So-called “Supernanny” Jo Frost is the latest celebrity to blame the recent London and UK riots on violent video games.
“Watching the streets of England burn last week … I felt for a moment as if we had stumbled into a real-life violent video game of the kind that so many of those involved are addicted to,” Frost wrote in a column in The Daily Express.
Frost was the presenter of a Channel 4 TV programme called ‘Extreme Parenting’.
A similar point was made immediately after the London riots by a policeman quoted in a London newspaper. Quoted in the London Evening Standard the police constable advised residents in Tottenham that it was all the fault of violent video games: “These are bad people who did this. Kids 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."
Despite the outcry from the gaming community, child-rearing expert Frost is in agreement.
“These horrific games where points are given for burning, shooting and killing, where the graphics are so realistic you believe that they’re real scenes of carnage, where those who play fantasise they have the power of life and death, are so brutal they completely desensitise anyone taking part,” Frost continued.
“Research shows that within 15 minutes of playing one of these games young men become highly aggressive and lack empathy in normal situations.
“It is not too fanciful to suggest it’s a short step from being immersed in this war-like world to taking that nightmare mindset on to the streets with all the consequences of anarchy and violence we saw rip apart cities.”