Grand Theft Auto once again makes the sensationalist tabloid headlines
It wouldn’t be a week of gaming news without some murder, and once again Grand Theft Auto has been fingered as the agitator in a rampage that occurred on British submarine. 23 year old sailor, Ryan Donovan managed to get into the HMS Astute with a SA8 assault rifle, despite being heavily inebriated, to which he then went on to fire at several officers in an attack that he told his friends was going to be a â€œGrand Theft Auto style massacreâ€.
Two petty officers managed to evade his gunfire, before he managed to seriously wound at Lieutenant Commander Christopher Hodge, and kill Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux at point blank range aboard the sub.
Donovan was eventually subdued by Southampton City Council leader Royston Smith and Chief Executive Andrew Neill before he could hurt anyone else. At his trial, Donavons prosecutor Nigel Lickley told the court that â€œHe started talking about the video game Grand Theft Auto where you start a massacre and rack up points by killingâ€, and that Donovan was in a “Dream and they were doing this almost like in a video game”.
23-year-old Ryan Donovan, from Dartford, Kent, told friends he was about to go on a “Grand Theft Auto-style massacre” before he embarked upon a gun rampage aboard HMS Astute, according to a report by The Metro newspaper.
The British media, infamous already for its various scandals and tabloids, specifically the Metro newspaper, seized the opportunity to publish the story with the headline “Sailor’s GTA gun spree on nuke sub.”
GTA is no stranger to controversy however, as the sandbox environment game has had multiple scandals surrounding it. In 2009 a multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed in Alabama against Take-Two, the publisher of the GTA games, and it claimed that the franchise was responsible for the killing spree committed by a teenager that left two police officers dead.
During last months London riots, the Evening Standard paper even ran a headline story linking GTA to the chaos, but this was later retracted.
While murder and death are no laughing matter, it’s always frustrating to see video games being labelled as the main instigator of this senseless violence, especially when other, more obvious causes are at the route of the crime.