Colorado Shooter Didn’t Play Shooters

James Holmes - Batman Shooter

We try to keep things pretty light here at CheatCodes.com and our gaming blog CheatCodes Extra! But sometimes it’s the right time to get a little serious.

First, we’re all shocked, saddened, and appalled at the senseless violence perpetrated by “alleged” gunman James Holmes in an Aurora, Colorado midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. We also think it’s silly that we have to use the word “alleged” — but I supposed even nutjobs deserve their day in court.

Further, we’re also shocked, saddened, and appalled that the media (both mainstream and fringe) are so grossly misreporting so many things about this case. And the one that ticks me off the most is that “alleged” gunman James Holmes “allegedly” liked to play violent, first-person shooter video games. Allegedly.

James Holmes (the “Batman” Shooter) is reported to like video games. So what?

And even if someone were to make a lucid argument that violent video games leads to violence, that doesn’t seem to be the case here… because there’s no evidence that James Holmes liked violent games. In fact, a girl who know Holmes in high school is quotes as saying:

He loved video games. But I would say he did not like the shooting games. He preferred others, Guitar Hero.

That’s the only direct quote I can find anywhere in the media from anyone with first-hand knowledge of the games Holmes liked to play. MSNBC reported:

World of Warcraft was reportedly one of the video games that James Holmes frequently played.

But they failed to mention any source of that “report,” and draw a weak link between WoW and Holmes’ psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton. And even if (allegedly) Holmes liked to play WoW (and there’s no evidence that he did), that’s not really one of the games that the finger-pointers like to lambaste as “violent.”

So can video games lead to violence? I don’t know — but that’s not my point here. My question is “did video games lead to violence in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings,” and there’s absolutely no evidence that they did. I’m sure as this case unfolds, there will be plenty of opportunity for the media to try and spread blame far and wide and plenty of hot-button themes that will be argued all around, including assault rifles, 2nd Amendment issues, his psychiatric history, medication, concealed carry issues in movie theaters, and many more that I haven’t thought of yet. But there’s nothing to convince me that because this whacko liked to rock out to Foghat and Aerosmith, that somewhow helped contribute to his heinous acts. My opinion is that he was a whacko long before he picked up the guitar controller.

What’s your opinion?

Author: Steve Jenkins View all posts by
Steve Jenkins is co-founder of CheatCodes.com and Editor-in-Chief of EXTRA! He grew up playing Atari and arcade games in the 1980s and collects vintage arcade cabinets and pinball machines in his basement near Seattle, Washington.