As part of Scotland Yard’s investigation into the stabbing death of a 20-year-old Nottingham man, police are probing the victim’s connection with Nintendo’s mildly-rated Advance Wars series.
The game, rated E-10 for players 10 and older by the ESRB, was a passion of Matthew Pyke, who was found dead on Friday evening. Pike apparently operated an Advance Wars fansite under the screen name "Shade."
U.K. newspaper the Telegraph describes detectives’ interest in Pike’s gaming connections:
Police said on Wednesday that they believe he may have known his attacker and are examining who he knew from playing internet-based games… Nottinghamshire Police said officers were investigating his links with other online gamers but stressed it was just one of a number of leads being pursued.
Later on in its report the Telegraph begins to give a fair account of Advance Wars…
Although it is a war game, it is not graphically violent and is more concerned with strategy than virtual killing. Players take turns to make moves and games can last for days. Gamers have praised it for its complexity, saying it can be “highly addictive”.
…and then proceeds to demonize the entire universe of online games:
Online games are frequently criticised for trivialising killing, but there is increasing concern that even non-violent games can harm young people by making them withdraw from the real world.