Sunday, February 18, 2007

And again...

As is becoming pretty much par for the course, a video game has been implicated in a crime, this time Gran Turismo. What's interesting is that, despite both men being cleared of death by dangerous driving, the fact that one of played a racing videogame has been singled out in this report.

It's clear that both of these men were idiots to be driving in such a fashion. And the judge's comments regarding the monitor in the car are in no way unreasonable. What bothers me about this artice is the 'games of death' featurette at the bottom, presented out of context, and with very little explanation. If I didn't know any better, I'd think a right-wing newspaper was being deliberately misleading and reactionary.

Lets address these points then, shall we? Original article in bold, my comments in italics.

Killer games

Manhunt Players earn points for killing people in a horrific manner. Implicated in the 2004 murder of Stefan Pakeerah, 14

Implicated by the Daily Mail, not by the police. The Daily Mail still has very little to do with judicial proceedings in this contry, to my eternal relief. The hysteria started on the basis of the victim's mother saying, and this is a direct quote "I think I heard some of his friends say he was obsessed with that game.", referring to the killer, Warren LeBlanc. It transpired however, that the killer had not played the game and did not own it, but the victim did, despite being under 18. The police and judge ruled out any link to the game, in the case of the police this was publicly, through the media. The Daily Mail didn't cover this though, despite having given two front pages to the story that week. So, in other words, bunkum.

Carmaggedon Racing game where players can run over pedestrians. Was initially refused a certificate by the censor in Britain

The crucial term being initially. It was later granted a license. It was still a little bit naff, however. Also, this game is over ten years old, doesn't run on most modern PCs, and therefore is unlikely to be much of a threat to society.

Canis Canem Players are encouraged to torment homeless people and be violent and abusive to vulnerable youngsters

Blatantly untrue. From the first encounter with the homeless character in this game, you befriend him, and his sections of game act as tutorials. Whilst there is a large amount of violence in the game, it's incredibly tame. The point of the game is not to bully the other kids, but to unite the various cliques and end the bullying at the school. It seems churlish to point out that The Times also got the name of the game wrong, but there, I did it anyway.

Prejudiced and lazy journalism? Slanted reporting? In a NewsCorp paper? You can see where I'm going with this...

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