News Snatch: Sad Times

I hope you have some Christmas cheer stored up as today’s Snatch is a bit of a downer. Starting with business news, Comet is to shut its remaining stores tomorrow as OpCapita have failed to revive the business. Meanwhile EA have been delisted from the NASDAQ-100 and ‘vulture’ group Apollo Global Management are plotting to buy HMV.

They have bought over £20 million of the group’s debt, if HMV breach loan agreements early next year they will be at the mercy of the lenders. The Express are going as far as to suggest accountancy giant Deloitte is the “most likely appointment in January” if HMV has anything less than a spectacular Christmas – and that 4,500 jobs are at risk.


The tragedy in Connecticut was always going to be linked to video games, sadly there are a lot of uninformed people in the world who make knee jerk reactions. For a change, the accused is neither GTA or Call Of Duty, someone discovered what they thought was the Facebook page for the 20 year old killer and it had listed Mass Effect as one of his ‘likes’.

Since then the Mass Effect Facebook page has been bombarded with comments such as “Blood money Mass Effect”, this image was captured by Mashable.


One of the most recent posts: “This video game is sick & should be taken off the market. Betcha the government will step in now & take these “sick” video games off the markets & anyone who tries to manufacture as such will face stiff penalties. Your company & your games SUCK! Mass Murderers are what you are.”

The sad thing is the that the Facebook profile attributed to the killer belongs to someone else who happens to share the same name. There is no link between video games and the terrible act of violence that occurred.

EA held an ‘Ask Me Almost Anything’ session on Reddit, hosted by the team working on the new Sim City game. Hundreds of gamers took to their keyboards to criticise the ‘always on’ DRM that the game will ship with – lose your Internet connection and you can no longer play. “We will allow you to play for as long as we can preserve your game state. This will most likely be minutes,” said Senior producer Kip Katsarelis.

Video producers Machinima have laid off twenty three staff. “This is growing pains. Machinima has grown a lot in a short amount of time. We had to look at the business, look at where we’re focusing,” said Machinima Editor-in-Chief Rob Smith. “It has hit the editorial group, but we are still doing editorial coverage in a slightly different way.”

Square Enix have also been ruining Christmas by laying off staff from its LA office. Senior Director of Public Relations Riley Brennan gave the following statement to Massively.

“In order to ensure it is operating effectively, the Square Enix Los Angeles office has reduced its workforce. This was a difficult decision and we wish the best for those affected by these changes. The decision will not have any impact on the operations of MMO titles. Customers can expect those services to continue, including the upcoming launch of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.”

Our best wishes go to those who have been made redundant, the always cheerful HMV staff and falsely accussed Mass Effect team. Let’s hope for some positive news tomorrow.



  1. My word, those facebook comments have been posted by the stupidest people on the planet! I bet that kid liked Rap Music. KANYE TOLD HIM TO DO IT!

    Some people eh!


      • BAN JUSTIN BEIBER! This is the part of the day where we all gather and shout to ban things right? If not, i may be on the wrong site, again.

  2. It’s amusing that a lot of people who criticise Mass Effect also make religious comments, because religion never caused people to kill or start wars right? And there a lot worse things described in the bible than occur in any video game. Plain ignorance.

    • In actual fact it was conflict of beliefs that led to bloodshed, not one single religion by itself. It is man who starts the wars, not the Lord Jesus Christ. If man chooses to interpret the Bible differently and kill for it than that is up to them. But the man does it and does so freely.

      Furthermore the shootings in the US don’t seem to be decreasing. There seems to be some underlying issues and I am not by any means claiming to know what they are. But it isn’t hard to see a regular pattern.

      • Yes but it was man who invented religion ergo he is to blame.

      • OK. I’m just going to go away now and end any kind of discussion that apparently has no end (such the word ‘invention’ kill it off).

        Enjoy Christmas :)

    • It’s amazing that lot of people that defend gaming are quick to attack religion, because gaming never involved insulting people right?

      • Actually, ignore my previous post as it is childish.

        Instead, I am saddened that yet again the generic gamer appears and feels the need to attack religion.

  3. You do know that you can not be certain that it is a false accusation. Whilst their is insufficient evidence to prove that it was mass effect, equally there is none to disprove it.

    Video games and films are tricky in their influences on people. Some people seem to think that they have a strong healthy mind and ‘know’ it is only a simulation. But they do not realise we are not talking about conscious assimilation rather a state of unconscious assimilation. This kind of media can affect people over long term and I’m not talking about all games, but there are some out there that are incredibly ‘re-conditioning’ if that is the right word.

    • Agreed.

      “There is no link between video games and the terrible act of violence that occurred.”

      I don’t see any evidence to suggest this is the case, yet.

    • That was facebook? I though I was reading the daily mail

      • That should have been a post to the article not a reply to your comment

    • It has been suggested* in various places online that this person likely had pre-exisitng mental health issues. If this proves to be true then media in general may well have affected him differently.

      Obviously I’m not qualified and have no clue, but I do wonder if the reported rise in autism spectrum disorders is going to shape the future games/media market.

      *hearsay and gossip at this point. Obviously.

      • yeah it is complex and in to a field I am reluctant to speculate for I don’t want to judge.

        I just hope the parents will find peace at some point in their lives after this tragedy. Not that I’m sure there will be an ‘after’ ever for the parents. Sad indeed.

      • He shot his mother in the face while she slept. (according to reports)

      • I was talking about the parents of the killed children btw.

      • then the pre-existing condition, and maybe lack of adequate care/treatment is more to blame than any game he might have played.

        even if he did play any games, and i expect he did, the games aren’t responsible, millions of other people of all ages play the same games and don’t go on murderous rampages.

        or maybe, just maybe, the ease with which almost anybody can get a gun in the states is also a factor.

        i remember an american comedian doing a bit about gun control years ago, how he was astounded when one person getting shot was front page news in a uk nation newspaper, when it’s such an everyday occurrence in the us.
        he spoke about how many americans still don’t believe gun control will stop so much death.

        “they fail to see the correlation between having a gun and using it and not having one and not using it”

        then you get total halfbrained bags of human feces like ann coulter who claim more guns are the answer, not less.
        that people should be allowed to carry concealed firearms.

      • Only anti-gun enthusiasts claim the less guns- less crime defense. Rember it takes a person to pull the trigger. Blaming gun control is no different then blaming a video game. Put the responsibility where it belongs- on the person who pulled the trigger. Whatever sick heartless bastard could look a 6 year old kid in the face and pull the trigger, and do it 17 more times is more dangerous then any gun. If a person like this didn’t have a gun, he would have used a bomb, or a knife, or poison… they’re more ways to kill then just using a gun. Just as in video games, hundreds of millions of people here every day own guns and don’t kill people. Gun control only removes the means, it doesn’t deal with the true issue- the person

      • xDarkMagincian if I could I’d +1 or like this comment.
        Guns dont kill people, people kill people.
        Remove guns and people will always find another way.
        This hasn’t had any air time at all, yet it’s just as bad even if the death toll isn’t as high.

  4. Wow! It is sad times indeed when idiots continue to make comments such as those on the ME facebizzle page. ludicrous!

    My heart genuinely goes out to all those people who may be affect by the possible redundancies. What a horrible economic climate

  5. i’m sure nobody writes such comments on the weapon manufacturers site, that would be silly, wouldn’t it?

    i’m always surprised how easy people going to cry for banning anything, except guns.

  6. Mass Effect? Really? An RPG that is not that violent. That is pathetic, just because he liked it doesn’t mean that he commited that rampage because of it. But of course, let’s not focus on any mental illnesses he may have or if he was part of a terrorist group but lets blame video games because every gamer is a satan worshipper. Sadly, i’m not joking as i suspect some rags do feel that way. America needs to tighten it’s gun control as there has been 3 shootings over there this year. :O Also, Mass Effect? I thought we had agreed to have GTA or COD as the game to get blamed by the news? So if he had liked Skylanders, would that have gotten blamed?

    Not surprised Machinima is starting to struggle as 90% of their output is crap and they have tendecy to delay the most popular shows in favour of rubbish ones. Such as Freeman’s mind always get delayed and i’ve seen bloodly COD montages get uploaded before it. Of course, i am probably wrong as it’s probably easier to upload it then it is to upload something that has a lot of dialogue. But still.

    • “An RPG that is not that violent”

      You shoot people in it, last time I checked.

      • lol true, but I admit I was thinking the same thing, not extremely violent. I think partly because mass effect is just a bunch of toys and fireworks as opposed to CoD, Killzone or GTA.

      • True but but it’s hardly violent and is a lego game compared to COD and GTA. Plus, games like COD tend to focus on shooting and have knife kills that tend to be a bit on the violent side. In fact,

      • Just the fact that people are arguing that Mass Effect, a game series where you kill hundreds or even thousands with a variety of methods and weaponry is not a violent game speaks to a deep desensitisation of videogame violence.

        Whether this could have an effect on real-life situations is another matter entirely, but really? Arguing that a game like ME isn’t violent?

    • I would say the RPG is even more violent then a game like CoD, because in CoD, you need to kill to advance the game. Whereas in most RPG your given the means to complete a mission with minimal bloodshed. Its that free choice of killing that makes it more violent. Take Skyrim, if you seen the youtube video of the person who killed all his wives and collected their heads. That’s not just violent, its a choice to betray, kill, and collect and boast. Much, much worse then shooting a character that’s been described as the enemy.

  7. Man i have never seen so many stupid people comment on one Facebook page.

  8. It’s about time people realised you already have to be tapped in the head to go out an commit these atrocities I watched crap like Freddy as a child I didn’t grow my nails an go about scratching people I played mortal kombat I didn’t go around telling women to FINNISH HIM! I’m a bit fed up now every time there’s a disaster some insane person commits a unspeakable act of violence you just know a video game is going to get the blame come on pack it in!

  9. It’s a horrendous tragedy, and I can’t imagine the devastation that it’s caused to those families and that community. Sadly the moment I heard about it I thought that computer games would be attributed the blame (though currently the Mass Effect team are wrongly bearing the brunt of it). As the shooter has been described as a loner who was socially withdrawn it would be hugely surprising if he didn’t own a computer and spent time playing games, many of which are likely to be violent.

    Unfortunately for his victims he clearly also had some form of mental health issues, and it’s impossible to say which media form, or societal influence, caused his idea to formulate. It is in this case possible that gaming did affect him, in a way that it does not affect the vast majority of people.

    My thoughts go out to the families affected.

  10. Reading the Facebook comment: ‘I AGREE’, i just groaned inwardly, whilst i can understand, at a time of such a loss of life due to the acts of 1 person, people are confused, angry, asking how this could happen (again) and in true human nature, looking for something or someone to blame, but not even coming out with a view of his/her own…just, well….

    So, gaming has been made the scapegoat, yet again, not 1st time Mass Effect hit news for wrong reasons, last time just as unfounded (graphic sex acts…with Aliens! etc), look America, we get it, you had the rights to arm yourselves etc, but this was in your founding years, yes? when the people would be called apon to arm themselves, form a milita, to fend off the British invaders, those days are long gone, sun set on the British Empire long ago, 2 world wars etc.

    Just who are you expecting to invade, to point where your military needs you, the people, to be packing assault weaponary, or at the very least high powered rifles or handguns?.

    I live in part of UK where, yes there are a lot of guns (I’m in North Devon) so farmers have shotguns, used for things like controlling foxes, rabbits etc, Forestry Commission lot have very high powered rifles, Police wise?think nearest firearms unit is in Exeter, taking 90 mins from where i live, min., but controls are strict (i used to be a fabrication Engineer, we used to make a lot of secure gun cabinets for various firms), regular inspections on gun owners, background checks etc.

    We, sadly see far too many deaths from R.T.A’s, young drivers, in driving seat of powerful cars, boy racing it up etc, yet we don’t scream ban Burnout or Need For Speed etc, as the boy racer craze been around far longer than these games.

    If the US was every serious about tackling gun issues, you’d need for a start, a completly different set of folk siting in Congress, they really need to ask why, someone from this individuals background, did what he did, were there warning signs?, issues at an early age, rather than just trawling through what games he played.

    If your going to go down that route, where do you draw the line?what websites he visited? books he read, music he listened to? magazines he read etc etc? .They are all forms of sensory input, so why single out just 1?.

    I’m NOT wishing to single out the US, our very own goverments,past and present done so little to really tackle knife crime, let alone guns+gang crime, yet our motorways and roads, covered in cameras to try and cut deaths by speeding and health and saftey gone mad so people don’t claim for things you’d expect common sense to prevent.

    It just saddens me that i’m left wondering how many more such incidents HAVE to happen before the US looks long and hard at gun laws and wonders if it’s not too late to prevent further incidents like this.

    • The main problem with the more gun control argument is that in most cases these acts were committed with legal firearms. The shooters passed whatever background checks that are in place. Tightening up gun control laws is no guarantee that these people will not have access to a fire arm. The only way to prevent these kinds of shootings is to remove every gun in the world, its just not possible.
      People are the reason, deep down were all flawed, lonely and scared. Most people find a way to overcome this, but a few can’t, and a smaller percentage of them lash out at society because of it. Todays world would rather blame a stupid object like a game, song, movie or gun instead of actually changing how they interact with each other. As tragic as this event is, I can’t help but think someone could have stopped it if caring about another persons mental health wasn’t too much of an inconvenience.

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