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 EisenMy original question (which I've posed four or five times now) still stands.07/29/2015 - 11:04pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Yes, non-industry folk are welcome to and do read Gamasutra. That doesn't change the fact that they're not the site's target audience. Which wasn't my point anyway, merely an offered clarification as you keep referring to it like it's IGN.07/29/2015 - 11:04pm
MattsworknameNo different then GG ttrying to get Vox, Kotaku, gawker, and other such sties to fold cause they disagree, it's not right, but it's also the most common and most widely used of methods now adays.07/29/2015 - 10:21pm
MattsworknameTechnogeek: No, there isn't, you or I have no right to say someone cant say something, no matter how much we may dislike it. Even if you hate what they said, they have a right to say it. trying to shut someone down cause you don[t like what they say, is07/29/2015 - 10:20pm
Mattsworknameexamples of movments like what happend with those articles that occured with other, much bigger incidents.07/29/2015 - 10:18pm
Mattsworknameto the articles posted on gamsutra and elsewhere with such intensity. As i've pointed out, we have plenty of examples of this same exact actions taken by other groups. As I pointed out, this kinda thing happens alot now, and I can share some big07/29/2015 - 10:18pm
MattsworknameAndrew, sorry for taking so long to reply, been busy all day. To answer you queston, you keep pointing out gamasutra was popular with industry folks. Yes thats true, but it had a BIG following among game enthusists and they were among those that responded07/29/2015 - 10:16pm
PHX CorpWhile I Wait for Freedom planet for the Wii U, I'm fighting my way through Mario Tennis 64 as practice for Mario Tennis Ultra Smash(Mario tennis HD) and Prep SSBWiiU/3DS for More DLC07/29/2015 - 10:04pm
Goth_SkunkTake this with a grain of salt, but I'm hearing that in order to play Solitaire in Windows 10, you have to pay a monthly fee of $1.50.07/29/2015 - 9:28pm
Andrew EisenPHX - Yep, we linked that interview last week. http://gamepolitics.com/2015/07/24/gearbox-founder-has-nothing-praise-aliens-colonial-marines-duke-nukem-forever07/29/2015 - 8:42pm
Matthew WilsonI did a clean install, and have had no issues, it seems they got this right07/29/2015 - 7:43pm
PHX Corphttp://www.gamnesia.com/news/randy-pitchford-on-aliens-criticism-it-depends-on-what-criteria-youre-using oh look, More Randy pitchford Shooting himself in the foot again07/29/2015 - 7:43pm
Craig R.And even then, I'd say upgrade, make your backup media, and then do a clean install07/29/2015 - 7:29pm
Craig R.Personally, I'm recommending people wait 2-3 months at least before upgrading07/29/2015 - 7:29pm
Matthew Wilsonthat being said I am not normal, I took the upgrade and made a recovery drive, than did a clean install. most issues in os upgrades come from doing the upgrade. doing a fresh install fixes that.07/29/2015 - 6:58pm
Matthew Wilson@james so far hone, no major issues encountered yet. the only issue ?I have is my second wifi adaptor does not work, but I have my built in one. that issue is on netgear to fix though with new drivers07/29/2015 - 6:46pm
TechnogeekSora, the entire reason those clauses are being added everywhere is that they WERE upheld. AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, back in 2011.07/29/2015 - 6:28pm
james_fudgeHow many crashes so far?07/29/2015 - 5:46pm
Matthew Wilsonmost likly not since windows is considered essential, so unreasonable tos wont hold up. that being said, I am using it, and its prity good.07/29/2015 - 5:11pm
Sora-ChanThe question on those is can they be held up in court. From what I can tell those kinds of clauses haven't been challenged in court yet.07/29/2015 - 4:40pm
 

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