Gamers' Voice files formal complaint with Channel 5
The Wright Stuff comes under fire from consumer group over violent game discussion
UK consumer group Gamers' Voice has filed an official complaint with Channel 5 over as episode of chat show The Wright Stuff in which violent video games were under discussion - specifically linking them to the shooting of a London teenager.
The show aired on Thursday 14 April and was centred on the possible reasons behind the shooting of Agnes Sina-Inakoju by Leon Dunkley and Mohammed Smoured, who have now been convicted and jailed for the crime.
The pair are members of the notorious London Fields gang responsible for many other violent attacks, including the stabbing of 14 year old Shaquille Smith in 2009.
During the broadcast, host and panel members speculated on whether violent games could have been a significant factor in the boys' behaviour, with Anne Diamond one of the more vociferous voices present. As an illustration of how violent video games can be, the show aired footage of 18-rated Modern Warfare 2's infamous "No Russian" level at 10:30 am - well before the watershed.
Gamers' Voice not only feel that the context and discussion was poorly balanced and argued, but that the airing of unsuitable material before the watershed constitutes a violation of broadcast rules.
"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 focussed 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."
In January of 2011, Gamer's Voice hosted an evening at Portcullis House in Westminster to try and encourage MPs to engage in games. Suprise guest of the evening was Keith Vaz, who'd long been associated with an anti-gaming stance.