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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:50 AM

Police Focusing On Adam Lanza’s Obsession With Video Games

Source: TPM



DAVID TAINTOR 11:18 AM EST, MONDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2013

As police continue to investigate the December massacre in Newtown, Conn., they are focusing on the amount of time Adam Lanza spent playing video games, The Hartford Courant reported Sunday in an in-depth profile of Lanza and his mother Nancy. According to the report, police found thousands of dollars worth of violent video games in a search of the Lanza home.

In the article, one of Nancy Lanza's friends also disputed reports that she was a "prepper."

"She's been described as some sort of survivalist, or a prepper who was preparing for the government and the economy crumbling, which was simply not the case," John Bergquist told the Courant.

The Courant profile coincides with a "FRONTLINE" report on Adam Lanza, scheduled to air Tuesday evening at 10 p.m. ET.

Read the Hartford Courant piece here:
http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/newtown-sandy-hook-school-shooting/hc-raising-adam-lanza-20130217,0,5614292,full.story

Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/police-focusing-on-adam-lanzas-obsession-with-video

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Police Focusing On Adam Lanza’s Obsession With Video Games (Original post)
DonViejo Feb 2013 OP
Report1212 Feb 2013 #1
HooptieWagon Feb 2013 #11
Tempest Feb 2013 #14
obxhead Feb 2013 #23
Lions_fan Feb 2013 #25
Chakab Feb 2013 #33
harun Feb 2013 #2
tarheelsunc Feb 2013 #3
PatrynXX Feb 2013 #5
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #34
d_b Feb 2013 #4
PatrynXX Feb 2013 #6
frazzled Feb 2013 #7
HooptieWagon Feb 2013 #12
Moostache Feb 2013 #16
Travelman Feb 2013 #18
NoodleyAppendage Feb 2013 #20
reACTIONary Feb 2013 #31
Ash_F Feb 2013 #8
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #24
Lithos Feb 2013 #30
mpcamb Feb 2013 #9
Arkana Feb 2013 #10
MichiganVote Feb 2013 #26
Moostache Feb 2013 #13
RobinA Feb 2013 #35
Arkana Feb 2013 #36
RandiFan1290 Feb 2013 #15
Moostache Feb 2013 #17
OnyxCollie Feb 2013 #19
oNobodyo Feb 2013 #21
Leontius Feb 2013 #22
MichiganVote Feb 2013 #28
MichiganVote Feb 2013 #27
Lithos Feb 2013 #29
Tx4obama Feb 2013 #32

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:02 PM

1. Sounds like anyone else his age?

I don't think there's anything that different about him with respect to games.

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Response to Report1212 (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:17 PM

11. Thousands of dollars of games?

That sounds like an awful lot. While I don't think video games are a direct cause of violent acts, it does seem like in certain people a video game "reality" becomes real to them not having a real "reality" to relate to...like a social life, work, school, etc. Keeping Lanza locked in the house 24/7 playing video games became his reality.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:32 PM

14. At $65 a game, thousands of dollars isn't that many games.

By their calculations, I own hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of games.

I have a buddy that would be over one million worth of games.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:53 PM

23. My guess is that the gaming systems were added to that "thousands" number

get an xbox and a playstation and you could have $800 right there.

If you looked at my game library I would easily have "thousands" of dollars in games alone, but they'll base their number on original retail price. I typically only buy used games though that are a year or more past release date, so I would estimate game purchases over the last decade at a couple of hundred.

They do this shit with drugs all the time. They call it "street value." in other words if they cut that 10 ton shipment into nickel bags it would be worth billions and billions!

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Response to obxhead (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:34 PM

25. And if he were a PC gamer

thousands of dollars would be normal for a PC gaming set up.

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Response to Lions_fan (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:51 PM

33. A decent gaming rig will run you at least a couple grand.

Maybe a little bit cheaper if you build it yourself.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:13 PM

2. My money's on Bowling.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:18 PM

3. I guess they better come preemptively arrest me then.

I like shooting games, so by their logic I'm probably more likely to commit such a horrific crime...

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Response to tarheelsunc (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:34 PM

5. yeah I prefer to shoot zombies and aliens

not entirely other humans except when it comes to Postal 2 (Postal 3 didn't quite pull it off. toooooo buggy.. now there's something to get mad over. Buggy violent video games. just about the time your scoring big time. bang. blue screen. Fortunately it's now easier to break an LCD screen than a CRT screen. so no need to shoot at it.

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Response to tarheelsunc (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:40 AM

34. Me too

I'm a 52 year old who takes care of mom, and I spend a lot of time playing Call of Duty, Doom, Counter-Strike, Medal of Honor. This is another chance for them to pin it on something other than guns IMO.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:32 PM

4. he was a shut-in

wtf else was he gonna do all day, read books?

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Response to d_b (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:36 PM

6. oh sure just go to the Eric Lustbader books

where upon it had a kid fist fucking his mother. whoops.. yeah read one of those when I was like 14 oops. oh well. Must be why porn is better than beating people up cept American porn is usually harsh. European porn is mostly lovely ie is it solo g/g or b/g

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:49 PM

7. People should not dismiss the effects on an already disturbed mind

One that may have been detached from reality.

You can go ahead and make fun of this kind of research, and cite your own experiences, but it could be a lethal cocktail for someone with the deficiencies that Adam Lanza had. Would he still have lashed out and done something violent without a huge cache of violent games that he played obsessively? Perhaps. But maybe it wouldn't have involved walking into a school and killing a bunch of first graders and their teachers.

No one is suggesting censorship. But studies of potential dangers to certain people might make parents more aware and cautious.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:22 PM

12. Possibly something like that.

He lived in a bubble that became his reality.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:37 PM

16. His dad and mom divorced....maybe THAT was the issue too???

The kid shot his mother to death with her own guns...I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the video games may (MAY) have been a distant fourth or fifth on the causation curve here...start with no daddy, then add in a mommy with a gun fetish, mix in social awkwardness and stir a large dose of mental illness...

But, yeah, in that kind of toxic brew, clearly games must have been the trigger.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:44 PM

18. Agreed.

I don't think that there is any one "cause" that can be pointed to here, but instead a bunch of aggravating factors, with these sorts of games just reinforcing and buttressing the already disturbed mind that he had.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:13 PM

20. Agreed. FPS games are NOT indicated for those with poor grips on reality.

At some point I suspect Lanza began to fail to distinguish between what was game and what was reality.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:45 PM

31. What does a police investigation...

have to do with "studies of potential dangers to certain people"? Police aren't sociologists or psychologists. And personally, I don't see what there is to "investigate". Its not like they are going to turn up "the real killer". Its over and done with.

My opinion is that this is just sensationalist PR that has no useful purpose.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:50 PM

8. One thing I got from this is how some people really tried to reach out to him

Last edited Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:20 PM - Edit history (1)

"I'd go up and sit next to him. If he was sitting on the floor in the corner somewhere, I would do the same. … If it took a half an hour to sit there in silence with him, at some point, you'd go, 'How we doing?'

"And you wouldn't get an answer. … But I had a gadget with me at one time, where I handed him the gadget, and put it down and he wouldn't take it. But at some point, he started to play with it. And that actually … got him to start to come back and interact and be ready to go take part in the events. No answer, but physically getting up and going. So I would be determined to succeed at helping him."


That was the head of Adam's high school tech club. I think it was probably a mistake for his mother to have pulled him out of that school and into the home where he was further isolated. But it does seem like his mother was at least trying, even if she was misguided. I'm no psychologist though.

Thanks for the read.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:21 PM

24. Well, he was 20 so he would have been out of school regardless

And apparently he could not function well enough for college. Mentally yes, but socially no.

Blaming video games just doesn't seem logical. Movies are very violent nowadays. If he had watched movies all day, I'd bet the same thing would have happened.

Or heck, he could just have read the news. He was going to do something.

He doesn't really sound like Asperger's. I've never known any that poorly functioning. He sounds like he maybe had autism but a huge dose of mental illness. Maybe schizophrenia on top of autism.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:04 PM

30. look up ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder

This was not Autism. Most Autism kids would have lacked the executive functionality that was displayed.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:54 PM

9. Maybe

Maybe just a peek at gun availability to counter balance things...

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:56 PM

10. Goddamnit, it was not video games that made him kill a bunch of little kids.

Why does everyone do this? Oh no, you've played GTA/Call of Duty/Halo--you must be a sociopath!

No. Adam Lanza was a mentally ill whackjob with a mother who did nothing about it and left him with easy access to guns.

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Response to Arkana (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:44 PM

26. What he said. +1000

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:32 PM

13. Look out world...I have been playing those kinds of games for over 20 years!!!!

I guess by the logic around here and other outlets that I may only be seconds away from a kill-happy rampage...and I thought when I woke up that I just had to go to work tonight and earn money to pay my bills, avoid breaking laws or harming others.

Good thing I read this crap so I can just go ahead and get on with my game-driven destiny instead of remaining a productive member of society, husband and father...

**SARCASM OFF**

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Response to Moostache (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:35 AM

35. Just Noticing...

These "I play video games and haven't killed anybody" anecdotal arguments seem very familiar. As in "I have guns and I never killed anybody." So in seems strange to, as some people do, go from "It's not the video games (because I play video games), it's the guns." argument.

Me? I'm more of the "it's the video games, and the guns, and the movies, and much, much more" school of thought.

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Response to Moostache (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:40 AM

36. I'll probably have to join you, seeing as how I've played almost every violent video game

on the market.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:33 PM

15. I like video games

I'm totally getting into first person feeders

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:39 PM

17. Sweet textures!

Watch out now...those ducks could easily turn on each other in a massive pecking attack.
Next thing you know, people will be suggesting that you are inspiring a mentally ill person to run around beating people with a dead Mallard...

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:52 PM

19. No one could have anticipated...

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:28 PM

21. I remember when...

...there weren't such things as video games, violent or not...

there was however a constant stream of cowboy, war and crime dramas playing on the few channels that every kid was glued to...

back then they blamed bad behavior on comic books and tv...

what we didn't have was easy access to assault weapons and the slick oily sheen of apocalyptic despair hanging in the air...

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Response to oNobodyo (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:06 PM

22. Yeah the good ole days when killers were quieter and more well mannered

and spent days or weeks or months killing their victims.

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Response to oNobodyo (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:47 PM

28. We watched those shows, my dad had 5 shotguns-2 loaded under the bed. We never touched them.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:46 PM

27. The Woody Woodpecker rationale just does not wash.

And for the youth vote; look up the woody cartoons on youtube, esp. the Barber of Seville

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:01 PM

29. Hmm

I suspect it is not the cause, but a symptom of the environment.

The obvious parts are his being a technophile and socially awkward, two things which promote the use of video games as a means for recreation.

The number of games suggests he was either spending many hundreds of hours playing (playing thru them), or was looking for the next experience. Twitch games tend to be more interesting in terms of complexity and visceral experience (stimulation). And if he had a tendency to hyperfocus (a common thing for many mental illnesses), then twitch games would provide the longest piece.

Backing up. I personally believe (this is armchair psychiatry) that he suffered ODD/CD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder that had been allowed to progress to Conduct Disorder). I also suspect he suffered from ADHD or some other mental disorder on top of this. The lack of intervention by his mother and the state made him a walking time bomb. Access to guns made it easier for him to enact his revenge, but would not have stopped his acting out.

L-



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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:51 PM

32. REPORT: Adam Lanza Motivated By Norway Shooter



Newtown shooter motivated by Norway massacre, sources say

Law enforcement sources say Adam Lanza was motivated by violent video games and a strong desire to kill more people than another infamous mass murderer.

Sources say Lanza saw himself as being in direct competition with Anders Breivik, a Norwegian man who killed 77 people in July 2011.

Breivik killed eight with a bombing in downtown Oslo. He then moved to a nearby island where hunted down and fatally shot 69 people, mostly teenagers attending a summer camp.

Two officials who have been briefed on the Newtown, Conn., investigation say Lanza wanted to top Breivik's death toll and targeted nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School because it was the "easiest target" with the "largest cluster of people."

-snip-

Full article here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57569958/newtown-shooter-motivated-by-norway-massacre-sources-say/

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