Gamers’ Voice Files Complaint With Channel 5 Over Anti-Game Segment

UK game player advocacy group Gamers’ Voice has filed a formal complaint with Channel 5 over an episode of The Wright Stuff in which violent video games were the topic of discussion. During the show playing violent video games were linked to the shooting of Agnes Sina-Inakoju by Leon Dunkley and Mohammed Smoured. The two have already been convicted for the crime. The pair are members of the London Fields gang, who were responsible for a number of violent acts including the stabbing of 14 year old Shaquille Smith in 2009.

During the show, the host and panel members discussed whether violent games were a significant factor in the boys’ behavior. Anne Diamond, who is known for anti-video game rhetoric, was one of those panelists. The show also aired footage of 18-rated Modern Warfare 2’s infamous "No Russian" level.

Gamers’ Voice says that the context and discussion were poorly balanced and argued, and that airing "unsuitable material before the watershed" constitutes a violation of broadcast rules. The Modern Warfare 2 footage was shown at 10:30 am – a time slot when children are likely to be watching television.

Comments from the group are below:

"It’s nothing new that TV loves to sensationalise gamers and shooters," reads a statement on the group’s website.

"Instead of trying to learn and educate themselves as to why people commit horrific crimes, TV loves to target gaming. Gaming is easy to attack and it seems that it can conveniently ‘explain the increase violent behaviour’.

"In the episode of the ‘Wright Stuff’ that was aired on Channel 5 on Thursday 14th April, they discussed the alleged causal link between video games and violent behaviour. In particular, they focused on the detached way that 22-year-old Leon Dunkley drew a sub-machine gun and killed customers in a London pizza parlour.

"Instead of talking about possible the social, mental or economic problems that could have driven Dunkley to kill, the Wright stuff went straight to what must be the cause for the problem. It wasn’t gang culture which puts perceived respect above regard for human life, no, it’s first person shooters that are responsible.

"What was even more shocking was that during the introduction to the discussion, they showed scenes from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Specifically the infamous level ‘No Russian’ where the play can gun down unarmed civilians, if they so choose. So apparently at 10.30 in the morning during the school holidays, it’s fine to show scenes from an 18 rated game to set context of how it causes violence, which goes in some way the level ignorance of all involved in the programme on the subject being discussed."

Minor correction: BBC is not part of Channel 5.


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  1. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Heres a thought…. have someone play the game during the TV interview. If by the end of the segment nobody has a black eye or a bottle broken over their head can we get past these silly accusations?

  2. 0
    Wraith108 says:

    I watched the segment, it was the usual tabloid TV drivel, what’s worse was one of the other panellists was a Doctor and he was going on about the psychological effects when the studies that have been done show the opposite. Anne Diamond even went on to say that the studies that find there’s no effect are usually done by videogames companies when again it’s the ones that say they do that are usually done by censor happy fools like her. Urgh!

  3. 0
    edmoss87 says:

    From CVG, quoting the show:

    "MW: Absolutely. Which you can equate with a teenage boy who almost certainly would have played just those games, spraying a machine gun without…"

    Hypothetically, if they were talking about banning games (which I realise they aren’t), what sort of sense would that make in the context of someone being able to get their hands on a sub machinegun in the UK? You can’t even buy a realistic-looking BB gun without being a member of a club, and even that level of restriction hasn’t ruled out the possibility of violent crime.

  4. 0
    Allan Weallans says:

    She really said that, huh? Let’s see what we can do.

    "I’ve come across these people before. If you write anything critical or say anything critical of what they ignorantly say on a TV show, you become a victim of really passive-aggressive slanderous comments."

    Hey, what do you know? It works!

  5. 0
    beemoh says:

    >(hint hint)

    Cheeky. ;P

    I’m wondering what to do, myself, CVG started a campaign called W.R.O.N.G.: , but it seems most comments are being ignored, as Anne said on the show:

    They’re having a go at both of us, aren’t they? Because of what we said about computer games.

    I’ve come across these people before. If you write anything critical or say anything critical of computer games, you become a victim of really vicious hate mail.

    Now I’m not suggesting that some of that ‘hate mail’ might not be ‘really vicious’, but I have a feeling much of it is just people disagreeing with her- but really it’s only two halves of the same whole, GV is just doing what everyone else is, only more politely. If anything’s going to change, then a Strongly Worded Letter isn’t going to cut it, IMO.


  6. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    Actually, they seem to have a pretty solid argument. Not to mention, they’re one of the few who actually get off their arses and fight back, rather than sit in the forums and bitch about anti-gamer hypocracy (hint hint). Got to give’em credit (and maybe we should give a little more effort).

  7. 0
    beemoh says:

    ^this. For everyone else’s reference, it’s owned by Richard ‘Dirty’ Desmond, owner of the Express and Star newspapers, a handful of porn mags (hence the nickname) and the former owner of failed videogames channel xLeague.TV


  8. 0
    beemoh says:

    I’m not sure myself- on the one hand it does pick up on their hypocracy, and there is an air of the "That mafia bloke they got on tax charges" genius to it, but on the other hand, it does feel a bit like GV are going "Well, we can’t actually do anything about this, but we don’t like you so we’ll be petty and pick you up on something tangentially relevant".

    Still, if it makes the programme makers think twice before doing this sort of thing again, then I’m fine with it- all’s fair in love and war, and that.


  9. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    Definitely like the way they seem to be going with the "before the watershed" argument.

    "So you say that games cause violence but you have no problem showing the footage that is supposedly causing kids to on killing sprees at a time of day kids might be watching? So which is it?"

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