UK paper The Daily Mail has inevitably linked the tragic stabbing of a Leeds schoolteacher to video games.
61-year-old Spanish teacher Ann Maguire was yesterday killed in front of pupils yesterday by a still unnamed 15 year old male student.
“Police trawling social media accounts of schoolboy, 15, accused of stabbing teacher who was 'obsessed with online video game where lone cursed character travels through fantasy world killing others'” a Daily Mail headline today reads, referencing Bandai Namco's critically acclaimed Dark Souls.
Added the site: “He was also a member of Achievement Hunter – a gaming community – and would challenge and interact with other PS3 players online. He also poster [sic] new game trailers on his Google+ and YouTube accounts.”
The suspect had also allegedly experimented with drugs, threatened to commit and indeed attempted suicide, had been on anti-depressants, suffered from bullying and claimed to worship the devil – none of which is mentioned in the headline.
All of this is familiar territory for The Daily Mail, of course, although the paper had the nerve to suggest last year that its attitude towards video games had changed.
Seemingly not. Here are some previous ‘highlights’:
- Jul 2012: Let's get this straight before we even get to the details – this is definitely Microsoft's fault. Not the kid's for spending all the money. Not the dad's for letting her child have access to her bank card. Dispel thoughts of bad parenting. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and become one with the Mail Online.
- Jan 2012: It has emerged that UK newspaper The Daily Mail “completely fabricated” quotes used in a story linking gaming to a new generation of “zombie children”.
- Jan 2012: 91 hours. That’s how far 2012 was able to progress before The Daily Mail got the ball rolling on this year’s tabloid tirade on video games. And what a way to kick off the action. “Hit Star Wars game lets players 'own' and torment female slaves with electric shock collar” is the headline that gets the juices flowing.
- May 2011: Fury. That's the adjective UK newspaper The Daily Mail has used to describe the reaction to yesterday's new Modern Warfare 3 video.
- Sep 2010: UK newspaper The Daily Mail has published an extensive story asking if addiction to video games can be likened to an addiction to heroin.
- Sep 2010: A woman who was looking after her granddaughter when the family dog attacked her and tore off her top lip has blamed DS game Nintendogs for the incident, The Daily Mail reports.
- Feb 2009: The Daily Mail is targeting the games industry yet again this morning as the UK newspaper reports on a new study that claims video games, the internet and TV are to blame for “'the lurch to more and more violence which we know can breed violence and increase mental illness”.
- Aug 2008: The Daily Mail has proclaimed Sega’s MadWorld as the most violent game on Nintendo Wii. An article in today' paper says the title has 'horrified parents' - and claimed that it will change the family-friendly reputation of the machine.
- Apr 2007: The Daily Mail has reported that children are more likely to suffer injuries from video games than they are from climbing trees.