London's burning. Games to blame?
On games forums, social networks and on the original story here on PC Advisor gamers have mocked the copper’s words. There is, however, also some agreement that violent video games in which children can act out a violent crime-based existence with no thought for the law.
Commenting on the story PC Advisor reader “Llsajsa” scoffed “When in doubt, blame the video games”.
On PC Advisor reader “Saknama69” was outraged: “I've been playing video games my entire life - 36 yers. I've never committed a crime and am a contributing member of society. This idiot believes that I'm merely on the brink of committing vicious crimes because it would be FUN!? If this theory were true, why aren't the 100's of MILLIONS of gamers out there committing such acts right now?”
PCA reader Andreas Fahre quipped: “Who here can honestly say that they've never shot anyone or jacked a few cars after playing GTA. Of course it is GTA that made them do it.”
PCA reader “Game enthusiast” was quick to mock the claim: “This is an absurd theory… these people are just morons.”
On TheSixthAxis reader “MaD dOctoR” laid more blame at the hands of social networks such as Twitter: “I’d actually blame those flash mob T-mobile adverts for this, as it has obviously given the dregs and slime of this country an idea of how to catch the police of guard. Bloody twitter!”
Also on TheSixthAxis “Adiemus” commented: “Well it’s clear that Pacman is responsible for obesity in the over 30 then! And the fascination with ghosts on living TV.”
“revilo13” defended games such as GTA: “Theres never been proof of violent games having an effect on young kids and violence. The odd example, such as school shooting in America where the kid was said to have been obsessed with a particular game do exist, but those people already have violent tendencies and anger management problems, so what that cop said is pretty much ****.”
“Iainz” joked: “News just in: Gamestation in Croydon looted, copies of Duke Nukem Forever still on the shelf.”
At PC Advisor “Lurker” cast doubts on the policeman’s point that there wasn’t such trouble when the only entertainment was “Pacman and board games”: “So I wonder what caused the Brixton riots of 1985, and many other riots previously. Pac-man, presumably?”
“Radiitz” agreed: “Wasn’t there a riot here in the UK back in 1985? That was when an officer actually got slaughtered by a mob with a machete (R.I.P) wasn’t it? I guess Super Mario caused that violence back then too.”
PCA reader “Davenic1” said: “Only cretins would blame a video game. The violence and rioting is created by scumbags because that is the way they behave. I am 55 and have played most of the GTA games. Strangely enough though I've never committed a violent act in my entire life. These games are just that – games, and as such are not real. Don't blame games for what evil people do. They would commit these acts anyway!”
“DustinG” on GameInformer berated the policeman for his comments: “Sometimes the police are just stupid, looking for anything to justify the situation that doesn't make them look bad.”
On the same games site Ed said: “What do you expect? When people are angry, they need to look for something to blame. It is human nature. Nobody wants to admit fault. Especially the cops.”
“TheLaughinManFL” commented: “I read that Horse theft and bar fights are up 80% since Red Dead Redemption came out... Rockstar has to be stopped.”
“MisterGenius” chimed in: “I remember the peaceful days before video games, when violence didn't exist. Hitler must have been a major gamer!”
DRCD1 said: “What bothers me most is that people believe that videogames are any more responsible for increasing violence than any other medium of entertainment. If I recall, long before any videogames came up, during the roman times they entertained themselves watching people killing each other (gladiators).”
“DJ Judas” summed things up: “When this is over there will be a lot of things blamed: the original shooting, games, lack of social construct, parenting, police brutality. But I fear the real reason will be missed – if people think they can get away with something, they’ll do it.”
But PCA reader Darren did apportion some of the blame on the violent games culture: “It's all down to parents buying the games for their kids. The age certification is there for a reason! I blame bad parenting not computer games.”
On PCA reader “Markedwards_uk Collapse” said: “I would not underestimate the power of computer games on the weak minded. Continued exposure to any environment will cause subtle changes in character and behaviour. Obviously it’s not all down to computer games, but you can’t dismiss it as totally uncontributory.”