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Arizona Shooter Pegged As 'Big Video Gamer' By Classmates

Illustration for article titled Arizona Shooter Pegged As Big Video Gamer By Classmates

Here we go. Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson man accused of attempting to kill Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, has been identified as a "big video gamer" by former classmates. Oh, and he really enjoyed reading Mein Kampf.

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While a YouTube account linked to Loughner doesn't actually list video games as one of his interests—allegedly, he enjoys reading, grammar, "conscience dreams" and... mind control as currency?—two reports from former classmates have identified the suspect as an avid video game player. So don't be surprised when you see the following recollections dredged up by video game fear-mongering types.

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(We've already had one opportunistic unemployed lawyer focus on this one aspect of Loughner's life, shockingly.)

According to a Wall Street Journal report, "All [Loughner] did was play video games and play music," according to high school friend Tommy Marriotti. And by way of The Arizona Republic, the suspected murderer was a "big video gamer," or so says Pima Community College student Chris Walker.

Other rumored and reported interests of Loughner's include heavy metal and classic rock music, playing the saxophone, graffiti, drugs, sitting in unlocked cars, blurting out apocalyptic non sequitur during algebra classes and reading books like Animal Farm, Brave New World, Peter Pan, Mein Kampf and Siddhartha. Loughner also stands accused of maybe liking Drowning Pool.

But, yeah, video games. Crazy people like them too.

Loughner disruptive, talked of death, former classmates say [AZ Central]

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DISCUSSION

Because of stories like this one, my mother in-law keeps asking me if video games won't turn her granddaughter (my wife's niece) into a violent killing machine. Y'know, because they said so on TV.

My wife's niece mosly plays stuff like Giana Sisters or multiple princess and/or fashion and/or pony and/or baby games on her DSi, or spends most of her time taking pictures and doodling over them with the built-in camera.

I'd be more worried about mental retardation than aggressiveness with these types of game, but fortunately, she also plays good games on her DSi, and spends a lot of time playing with other toys or going outside. She's a good kid and video games just can't turn a gem like that into a monster.

My opinion is that there's usually something rotten at the core from the start, and it just turns out we're pointing at video games today for drawing it out. Yesterday, it would have been Rap music, before, violent movies, before, Rock music... It'll die out and be replaced by some other black sheep as technology progresses. What will it be next? I'm placing my money on violent 3D movies, you know, because of the realism, because it's like you're there when this actor shoots this other. It trains your mind.

Bets are open.