Well, it doesn't. But that's a great headline, isn't it?
As was astutely pointed out by Premier PR’s Gareth Williams on Twitter this morning, “Oh dear, the Metro. Rockstar surely must be as bored of this as we are?”.
This morning’s copy of freesheet Metro tells the tragic tale of crewman Ryan Donovan, who yesterday was jailed for life for the shooting of Lt Cmdr Ian Molyneux aboard the nuclear submarine HMS Astute.
At the time he was serving a period of voluntary guard duty.
But that’s all a bit inconsequential. What’s really important is that he allegedly played Grand Theft Auto in the run-up to the shooting.
“Sailor Ryan Donovan's ‘Grand Theft Autostyle gun spree’ on nuke sub”.
That’s. What. Counts.
“He started talking about the video game Grand Theft Auto, where you start a massacre and rack up points by killing,” prosecutor Nigel Lickley comically told the court. Points for killing. That’s what we all love about Grand Theft Auto, isn’t it? The point for killing. Oi, give me some of those points. For killing.
It’s also interesting how “He started talking about the video game Grand theft Auto” becomes “Told friends he was planning a Grand Theft Autostyle massacre” in Metro’s strapline.
The night before he’d been out on the lash after getting the hump for being told off for not cleaning the submarine properly. Donovan was also obsessed with gangsta rap and liked to be referred to as Reggie Moondog.
So sad, isn’t it, that Rockstar’s evil killing simulator corrupted such a pure mind?
Note, too, that there seems little criticism of the fact that shortly after boarding the vessel Donovan was handed a rifle, which he immediately used to attack the crew. A rifle. A loaded rifle. On a sub docked in Southampton.
He was eventually downed by Southampton city council leader Royston Smith. That’s at least 100 Grand Theft Auto points, isn’t it? Council chief exec Andrew Neil added that Donovan “was in a dream and they were doing this almost like in a video game“. He was also holding the rifle he’d been given, of course. The loaded one.
Aside from the tragic loss of life in this incident, Grand Theft Auto is another legitimate victim, yet again, as the media looks to use it as a scapegoat for society’s ills.
Just last month the London Evening Standard was ready to run a story linking GTA to the North London riots. A few copies did make it to print, but an intervention by MCV played its part in the paper’s decision to pull the reference from the story.
Metro has a rich history of poorly-judged games-related headlines. Two that spring to mind are alleged links between gaming and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Oh, and rickets. That was a great one.
It also recently piggybacked The Daily Mail’s attempts to slur Modern Warfare 3 for having a level set in London. Because that will create terrorists.
Tomorrow – “Bowser killed Ginger McCain”.