined. Look, bottom line, we are arguing the same thing: We both want a fair and balanced discussion about the issue. I think if the world saw you on stage in a debate about the issue, refusing to acknowledge video games as having any part of the issue, they would write you off as a douche straight away. I'll say it again, all it takes is to accept that some people have a problem with it, and then quickly move on to the bigger picture, but disregarding it completely doesn't allow you the platform to discuss the issue at all. I'm not saying you have to denounce your games, or the violence in them. I love video games, violence and all, but I'm not about to say that there aren't any unstable people out there who will be influenced by them in a not-so-healthy way. And, once again, I'm also not saying that video games are the problem at all, even in these circumstances, I'm saying, again, that what we should be doing, as a community, is accepting, promoting and supporting research and the development of strategies to ensure that people who shouldn't be exposed to violence of any kind aren't; which may include the mentally ill, the far too young, or the highly impressionable. Please just tell me what is wrong with that plan?

                  Would a court care that a man had a bad day at work before beating his wife? Would they care if someone in a bar fight played rugby?

                  If a 20 year old suburban teen played violent video games is about as relevant to the discussion about his violent murders as whether he had toast or cereal for breakfast. It's that simple. I dismiss claims of relevancy on the basis that they have consistently shown no evidence to support those claims.

                  You want to actually talk about the bigger picture? Stop talking about the details that do not matter.

                  Bring evidence that video games (or anything else) was an influence and then it becomes relevant. Simply playing games doesn't make them an influence and that's why this whole thing is so damned tiresome.

                  No, but would a court care that a child who grew up in an abusive home environment turned out to be a serial rapist? Yes, they most certainly would, because details like that are what help them design systems that keep that kind of thing in check, it helps them implement ideas like child services and the monitoring of at risk children. If, for example, briefly discussing that some mentally disabled people can be adversely affected by certain media content in a substantial way, can lead to court/government systems to investigate MORE THOROUGHLY the issue, then so much the better. You want to bring the evidence? Can't even start without discussing the issue, or even the slight possibility that some people might be adversely affected by violent media content. You know what else? Even if you are right, and that is not part of the issue, it doesn't matter, because there are plenty of people out there that want to discuss it anyway. You are obviously not a stupid person, you at least have the capacity to form a coherent argument, don't remove your voice from the pool of reasonable people on the side of protecting the games we love by refusing to even discuss a potential issue.

                  The issue has been discussed ad nauseum and gone absolutely nowhere. People get completely stuck on the idea that games must have something to do with it and yet evidence continues to be lacking. This has gone on for decades and the most substantial thing we have is disputed studies into short term aggression.

                  I'm not refusing to discuss a potential issue. I'm refusing to discuss a potential issue until it can be shown to be an issue.

      In real life, this is how it works.

      The media is not real life. The news can report anything they goddamn like, which affects public opinion, which reinforces belief in stuff that is not backed by evidence. Even if they're ever published, the facts will never get as much publicity because those kinds of headlines don't sell newspapers.

      Last week ago I went looking for the outcome of that girl who sued her school because she didn't get into Law at USyd, because after the initial headlines which made the girl a laughingstock, the news disappeared.

      It got resolved at the claims tribunal in November last year, long after any sane person had stopped caring. While of course she lost and the claims for damages were dismissed, there was a great deal more to the argument on both sides.

      That's how it will be with this shooting, and the next one, and the next one. Sometime in the next six months some psycho will shoot up an nursing home or hospital or something, meanwhile the truth about Lanza will be quietly touched on in a non-publicized trial, he'll go to jail forever and we'll all be busy complaining how the latest shooting is nothing like GTA V even though Fox News has a panel of octogenarian "experts" who have surveyed their friends at Church and are 110% convinced games are the devil.

        I concur, and this is exactly why as a community of gamers, we need to be sensible about the way we discuss and comment about this kind of issue. I know that not many will agree with me when I say this, but I believe that if we can do our best to be the voice of reason amongst the shouting masses, the people who's opinions and decisions matter will eventually see sensationalism for what it is. What we need is representation, someone who can carefully and confidently navigate through the journalistic minefield that is Australian media, whilst still representing our community.

    So, why didn't he call in a chopper or hellfire missile as he killed people? I mean, since he was acting like it was a video game and all. I assume he had a blackbird in the sky and what have you. Must have been trying for the nuke medal.

    This may sound offensive, but let's be real. The notion of "acting out a video game" is boarder line stupid. There are no respawns, killstreaks, first aid kits, or recharging shields. I love how the police are so stupid at their job that they have to find a scrap goat to not make them look stupid. Seriously, what about movies? So, only VIDEO GAMES can make people killers. Or how about they see it in the movie, they go do it in a video game, and they react it in real life. See? Perfect plan. Just accept that he was a disturbed person and had metal issues and move on. Yes, it's a shame it happened, but no amount of censorship will stop this kind of stuff. There will always be one bad apple in the barrel. Just have to find it before something bad happens.

      Those damn scrap goats... They're boarder line illiterate.

      Last edited 19/02/13 11:44 am

        I've been looking to buy a scrap goat for ages, I'm restoring a 1968 Fastback Goat and I need some hard to find parts.

          I recommend calling your local scrap (barn)yard.

    The actuall cause for all these school shootings is the lack of a role model to mold to within the household. These boys didn't know what it was to be a man so they resorted to doing things that they saw men do in, In particular movies.

    1000's of dollars, that's perhaps 10 ~ 20 games. I'm sure people have more "violent" games than that in their steam libraries.

    One of the modern warfare games has a bit set in a school and I think one of the fear games had a small school part as well but neither school had students in them. They are the only FPSs I can think of with even a little bit of a school in them.

    The police are just using this as an excuse to spend an afternoon playing CS as...you know....research??

    I saw the fucker try to glitch through a wall, so definitely yes...

      The sign outside the school clearly stated "No glitchers, no shotguns, no teabagging."

    Sure.. he might have been acting out a video game fantasy.. he might have been acting out a movie related fantasy.. he might have been acting out a book related fantasy.. but none of those things are the root cause. Blaming the game or movie or book or whatever is missing the point. He was mentally ill.. that's the root cause and while some in the media and government have acknowledged this, the majority of those that can do something about it seem to be constantly avoiding the subject because it would cost way too much to fix and it's easier to blame objects.. plus the fact that you can slap a "mature game" tax on them and get more money.

    I think the largest issue here is that a child with apparent Asperger's syndrome was bought up in a house that was obsessed with gun and military culture. The heavy focus on this that he would have had due to his condition and the lack of empathy associated with Asperger's does not make a good mix in my opinion.

    Video games are in most just a scape goat so the media has something to blame, rather than assessing the issue and finding out more about the person in question.

    Some of the worst massacres in the history of the United States of America happened DECADES before video games even existed. Penn & Teller touched on this in a episode of their program Bullshit. One of the worst massacres was in the 1950's with a bloke who used explosives to murder a bunch of innocent people.

    Just because someone plays a video game that has a violent nature to it, doesn't mean it's always going to make them want to go and grab their assault rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, or whatever other version of a gun they have and shoot a bunch of people.

    Video games should never EVER be the sole reason of blame behind someones nature, there is always something else, a mental disease, an issue in their life , video games might play a part where someone is unstable but I would never put them down as the reason why they went and shot up a school, shopping mall, cinema, or whatever.

    There is always another reason, it's sad because I would be certain these tragedies could've been prevented if the person received the help they ever most require.

    It's like Columbine where Marilyn Manson was the main target for blame behind why the two teens shot up their school. No he was not the reason he did not tell them "Hey I know what you should do, murder your school mates won't that be fun?!"there were so many underlying issues there that you cannot simply blame it on someone who looks scary because they listened to his music.

    That is one of the worse examples I have seen the media do, they singled out ONE human being and put all the blame on him, I know Manson is a unique identity but fuck. He's a very intelligent man also and the media actually sent him into hiding for a few years he was that distraught from it all.

    Well this has been long and ranty. I apologise to who ever reads that.

    Going after how Mental Health is handled should be the drive. Unfortunately, it's too big and too broad for the 'blame and spin' game though. Too many people are ready to defend against a Mental health shake up. And frankly that may do more harm than good in the long run if we start isolating "potentially harmful" people - slippery slope. Going after guns, well, that's a fool's errand in a country so ego-dependant on them, if you look at US history and how it is clearly linked with war its clear they will never ever let them go until they can mature beyond linking empowerment with arms.

    Games on the other hand, perfectly easy scapegoat. Most people still don't understand them, it's easily seen as a source of unwanted behaviours (laziness, fixation etc) and it's already in a weak position even in the eyes of the industry defenders. The main reason I know this will generally blow over... games make a shit-ton of money for Americans and I KNOW that little fact came up during the meet with the VP.

    Huh. Video games must be terrible inducers of violence. I guess murders never happened before video games. Except we know that's not right... Oh, wait. I get it. So murders have INCREASED since video games became popular in the 80s... Hm. Except all the FBI stats seem to show they've gone down. That's odd. You'd think we'd have got better at reporting crimes as technology has advanced, rather than worse... But the only answer to that little puzzle is that I guess it means games don't make people go out and murder. MADNESS!

    Yes, people are casting about madly trying to find some kind of sense in the senseless, but that doesn't excuse them for being idiots, it just explains it. These people need censure.

    I get that society and the media require scapegoats for bad things. I totally do. The average person can't stand the notion that maybe they could have parented better, maybe the person had untended mental issues (whether noticed or not), and sometimes, just sometimes, bad things just happen. This would be an uncontrolled world, and it scares people.

    So scapegoats are needed. "It's not your fault, it's XXXXXX's fault", where over the year's it's been many things we're mostly aware of here.
    Comics warped minds
    D&D and Metal turned children into evil devil worshippers
    Penny novels warped the minds of women, since they can't discern fiction from reality
    Elvis's hips corrupted our teenagers.

    It's not at all rational. None of it is, or has been.

    I mean, Black Ops alone sold well in excess of 13 million copies. I feel I can safely suggest that multiple people at every high school have played it or one of the "similar" first person shooters (Battlefield, Medal of Honor, etc). If these games caused people to go out and slaughter mankind should have managed to end itself at this point.
    But of course, it hasn't.

    Currently we're being hit especially hard by pro-gun individuals trying to protect their own interests by lashing out at us. Although I'm not sure we're fighting in the same way. They seem to be suggesting that our hobby is directly to blame, and while I'm sure a number on our side do feel the same way about their hobby, I'm not sure it's the majority. I'm opposed to guns myself, but I'm not under the impression that guns make people into mass murderers. It's an inanimate lump of metal. However, fully automatic firearms allow already derailed people to kill in far greater numbers.
    We've always had mass murderers, or at least, people who could have been. The problem previously has been that the weapons of the time can only achieve so many kills before you run out of ammunition, or have some other complication where someone else can stop you. Removing high capacity weapons can help lesson the amount of carnage, but you'd be just as delusional as the pro-gun people to believe it would actually stop killings at all.

    None of this matters though. Again, society is far from a position to do away with scapegoats. Really all we can do is try to remain calm, discuss rationally, and wait for the next new thing to come along and take gaming's place as the big bad evil. Which is sad, but unavoidable. History will continue to repeat.

    Video games never killed anyone, and I doubt that they ever could. I mean, those little discs are kind sharp, but you would have to fling it impossibly hard to actually hurt someone with it.

    Regardless of how many violent video games this kid owned, if he wasn't able to access high powered firearms, then this probably wouldn't have occurred.

    Gamers sound as crazy as the NRA because they're just as much in denial. Yes, we know that insanity and guns are the most significant contributing factors but let's not ignore reality. I love plenty of violent games but I won't deny their potential to inspire nutjobs to do the unthinkable.

    People are inspired to cosplay. People become so enthralled with games that they'll do some pretty crazy things. I've known people who joined the military because of videogames. It's not outside the realms of possibility that games can inspire people to do bad things.

    If you want to defend games, defend the technological benefits to society, the art or the economic contributions. Zealously stonewalling and denying all criticism of games doesn't help the cause, it's just childish.

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