SCENES OF VIOLENCE in London this week might have been inspired by the video game Grand Theft Auto, according to a report in a local rag, the Evening Standard.
Someone was going to make the leap between the scenes of urban disruption and the game that sees you bash people with baseball bats, steal cars and sleep with prostitutes, but we would have had our money on it being the Daily Mail.
However, the Evening Standard, a free newspaper given out to Londoners, was first to make the leap between a game that hasn't been updated in about two years and a general desire amongst some bored, unemployed youth for a bit of incendiary mayhem and looting.
"Go home, get a takeaway and watch anything that happens on TV. These are bad people who did this. Kids out of control," a source is quoted as saying in the paper. "When I was young it was all Pac-Man and board games. Now they're playing Grand Theft Auto and want to live it for themselves."
This is not the first time that video games, indeed games by GTA publisher Rockstar, have won negative attention for the impact that they might have on individuals. Other games marketed by the firm include Bully and Manhunt, both of which sound like family friendly titles.
Still, in none of those games is the player expected to take on the role of a rabid pill popper, like our friend Mr Pac Man. µ