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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TechnogeekUnfortunately, the shoutbox moves fast enough that I can't find why I got that impression, so if was indeed erroneous I do apologize.07/02/2015 - 4:34pm
TechnogeekBut yeah, as far as my earlier comment re: you and the article, I did get the impression at some point that you felt there should have been some sort of reprecussions for the article's existence.07/02/2015 - 4:34pm
TechnogeekI got expletive-censored for posting something a few weeks back wherein I expressed my shock that I agreed with you about something, Skunk; so you're not the only one being hit with that stick.07/02/2015 - 4:31pm
Andrew EisenI know you don't. And you haven't recently so all's well.07/02/2015 - 4:25pm
Goth_SkunkI don't think I misrepresented anything.07/02/2015 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenHeavy profanity is not permitted in the Shout box. Words like "moron" are but we ask that our readers not resort to name-calling.07/02/2015 - 4:23pm
Goth_SkunkSo I can't say a 4-letter curse word, but Mechacrash is free to call me a moron. Acknowledgment: Mecha was warned about his conduct, but his post was not edited, as mine was.07/02/2015 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenWhat people took issue with was your misrepresentation of what the author said. Now that you're criticizing what she actually said, no one has a problem (though they might disagree with your opinion).07/02/2015 - 4:19pm
Andrew EisenThat's not comparable at all. One is advice, one is a rule.07/02/2015 - 4:17pm
Goth_SkunkBut apparently, people seem to take issue with my justification and have been jumping down my throat about it for... 24 hours?07/02/2015 - 4:17pm
Goth_SkunkAnd now we've just had an example wherein I was forced to moderate myself in order to minimize offense.07/02/2015 - 4:16pm
Goth_SkunkThat's what this whole conundrum's been about! I strongly disapproved with the Wired article writer's suggestion and made that opinion known here in the shoutbox.07/02/2015 - 4:16pm
Andrew EisenPlease keep such strong language out of the Shout box. Anyway, that's fine. If there's something you want to write about. Go right ahead. Don't like someone's suggestion? Feel free to say so.07/02/2015 - 4:13pm
Goth_SkunkIf I get a response "this rape scene you wrote was offensive. You should've done it differently. Consider examples A, B, C, or D" I would happily take it under advisement should I decide to write something similar in the future.07/02/2015 - 4:12pm
Goth_SkunkIf I get backlash for such a decision consisting of "this rape scene was offensive," that's fine. If I get criticism like "this rape scene was so offensive, you shouldn't have written it," I'll respond "Go (expletive) yourself"07/02/2015 - 4:11pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Oh, absolutely. But no one's saying any specific trope or subject should be taboo.07/02/2015 - 4:11pm
Andrew EisenA few have opined that I should have left the "I'm on a whore" line out of my Old Spice Parody video. I don't see why that's a problem.07/02/2015 - 4:10pm
Goth_SkunkHypothetical: If I'm writing a story and in my story there is a rape scene, and that rape scene is present because I want it to be there, and it is very relevant to the story as a whole, I'm going to write it.07/02/2015 - 4:10pm
Matthew WilsonI think it should be criticized for being used badly, but I dissagree with the idea that is should never be used. as far as I am concerned its a story telling tool, and like all tools it can be used in a good or bad way.07/02/2015 - 4:09pm
Andrew EisenI could still put those lines in the story. But they sucked. That's why I didn't put them there in the first place. And had I, I think it's perfectly fine for readers to recommend I consider leaving such tripe out in the future.07/02/2015 - 4:09pm
 

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