London Riots Inspire Fresh Grand Theft Auto Finger Pointing

London Riots Inspire Fresh Grand Theft Auto Finger Pointing

What has spurned hundreds to take to the streets of London to riot, burn and loot? According to the London Evening Standard newspaper, the city’s continuing — and spreading — riots have their roots in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto.

That tenuous connection between a violent sandbox crime spree of a video game and the very real violence happening throughout the city seems to have been derived from an unnamed London constable offering his opinion on the brouhaha, as quoted above. It was a connection juicy enough to make the London Evening Standard front page — at least for one printing — according to MCV.

The other culprit in the still-smoldering riots, which ignited in Tottenham, London: the Blackberry. Obviously, at least one of these technological wonders should be banned outright to quell this uprising, right?

Fear and a sense of loss amid high street’s smoking ruins [London Evening Standard]


    • On the internet, doing this kind of things is seen as trolling or being sensational to get hits and generate revenue. It’s universally despised for the cheap practice that it is.

      In the world of print however, it’s called journalism.

      • Quite specifically, in the world of journalism, this is called a moral panic. Its an all too common technique used to get people’s attention, and to make something seem more compelling (usually when the claim is being exaggerated or is misleading).

  • Yeah totally agree, it’s also the same reason why there were riots in the Middle East that absolved dictatorships to make way for Democracy… Damn GTAIV.

  • I’m pretty sure riots and general crime was emulated from GTA, and not the other way around. If the ‘educated’ checked their history they might find this has happened before, prior to electricity.

    • That’s what I was thinking, there was the rioting in the final act of San Andreas (based on the LA riots, which game did those guys get inspired from?) but you weren’t an active participant.

  • FINALLY. Another real world event is blamed on videogames. I was worried games were going to get overlooked, but here we are.

    Next year i’m going to audition for Master Chef and blame cooking mother for extending the show another year.


    Flying spaghetti monsters attack LONDON

    It was thought these spaghetti monsters had been avid and devote fans of the video game
    DESTROY ALL HUMANS! on the xbox gaming system.

  • A bunch of GTA fans would probably be too stoned playing COD too even get off the lounge chair, let alone realise their was even a riot happening.

  • “Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” (Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989.)

  • Yeah, umm, cause riots – even more serious – never happened before video games, right?

    Guess Hitler had a time machine and snagged a copy of GTA IV, a HD TV and an Xbox 360 back in the 1930s and spent a good couple of years practicing his rage. And then he played Battlefield, learned to wage war. And finally he played Wolfenstein and that was the final nail in the proverbial coffin.

    Makes perfect sense!

    Cause basically, you know, society is so great and fair that ‘heaven forbid’ any group of people might lash out against it for real reasons. Amirite?

    • “Cause basically, you know, society is so great and fair that ‘heaven forbid’ any group of people might lash out against it for real reasons. Amirite?”

      ^^^ THIS

      It’d be great if just once, people would address the authentic cause of such things happening. Instead lets spin some shit that gets ratings because you know… authentic reasons are boring most the time.

  • Sports fans tear their town apart when their team wins…mob mentality
    London torn apart by a riot triggered by police shooting a criminal…cop blames video games

    • Etymology of the word Riot

      early 13c., “debauchery, extravagance, wanton living,” from O.Fr. riote (masc. riot) “dispute, quarrel,” perhaps from Prov. riota, of uncertain origin. Meaning “public disturbance” is first recorded late 14c. Meaning “something spectacularly successful” first recorded 1909 in theater slang. The verb is attested from late 14c. Run riot is first recorded 1520s, a metaphoric extension from M.E. meaning in ref. to hounds following the wrong scent. The Riot Act, part of which must be read to a mob before active measures can be taken, was passed 1714 (1 Geo. I, st.2, c.5). Riot girl and alternative form riot grrl first recorded 1992.

      Nope, don’t see anything about video games there either.

  • Further to all that, I’d like to find a game to blame the stock market crash on.

    I was thinking of blaming Elite – clearly everybody was way too heavily invested in synthetic meat when they should have been putting some of that money into slaves and luxury items. And now it’s all just gone to hell in a handbasket.

    • I find reference for a PC game title “Stock Market:The Game” on the Googles

      I vaguely remember having it on Amiga at some point…. yeah I’ll blame that one

  • What i find funny is that the collar bomb incident had a note signed with a character in a book, though no one calls for banning of certain books, or no outbursts of protect the children from books. It seems its only games that cause thoughts of violence in twisted individuals..

    Imagine if the note was signed by duke nukem.

  • What about Bloody Saturday

    This guy is full off it.

    And ironically most of the riots in london tend to be caused by a black man being shot or not helped by the police.

    Not to mention there has been some talk that the police shot their own radio to make it look like they had been shot at first.

  • Well of course.

    I’m guessing Pacman is the reason this guy is overweight. He must be, given how videgames affect people. 100% proven and endorsed by the ACL.

  • They really should look up ‘riot’ in wikipedia.. I think they’ll find they happened prior to the onset of violent video games also.

  • A contact who’s living in London says its basically down to kids being bored during their holidays…. So really, we should be blaming this on kids NOT playing video games!!

  • this is madness, blaming the tools (group messaging) and the recreational pursuits (games) that ‘weren’t around in my day’ is nothing more then a diversion from the issue.
    Group think and mob mentality combined with social inequality and a lack of empowerment are fertiliser for an attitude of ‘us vs them’. Makes me despair for humanity to see this lead to violence, greed and destruction in a modern society.
    Perhaps there is a little bit of hope to be gained from the stories of a handful of communities that stood firm and faced down the riots, and hopefully the rebuilding effort will help this community identity and spirit spread to the wider population.

    Playing the reactionary blame game is not constructive, whichever side of the fence you are on (ie: passing or refuting blame). It will be no comfort to the people who have lost their livelihoods, property or lives and it will not prevent this type of behaviour from reoccurring.

  • *yawn* The media blaming video games, what else is new? I’m sure most people, gamers or not, are just rolling their eyes at this point.

  • Yep, it’s official. There was no violence – EVER – prior to video games.

    Before you ask, WWII was inspired by the Medal Of Honor games and all medieval battles by the Total War series.

    On a more serious note, I live just outside the city centre in a major UK city. Thankfully it hasn’t had any rioting yet but I’m getting just a tad worried.

    • Just to point out in case others didn’t know – rioting has now spread to other cities like Birmingham and Liverpool.

  • The Battle of the Bogside in 1969 directly resulted from hippies and beatniks playing GTA4.

    True fact. Y’all can look it up!

  • I can see those guys back in ‘they’re day’ running around with their hands chomping with them saying ‘wakka wakka wakka’

  • LOL! someone should sent the officer a copy of “Harry Brown”.

    Lets blame the police(hehe). england’s forces have fought everything from the Romans, to conquering the holy land and been victorous in 2 world wars.

    Now. Shall ye ‘ole englishmen learn how to beat kids with bottles and sticks?? clearly not. bunch of F**king Muppets running around an overcrowded country with shit all exports, no sustainable economy and half the people living off welfare in government housing blocks -> its not a matter of “If or Why?” riots happen, but “when and How Often?” they happen.

  • it used to be movies like rambo and die hard that took the fall in the eighties. now these old politicians and beaurocrats need a new fall guy for this generation;- video games. closed minded old school farts!

  • i played mortal kombat today, looks like im destined to start ripping off peoples heads. watch out society.

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