Opinion// Video Games Lead to Knife Crime

Perhaps a crack team of police marksmen bearing semi-automatic weapons will rappel from the school roof

Posted 22 Jan 2009 17:18 by
Video games lead to knife crime. No, hear me out. I know that you may be thinking video games lead to indolence and sedentarism, to youth obesity and social maladjustment. You think that knife crime is reserved for TV dramas and inner city middle schools. And you would be right... carrying a knife, unless it is a folding red one with a little silver cross embedded in the handle and used exclusively for disgorging fish and opening the occasional bottle of wine, is antisocial. People shouldn't do it.

In fact, according to an advert I heard on the radio recently, if you know someone who carries a knife, you should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and tell them the wielder's name, their nickname, and what school they go to. Quite what response this will engender, I do not know.

Perhaps a crack team of police marksmen bearing semi-automatic weapons will rappel from the school roof, burst through the windows and place them in custody. But based on the government's recent record on data security there's a greater chance that they'll text the miscreant giving him your home address and alerting him to the fact that you were trying to grass him up.

Games and knife crime - not, one may think, obvious bed partners. But how often have you bought a new game - one you were looking forward to playing since you saw the first pathetic "this game iz goin 2B teh r0x0r" postings on NeoGAF. A game that you have saved up for, and either eagerly waited by the postbox to be delivered (accidentally, two doors down), or cycled into town to collect from GameStation, at midnight, without any lights - not because you are an habitual criminal, but because the batteries in bike lights always fail when you least expect or want them to.

You get it home, you open the box - I must assume that if GameStation opened at midnight for the release of this game, it came in a box replete with a patch, a poster and assorted other useless crap to justify an inflated price. And you try and open the case in which the game is encased. And you can't. Because it is wrapped in a sheet of cellophane with the strength of forged steel. The ends of which are stuck down with glue that adheres with hitherto inconceivable tenacity.

Trying to stick a fingernail (and I have lovely fingernails, long and strong) down the crack between the sides of the case doesn't work, the wonder plastic just gathers its slack and squeezes into the gap. Using the finger grips at the point where you are supposed to open the case is no use either, the magic plastic stretches just enough to prevent it ripping.

Trying to unpick the ends, where the wonder material is folded and glued, in a quaintly old-fashioned manner, is also pointless.

The glue is truly super, and the plastic is folded and stuck down with such meticulous attention to detail that there is rarely anywhere to gain purchase to begin worrying it apart.

So, you are left with one option: to resort to a using a knife.

But who has a knife when they need one? Answer - no one has, not unless they carry one around with them at all times. And if you do carry a knife with you at all times, and someone should happen to look askance at you, or unintentionally disrespect your pint, what are you going to do? Well, since the video gaming demographic is predominantly adolescent males, full of confusing hormones and a raging desire to prove their rutworthiness by assertion of their alpha dog persona, chances are you are going to stab that someone in the eye, and ponder the consequences - which in these days of overcrowded jails is typically 32 hours community service - later.

So - knife crime. Could it be reduced if publishers just stopped making video games so freakin' difficult to open. Who knows? But what I do wanna know is, why? Why is it so important for publishers to make game so difficult to open? Is it so they can cut development costs by counting the three hours it takes you to open the package into the total play time of the game?

Why can't they just place a little tear strip in the packaging, or one of those little transparent ribbons, like CD packaging has? Publishers... think of the tiny children, and sort your shit out.

The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and does not reflect those of SPOnG.com except when it does.

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Joji 23 Jan 2009 00:28
Yeah, I guess I do reach for a knife to help open that cellophane, but if not a knife I'd improvise with my keys or a pen.

This overall connection to games is a weak one. I know the U.K government all want a scape goat, to slay, cook and serve to an rabid public, sick of society's decline and crime, but its unfair in the most extreme way to blame games, and yet make bogus exceptions for films and books.

We've heard of revenge of the nerds, well what's going on in the U.K is revenge of the children on their peers. When kids needs are sidelined by those in power up and down the country (for 15 years or more), they were stupid to think there would be no consequences.

Councils and the government, don't care about kids, so some kids notice that and care about themselves only. In short, this puts kids into a siege mode, where life is cheap and watching your crews back is all that counts, beyond close siblings.

Knife crime is a replacement to gun crime, showing the resourceful nature of humans to adapt. When knives are no more on the streets, I'm sure rock/stone crime will be next, games will probably be targeted for that then too.

How to solve it all? Get kids off the streets outside of school hours, by engaging them and giving them a space of their own (yes, I know some places do this already, but not enough). Get them early and things will change for the better. Maybe even a dose of national service, will install missing discipline if other options don't work.

Why is this knife problem unique to the U.K? Because of feryl latchkey kids combined with the problems above.
Maybe we need U.S style summer camps to break the cycle, as that can be when things get to their worst.

That's all I got for now.
john and lovemore 15 Dec 2009 10:39
i think vidio games are very very good but can lead to vilonce.
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