"GTA inspired London riots", paper claims

Ben Parfitt

Lawlessness, civil disobedience, rampant criminality and violence. All could be used to describe the events witnessed in Tottenham and Enfield over the weekend. Oh, and they could also be used to describe a certain video game.

And while Codemasters’ F1 series hasn’t been credited for the success of Sebastian Vettel and I’ve not yet read any stories thanking Populous for inspiring God himself, some people have seemingly linked Rockstar’s title to the tragic events.

Tonight’s copy of the London Evening Standard could claim that the London riots seen in the past 48 hours were “inspired” by famous games series Grand Theft Auto, MCV can reveal.

Two people – one a police officer in Tottenham and the other an Enfield resident – told reporters that they believed the popular game series was the catalyst behind the breakdown of law and order.

A member of the Evening Standard news team confirmed that at the time of speaking, the GTA quotes were to be included in the article. However, the source would not rule out the possibility of alternations being made before the paper hits presses.

UPDATE: It appears that at least some copies of today's Evening Standard carry an altered story, dropping the mention of GTA in the strap. It's unknown if the game is still mentioned in the body copy.

UPDATE 2: MCV has been informed that some editions of today's paper DO carry the GTA headline. Presumably a decision was made to change it after the first print run.

This will be far from the first time a paper has sought to instigate video games as the evil mastermind behind distressing real-world events.

Last month Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was accused of being a training tool for Norwegian shooter Anders Behring Breivik.

In 2004 Rockstar’s Manhunt was wrongly said to have been the inspiration behind the teenage stabbing of Stefan Pakeerah in Keith Vaz’ Leicester constituency.


Tags: grand theft auto , gta , london

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My word. There's almost a desperation to blame video games for the worlds pains these days.

Shocking, truly shocking.

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown INDUSTRY
Aug 8th 2011 at 7:35PM

0 2

yeah... everyone bought gta, waited 4 years and THEN decided to go mental

Paul Arkz

Aug 9th 2011 at 4:09AM

0 3

This article is just ridiculous. Blame the game for the real-time incidents, rather than actual real events. May I just remind who ever came up with this crazy GTA (or even video game) expired riots must be living on coo coo land, or extremely hates video games (especially GTA) and wants Rockstar to suffer. I'd just like to point out, as another member has GTA was last released 4 years ago and their next GTA title hasn't even been announced yet. If it was truly inspired by a video game (which it isn't) then I'd assume something like Saints Row 3, or MW3... Something that's relative and recent, but we all know it's nothing to do with video games anyway. Plus you must consider all the films that have been released, they can have a great impact too. But no. It's always GTA.

Matthew F

Aug 9th 2011 at 1:58PM

0 1