London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, Daily Mail Runs with It

August 9, 2011 -

The revolving door that is blaming games for bad things that happen in the world spins and spins... First, after blaming video games for the riots that have plagued London for three days, UK Newspaper The London Evening Standard, ran a bold front headline page yesterday suggesting that Grand Theft Auto had inspired youngsters to run rampant through the street, committing acts of violence, looting and general public displays of destruction. But as Computer & Video Games points out in this story, the paper later issued a reprint of the same edition removing the GTA angle altogether.

"Children as young as ten, inspired by video game, among the looters", read the sub-heading under the headline "Lawless London." Later the headline was changed to "Children as young as ten hunted by police after riots across city."

The changes came, says C&VG, due to pressure from them and other UK games media outlets. Bravo.

But just as progress is made and things seem right with the universe, someone else has to throw a spanner (as they say in England) into the works. According to this Sp0ng report, the Daily Mail has picked up where The London Evening Standard began, blaming Grand Theft Auto for the rioting. The Daily Mail is quoting the same anonymous London Constable blaming Grand Theft Auto:

"A policeman said last night that children involved in the rioting and stealing were inspired by violent video game Grand Theft Auto."

"The hugely popular computer game, which should not be played or bought by anyone under 18, is popular among teenagers, with many having the game given to them by their parents."

"In Tottenham, the scene of the first riots on Saturday night, a police officer said: ‘These are bad people who did this. Kids are out of control. "‘When I was young it was all Pacman and board games. Now they’re playing Grand Theft Auto and want to live it for themselves."

Of course, The Daily Mail ran with it, without checking any facts or even getting the officer's name. Meanwhile, no one knows why a bunch of VERY YOUNG CHILDREN were running amok in London suburbs going completely insane, while their parents were..  somewhere else.

Thanks to the irrepressible Andrew Eisen for the links.


Comments

Re: London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, ...

someone else has to through a spanner (as they say in England) into the works

'Throw', not 'through'!

Maybe you heard someone's pronunciation of the word and took it the wrong way. ;)

Re: London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, ...

Shouldn't the police be doing the penitent thing, rather than passing the blame?  Seriously, it reeks of "Oh, well people would be passive little sheep who would let us shoot whomever we wanted if it weren't for these damn vidja games".

Re: London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, ...

The guy owned a loaded gun (1). At this point the "be passive little sheep who would let us shoot whomever we want" rubbish  just does not fly with me.

1) Now I am sure some Americans will complain about the UK gun laws. But even if guns were legal, it is unlikely that this man would have a legally owned one. Not that this would matter to the police officer who would only know that he has to arrest a known armed (legally or not) criminal.

--
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

Re: London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, ...

Many of the reports I've read have him as being unarmed. With the bullet in the officer's walkie coming from another officer's gun.

Re: London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, ...

I've not seen a report on him being unarmed. Can I have a link please?

--
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

Re: London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, ...

It is kind of interesting how the officer was allegedly blaming video games for kids being out rioting in the streets without asking where the parents are.

 

Re: London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, ...

Regardless of any bias to one political side or another, there's one thing that's certain about the media these days:

They also only care about the bottom line.

And if that means irresponsible journalism and shock headlines in the hopes of selling a few extra papers? So be it. None of them are really worth supporting any more.

Re: London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, ...

Wow, a rhetorical statement from an officer, remarking on how kinds these days are crazy, becomes cause and effect. Why should you have to back up your reporting with evidence?

-Austin from Oregon

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Andrew EisenWhat the hell are you talking about?02/27/2015 - 4:05pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: The I can make money by A milking a niche base and or B saying crazy things industry. Then what is the reasoning for the criticisms?02/27/2015 - 4:04pm
Andrew EisenAgain, nothing you say makes a lick of sense.02/27/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenNo one is saying the sexual objectification of female characters is causing people to be mean in real life.02/27/2015 - 3:53pm
Andrew EisenIndustries build around what? No one is confusing fiction and reality. No one is claiming fictional characters have feelings or rights or are they themselves speaking against their own objectification.02/27/2015 - 3:52pm
ZippyDSMleeresponsibility kick in to not treat others poorly and have enough self-worth to not be discouraged by the smallest of things?02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeOne could stretch things pretty far and claim that mindsets shaped by fiction shape the real world treatment of real people but my question is which came first the chicken(mistreatment) or the egg(fiction) and where and when dose individual personal respo02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeFrankly it looks more like people are getting fiction and reality confused, fictional characters have no feelings or rights thus to claim they can be objectified and treated poorly make for a somewhat disingenuous argument.02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeIf there were not industries built around it I could agree but the same format that any political talking head uses or Jack Thompson used also supports less excessive critics…02/27/2015 - 3:41pm
Andrew EisenSo once again, nothing you say makes a lick of sense.02/27/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenCritics who offer suggestions on how their issues might be addressed are not bullies and no one is attempting to police anything let alone anyone's morals.02/27/2015 - 3:24pm
ZippyDSMleeof bad press will keep others in line.02/27/2015 - 3:20pm
ZippyDSMleeIt’s a rather simple concept to do minimal effort to reach a goal. Once a bully has established themselves they have to do little to attain their goal. Same with the moral police once one establish tactics to damage the profits of an IP the vague threat02/27/2015 - 3:20pm
ZippyDSMleeIf you think that is bad you should see the syntax errors I generate in Uscript :P02/27/2015 - 3:18pm
Matthew Wilson@AE im a pc guy, so I am ok if sega only does pc and mobile. on the other hand, the last pc game I bought from them was the valkyria chronicles port.02/27/2015 - 3:12pm
Andrew EisenThat makes no sense. I mean I literally can't parse what you wrote.02/27/2015 - 3:01pm
ZippyDSMleewide and varied and as such is one of the most haphazardly protected forms of free speech there is.02/27/2015 - 2:55pm
ZippyDSMleeSo using bad press and the treat there of to put minimal pressure upon others is not the same as putting minimal pressure on someone to take their launch money? Underage sex is one of the easiest go to things in fiction. The reasoning to ban it is wide an02/27/2015 - 2:54pm
Andrew EisenSeriously, how the hell did you just jump from "suggestions to improve the representation of women in video games" to "the banning of depictions of underage sex acts in fiction"?02/27/2015 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenNo one's bullying anyone. No one's making demands. No one is making laws. No one's suggesting anything be banned.02/27/2015 - 2:38pm
 

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