Video Game Contributions to Sandy Hook: Adam Lanza’s Favorite Game was DDR

Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza had a deep interest in video games, most notably Japanese game Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)
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You’d be hard pressed to find a school shooting of late that does not feature a conversation about violence in video games. Games from GTA to Doom have been blamed for the actions of disturbed young men. From Jeff Weise, a sixteen year old who shot nine people before turning the gun on himself and supposedly followed a “video game like script” (though I honestly can’t think of a single “average video game” where that is part of the game) to Adam Lanza, presented by the media as a basement dwelling kid who played “violent video games.” 

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The state of Connecticut recently released a report about Adam Lanza’s life, his mental health and Asbergers, as well as his love for video games. 

So what game was Adam Lanza most known for playing? Manhunt? GTA IV? Any other number of violent games that we’ve come to associate with unspeakable acts? 

Dance Dance Revolution

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In the relatively eerie report (Lanza is always referred to as “the shooter”), there is an entire section dedicated to Lanza’s interests, more notably his affection for the game DDR.

One person described the shooter as spending the majority of his time playing non-violent video games all day. 

The shooter liked to play a game called “Dance Dance Revolution” (DDR)…A home version of this was seen and photographed in the shooter’s home. 

in 2011 and up until a month before December 14, 2012, the shooter went to the theater and played the game. He went most every Friday through Sunday and played the game for four to ten hours. 

An acquaintance of the shooter from 2011 to June 2012 said that the shooter and the acquaintance played DDR quite a bit..They did not play first person shooter games at the theater. 


While Lanza was found to own several first person shooters, his Xbox 360 was found to be inoperable, and his favorite games were known to be Phantasy Star Online, Paper Mario, Luigi’s Mansion, and Pikmin

Among Lanza’s relatively comprehensive video game collection were various titles, including a home version of DDR, GTA V, Dynasty Warriors, Shenmue, Left for Dead and Battlefield. More telling of the violence he would ultimately commit were several articles on school shootings, some dating back to 1891 and a large collection of firearms. 

After the violence a year ago, the NRA called the video game industry a “callous, corrupt shadow industry that sells and sows violence against its own people.” Video games, a sick form of violent pornography if you listen to the NRA, are responsible for school shootings.  

The NRA is also mentioned in the report. Evidently Lanza and his mother attended a National Rifle Association safety course. 


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Amanda Wallace
Former rugby player, social media person, and occasional writer.