Nicholson's 68-year-old mother, Lydia, went to check on her son but Nicholson started arguing with her and ended up breaking his headset for the video game in an outburst.
Lydia Nicholson was transported to a hospital for treatment but ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
Matthew Nicholson of Ceres - a town about 96 miles east of San Francisco - was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of murder, the Modesto Bee reported.
Read the full story on KTXL's website here. The mother went up to check on him, but an argument between the two soon followed.
Matthew Nicholson, 28, of Ceres, is being held in a California jail without bail. "The father grabbed the gun, emptied it".
"He came out yelling something about my headset is broken or something about the headset being broken and then grabbed a gun and started shooting", Sgt. Greg Yotsuya said.
The victim's daughter, Autumn, says that Lydia Nicholson worked in local schools for decades and that she and her husband Loren Nicholson had been married for 32 years. "This house has always been open to friends and family and it's always been a family atmosphere".
The suspect's sister, Autumn White, says their mother was a loving, kind person.
Neighbors said the family was friendly. Nicholson then ran out and began driving to a relative's home in Riverbank.
Nicholson's father was able to wrestle the gun away, police say.
Police located him driving his auto in Riverbank, pulled him over and took him into custody without further incident.
Investigators are still working to determine what drove this man to kill his own mother.