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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  1. Danny 5
    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......

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    desensitised?

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

  3. james 68
    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?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  5. djswivel
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Graham Marsden
      FAIL

      @Robert Long 1

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

      Remind me again, what certificate is GTA?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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.

    3. Arclight

      Innocent?

      Innocent of what?

      He shot someone and waved a loaded gun at police.

      Looks like St Moat will be joined by St Duggan

      1. james 68
        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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Citizen Kaned

        nah

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

    5. Anonymous Coward
      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...

    6. Thomas 4
      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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  7. kissingthecarpet
    Holmes

    If you want to know the facts

    Don't ask a policeman

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Coat

      So in the next decade we can expect...

      rioters with wheelbarrows planting vegetables and offensively milking cows?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

  8. Fab De Marco
    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.

  9. DPWDC
    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."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  11. dotdavid
    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!

  12. boombelly
    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

  13. Dr Insanity

    <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

  14. Miek
    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

  15. LaeMing Silver badge
    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.

  16. Thomas 4

    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."

  17. Willington

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Jules75
    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.

  20. Chad H.
    Thumb Down

    Im not even sure where to begin

    Ridiculing this nonsense anymore.

  21. SuperTim

    Meanwhile...

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

  22. Dan Likes Spoons
    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...

  23. Bailey
    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.

  24. Mark 110 Silver badge

    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.

    1. Jan 0
      Pint

      Spot on!

      Only the truth can make me laugh that loud.

      Beer for the poster, please.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  26. yoinkster
    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!

  27. Captain Underpants
    Thumb Down

    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.

  28. Anon E Mus
    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.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  31. Esskay
    Facepalm

    Videogames cause riots?

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

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sure it wasn't them newfangled comic books or video nasties?

    Penn and Teller's Bullsh*t casts some serious doubt on the supposed link between computer games and violence:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWr4htYp9dM

  33. david 12 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.

  34. Lottie

    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?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  36. MJI Silver badge
    FAIL

    Complete and utter bollox

    I should be out looting then, but no I was firstly electrocuting baddies on my free game.

    Then having a few battles on Helghan.

    Plenty of violence - any intention of riots or looting.

    None whatsoever.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    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)

  38. Richard IV

    And now for the rest of the interview

    "These are bad people who did this. Kids out of control. When I was young it was all Pac-Man and board games. Now they're playing Grand Theft Auto and want to live it for themselves..."

    Mind you, I hate ghosts. Hate 'em. I have this nightmare where I'm trapped in a darkened warehouse and the only way I can get out is by eating truckle after truckle of cheese. And there's these snakes threatening Kamchatka from Irkutsk because I've got hotels on Mayfair and Park Lane. Russian snakes don't like that. To stop them you've got to pile things on a giant mule until it kicks them to death. And don't get me started on sodding hippos! They're a menace.

  39. Chimpofdoom!
    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."

  40. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    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!

  41. Andrew Richards

    If Pac-Man had affected us as kids...

    "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." - Marcus Brigstocke

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Do they have a brain?

    I don't believe for one minute that video games are the cause. The cause is multiple issues here. One being the lack of discipline at home and at school.

    I cannot believe how much stuff kids get away with these days. I'm not old, in my mid 20's, but when I was younger and was seriously naughty (like all kids) I got a good smack.

    Today I play some of the most violent video games and have the attitude that it is a GAME! Why the hell would I really want to run around in real life shooting people. You have to be completely dumb (single digit IQ) to think video games are real.

    Alien, because I hope they get here and set this f'ing planet straight.

  43. Tom Servo
    WTF?

    Yeah,the dumb copper's right...

    All those people playing Monopoly last generation have grown up and F&cked the economy.

    Oh wait, it only works to support your uninformed, kneejerk reactions?

    Honestly, anyone who wants to be a policeman shouldn't be allowed to. Breed them genetically like Mega city judges.

  44. Rob 59

    "unnamed constable"

    a.k.a nobody said it, the evening standard is a shoddy paper, please don't fuel this kind of tabloid journalism they don't deserve the publicity

  45. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Devil

    Now I want an explanation for...

    ...the LA riots back in '90.

    It was probably too many episodes of "Miami Vice".

  46. CD001

    In my day it was all pacman...

    So when he was young and playing Pacman did he want to run around like a acid house smiley, popping pills and running away from, or chasing "ghosts"? Did he do this running around town?

    No? Then what makes him think that GTA would have a parallel effect on kids now?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    So it was all packman and board games

    And probably scraped knees & lashings of ginger beer as well.

    I bet the generation he was talking about liked nothing more than a good game of monopoly, look how well that turned out for us all?

    Seriously though, peaceful protest fair enough but riots and looting!

  48. Norm DePlume
    WTF?

    History repeats

    We see the same sort of behaviour after the initial introduction of home computers in the 80s. Indeed, it is a little known fact that the original riot act became necessary in the 18th century after several rather violent board games became available.

  49. dogged
    WTF?

    So it was GTA

    Had the police been playing it before they shot some bloke in a minicab, then?

  50. Bunker_Monkey
    WTF?

    Not that old cookie again...

    see title

  51. Juillen 1

    Oh come on...

    This is a copper being more than a little taken aback at all the violence and uproar..

    There's no "Video games cause this", this is more "They're a bunch of scrotes who'd love to be violent, just like in some of the video games".. There is, perhaps a truth to this.. And it's because they're violent scrotes, not because the video games caused them to be that way..

  52. Arnold Lieberman
    FAIL

    There will always be morons

    Whilst I would never say that playing GTA etc. causes this sort of behaviour, it does seem that the scumbags currently causing mayhem seem to inhabit some strange fantasy world where they think the police/forces of law are "out to get them". Execution-style killing my arse.

    On a slightly different note, I'm sure the mobile phone cos would be able to provide ample evidence of who was at the scenes of crime, combined with RIM/Arsebook etc.

  53. RobE
    Devil

    Utter b****cks

    Riots are not the result of GTA. People have rioted ever since they were capable of it. To blame a computer game is utterly moronic. From what was shown on the news this morning - half the rioters don't have games consoles... and perhaps thats the problem?

  54. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    So, remind me....

    ... what violent games like GTA et al were available in the early 1980 when there were riots in London, Liverpool, Bristol...?

    When was PacMan first produced? Oh yes, 1980.

    Facepalm icon...

  55. MarkieMark1
    Holmes

    an unnamed constable

    so they couldn't even get a sergeant to comment? The word of 'an unnamed constable' must be worth as much as the word of 'an anonymous source' then

    Besides, the lack of trust in the legal system as a result of police larging it rather than legally, sensibly, enforcing sensible laws is clearly a very marginal reason :-D

  56. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Next they'll blame

    Sim City on poor city design

    Comic Books for making people wear odd clothing

  57. Kirstian K
    Happy

    Pacman..!

    The cop so missed the opertunity to say:

    when we were kids all we did was play packman,

    and you dont see us running around dark rooms,

    munching pills and listening to repetitive sounds...!

    1. Citizen Kaned

      oh ffs

      Reg, this is why you need to show comments before 12 hours have passed. this is the 4th time ive heard this joke in the same bloody thread!

    2. kissingthecarpet
      Facepalm

      No, do you have a brain?

      So that's the answer then. If some adult assaults you on a whim when you're a kid, you'll be properly socialised as an adult. I would think that a lot of rioters got plenty of "good smacks" from adults when they were kids. Most stupid parents treat their kids (no matter what age) as small adults who they can push around. You've only got to see them shouting "shut up you little cunt" and giving them a "good smack" round the head to see tomorrows fucked up teenagers & sociopaths being created.

  58. Colin Millar
    Boffin

    Pacman and board games

    So - games == behaviour?

    Well if this Mr Plod goes around saying

    "It was Mrs Scarlet, in the toilet, with the loofah"

    Then maybe he has a point

  59. Charybdis
    FAIL

    Wow, bad sound byte

    Geez I hope this was misquoted. I normally respect the plods, but this particular specimen seems to be of the clueless, doughnut-munching variety....

  60. Citizen Kaned

    hmmm

    i dont agree with that the dicks are doing in london but the police being untrustworthy doesnt help.

    first it was 'he shot first' now it turns out only 2 shots fired and not from the dead guy's gun. so, police falsifying evidence, again? that doesnt help. with the murder at the last protests by a mental copper, the selling of details to the papers etc, its no wonder people are furious.

    BUT the people looting are just idiots, i heard one on the radio saying its because they are broke. well, get a job you dick, oh you didnt go to school but dont want to work for min wage.

    they seem to forget that everyone else is struggling now too. and how stupid to wreck your own areas, are these guys totally brainless?

    and i heard the dead man's wife saying everything was the police's fault. yeah, im sure they gave him the gun. these stupid plastic gangsters want to carry a gun to look cool yet when it goes wrong its not their fault? how would she feel if her husband was a copper and got shot by some gun wielding idiot?

    im not a fan of the police for many reasons but if you carry a gun you know what the outcome might be.

    cue loads of yanks saying how guns arent dangerous....

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Hmmmmm

    The kids were running around shouting about how "The Army's been called in" and talking about fighting "the feds" and "the pigs".

    I'm not sure I can entirely negate the role of culture in the situation. Clearly not "DURRRRR play video game, fight people". But certainly some "Rise up against the man who keeps you down, take it to the streets".

    These ideas don't come from nowhere...

  62. Just Thinking

    Things are different now

    These games aren't "videogames" any more. It isn't like watching a film, or killing cartoon monsters.

    Now most games are multi-player, groups of people are role playing detailed scenarios, for hours on end. It is hard to see how this would have absolutely no effect on their behaviour rl.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    What came first?

    The riot or the riot mode in GTA San Andreas?

    Once again people look for something to blame. Lets face it the economy has gone to hell people are being laid off or replaced with cheap labour from overseas eventually something ignites and everything goes to hell.

  64. heyrick Silver badge

    It is easy to point the finger at a video game

    And somewhat harder to consider the effects of demoralisation and disaffection, thanks to a visible reduction in policing, overly liberal legislation where things like a terrorist's "human rights" are considered more important than the fact he intended to kill citizens, a breakdown in discipline, a farcical judicial system, a political arena that has demonstrated how screwing over people is the way to get ahead, coupled with difficulty getting jobs and an increasingly pointless education system.

    Those who seem so very surprised, really ought to wake up.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    All that has changed is the graphics...

    There are just better graphics now. That is the only real difference.

    Back in '79 there was Warrior (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrior_%28arcade_game%29), and what about Death Race (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Race_%28video_game%29) back in 1976 ?

    You can't blame Video games for everything.

    Take some responsibility for your kids parents!

  66. Frostbite
    Go

    MW3

    As I have said before on another posting, just release MW3 early and you won't see a rioter for weeks as they will be instantly stuck in front of their ChavBox360's.

  67. stefan 5
    Thumb Down

    Rubbish

    complete and utter rubbish

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Proof

    The proof is out there on the f*cking streets. You have to be blind or stupid not to see the link between video games and the general lack of morals, common sense and respect.

    What do you want, a bloody thesis to read, while London burns?

  69. ColonelClaw
    FAIL

    What would I know

    And there I was thinking it was 30 years of shitty government mismanagement, endless public sector cuts and racist police that cause riots.

  70. Tony Barnes
    FAIL

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

    Unless I'm mistaken, board games include things like:

    1. Cluedo - so presumably murdering folk with a spanner in the kitchen is ok

    2. Operation - removing random bones and organs from your fellow person is just fine

    3. Battleships - blowing the crap out of battleships, sure, why not

    4. etc..

    Also, Pac-Man - erm, look at what happens - you run around munching on stuff, hiding from ghosts, then when you eat something special, you get to chase down and eat the ghosts.

    Sounds kinda like rioting to me.

    Hooray for the faceless constable, clearly a fine addition to the boys in blue...

  71. g e
    FAIL

    Utter Bollocks

    Good luck proving video games suppress people's knowledge of right from wrong, thereby rendering them temporarily insane.

    What a dumbass, plod need to raise the IQ entry bar a bit.

  72. Mark Baker
    Devil

    of course it did

    Because remember how we never had any riots before videogames or the internet?

    Exactly.

  73. James Micallef Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Groan!

    ¨This old-hat idea again?

    Like no riots ever happened before GTA? P-lllllllllllllease!!! The police should be better using their time rounding up the rioters than making stupid comments. Oh, and maybe some really transparent internal procedures to show exactly what happened when a cop shot and killed a man last week, including REAL measures taken if the cop was guilty of any wrongdoing, instead of the usual cover-up and 'regrettable' mantras

  74. Ben Bawden
    FAIL

    Same old drivel

    Wasn't it great before violent video games when no-one rioted.

    I suppose it's easier to say "it's all the fault of video games" rather than examine the complex socio-economic reasons for this kind of thing.

  75. Pat 11

    It's plausible that there would be a link

    OK, I'll have a go.

    Kids learn from example. Young kids do this more, in fact in the early years it's the main form of social learning. Kids whose parents are violent are more likely to be violent themselves. It's called modelling and psychologists have known about it for years.

    Video games are getting better and better at portraying agency in a realistically simulated virtual world. Every increasing realism is one of the engagement techniques of the industry. Many games are violent. Some push boundaries be emphasizing the violence. Know any five year olds? Would you let them play the airport scene in MW2? If not, why?

    To claim that very young kids could not model from this is naive. Most would not. But some would. There are plenty of dysfunctional families where toddlers are exposed to everything their older sibs get up to. Sometimes in the context of abusive parents. Or parents who just aren't there.

    Anyone who thinks the dominant entertainment force in society has no relationship to how that society behaves is foolish. Anyone who thinks that relationship could only be unidirectional when the evidence is so hard to get and so conflicted has no grounds for that belief.

    1. Chad H.
      FAIL

      No

      This might be arguable if GTA was out in the past few months... Instead it's currently a bargain item awaiting a new installment... But f you want to argue the police are emulating LA Noire, go right ahead.

      The bankers seem to be doing a good job of playing railroad tycoon - if you go bust, restart or reload.

      End Communication

      Brother Chad of The Peacekeepers, Alpha Centauri

    2. Stuart Castle

      The problem is

      First, let me state that if a child is taught right and wrong by their parents, I don't believe there is a problem.

      The problem occurs because a lot of parents just buy (or nick) their kids the latest console, then plonk them in front of the console rather than actually interacting with them. So, where do the kids learn right from wrong? From their friends probably. However, where have those friends learned right from wrong? Their parents? Video Games? TV?

      I suspect that some do learn right from wrong from video games. Others learn right from wrong from those who learned from games.

      So yes, I believe that given good parents, violent video games are safe. I enjoy violent video games as much as the next bloke (GTA is amazing if you've had a bad day at work), but I do think that given bad parenting they can be unsafe.

    3. Colin Millar
      FAIL

      Please do some thinking before you blurt

      Those ideas have ben around a lot longer than electricity never mind video games

    4. kissingthecarpet
      Devil

      Then again

      If you carry a chair leg they'll shoot you as well.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Where the hell are the parents??

    Whether or not violent games cause this (I don't believe they do), it's down to parents to control access.

    Additionally, where there are children (8 - 16y) out rioting, one has to ask again, where the hell are the parents?

  77. Captain Save-a-ho
    Mushroom

    Every bit as idiotic as

    when people claim that guns kill people. When are people just going to take fucking responsibility for their actions?

  78. Fred 4
    Mushroom

    The root cause?

    the same one that is going to fuel similar activity in the US -

    MASSIVE disparity in income and wealth ownership, coupled with the existing and future economic failure.

    The prols revolting against the corp-tocracy

  79. Sean Baggaley 1
    WTF?

    Dear Mr. Plod,

    Unless you can show us evidence that arms manufacturers are producing handguns and rifles operated solely via a keyboard and mouse combination, or with an Xbox controller port built-in, I'm going to assume you're talking utter balderdash.

    Rockstar's "Grand Theft Auto" made hordes of kids turn to violence and rioting in exactly the same way that Pixar's "Up" made grandparents pop down to South America in a house tied to a vast cloud of helium-filled balloons.

    Granted, the recent riots were inexcusable, but the lack of hard information provided, coupled with a generally increasing lack of trust in the establishment hardly helped. And whose fault is that? Look to the log in your own eye before pointing at the splinters in the eyes of others.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      but...

      without guns its much harder to kill people

      we can see in places where guns are rife (USA) that they have many more murders per person than im places like the UK.

      guns dont kill people par se, but there sure are good at helping the person holding them do it. not many armies use wet towels in their armies.

      but, you are right, people need to take responsibility in their actions. i saw this coming years ago with the sue culture in the USA. it was always someone else's fault that things happen. never the person that did them.

      the current generation have been brought up knowing that they rarely face the repercussions of their actions.

  80. kain preacher Silver badge

    Funny thing

    Is few decades later we did have teens sitting in the dark munching pills listening to eletronica . But I doubt they had ever played pac man unless video game social programing can skip a generation .

  81. Ceiling Cat

    This is a steaming pile of horsepoo!

    First off, GTA is just a game. Anyone so unhinged that they can't tell fantasy from reality shouldn't be breathing in the first place. (cue the unhinged and delusional downvoting my post)

    Second off, in the GTA series, there are no looting scenes, no rioting, no rape. Certainly there is plenty of (dodgily) justifiable homicide, but it's the same in any Military Combat sim.

    Thirdly, in GTA you play the good guy. Sure, you're not a law-abiding citizen, but most of the time you're still a LOT more reserved than the people you're working for.

    That having been said, I was well over the legal purchasing age for these games when GTA2 was still popular. Maybe if I had been raised on these types of videogames I too would be less hinged than I am now.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    If video games are art, and art is a reflection of society...

    What he's saying is nonsense, but there are themes indicating a lack of social cohesion that ring true in the words of the oiks being interviewed from the street on Radio 4 this morning...

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