Reporting on James Holmes' day in court today, Fox News tries to make a connection to World of Warcraft. We assume this is to tie video games to the shootings in Aurora, Colorado earlier this month, but the connection is about as tenuous as lights over Roswell, New Mexico being definitive proof that extraterrestrials exists…
Holmes was formally charged with 24 counts of murder, 116 counts of attempted murder, one count of possession of explosives, and one count of a crime of violence.
But later in the article Fox News tries to make a leap of faith, based loosely on other reports that Holmes was an avid World of Warcraft player and some stuff related to the psychiatrist treating him, Dr. Lynne Fenton. Earlier reports indicated that Dr. Fenton had received a notebook from the defendant which went unnoticed until after the shooting. Authorities have since seized that notebook.
Fox News points out that Dr. Fenton is a faculty member at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Denver and that she has won an award last year for her research on schizophrenia for the agency. It goes on to point out that her website lists her interest in schizophrenia research and the fact that she treats 10 – 15 graduate students a week with medication and psychotherapy along with 5 – 10 patients in her general practice. They also point out that she is a member of the UCD/AMC's campus-wide Behavioral Environmental Threat Assessment (BETA) team. All of these are indisputable facts.
Also an indisputable fact is that on May 30 Dr. Fenton and two graduate students presented a talk called "World of Warcraft: The Use of Archetypes in Psychotherapy" at the Student Health Case Conference. Fox News points out that James Holmes "frequently" played World of Warcraft and was under the care of Dr. Fenton…
They also point out a couple of Dr. Fenton's troubles including disciplinary action by the Colorado Medical Board in 2004 for prescribing herself Xanax, for prescribing Ambien and Claritin for her husband, and for prescribing painkillers for an unnamed employee who suffered from chronic headaches.
So let's recap: James Holmes was part of a talk about World of Warcraft, which he "frequently" played and his psychiatrist got in trouble eight years ago for writing questionable prescriptions.
Wow, what a revelation! What a smoking gun… Yeah.