UK publication Express turns to guest columnist Jo Frost (better known as the star of the TV show Super Nanny), for answers to what caused last week's riots in London. And a good thing too, because apparently Jo has a "plan to save" those out-of-control youngsters who burned, looted, and committed acts of violence (thanks to C&VG by way of our own Magic). But first, Jo describes the riots as she saw them:
"I felt for a moment as if we had stumbled into a real-life violent video game of the kind that so many of those involved are addicted to."
She then points the finger at what you'd expect her to blame for the reckless violence and destruction:
"These horrific games where points are given for burning, shooting and killing, where the graphics are so realistic you believe that they're real scenes of carnage, where those who play fantasise they have the power of life and death, are so brutal they completely desensitise anyone taking part."
She then cites some research about how just 15 minutes of playtime can turn your little tot into an unholy terror:
"Research shows that within 15 minutes of playing one of these games young men become highly aggressive and lack empathy in normal situations. It is not too fanciful to suggest it's a short step from being immersed in this war-like world to taking that nightmare mindset on to the streets with all the consequences of anarchy and violence we saw rip apart cities."
So now that she has properly.. framed .. the problem, what is Super Nanny's solution? Read on:
"Those horrific video games which I mentioned earlier must be brought under control. Their content should be subject to censorship and the age at which they can be bought tightly controlled," she writes. "Shopkeepers should demand proof of age and where they ignore this and break the law by selling them to children they should be fined."
Naturally, Super plugs her show on Channel 4 ("Extreme Parenting"), because parents need all the help they can get from her; after all, her advice has been excellent thus far in this Express article…