Adam Lanza May Have Been 'Recreating' Violent Video Games in Sandy Hook Shooting

Horrifying 31

Police have reportedly found thousands of dollars worth of violent video games belonging to Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooter Adam Lanza in the home he shared with his mother. And police say they will never even know the full extent of his violent video game obsession because he destroyed his computer's hard drive before his horrific murder spree. But reportedly police believe he may have been "reenacting" some of the scenes from the video games he loved so much when he burst into the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school and killed 20 students and six adults.

I personally do not believe violent video games -- or movies or song lyrics or anything else -- can cause anyone to kill. Not in and of themselves. It takes a variety of causes and elements to interact in the mind to cause someone to kill -- especially to get to the point where you are mass killing complete strangers who did nothing to you.

Reportedly Adam Lanza was on the austism spectrum and may have had Asperger's Syndrome, which experts say doesn't predispose anyone to violence. (He also reportedly had "sensory integration disorder" and could only tolerate being touched by his mother.) However, combine whatever mental illness Adam may or may not have had with a obsessive fantasy world wherein killing is the order of the day, and it could tip someone over into a dark realm where killing becomes something that not only the person is desensitized to, but is glorified.

Plenty of studies have shown that images of violence make children act out in more hostile and aggressive ways -- at least in the short term. Hell, do your own experiment. Watch a violent movie or video game and then walk outside. How do you feel about the people around you? How aggressive is your driving? Now meditate for half an hour or take a bubble bath while listening to soft music and do the same thing.

Let's say you're in a room a disturbed person who has a gun. And you have to sit in a room with this person for a week. Would you prefer that person play violent video games or listen to soothing classical music and watch uplifting, inspirational images on a computer. You get to choose. How many of you are going to choose the first? In fact, how many murderous young men have we heard of who who were obsessed with Mozart, Buddha, rescuing animals and watching light romantic comedies? What do soldiers listen to when they are at war? It's not Handel or Celine Dion.

Violent games may not cause violence, but a mind does. And what goes into that mind is of extreme importance. Think about that when you decide what goes into the mind of your children.

Do you think violent videogames played any kind of role here?


Image via Marcin Wichary/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Gretta

Yes. Obviously.

Shandi80 Shandi80

I like how there's an Atari in the is one of the least violent game systems out there mainly due to the graphics that were top of the line in 1980. :P You should replace it with a picture of Black Ops or Grand Theft Auto...something from this century that is without a doubt violent. Just sayin'.

nonmember avatar Lyndsay Sue

Maybe. But there were TWENTY SEVEN victims, NOT twenty six. His mother was a victim too.

insei... inseineangel

This argument over whether video games/tv/music/movies make a person violent is getting old.

It absolutely has to do with the person's mind. If it were those things creating these violent people, hell, everyone would be a killer. 

Listening to classical music, visiting museums, avoiding television/computer, viewing art and reading great works... things like that are not going to prevent someone from doing violence.

It all depends on the mind. If something is broken, if there is a chemical imbalance, or neurons are misfiring, a little Bach isn't going to fix it. 

Demonizing video games and television and laying all the blame with them is preventing us from looking elsewhere. We need to teach authorities, teachers, parents, children; we need to teach everyone to always be cautious, to always watch for those signs that something may not be quite right with a person. There are so many subtle and obvious signs to look for. We just need to open our eyes to the people around us. 

I guarantee 1 in 5 people that you know personally have the capability of becoming violent. I guarantee 1 in 5 people you know personally has the emotional or mental trigger just waiting to be pulled.

9 out of 10 times it's people that pull that trigger, not video games.

nonmember avatar Boom

FYI: autism is not a mental illness.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Yes, it's the people who pull the trigger. But I believe her point is that there is a larger societal situation at play here.

In the 1950s, how many school massacres were there? How many drive-by shootings? How much violence? And how many violent songs were played on the radio? How many violent TV shows (I'm talking graphic, follow-the-bullet-into-the-victim's-brain stuff)? How many movies glorified cutting people up, shooting people? How many games were there that promoted killing the police, mowing down crowds of victims?

When a person is exposed to this kind of indoctrination day in and day out, they become desensitized to it. Playing violent video games for hours on end WILL skew your view of the world. Add 'gangsta' rap and other violent music. Now pile violent movies, websites, and other media on top of that. Isolate those people from others who have different viewpoints. Maybe keep them from church or other civic organizations that will take time from all of that other crap. NOW add in mental illness. Do you see a pattern here?

Why is it that we can look at the single occurrences of pornography overuse/addiction and say, yes, it can cause some people to act in a way that is not "normal", but video games are sacrosanct, untouchable, and completely innocent?

Mommi... MommietoJB

Well yes of course. Im not allowing violent video games into my home. Whether or not a child is on the spectrum, violent movies and video games are not suitable for children or teens. Your brain is still developing, until your 25 I believe. Im sure this guy was playing them obsessively since he was a teenager. Thousands worth of video games, thats several years worth. And as a parent of an autistic boy, I have to say, why did this mother and father allow their son to play violent video games obsessively, seclude himself and teach him how to shoot guns. When your child is on the spectrum, you know their mind thinks differently, hence being non neurotypical. Its like his parents ignored their sons issues and let his problems fester.

LeeshaE LeeshaE

How about Hitler, he was murderous and preferred classical music especially Wagner. Art imitates life not the other way around. And art has been blamed for years for acts of violence John Hinkley saw Taxi Driver and Mark David a fecking book. I think if video games were to blame you would have a lot more homicidal programmers out there, do you know how tediously they explore those games?

kelly... kelly24019

Oh my god... It's video games, they wore black, listen to rock and roll... Come on... These stereotypes are getting old


LeeshaE. I was about to bring up Hitler also. How about Stalin and the man who killed Versace and many others on his way to kill him,was more of a broadway musical/disco kind of guy. Bottom line,if you are going to be a mass murdering fuck head you're going to be a mass murdering fuck head. Games may amp these types up before their "spree" but they were twisted fucks from the get. Can we be done with this man already?

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