One day after the release of Grand Theft Auto V, the UK’s national press has seemingly resumed its attack on gaming.
Surprisingly, GTA V is not the target – instead, today’s edition of the Daily Mirror targets Activision’s Call of Duty.
“Driven to kill by Call of Duty” is the headline of a front-page story about American naval base gunman Aaron Alexis, who yesterday shot dead 12 people at Washington Navy Yard.
“Alexis went on his gun rampage after becoming addicted to violent video games,” the piece claims. “The maniac spent 18 hours a day on horrors such as Call of Duty. A pal said: ‘It pushed him over.’”
The Mirror’s piece does not mention that Alexis was also known to have visited a gun range two days prior to yesterday’s events.
It also chooses to leave the fact that he was a “hard-core drinker” and had been seeing psychiatrists having heard voices – AND that officials had not declared his mental health issues, allowing him to retain both a gun licence and a security pass to gain entry to the base – until the start of its inside spread.
He was also known to carry a gun with him at all times, apparently due to a “fear people would steal his stuff” and had sought treatment for “paranoia, insomnia and possible schizophrenia”. Furthermore, he had previously complained of post-traumatic stress disorder having been involved in the rescue efforts of 9/11.
Also left until much later in the piece are his previous arrests for gun offences, one of which was the shooting through the floor of his neighbour who lived above him whom he believed was making too much noise.
What the paper does quote in large print, however, is the allegation from his apparent best friend that: “Violent video games took over his life, he could play for up to 18 hours a day… they pushed his dark side”.
A customer at the restaurant at which Alexis worked added: “There were a couple of guys I worked with that were kind of into shooter games, but by the time a new one came out, he would know a lot about the game.”
Probably much like you, dear reader.
The same Mirror spread also highlights yesterday’s stabbing of a shopper whom had purchased a copy of GTA V at midnight at a brand of Asda, a small piece again linking gaming to Norweigian murdered Anders Breivik and a warning from Professor Mark Griffiths about the possible dangers of letting youngsters play 18-rated games.