UK newspapers The Sun and The Daily Express have laid the blame for last week's tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut squarely at the feet of violent video games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Dynasty Warriors.
20 children and six adults were ruthlessly gunned down by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who had previously shot dead his own mother. He eventually turned the gun on himself.
UK Tabloid The Sun - not exactly famed for its subtlety - features the cover headline "KILLER'S CALL OF DUTY OBSESSION", and in a double-page spread notes that Lanza would play Activision's shooter for hours in his mother's basement - dubbed “BLACK OPS BUNKER” by the newspaper.
The source of this information comes from plumber Peter Wlasuk, who visited the Lanza home previously:
The boys were fans of the military. They had posters all over the wall in the basement. They had one poster of every piece of military equipment the US ever made.
It was a huge poster with every tank every made. The kids could tell you about guns they had never seen from the '40s, '50s and '60s. The kids who play these games know all about them.
I'm not blaming the games for what happened. But they see a picture of a historical gun and say 'I've used that on Call Of Duty'.
Ironically, the headlines follow incredibly positive coverage of the video game by The Sun. As Eurogamer points out:
In a preview published in September The Sun said Black Ops 2 was “set to be the shooter of the future”.
On 9th November The Sun ran a piece plugging an Activision event in London that let Call of Duty fans play Black Ops 2 ahead of release. “Thousands will be able to do battle through Multiplayer mode, as well as checking out the arsenal of new weapons and drone attacks on offer,” The Sun said.
Then, in a report on the game's launch on 13th November, The Sun delivered its verdict on Black Ops 2, saying, “Graphically, the game is sublime, something the series' reputation is built on. It's not subtle or tactile. It's pure, unadulterated warfare.”
Meanwhile, fellow UK tabloid The Daily Express has decided that Koei Tecmo's historical action series Dynasty Warriors is at fault, although it gave no reason for arriving at this assumption. According to the paper:
Chillingly, his favourite video game was said to be a shockingly violent fantasy war game called Dynasty Warriors which is thought to have given him inspiration to act on his darkest thoughts.
This is clearly a very sensitive subject. What are your thoughts regarding these tragic events? Should video games shoulder some of the blame, or are these terrible acts committed by people who would ultimately harm others regardless of what form of entertainment they chose to indulge in? Let us know in the comments below.