Is the Fact Aaron Alexis Played Violent Video Games a Relevant Detail?

A lot of people close to Aaron Alexis have provided plenty of insight into his personality and his background, but there’s one detail that’s sure to captivate media attention as the story unfolds: Alexis was evidently into violent video games.

Firstly, BlazeTV’s Chris Childs, who knew Alexis from the Thai restaurant he worked at, explained to The Blaze, “The thing that really struck me was the fact that he was really big into the shooter video games.”

There’s also Michael Ritrovato, a friend of Alexis’ who noted the same detail.

Ritrovato said Alexis had recently been frustrated with the civilian contractor about a payment issue. But Ritrovato said his friend never showed signs of aggressiveness or violence, though he played a lot of shooting video games online.

NBC News’ Michael Isikoff also brought the detail up to Chris Hayes, finding it to be a “most interesting” fact.

“The other thing, which is perhaps the most interesting that we’ve heard so far, is that he was a devotee of violent video games, and I think one of his friends described him as obsessive on that, and playing with them constantly.”

We still don’t know enough about Alexis to be able to say anything definitive about his motivations, but to the media and political figures who love jumping on this particular talking point, here’s a bit of advice: take a deep breath. Relax. Think about it first. Don’t jump to conclusions or start getting all up in arms. There are plenty of people who play violent video games who don’t do such horrible things. A video game in and of itself is not the sole trigger for violent acts in any human being, there are likely a number of psychological factors at play.

[photo via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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