Police Commissioner Claims Games To Blame For Rise In Knife Attacks

You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people,” says NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.

In an article in the Telegraph (or at least the Australian version), Scipione said that the prevalence of people that are “not just prepared to carry a knife, but prepared to use it” has “increased significantly” and that there is “nothing more potentially damaging than the sort of violence they’re being exposed to, be it in movies, be it in console games they’re playing.”

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“How can it not affect you if you’re a young adolescent growing up in an era where to be violent is almost praiseworthy, where you engage in virtual crime on a daily basis and many of these young people (do) for hours and hours on end,” he said.

“You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people,” he added, presumably referring to the usual scapegoat of the Grand Theft Auto series, although the second point he raised is absent from the games.

Killing people is mentioned twice in the quote.

“That’s not going to affect the vast majority but it’s only got to affect one or two and what have you got? You’ve got some potentially really disturbed young person out there who’s got access to weapons like knives or is good with the fist, can go out there and almost live that life now in the streets of modern Australia,” he said.

“That’s concerning.”

As VG247 correctly state, here in the UK PEGI is now law, so at least clear ratings are shown for our videogames. Perhaps that should be a clear focus for those responsible?

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51 Comments

  1. So what you’re saying is that we should change the laws so people cannot play these games? Sod the 99.9% of the population that can handle this. Let’s just blame the games. Sod the parents who cannot be bothered to take an active investment in their child’s upbringing so that the idea of even having a knife is abhorrent to them. The government dare not blame the parents. The police force too, which is gutting. Do they have any idea how many societal woes would be dealt with if parents took a more engaged role in their children’s lives?
    For 99.9% of people able to handle content like this, comments like these make for capillary-bursting frustration.

    • To be fair on him, only going off his comments in this article, he’s not saying we should ban them or anything along those lines. He’s merely stating, correctly in my opinion, that in a small number of cases playing these games leads to the individual carrying out the act in real life. He’s right, it does, there’s no arguing against that.

      • Yes, but in most (all?) cases, it is not the game that prompts them to go out & maim &/or kill, it is their core mental instability.

        The game just kinda fuels the fire i suppose.

  2. To be fair I see his point. Playing COD: World at War on Veteran made me so mad I wanted to do all of those things…

    • Christ! Best he doesn’t see me playing Sacred 2 or my impending desire to “cleanse the nation just to make me feel better after playing that crock of poo” will make his double-mention of “killing” look like a chipped nail.

      • We should ban Dark Souls due to it’s tendecy to make gamers want to kill a kitten or puppy.

    • Tell me about it. The number of times I’ve gone up to my room to play God of War, and two hours later I’m cradling the bloody corpses of my wife and child. Just keeps happening.

  3. I found myself more compulsively irritated, and on the brink of violence, from playing Bike Baron on iPhone. Comparatively, I feel far more relaxed playing ANY of the Grand theft auto games…BAN IPHONES NOW!

  4. “or is good with the fist”

    Lol – That sounds… Well, disturbing in all the wrong ways.

    I now have no fear that i will be mugged, stabbed or shot – I just might get fisted instead.

    • Even worse if it’s ‘The Way Of The Exploding Fist’!!

      *shudders*

    • *whistles and puts on trenchcoat then lube covered gloves then procceeds to walk causally near forrest*

      • “Glove fulla vaseline!”

      • ….Steven sometimes you really disturb me. Hehe

  5. Must be why Kratos stabs a lot of people then. *shakes fist* Seriously, it’s up to the parents to raise their kids right. If they don’t then chances are that they will turn to crime due to the lack of parenting. Plus there may be mental issues with the person. Also, if they can’t tell what is real and what is fiction then they shouldn’t be allowed to play violent games or watch violent films.

    Also, if games did cause violence then Acti would have been forced out of bussiness years ago due to COD being violent. Same with any developer of violent games. Also, what game has he been playing!? As i’ve not heard of a game that allows you to rape someone.

  6. Right. So you would rather have a generation of fustrated teenagers who have nothing else to do than to roam the streets because nothing is occupying them? Is this really what you want? You would have far more street crime if you got rid of games. Infact, over here, crime has actually decreased. I saw that program Alan Tit-marsh (I know) hosts about a year ago and he was lobbying for the banning of games, he had some jumped up, mis-informed ‘expert’ on the show claimin that Video Games are detrimental to our health, later after research I found that she did some voice acting for a game a few years back. It doesn’t get any more hipocritical than that surely?

    Nobody in the games industry has EVER denied the fact that games can be damaging to a young person, somebody under the age of 18 should not be palying 18 rated games. Why do parents not get the blame? No, blame the industry its all their fault they intentionally make 18 rated games so that kids can play them and re-inact them on the streets. Movies can be just as damaging to a young impressionable child, who is lobbying to get them ripped from the shelves? No. People can’t understand that gaming grew up years ago, GTA and Mortal Kombat really pushed the boundaries. I thought we were past the stereotype of gaming being for kids, the average gamer is 34 or something. I’m glad this subject has been brought up it fumes me.

    • kids, if they were allowed would play in the street with a football or whatever. But because of the lack of police to stop peado’s parents worry more and don’t let them. If they did you would have healthier kids that didn’t play these games anyway.

      • Your talking about days long ago my friend. Trust me, as somebody who loves sport and activity i’d love to have been able to walk outside my door and play football whenevr I wanted, its just not the way things are today. Video Games are what I was brought up on, as were thousands of others, unfortuntely if theres nothing to do you see people just aimlessly walking the streets like idiots. Congregating. We have enough of that, we don’t need anymore.

  7. I wish the public knew that games like Journey and Flower exist amongst all the violent games that get so much attention.

    • Yes, thankyou, I was about to mention Journey. We have Ebert saying games aren’t art, this fool trying to take them away altogether, that idiot Jack Thompson generally acting out the fantasy of a deluded man and we have games like Journey not even getting a mention. Disgraceful. They would try and get the game banned before they would admit it is a great game and a work of art.

  8. “You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people,”

    Assuming he’s talking GTA do you really get rewarded for running pedestrians over and totalling other cars? In fact from GTA3 onwards isn’t it a handicap – trashing your car at the least, attracting policemans attention usually making your life far more interesting. I don’t think this sort of thing’s been rewarded since the original top-down GTA (gouranga :))

    Either way, don’t know why I read and comment on this uninformed drivel. From a brief google, there’s figures saying somewhere between 60-70% of the world play video games. Even assuming 75% of these people are playing farmville types, I make that roughly 1BN people playing violent video games (OK – numbers pulled out of my arse, but you take the point). Where are all these mass murdering, knife crime commiting criminals? And how does that stack up the the FBI figures (as an example) that show all crime in the US is in a 4 year decline?

    Gah – I hate this “blame computer games” every time there’s a horrible crime.

    Right, rant over.

    • maybe he wasn’t referring to GTA but Saints Row (think there is a trophy for running down pedestrians but not for killing prostitutes you get rewarded for taking them to customers)

      • Nope, definitely referring to GTA (the old pick up a prostitute, get some action in an alleyway, batter her as she runs away to get your money back trick), but is completely over-exagerrating the issue & adding in new things never seen in video games before is all.

  9. This is a fair comment, back years ago the Exorcist was scary, now because of the constant downgrading of horror movies people have become decensorised to it all, so it becomes the norm.

    Thats what has happened, old films aren’t scary because we’ve seen worse. Carrying a gun/knife in a computer game, if done/shown a lot, some people will believe its the norm, even in real life.

    I still blame parents for letting kids play these adult games and 18 films.

  10. So before video games why did people kill, rape etc did playing tic tac tow, rock, paper, scissor encourage them to go kill but then again rock paper scissors is kinda violent

    • Look at Pirates, they were always raping and pillaging. We didnt see government back then try to ban the sea

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