“Man Stabbed ‘Over Grand Theft Auto Game‘ ” reads the shocking link. But the story itself paints a different picture.
Yes, a twenty three year old man was stabbed on his way home from the shops, where he just so happened to have bought GTA V. Yes, GTA V was stolen – but so too were his phone and his watch. So why not ‘Man Stabbed ‘Over his watch and his phone’, which works just as well? Or how about ‘Man Stabbed on Way Home from Shopping Trip?’ or even not covering it at all.
There are on average between two and three homicides each day in the United Kingdom and a great deal more violent crimes, often involving weaponry – knives for example, but the BBC’s front page won’t say a thing about those. The young man in question in this particular case wasn’t killed – he’s alive and in hospital, so this isn’t one of those three daily homicides (for the record, three homicides a day equals 1095 a year).
So why has the BBC decided to cover the story? And with that wording? To grab traffic. Immorally.
The man wasn’t stabbed ‘over the game’, he was stabbed whilst he just so happened to be carrying it. This link, is bullshit. This story is bullshit. The BBC is actively misleading the public and inflaming the ire of the sort of right-wing nut job who complains that video game violence is a pressing issue (because there’s not enough real life violence to worry about).
I, like thousands of other potential readers, clicked the link because of the GTA V connection. Without that and with a more appropriate (and honest) title, I’d have passed it by. The BBC are promoting false stereotypes about games and gamers to gain a greater level of footfall and they’re lying at the same time.