Newspaper blames GTA for London riots

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The riots in London are mental. We’ve seen insane looting, with stores and homes being pillaged and razed. We’ve seven seen thugs stealing a PSP from an injured young lad, something Sony have very kindly  said they’ll remedy. You might believe that the vandalous carnage is the result of the fatal shooting of an armed youth and the resultant mob mentality, but the London Evening Standard would have you believe otherwise.

They’ve blamed children’s participation in the civil unrest, predictably, on Grand Theft Auto.

The newspaper claims that the riots were, in part, inspired by Rockstar’s flagship series games revolving around criminal activity. "Children aged between 10 and 14, said to have been inspired by video game Grand Theft Auto,” claims the paper “were seen rampaging through Enfield and Brixton as riots and looting also spread to Dalston and Fulham."

Funny…I’ve played all of the GTA games and don’t recall much in the way of looting or rioting. It’s just silly sensationalism, really. GTA has never been marketed towards children, happily carrying an 18+ age restriction. IF GTA really were at fault here, it would be the responsibility of parents to make sure children don’t play it. Until somebody is caught being destructive and blames it on his need to acquire a 5 star wanted level, I think it’s best to avoid blaming these particular rampages on videogames.

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Later editions of the same newspaper omitted any mention of GTA or videogames, meaning the newspaper’s either  come to its senses – or was just filling up page space with nonsense until something more substantial came along.

Source : MCVUK

Last Updated: August 11, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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