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Daily Mirror prints 'GTA Massacre' front page

Mainstream press jumps on latest Grand Theft Auto link

The Daily Mirror today carries the headline "I'll do a Grand Theft Auto Massacre" on its front page.

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The quote comes from a sailor who went on a gun "rampage" on a nuclear submarine.

Ryan Donovan was jailed for 25 years yesterday after shooting crew members on board the submarine as it was docked in Southampton.

Donovan had wanted a transfer to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship Cardigan Bay but the move was denied because he had disobeyed an order to clean the submarine prior.

Donovan later told crewmate Petty Officer Andrew Love that he was planning a "Grand Theft Auto-style massacre".

"The defendant just giggled and said he was thinking how to start a massacre," Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC told Winchester Crown Court.

"He started talking about Grand Theft Auto where you start a massacre and rack up points by killing."

The story is also covered by Metro on its front page, which carries the headline "Sailor's 'GTA gun spree' on nuke sub".

The Sun, on the other hand, refrains from making the video game link in its online headline, simply saying "Sub gunman flipped over cleaning duty", with Grand Theft Auto not featuring in the story until paragraph three.

This latest link between GTA and real-life violence is far from an isolated example in the mainstream press.

For the most part, however, newspapers have quoted the reference from official court hearings rather than jumping on leaps of logic made by the public, for example, as seen during the London riots.

Accompanying The Daily Mirror story, however, is a boxout that focuses on the link and claims "Cyber kids dabble with death".

This aside calls Grand Theft Auto "one of the most addictively popular and controversial computer games ever made" and points to accusations the game has received of "inciting vulnerable youngsters to commit horrific crimes."

Sigh.

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