Advance Wars Link Probed in U.K. Murder

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.

 

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36 comments

  1. BrandonL337 says:

    Don’t have it but it does have online play and i believe some form of chat probably voice chat

    United we Stand, Divided we fall.

  2. Murdats says:

    the media knows there is an increasing concern, because the media has been busy generating an increasing concern.

    now people will have to be concerned over this increaseing concern.

  3. squigs says:

    But they still felt the need to tell us about unrelated speculation about video games.

    They didn’t tell us that Supermarkets sell knives and a recent report showed 10% of shops would sell knives to under 16 year olds. Why? Because it has nothing to do with the story and would suggest things that are completely irrelevant

  4. Nocturne says:

    All the police said was that he may have met his killer through an online game, nothing about the game influencing  the killing at all or playing any other role beyond how the two made contact. The telegraph is normally more sensible than the wild tangeant they throw in at the end of the article.

  5. Matthew says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    Police said on Wednesday that they believe he may have known his attacker and are examining who he knew from playing internet-based games.

    A spokesman for 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.

    Although it is a war game, it is not graphically violent and is more concerned with strategy than virtual killing.

    They aren’t suggesting the killer trained on Advance Wars, was inspired to kill by Advance Wars, or that the victim died because he liked Advance Wars. Someone died and the police are investigating his acquaintances. The only bad part is the line at the end where the journo goes off on one himself.

  6. Lavarock says:

    Once Gamestop mixed up Dual Strike with Days of Ruin and I had to play that for a couple days… of ruin… I almost killed myself then, so I guess it’s not too farfetched.

  7. VideolandHero says:

    We gamers should be defensive.  This is bullshit.

    They went out of their way to say this game is violent and addictive.  This is an attack on games, as this 20 year old got stabbed to death and now games are being criticized.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  8. Matthew says:

    Defensive gamers are defensive.

    The impression I get from reading that is that they aren’t saying the murder was caused or inspired by the game. This is not an attack, people. Except for the throwaway opinion piece at the very end of the article, it goes to lengths to let people know that nobody is implicating the cutesy wargame. It’s simply that the wargame was possibly how these two people met.

    Again: Not an attack. Just like how "a man was stabbed outside a supermarket in Slough" isn’t an attack on supermarkets inciting people to violence. The reason they bring it up is to repeat the mantra that parents should be wary about who they let their kids communicate with online.

  9. Chuma says:

    I think they are suggesting that he *met* the guy online through advance wars rather than it inspiring him to kill, though I could be wrong.  Anyone played the latest DS version can confirm if it has online play and chat?

  10. NovaBlack says:

    Online games are frequently criticised for trivialising killing

     

    uh.. they are? first i’ve heard…. i dont think ive ever seen ‘online games’ singled out for that reason ever!

     

    but there is increasing concern that even non-violent games can harm young people by making them withdraw from the real world.

     

    Again.. ive not heard this expressed particularly vehemently recently.. would be nice if the writer actually supported these wild claims.

     

     

  11. Zen says:

    ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?!?!?!  I let my SEVEN year old play this game lol!  We love playing these games against eachother because he has to think about his moves, and we both enjoy the cartoon designs (even though the latest, and so far best IMO, is a good bit darker…but by no means bad enough that my son still can’t play it with me).  Who in the world, for the most part, DOESN’T play some type of videogame now anyways?  We use them for both entertainment, as well as educational, in my house. 

    Zen a.k.a. Jeremy Powers
    Zen@Zenspath.com

  12. Mr. Stodern says:

    Doesn’t look to me like the game is really being blamed, though this particular comment:

    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.

    Is certainly bothersome, and irrelevant.

  13. Murdats says:

    The media knows there is an increasing concern because they have been busy creating an increasing concern.

    now they are creating concern over the increasing concern.

  14. Geoff says:

    With that last quote from the Telegraph article I’d like to know where they found out that there’s an "increasing concern" and from whom.

     

    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  15. VideolandHero says:

    I think when gamers grow up we will be hating the new national pasttime.  It’s sad, but this has never stopped, and most likely never will.

    Think about it, rock music fans D&D players, and comic book readers must have hoped for this back in the day, and it still goes on.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  16. Haggard says:

    Trust me, the Brits you’ve met who are either online socially or whom have travelled to the US are going to be among the most intelligent here. We have our hooting rednecks in the UK too, you just wouldn’t be able to tell by looking.

    It’s these people who buy our wonderful selection of sensationalist papers.

  17. axiomatic says:

    Ok people, the link/blame to gaming is getting kind of rediculous. I have a lot of friends in the U.K. and none of them are this dumb.

  18. NovaBlack says:

    great point!

     

    didnt click first read through. but yeah definitely a good point! Wierd how even with the only evidence they actually have firsthand ,showing the positives of games, they still resort to the non evidenced negative opinion at the end.

  19. Shih Tzu says:

    They also quote a heartfelt tribute posted by one of his online friends, completely failing to make the connection that games are in fact an avenue for socialization.

  20. Mr. Stodern says:

    And rock music, and D&D, and a million other things that are either a national pasttime now, or completely forgotten.

    Hopefully the cycle ends when us gamers are the ones running things.

  21. Cheese Nips says:

    "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."

    Didn’t they say the same basic thing about comic books back in the day?

  22. cullarn says:

    actually thats a very bad thing how are cults like jt and them supposed to indoctrinate people if they are able to use logic think man!!

  23. Thomas McKenna says:

    Trying to make this connection is just stupid.  It doesn’t teach how to kill, it doesn’t even show interesting visuals of people getting killed.  The only thing this would make you better at is logical thinking and strategizing, which last time I checked was a good thing.

  24. Fedule mk II says:

    Christ – I knew that guy (not IRL, through the fansite they mentioned). He wrote awesome webcomics…

    …and it sounds like the subject of investigation is the people he played with, not the game itself.

  25. murmur95 says:

    *sighs* and how can advance wars make people kill people?? some people need to figure out ITS A GAME. its not real.

  26. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Sooo…wait…did they say he got stabbed? The videogames made him get stabbed? Playing video games of any kind releases a pheremone that makes people stab you?

    How are the pundits trying to spin this exactly?

     

    -Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007) Just to name a few…

  27. mathx314 says:

    Unless the victim was run over by a tank or taken out with a long-range missile or crushed by a CO power, I fail to see the connection.

  28. Eville1 says:

    GP, it could have been any game, it just so happens that it was this one. The whole article makes me think that at first they’re following leads as they should and then switches to an un needed opinion at the end. It’s a newspaper, of course it’s going to be sensationalist.

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