Pressure from media, fans, and likely one nasty phone call from Rockstar has forced The London Evening Standard to reprint its top story and remove the following suggestion that Grand Theft Auto had something to do with the rampaging London protests: "CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS TEN, INSPIRED BY VIDEO GAME, AMONG THE LOOTERS". Now it reads: "CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS TEN HUNTED BY POLICE AFTER RIOTS ACROSS CITY".
The original opinion piece in the newspaper quoted a constable connecting video games to the rioting youth (nearly all of the arrests made due to the protest have been of people 21 or younger):
Go home, get a takeaway and watch anything that happens on TV… These are bad people who did this. Kids out of control. When I was young it was all Pacman and board games. Now they're playing Grand Theft Auto and want to live it for themselves.
Sounds like a lot of rubbish to me.
I could go into the many, not-video-game-related-at-all reasons for the protests – the highly questionable police shooting of the 29-year-old father of four Mark Duggan, the bailouts to the banks, terribly unemployment, the $130 billion cut to public spending through 2015, the feeling that the police are prejudiced, the tripling of tuition fees for some students, the public-sector pensions being cut, opportunistic looters feeding the fire – so I'm thankful that the newspaper had enough sense to rethink the causes for its city's chaos.