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 EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Michael ChandraMind you, if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill with a secret agenda as motive, it'd be fine.09/18/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenI'd really only count three as being "death of gamer" articles and only one as arguably going a bit far with "gamers are young white dudes" stuff.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenMost are really just a look at the crap that happened the previous day when Sarkeesian's new video came out and almost all are exceedingly clear that they're talking about the specific gamers who are being obnoxious.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
 

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