Police believe games “may have been a factor” in violent assault

Monday, 6th May 2013 01:37 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Video games have been implicated in a violent assault by a teenage boy on an online gaming buddy.

A 14 year old Scottish boy confessed to cutting the throat of a 13 year old friend whom he had met online playing Gears of War 3 – which is rated R 18+ by PEGI.

“The reporting officer was of the opinion that the violent video games played online by the accused may have been a factor in his conduct,” prosecutor Andrew Brown said, according to the Daily Mail.

Scottish Police Federation chairman Brian Docherty also seemed concerned that the offender’s gaming habits were related to the crime.

“These games are rated 18 and shouldn’t be played by children of this young age – but online gaming may be outside their parents’ knowledge. We need to look again at what we can do to stop this,” he said.

In response, Microsoft pointed out pointed out that it has robust parental controls which would have allowed the youth’s parents to control his access to violent games.

Nobody seems to have made any mention of the mechanism by which games are supposed to have enabled this crime, although it was noted that the two boys were arguing about video games when the assult occured and had been trading heated messages via Xbox Live.

UKIE boss Dr Jo Twist told us last year that no credible research has ever established a causal link between violent media and violent actions.

Thanks, Kotaku.



  1. Richenbaum

    we should also ban all shoes because people have killed each other over sneakers. and Son of Sam said his dog told him to kill all those people so clearly dogs are responsible for all violence and should be banned too.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Rosseu

    There should be a law that prevents assholes from blaming video games for violence

    #2 2 years ago

    Glaswegians are known to stab each other for fun, anyway…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Dragon246

    From eurogamer-
    “On the night of 14th April 2012, the accused grabbed the then 14-year-old victim while he was on his way to a house and struck him across the throat. The accused said, “Don’t die,” before walking off.

    The cut was so deep it exposed the victim’s windpipe and required 20 staples after surgery. The victim is said to have been left traumatised. His attacker, WHO IS ALREADY A FATHER, faces prison.”

    I think, uh, maybe something else is responsible for this, like I don’t know, maybe goddamnawful parenting?

    Maybe you can add this tiny extra detail in the article, just for lolz :D

    #4 2 years ago
  5. FeaturePreacher

    There is a silver lining to this. At least he’s not as crazy as this guy is and his parents are.

    Boy tries to rape mom, kills her, over Call of Duty ban

    No one can beat us Americans in terms of craziness or stupidity.

    #5 2 years ago

    ^ Wow.


    #6 2 years ago
  7. Mjorh

    14 years old plays +18 games , so what u expect ? its fuckin obvious that under 18 years old can’t take that kinda intense violence …
    Parents gotta take the goddamn age rating seriously

    #7 2 years ago
  8. redwood

    remember how at the start of GOW 1 marcus is in the slammer?.. well now you know he “actually” got there//

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Mjorh

    @9 LOL! +1!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. sh4dow


    I especially loved this part:
    “he used the rifle his mother had given him as a gift when he was 11-years-old.”

    On some occasions, things have a way of working themselves out. Because it sounds to me like she wasn’t fit to be a parent to begin with and now she at least can’t produce more offspring.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Christopher Jack

    Please, games could be a catalyst but only in the same way movies, television, heck even toys are. Most kids will act aggressively if they had anything they’re used to getting taken away & it really comes down to both parenting & their mental condition on how far they’ll act out.

    I mean my parents had violent games when I was younger & they allowed me to play it but only because I was capable of displaying empathy because they were a little worried that children who couldn’t & were over exposed to violence would act out much more aggressively. Sure I chucked the occasional tantrum when they took away a toy or video game because I was lazy but I never got violent.

    I just couldn’t imagine a normal personal capable of displaying empathy doing something as outrageous as ending another person’s life because they were slightly angry, particularly over a video game, it’s just barbaric.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    Speaking of kids who lack empathy..

    #12 2 years ago
  13. theevilaires

    @ 5 I read that over the weekend too and was wondering why they didn’t post that on the site….Then I remembered Johnny Cullen is no longer part of the staff

    #13 2 years ago
  14. The_Red

    This wasn’t a good week :(
    First that COD kid who tried rape and finally shot his mom and now this.

    Also, “These games are rated 18 and shouldn’t be played by children of this young age – but online gaming may be outside their parents’ knowledge”

    WTF!? It’s not like Gears is an online web browser game that parents can’t know about. Seriously? They thought just because their game had online, it was an online title on some website, hidden from parents and NOT a physical retail game (I know getting an M rated game isn’t too hard for minors but still).

    #14 2 years ago
  15. deathm00n

    @15 From that you can see that it’s better to understand something before talking about it. That’s the impression I got too, like it was an facebook game or something like that.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Hellhound30x

    2 things here POLICE! First look at the ESRB rating on the box of the game. I says, intended for 17 years or older. Okay now find out who bought them the game in the first place. Was it the parents? Then its bad parenting. Either way to be honest, that 14 year old was no little kid, if he is a father himself. The kid sounds like trash.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. The_Red

    Yeah. The more depressing part is that such incidents deserve a through, in-depth and unbiased analysis and even debate. Sadly, what we get instead is the sensationalistic shows from likes of Katie Couric using scare tactics to attack violent video games.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DSB

    @18 Study it sure, but it’s not like you’re dealing with a murder epidemic with a specific cause and effect that can just be prevented.

    That’s a media narrative, creating a good story that has whatever meaning you want to attribute to it, on the back of a tragedy that is fundamentally meaningless. In some stories videogames are the villain, in others it’s rap music. Even though the only actual villain is just a screwed up kid with a .22 rifle.

    Meaningless acts of violence have always been a fact of life. It may have a lot of different factors playing a part (some societies are more violent than others) but I think it’s folly to think that we’ll ever be rid of it, videogames or no.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Richenbaum

    before this the scapegoat was violent movies, before that it was violent comic books, before that it was evil rock music, before that it was dancing and Elvis, and so on and so on.

    what we really need is some new form of media to appear for the out of touch geriatrics to transfer their need to misunderstand and blame everything, but what the hell is going to come out that can be even bigger than video games at this point?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. The_Red

    True. I’m not saying the media’s narrative is true.

    If an actually unbiased study of these cases takes place, they’ll find the answers that are as old as time itself. Terrible acts of violence like these have always existed and there have been many deeper issues behind them. Sadly because of all the hype, negativity and people like Katie C, people only see the newest thing (The vid game) and not things like, I don’t know, a 22. rifle given to a 11 year old as a gift.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DSB

    @18 Yup, and since the beginning of time I reckon it’s been every bit as hard to accept.

    People turn bad, and commit horrible acts of violence. It’s always easier to blame lycanthropy or demonic possession or videogames than it is to accept the fact that sometimes the world creates a violent person.

    If parents are blind to their kids development, or maybe the kid doesn’t show any signs of what’s going on inside, then there’s not a lot you can do.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Richenbaum


    #22 2 years ago

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