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Old 01-14-2018, 04:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Man Kills Mother Over Video Games

Man Fatally Shoots His Mother After Broken Video Game Headset Dispute

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A 28-year-old man was arrested after fatally shooting his mother and threatening to kill both his parents over a broken video game headset, according to police in Ceres, California.

The man, Matthew Nicholson, began arguing with his mother on Thursday night while playing video games in his bedroom. His mother, 68-year-old Lydia Nicholson, had entered to check on him after hearing him yelling while playing his game. During the argument, Nicholson broke his own headset while yelling at his mother, according to police.

Matthew Nicholson blamed his mother for the broken headset, then threatened to kill both her and his father. Police say he grabbed a nearby handgun that was in the Nicholson home and shot two rounds into the wall, then shot his mother in the head.
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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He sounds nice.
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't respond to this one in any of my normal Free ways without sounding like a nasty unfeeling bitch. Dead by your son over a fucking headset. There is nothing not awful about this whole thing.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This reminds me of too many scenarios in my home with my mentally ill brother, so I'm going to avoid any snarky comments. It's a tragedy all around.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Free Xue View Post
I can't respond to this one in any of my normal Free ways without sounding like a nasty unfeeling bitch. Dead by your son over a fucking headset. There is nothing not awful about this whole thing.
First off, it's never over a "fucking headset". That may be the flash point, but that is not the real issue.

Violent, mentally ill man kills people nearest around him with unsecured firearm.

Happens all too often. It's sad on any number of levels, not the least of it being that we have no institutional framework for helping families with someone who is mentally ill and we don't have strict gun regulation. Any day I could read a similar story about my own family; for now the ill relative is on his meds, but if he goes off them, who knows.

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Old 01-14-2018, 10:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been a witness to this kind of rage in a full time gamer before...but luckily they were still able to separate the real world from the game world. It does give me pause to wonder how they will be as we enter into the beginning of the virtual reality gaming world. It is a trajedy that there is, and will be, a set of people who are unable to separate the two worlds from one another and that there will be some innocent people who will become the target of such rage from a detached sense of reality. My condolences to their family.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've been a witness to this kind of rage in a full time gamer before....
I'm not persuaded that this has anything specifically to do with gaming. As noted in the article, there had been domestic disturbance calls to this house before.

The more likely connection is that mentally ill people are drawn to gaming because it's a world they can control and one in which they have agency. But sane, rational people don't kill someone over a broken headset or when someone cuts them off in traffic or when their meatloaf is served cold. Rage episodes are triggered by an unlimited supply of supposedly minor incidents. The rage itself, however, is tied to some kind of mental dysfunction.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My brother tried to stab me to death because I got to sleep in later than he did, so yeah, it isn't over a headset or a game.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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First off, it's never over a "fucking headset". That may be the flash point, but that is not the real issue.
Why is it whenever Beebo replies to something I've posted in this way, I feel like I should pull out a baseball bat (just in case)?

Last edited by Free Xue; 01-14-2018 at 02:03 PM. Reason: forgot some text first time around...
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm not persuaded that this has anything specifically to do with gaming. As noted in the article, there had been domestic disturbance calls to this house before.

The more likely connection is that mentally ill people are drawn to gaming because it's a world they can control and one in which they have agency. But sane, rational people don't kill someone over a broken headset or when someone cuts them off in traffic or when their meatloaf is served cold. Rage episodes are triggered by an unlimited supply of supposedly minor incidents. The rage itself, however, is tied to some kind of mental dysfunction.
It’s not just the mentally ill, but people (especially men and boys) with power issues in general. It’s somewhat similar to law enforcement jobs. There are places in the world where being a police officer doesn’t make someone an abusive asshole, but abusive assholes are drawn to the job. And if they are unchecked (or worse, validated), they’ll get worse. Also, I’m not so sure this is just unstable people in general. In many cases, I take a Stanford/Milgram view of how these things often develop. Which is to say the social structures of groups can cause problems, especially when power (real or fantasy) is part of the equation.

In gaming, it’s not just the power fulfillment allure of the games themselves, but also elements to certain corners of the culture that are toxic. And it’s not new. The More Dots old Onyxia's Lair meme is like, what, 8 years old? But there are still plenty of asshole raid leaders in WOW. And you only have to look at the current state of The Division to see what happens to a game that caters almost exclusively to PVP assholery.

Back in early WOW days, I ran with a big group of PVPers that would usually break into two or three groups (or a single group if we were running AV). I refused to group with one of the three group leaders because one night while we were gaming he forgot to mute his headset when he went AFK and we were all treated to the sounds of him yelling at his (then pregnant) wife, calling her a fat pig for eating the last slice of pizza or something) and a slew of other abusive filth. When he came back, I told him he was garbage while everyone else in Vent (all guys) just sat there silently. I confronted some of them about their silence later (mostly when they asked why I wasn’t hanging out with them anymore). Most of them felt the incident was “his business” and had nothing to do with the game group. I never grouped with him again and avoided some of the other silent soldiers. After I told the other few women that were sometimes in the group, they wouldn’t either. Because he was what he was, he couldn’t keep himself from ranting about it during game time, saying all kinds of toxic shit about “the bitches” and “the pussy-whipped” guys who took our side. His inability to let it go turned “his problem” into the group’s problem often enough that even most guys wouldn’t group with him anymore. He ended up leaving because he was “tired of the bitches calling the shots” in the group. I wish I’d saved his guild forum blog post announcing his departure because it was like its own primer on toxic masculinity.

Because of the way WOW used to work I’d still hear about him from other people on the server. He didn’t get any better because other people kept letting him lead shit until the eventual break up of groups over whatever. He also bought a second account and leveled horde on our same server and would try to camp me and others occasionally. Most regular players on the server knew about him, but there really wasn’t (and in many games there still isn’t) much you could do about him, or the plethora of guys like him. I just eventually stopped PVPing in general because I’m not a top player anymore and it’s not worth putting up with people like that anymore.

There’s nothing wrong with most games by themselves. There are some things wrong with how many developers are catering to (and exploiting) some elements of gaming culture that attracts abusive assholes, mentally unstable or not. That needs to be addressed, but in the age of loot boxes and microtransactions, it’s going to be a slog.

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Old 01-14-2018, 03:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I didn't see any mention in the article of mental illness? It did mention that this was the second domestic dispute between him and his parents in the last six months.

However, he is 28, living with his parents who are/were aged (68 and 81). That could point toward a mental illness or it could point toward someone who never grew up, spending his time playing video games.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Some of us with experience living with people who had violent episodes over trivial matters made the connection ourselves.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Some of us with experience living with people who had violent episodes over trivial matters made the connection ourselves.
That makes sense, and I'm incredibly sorry for folks who have had that experience, for all involved. My experience was living with people who had violent episodes over trivial matters because they were violent, abusive assholes, so it wasn't my first connection.

Maybe the police will release more information in the coming days.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Itís not just the mentally ill, but people (especially men and boys) with power issues in general. Itís somewhat similar to law enforcement jobs. There are places in the world where being a police officer doesnít make someone an abusive asshole, but abusive assholes are drawn to the job. And if they are unchecked (or worse, validated), theyíll get worse. Also, Iím not so sure this is just unstable people in general. In many cases, I take a Stanford/Milgram view of how these things often develop. Which is to say the social structures of groups can cause problems, especially when power (real or fantasy) is part of the equation.
This is what I'm thinking - how do we know this was a case of an actual mentally ill person, as opposed to just an entitled manchild who threw a tantrum that just happened this time to cross the line into a fatal shooting?

The Nazi in Virginia who killed his girlfriend's parents because they didn't like him for being a Nazi, and the alt-right Trumpwad in Washington state who killed his father for calling him racist and refusing to believe in "pizzagate", were never called mentally ill - they were just violent scumbag manchildren, whose immaturity and tendency to violence were validated and encouraged by the peer groups they immersed themselves in. I dunno if this guy we're talking about in this thread had any particular political peer group; but there are segments of the gaming community that cultivate and put a premium on immature aggression and violent overreaction.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This is what I'm thinking - how do we know this was a case of an actual mentally ill person, as opposed to just an entitled manchild who threw a tantrum that just happened this time to cross the line into a fatal shooting?
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Well sure, there's no reason the person can't also be mentally ill. I'm just saying - the only thing we have to go on is the fact that he threw a man-trum and shot somebody, and I feel a little bad about suggesting mental illness based on nothing but that. Most people with a mental illness, by far, don't commit violent crimes.
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This is what I'm thinking - how do we know this was a case of an actual mentally ill person, as opposed to just an entitled manchild who threw a tantrum that just happened this time to cross the line into a fatal shooting?
We're both drawing assumptions, so point taken.

In many cases like this, however, I don't think we can scientifically draw the line as to where mental illness ends and personal agency begins. We still have such a rudimentary understanding of the brain and behaviors, overlaid by a cultural value system that heavily weights judging everything we do as a conscious choice.
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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No one is saying they do, Dakota. We just can relate to the situation here. We recognize it. We also recognize that you don't have to be mentally ill to be an asshole.
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Why is it whenever Beebo replies to something I've posted in this way, I feel like I should pull out a baseball bat (just in case)?
Drat. I'm being (extra) grumpy again, aren't I?

Sorry.

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Old 01-15-2018, 08:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Let's not forget that even Sean Parker believes that today's social media panders to the lowest common denominator in us and believes it will be a problem for the children who are growing up on it.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Remember when backward messages in music and Dungeons and Dragons were a straight line to Satanic ritual abuse?

Good times, good times.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:11 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Remember when backward messages in music and Dungeons and Dragons were a straight line to Satanic ritual abuse?

Good times, good times.
I miss those days. Hanging out with satan was fun, he always told the best jokes. These days he never shows up no matter how much Taylor Swift I play in reverse.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:28 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:46 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:26 AM   #25 (permalink)
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