News Article

Violent Video Games Blamed for Knife Attack in Scotland

Posted by Martin Watts

14-year old viciously assaulted after "an argument about Xbox games"

Violent video games are getting more bad rep this week, after a senior Scottish Police officer blamed them for a recent knife attack in Clydebank. The perpetrator — who is only 13 years old and apparently already a father — is reported to have slashed the throat of a 14-year old friend over "an argument about Xbox games". The two friends met one another through Gears of War 3's online multiplayer. Despite suffering extensive injuries, the victim survived the attack.

Commenting on the incident, Scottish Police Federation chairman Brian Docherty stated:

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.

The above statement is fair comment, however, Prosecutor Andrew Brown QC also added that:

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.

In response to the attack, a Microsoft spokesperson said:

We have some of the most robust parental control systems to empower parents to decide how their children play and communicate. We have the greatest sympathy for the victim and his family.

Tragic events such as this perhaps serve as a good reminder as to why Nintendo has been relatively cautious with its own online services — also including substantial parental control options, while Miiverse is heavily moderated. Nevertheless, this seems to be an isolated and exceptional case, and we don't know what other factors were at play here. The debate has raged for years over whether violent video games can cause violent tendencies in people, but it is important to note that there has not yet been any conclusive evidence to suggest that this is definitely the case.

Do you think online gaming-based services should be stricter in how they allow people to communicate with one another? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

[via mcvuk.com]

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User Comments (76)

Captain_Balko

#1

Captain_Balko said:

Sounds to me like the kid was a bad seed and that video games are a minuscule factor, if any. And the games aren't to blame if they were a contributing factor - the parents are.

Portista

#6

Portista said:

...a stabbing over an argument has nothing to do with video games...It doesn't matter what you are arguing about.

Rocketship

#8

Rocketship said:

I don't have an Xbox but I assume they have similar parental controls to the WiiU, so the parents could have blocked out 18 rated games. Also like it has already been said, seems like the kid is pretty problematic.

DarkCoolEdge

#9

DarkCoolEdge said:

Yes, I saw it all. One videogame gave him the knife while other one kept shouting "do it boy, slash that idiot!"

Always blaming other things but ourselves. Screw humanity.

@Portista so true.

MrWalkieTalkie

#10

MrWalkieTalkie said:

That sounds horrible to grow up having a father that's only 13 years older than you and still immature enough to argue over video games as if its his life.

Nareva

#12

Nareva said:

I agree with the other posts here. I've played many games considered violent by others and I have yet to slash a friend's throat with a knife.

On a somewhat related note, the moderation on Miiverse seems a bit over the top to me. I posted a comment the other day on the Lego City forum. I posted an in-game photo with a joke comment that included the F word, which I self-censored, starring out all the letters save the F. I knew this might fall afoul of Miiverse policy and sure enough my comment was removed. I realize Miiverse is meant to be very family friendly and I don't want it to be full of idiots calling names and whatnot, but I would love an option to have an 18+ setting that limits the moderation of comments to at least allow the occasional curse word.

JuanitoShet

#13

JuanitoShet said:

Stupid kid. Stupid cop. Stupid parents. Stupid argument. Sure, blame it on something that can't force you to pick up the blade and slash it on someone's throat.

Bulbousaur

#14

Bulbousaur said:

If a 13 year old is already a father and a murderer, then there is something seriously messed up with his entire upbringing, not just video games. He is a child, his parents/guardians are fully responsible for what games he plays, who he meets, what is in his possession, and if he needs any professional help. Video games, he shouldn't have been playing in the first place, are nothing to blame for this horrible incident.

My thoughts go to the family and and victim.

C7_

#15

C7_ said:

"I'm gonna give my 13-year-old kid, who already has a child and is therefore is incredibly impressionable and not to be trusted in any regard, a violent video game recommended for adults as it says on the box which has a robust online community which in itself has parental controls, and not use any of them. Now when he commits a crime, it's clearly the proper thing to say that this violent video game was the cause of it and not that I, as a parent, screwed everything up entirely."

How is this even a case. How was video games even mentioned in this case other than as a pointless argument. The parents should be locked in prison and evaluated, the kid should be in a psychiatric facility, and that kid's kid needs to be put in proper care; the cause of this crime has nothing to do with video games. This chairman is making the problem worse by placing the blame on something that isn't a problem which already has a built in option to prevent the very thing he's talking about.

SCAR392

#16

SCAR392 said:

They were probably arguing over the Sesame Street Kinect game.
It's kinda far fetched to blame violent video games when cases like this don't happen that often in the first place.
Even if the person doesn't play video games, they probably saw CSI, Criminal Intent, or maybe even read a book.

SunnyShores

#17

SunnyShores said:

sure you can easily blame violent video games because the truth is worse. that kid just sucks. hey parents. your kid sucks and should probably never see the light of day again. i mean if he can't handle an argument about xbox what happens when a real problem arises? mass murder?

Robo-goose

#18

Robo-goose said:

I don't even want to think about what that one kid goes through that would mess him up this much so early in life. Like father like son I suppose?

My heart and prayers go out to both the victim and the perpetrator. I hope they have better futures ahead of them.

evanescent_hero

#19

evanescent_hero said:

Oh good, let's all use video games as a scapegoat yet again. =I

Video games have nothing to do with this case. And even if video games were proven to be detrimental to one's health, it's a parent's responsibility to stop their kids playing games they shouldn't be. Clearly this kid's parents did a terrible job raising him.

LDXD

#20

LDXD said:

He is 13 and already a father did video games have anything to do with that? Wonder how his kid is going to turn out

Lin1876

#21

Lin1876 said:

This was reported several days ago by other sources, old news.

However, it's clear that this is an isolated incident and I doubt parental controls being available have made any impact on the case.

mikeyman64

#22

mikeyman64 said:

Obviously the parent's leash was pretty long (if existent) due to the kids early "activity." All that tells us is that, chances are, they didn't give a grub's butootie what their kid was playing, therefor rendering M$'s rigorous parental controls about as useful as a Lancer with a bicycle chain.

Still, terrible what happened. Wish the victim a speedy recovery.

Squid

#23

Squid said:

Yeah, doesn't even matter that the kid has already impregnated someone. Doesn't matter that the kid already had a knife in the first place.

Video games are responsible.

I have an Xbox and I can safely say that there are precautions that a parent (if there was one) could have taken that would prevent this. I will be very pissed if Microsoft actually does anything. They are not responsible at all.

Morpheel

#24

Morpheel said:

Oh wow there's all kinds of scary people in this world.

The scariest part is that he already reproduced.

Dinosaurs

#26

Dinosaurs said:

Violent media including games likely have contributed to a desensitization to deadly violence. But there's more behind such an offense than that.

FullbringIchigo

#27

FullbringIchigo said:

the thing is all the consoles have parental controls and the kids wouldn't be able to play these 18 rated games if their parents did their jobs and used them

WildMan

#28

WildMan said:

While I think that violent video games can help contribute to desensification, I believe that upbringing is a much larger factor, including this case..

Gameday

#29

Gameday said:

This is just ridiculous , sad news about another young life taken over something so stupid... And then a kid having a kid , this child needed more supervision indeed.

Zombie_Barioth

#31

Zombie_Barioth said:

Violent games didn't have anything more to do with this than being a catalyst for the argument, this kid obviously already had anger management issues or some other mental health problems. Given the situation the parents have far bigger problems than their son playing violent video games, you've gotta wonder how many red flags have to go off before someone realises somethings wrong.

Kroisos

#32

Kroisos said:

One of the biggest stories in the States this weekend was the soccer referee who died after a kid punched him for giving him a yellow card. There has been plenty of blame bandied about, but none directed to sport in the same way gaming as a whole gets blamed for similar incidents.

Capt_N

#33

Capt_N said:

I pretty much agree w/ @Pixelroy:, & @Metal_Sonic:. Media can desensitize ppl to various issues of sex/violence/etc.

In the end, though, this incident is about a 13-yr.old father. That fact alone means whoever was/is supposed to be in charge of him at the time he managed to impregnate a girl, that person, or those persons either made a legitimate mistake in keeping tabs on him(meaning I give them the benefit of the doubt that they might have been responsible, & simply slipped up in regards to him impregnating someone), or he was not under anyone's watch/care at that time. While it's possible for him to have been watched, I feel he probably wasn't being supervised at all, & that he doesn't get supervised at any time.

As for him being violent, the parents/guardians needed to bring him up better. Some children know the differences between reality, fiction, & what can, & can not be done in those 2 distinct worlds. Some children don't. As far as I'm concerned, aside from extreme mental health conditions, that don't allow for easy distinction between reality, & fiction, it is largely the parents/guardians responsible for making those distinctions clear to their children, all during their upbringing.

Of course, the parents of today never want to accept responsibility. Obviously, due to that, it's nearly pointless, but should be done nonetheless, to suggest, that those irresponsible ppl should not have sex, until they are married, & want children, or at the very least use a condom, so they don't create a new life to be responsible for.

Scollurio

#34

Scollurio said:

Parents should be parenting. Nuff said.
A fruitloop will always be just that: a fruitloop, he doesn't need a videogame as excuse for some BS.

KAHN

#35

KAHN said:

in the 90's movies were getting the same bad press for being violent. this blame will all go away soon.

also, 13-year-old punks shouldn't be having kids. yeah, i'm going to google this "knife attack". something about this doesn't look legit to me.

Mikau94

#36

Mikau94 said:

If you have kids that are parents at 13 you probably has other issues you should address before going after video games. That said, GoW is one of the most gruesome games I've seen and the online modes only make it less kid-friendly. I don't blame the game but it can't be helping his condition.

Drobotic

#38

Drobotic said:

Also,I highly doubt that some silly 13-year old kid had already made a kid.Dang,who raised this kid?

cfgk24

#39

cfgk24 said:

I'm not very happy to see this article posted here. It has nothing to do with Nintendo.
Does Nintendo life have to report on all the bad journalism that occurs on sites like Yahoo. (for example, does having a child at the age of 13 mean you are going to argue with and stab someone? If so , then why assume a Videogame is involved. If a videogame is involved then why mention that the offender fathered a child at the age of 13?
Not good journalism here NL . . .:{

KAHN

#42

KAHN said:

alright, so there isn't much on this knife attack on news sites, and what i do find has a hyperlink to this article! i don't think i can even believe this. don't take this the wrong way, but i don't this nintendolife is a credible source for videogame violence linked with microsoft and gears of war. i don't think i can tell people about this and be taken seriously when i'm getting my information from a videogame website, so i'll wait until this shows up on yahoo or cnn or something before sharing it with people.

ledreppe

#44

ledreppe said:

The police officer's got it all wrong, the stabbing was because of an arguement over a videogame, it wan't the content of the game that caused the boy to stab someone, it's just because an arguement caused the stabbing. Yet again, the authorities wrongly accusing video games of causing violence. Will they ever stop making these unproven allegations about video game violence, I just don't buy it atall.

Suicune

#45

Suicune said:

Since when does "might have been a factor" and "is to blame" mean the same thing? The officer CLEARLY wasn't saying that by playing this video game, he was going to attempt to kill someone.

Lobster

#46

Lobster said:

Why is the fact that he is already a father mentioned in this? It's an outside factor just designed to make him look bad. It's neither here nor there. The kid already looks bad enough. He doesn't need entirely unrelated dirty laundry aired all over the internet, Nintendo Life. Shame on you.

dereq

#47

dereq said:

Well kids get into arguments over all sorts of things. I'm sure even Pokemon players get pissed off at each other. XD

Andremario

#48

Andremario said:

I'm sorry to say but there's only two screw UPS in this situation: 1. Microsoft for not making enough age appropiate games for the youth and not being strict on who gets in the online gaming community. 2. The parents for not being strict on what type of games their children play. I mean seriously? Gears of war? That's not for a 13 year old! Period! My babymama lets my six year old play ps3 with his cousins and it pisses me off that divorce court let her get the right to have him live with her....this is the America we live in! I wish I could find a way to get him removed feom that house. Beca

Andremario

#49

Andremario said:

Because just like my babymama this teenager's mom don't know diddly bout video games and are not truly invested in the well being of that child! #thatisall

nastobi123

#50

nastobi123 said:

im so done with this,, parents or guardians should be blamed for letting this chickens play a "rated 18" game,, i mean come, they put the blame for video games ,,

Vincent294

#51

Vincent294 said:

What the officer's message is: It's not the father or the child's fault for overreacting - it's the game. Seriously, stop finding scapegoats.

klautrec

#52

klautrec said:

Problematic kid plays violent games because their parents are careless... that wouldn't end up well. The game could have influenciated on his act, the same way if he was watching a show or film with explicit violence, but the problem is certainly his parents, he is already a father, I"m sure this family have no dialog or care for each other.

FOURSIDE_BOY

#53

FOURSIDE_BOY said:

I hate dumb people that point to tv shows, movies, video games, music, sex, etc.... whenever something like this occurs, the problem are the parents that just like humping and have kids like rabbits and they just kinda hope they are going to educate themselves in a world like this. I enjoy brutal violence in games like god of war or mortal kombat but I don't go killing everyone in my path because I had an education and my parents guided me along the way. If people would just stop blaming everything else for their problems and instead focused to REALLY FIND A SOLUTION, this would be a VERY different society.

Jaz007

#54

Jaz007 said:

The blame should be on his parents. They probably parent him to the extent of having him live in the same house and feeding him considering he is already a father and now this. There are so many was to check what your child is playing, any parents who ignorent about what their child is playing are just being irresponsible and not doing thier job. It's easy to check if child is playing online. Games aren't responsible, the parents are. The scapegoating in this world is ridiculous. Even if games influenced a child it's still the parents fault for not raising their own child which a crime against humanity to shirk such a responsibility in the way this kids parents did.

WanderFan91

#56

WanderFan91 said:

13 and a father? Who did he marry at such a young age? That just sounds sick! :P (emoticon used to represent disgust and not for the usual reason)
Oh, and I agree, it's pretty sad what happened there. It's easy to see why violent video games are to blame (and the fact that there are some people that do not recognize the difference between fiction and reality, but never mind that), but it's really the parents that should be held responsible.

mastersworddude

#59

mastersworddude said:

Seriously?
If the kid was already a parent at 13, you think it's the video games that caused him to attack someone?
It's not like the kids life could be just ****** up.

TheRavingTimes

#60

TheRavingTimes said:

Here's a question worth considering:

Where did a 14 year old boy get a knife and why didn't anyone consider it dangerous for a boy to wield something that can be used as a weapon?

andrea987

#61

andrea987 said:

Wow, I'm sure in this case videogames are not the main issue, but I'm slightly disturbed by the amount of people defending brutal violence in videogames. I personally think we have enough killings and unnecessary violence in the real world, why should we 'enjoy' it in videogames? And again, not saying videogames (or entertainment in general) are to blame for all of what's bad in the world, but it doesn't look like a good sign to me when some of the most successfull franchises are about ways of killing other -albeit digital- people.

MadAdam81

#62

MadAdam81 said:

There is a rating system for a reason, and parents should abide by them, and not give in when their child has a tantrum over it and other things. Fair but firm is a good way to parent, and giving in to tantrums makes them think they can get what they want through that, and each time the tantrums get worse to the point of threatening to stab or kill, then they end up doing it.

MarkyVigoroth

#63

MarkyVigoroth said:

Frankly, I just want violent video games to be banned already. I mean, GIGO does not apply to just computers and accounting. People put out what they put in. A steady stream of violence would give out the fruit of violence. To continually blame the parents would be overestimating the capacity and reach of parents, underestimating the capacity of children, and underestimating the reach of external sources when outside the vicinity of the child's house (say, at school, the mall, or even at a friend's house!).

If nothing else, a ban on violent video games would reduce (albeit not eliminate, since problems related to sin itself cannot be completely removed by human power) the amount of children cussing at each other through XBOX Live.

FOURSIDE_BOY

#64

FOURSIDE_BOY said:

@MarkyVigoroth I digress, I truly believe parents to be the reason why kids nowadays are like that, they hope the xbox, computer, tv and media teach them what they are too lazy to talk with their sons about, they are "TOO BUSY" with work to even bother anymore; I'm not saying my parents had "talks" with me all the time but I remember that when I was like 11 my dad got a mortal kombat 1 copy for our sega genesis and he even enabled blood and fatalities into the game, but he said to me that even when I enjoyed beating the sh*t out of someone in a game it doesn't mean it's ok in real life. My point is, you can watch gore movies, videogames, etc A LOT and still be a productive human being to society but you also need values and education to back it up AND THAT'S WHERE PEOPLE LIKE THIS KID GET B*TCH-SLAPPED IN THE FACE.

FOREST_RANGER

#67

FOREST_RANGER said:

Well, we know for sure that there was something wrong with this teenager. But I'm still unable to make a solid opinion:

  • What was the environment in which the boy was raised upon like? I can't just straight up blame the parents. Maybe his friends aren't well mannered rather then his parents.
  • Was there any external force that drove him to attack the victim?
Morph

#69

Morph said:

The kids a 13yr old father, and a video game is the biggest talking point about him, go figure

PvtOttobot

#70

PvtOttobot said:

I go to Clydebank for college... gulp, and I'm a Nintendo fan (in Scotland that means I'm apparently a gay 7 year old loser? Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't see the logic?), therefore likely to get stabbed by the neds!

Mortenb

#71

Mortenb said:

The problem is the lack of ownership and responsibility for ones own actions that our culture promotes these days. When even police men talk like that, well... I don't know, but I do not think it bodes well for the immediate future.

NMH-TRI

#72

NMH-TRI said:

Lack of involved parents. Involved parents wouldn't have a 13 yr old son (also baby daddy) that plays games rated 18.

StarDust4Ever

#73

StarDust4Ever said:

Parents, parents, parents...

I was at my local Game-X-Change the other day and some woman was in there with three young boys. She was picking up some stack of cheap secondhand Xbox titles, and the clerk advised her that they were M rated games and might not be appropriate for children under 17. She replied, "They're alright," and proceeded to purchase the games anyway. Blatant disregard for the ratings bordering on ignorance. And I see the same situation when going to rated R movies and seeing parents bringing in their little ones to watch it with them instead of hiring a baby sitter. I remembered going to Blockbuster with my friends to rent some VHS movies when I was a kid, and my mom sternly told us, "No Rs." And I never had a Nintendo as a child growing up despite everyone I knew had one. But parents these days just blatantly buy sh** for their kids without thinking twice. I think they use the TV / Video Games as a cheap babysitter to shut their kids up.

Balaclavab

#75

Balaclavab said:

They never Nintendo games to these attacks, do they? :)
I think parents need to be more attentive as to what their children play and watch, and make a decision based on what they know of their child, and what they know of the game. When I was 15, my mum let me buy Resident Evil 4 for the Wii. We used to only have one T.V. in our house, so my mum and younger brother (who was 13 at the time, and got a little creeped out by it) would watch me play it. After a while, my mum stopped letting my brother from watching me play it, and admitted that if she had known what the game was going to be like, she would not have let me buy it.
Which I think is only fair.

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