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back to article Videogames caused riots says plod

Blimey, things were heating up in London last night. To hide away from riots indoors and play your favourite videogames won't help, though. In fact according to one policeman, it's part of the problem. Quoted in last night's Evening Standard, an unnamed constable said, "These are bad people who did this. Kids out of control. …

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Big Brother

hmm

i can see their point...

i mean its obvious computergames are the cause, police killing an innocent and then beating the shit out of a minor are both much less likely to be flashpoints for violence than a computergame.

besides its not like the police would want to move blame away from their own actions is it?

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Anonymous Coward

also

It is not like youngsters think being on TV means success, and as soon as they start a fire or throw a bin a police car they are looped endlessly on news 24 Big-riot-factor. Fame - and the media lap it up and give it back in spades.

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Innocent?

Innocent of what?

He shot someone and waved a loaded gun at police.

Looks like St Moat will be joined by St Duggan

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Go

Where's Mike Haggar when you need him....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/aug/09/uk-riots-incident-map

Can't see Boris Johnson pile-driving London's streets clear of thugs.

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FAIL

not quite

i think youll find that there is NO evidence that duggan fired a gun - NONE

the evidence the police presented in their defence has crumbled around their own ears already - the bullet found in the police radio? came from a police issue mp5, as usual theyre covering their own asses

the modified pistol found at the scene shows NO signs of having been fired and there are huge inconsistancies as to where it came from or that duggan was even in possession of it

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-14459516

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Mushroom

if that's the case

I'm a timebomb waiting to explode.

I have played all sorts of games where the sole purpose was to off as many people as you can, regardless if they're good or bad (actually, knowingly shooting innocent people is a personal favorite after i finish a game).

I've played tons of racing games, loads of which included several means to either ram, or blast your opponents out of the way.

i've played games with gruesome content, massive violence and even mass destruction, all for my gaming pleasures.

if this guy is right, i'm just a few buttonhits away of going postal!

i'll go and get myself admitted now......

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Devil

Well....

Just for a change I'm glad they're not blaming rap or my favourite genre, heavy metal!

Oh no hang on they get blamed when just one psycho goes on a rampage in street/shops/school.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah...

I spent the whole of the 80s playing PacMan and it's not like I spent all of the subsequent decade munching pills in darkened rooms listening to repetitive music.

Err...

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nah

we know all metallers are middle class guys named tarquin who are just rebelling from their middle class parents... :)

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Silver badge

Kids learn

Kids learn from their environment - where else would they, exactly? If they're in an environment of violence and are being taught that violence is a form of entertainment then that's what they'll learn. Games are part of this, but so is parenting, teaching, peer groups, and TV. Many of these feed back into each other.

Kids under about 14 are incapable of not learning by example; they're sponges. Anyone that wants to pretend that games are not part of that needs to come up with some pretty stunning evidence as to why games are magically different from everything else in a kid's surroundings.

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FAIL

@Robert Long 1

"Kids under about 14 are incapable of not learning by example"

Remind me again, what certificate is GTA?

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Sir

It's also worth considering the chicken and egg in this scenario. I mean, I spent loads of time playing computer games when I was young because my home life sucked and had an absentee father (apart from the occasions when he would turn up just to scare the shit out of us).

But no, it must be the computer games.

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Silver badge

Real world calling Graham; come in Graham

"Remind me again, what certificate is GTA?"

Look at the funny man, everyone! He thinks game certificates make a difference to who plays the games! Amazing. Certificates on DVDs are routinely ignored by parents; I doubt many even know that there are ages printed on the games they buy their kids.

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Anonymous Coward

desensitised?

My boss lets his 9 year old play Call of Duty. He was probably loving it last night.

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Megaphone

We want proof!

I love these statements.

What about the people like me who have played violent video games for years and yet are productive members of society?

These looters come from the crappiest areas, with no prospects and no ideas what to do with their lives (other than the odd one who'll turn to drug dealing).

The riots are the outcome of many years of neglect by the government to give the population a reason to live rather than give them handouts, nothing to do with GTA.

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Anonymous Coward

Farmville

I gather Farmville is a very popular game on Facebook (never played it myself) but that doesn't mean people playing it have an urge to go out to the countryside and start farming.

I love playing the GTA games, Just Cause 2, Tomb Raider, Burnout etc. but that doesn't mean I want to go on a bloody rampage, stealing cars, smashing shops, racing other people on public roads or go looking for treasure in underground tombs for real. (actually the treasure seeking one could be quite fun)

The kids who went on the rampage during the past 3 nights already had that mentality before even playing such games as GTA, if indeed they played them at all.

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Coat

So in the next decade we can expect...

rioters with wheelbarrows planting vegetables and offensively milking cows?

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Silver badge

Says who?

"but that doesn't mean people playing it have an urge to go out to the countryside and start farming."

Actually, I think you'll find that it does have an effect. It's called "culture" and it's been around for a while. Some people playing Farmville will think about the possibility of doing it for real. Some people playing GTA will think about the possibility of doing it for real. FFS, we have a few people running around the country dressed as superheroes!

We learn from the environment. If it's in the environment then it has an effect even if it's an idea. If people would stop pretending that their favourite thing is exempt from this basic law of human nature then we might be able to have a sensible conversation about what the hell happened in these riots.

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Holmes

If you want to know the facts

Don't ask a policeman

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Thumb Down

Im not even sure where to begin

Ridiculing this nonsense anymore.

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Flame

Trick cyclists

Great..another liberal trick cyclist interpretation of events.

How about this one - they're a bunch of thieving, money-grabbing thugs pure and simple, and need a thrashing within an inch of their lives, if that's the only thing they understand? Then, once issued, they go clean up and repair all the damage they caused?

Even the dumbest criminal would quickly learn that doing wrong = swift and painful kicking & a ton of work.

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Paris Hilton

I predict a riot

Thank God it's just videogames to blame. I was starting to worry it might be that hundreds of sink estates pretty much operate in a parallel, alternative society, with their own blackmarket economy and rule of law. Or that the Police and Government hasn't paid enough attention to rising gang culture. Or even some ridiculous link between the economy and social unrest. I mean, some crazy fool might even extrapolate that high youth unemployment, rising living costs and benefit cuts might have something to do with anarchic disaffected youth.

Seems all we have to do to stop the riots is close down Game. Or we could just have the looters do it for us. Two birds, one stone 'n all that...

Three night looting Paris would be nice.

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Facepalm

Ahh Pacman

True I spent my early years playing pacman, and I then went on to spend my later teen years with my friends in a dark room listening to repetative music, popping white pills and running away from Ghosts I kept on seeing.

So yeah video games don't effect our real lives.

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M 6
Happy

Correct

I yawned before the end of the article and didn't bother to read the rest. What a load of bollocks.

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Yeah sure

Like it was the incredibly violent video games that caused the violence of the early eighties . . . oh wait.

Maybe blame a Tory government with complete disregard for the any semblance of social equality, causing social unrest in the most disadvantaged areas of the country. Just needs the tlittle trigger of unnecessary police violence to cause things to blow up.

Thats what caused it then and its the same now. Its not brain surgery to see the parallels.

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Elite

I used to play Elite constantly for 18 months when I was 16 and I've never once attacked a real wireframe spaceship. The only thing it really did for me (apart from keeping me out of the 80's riots as I had more important things to do with my state-imposed unemployment) was give me an appreciation of Mussorgsky.

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<Insert Title Here>

It was only a matter of time before someone played the "blame it on the video games" card. Yet again noone seems to blame the idiotic fools buying the age restricted titles for the "kids" now running with gangs and causing the riots... If you're not mature enough to tell the difference between real life and a game, stop playing the game!

Need for Speed doesn't make me drive like a loon, Tekken doesn't make me think I know Kung Fu, Championship Manager doesn't make me think I could run the Saints...

Waving my hand at the traffic lights and them turning green does make me think I'm a Jedi, however.

Life is not just a game with better graphics and shoddy respawn points

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Megaphone

Please, someone Change the record ... um, CD ... um, MP3 ... um....

If it wasn't for those danged video games, we'd all still be saying essentially the same thing about the telly.

If it wasn't ... television ... talking pictures.

If it wasn't ... talking pictures ... public theatre.

and so on.

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FAIL

Thats odd...

I don''t remember the mission on any GTA game where, just because some guy you never knew got shot, you have to go on a looting / burning / mugging rampage

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Thumb Down

Citation needed

Oh come on - "While some scientists claim to have evidence, others say games have the opposite effect"? You're presenting the views of the lead programmer from id software as a reputable counter to any scientific study that's linked violence in games/tv to real life?

Can't tell if trolling or...

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Actually

I think these rights are being caused by people that have read Terry Pratchett's Jingo:

"'Dis is da Riot Act and if youse people don't dip-, disp-, dipsp-, go away, da Watch is allowed to use deadly force!"

"What was that you used just then?!"

"Dat was you helpin' da Watch." said Sgt Detritus.

"Sergent, were you proposing to shoot these people in cold blood?" said Vimes.

"Nossir, just a warnin' shot inna head."

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Meanwhile...

This plod was playing "push 'em down the stairs and pretend they tripped" by MB games was he?

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Pint

Spot on!

Only the truth can make me laugh that loud.

Beer for the poster, please.

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Joke

"When I was young it was all Pac-Man and board games"

Shamless Marcus Brigstock quote: "If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."

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Meh

I'm so confused

I thought it was RIM's (Riots In Motion?) BBM and Tweetface that was causing the riots. I don't know what to believe now!

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Thumb Down

Absolute Tripe

The age old technique of blaming video games, I'm sure we have seen massive drop-offs in on-line gaming traffic as a result of the protest ?

Here's a novel thought, could the Police be to blame for the Angst felt by the public after incidents like De Menezes in Stockwell and the latest shooting. As I understand it, the injured policeman was shot by a police bullet rather than the man in the taxi. I'm guessing we are in for another "We did nothing wrong" spiel during the whitewash.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes

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Thumb Down

It's not computer games....

.... it's rap music. Or is it rave music. No, hang on, it's rock and roll.

For every generation, something else is blamed on social disorder. C'mon, the issues here are a lot deeper than video game usage.

I believe social networks were being blamed this morning as well.

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WTF?

Aye.. right

The problem isn't the games, the problem is how a family with supposedly zero income can afford to be buying a £200 video console and a £40 game to play on it. THATS a bigger issue. If lives SOOO tough for these people then surely buying a games console should be outwith their reach, if not then life can't that bad really in which case they are just lazy bottom feeders who need to stop blaming others for their problems and get off their lazy behinds.

If these kids put as much time and effort into school as they appear to be putting into organising these riot squads they'd be more successful in life and be able to afford a nice new car instead of being so jealous they feel the need to burn someone elses.

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Pint

This is why...

...the Plod have a press dept, so you don't get some front-line grunt spouting a load of shit he's read in the Sun that morning before shift! The press dept probably aren't much better but at least they think about what they say, before they say it!

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Oh boo-urns

Nice job on treating what, in context, was probably a throwaway comment by the constable in question as if it were an official statement of position from the Met.

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FAIL

Other stupid excuses for the riots ...

Last night on the BBC News channel, they interviewed ken livingstone live.

He basically said that the kids were rioting because they have come to realise that their generation is lost and they see bankers falling back on their big bonuses while they are stuck unemployed with a bleak future ahead. The interviewer then confirmed with him that he was running against Boris for the mayor or london job. The interviewer then rephrased the question about why the kids were doing this and ken confirmed that in his opinion Boris and the banks were partially to blame. Dumbstruck, the interviewer said something along the lines of "so you are ignoring our reporters on the ground and other independent witnesses who all say that the rioters are doing it just because they want to steal things and are running a campaign here to score some political points" ... ken smiled and said yes, he is of the opinion that the kids rioted because their lives suck under the ConDems and Boris.

What a prat! The one thing that annoys me most about his comments are that they aren't being widely reported. We need this prat's political career ended now and he's given us the perfect ammunition for it!

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Pacman

So he admits that people want to live videogames and then says he used to play one all about bouncing around a darkened room, listening to bleepy music and eating magic pills?

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Mushroom

Hrm

MPs fraudulently claim expense - no action taken

Bankers take massive risks, ruin the economy, commit frauds - no action taken, bonuses all round

Police abuse authority - retire early with honours & pension, no action taken

Civil servants screw up major public contracts - promoted to new positions, no action taken

Multi-nationals evade taxes - get preferential treatment from HMRC, no action taken

This does not excuse the looting, but I put it to you that our lords and masters committing blatant crimes and getting (effectively) rewarded for it is a much greater cause of social unrest that a few blood-spattered pixels. People think they can get away with destroying the country because they observe the higher echelons of society getting away with it day-in, day-out.

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Anonymous Coward

It;s the videogames

Instead of addressing the real problems, how long before someone broadens the videogame nasty theory, links it to porn and then suggests censorship of all we see and do is the only way to protect us?

(not long now)

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not altogether convinced about the timing here

after all, the last instalment of The Getaway, in which you did actually get to run around London picking gunfights with heat-packing plods, was released 7 years ago. It's maybe not the easiest game in the world to finish, but I doubt that vast numbers of PS2-toting kids have only just got to the end and decided that the free roam mode just wasn't exciting enough for them.

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Facepalm

Videogames cause riots?

Of course - because we never had riots before video games existed.

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Bronze badge

Warm in London isn't it?

Notice how riots (and lynching) tend to happen when it's warm enough to be outside, but not so hot that you're lazy and lethargic?

Over here on the other side of the globe it's Winter, so we are watching with interest rather than empathy.

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Devil

This shit again

New media are teh devvils. We fucking get it. There's no need to repeat this statement every few years, it's not going to become true.

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Anonymous Coward

I blame games too

Cops out of control. When I was young it was all Pac-Man and board games. Now they're playing Crackdown and want to live it for themselves.

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Facepalm

I'm sure some of you will of heard this before...

"They say that video games influence our lives. If that were true, then if we were subjected to Pac-Man as children, we'd be sitting in dark rooms, eating magic pills, and listening to repetitive electronic music."

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