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The big news in the gaming world just now is the release of the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV. The series has garnered vast popularity and no small amount of controversy for its portrayals of violence and obscenity. Someone even got stabbed this time, while queuing up to buy the game, and oddly his first thought was to fetch his own knife for revenge. Cue a revisiting of the old debate over whether violent games promote real-world violence:

I have played the older versions of the game and sometimes I've wondered at the way you start thinking while playing.

However, in this case the men hadn't yet bought the game so I can't see how you can conclude that the game made them violent.

You could of course argue that the game is attractive to people who are pre-disposed to violence, although I may buy it and am yet to stab or attack anyone so it would seem the game is attractive to others as well.

On the other hand this may make for a good headline in the Daily Mail but you can't draw any conclusions from a small sample like this. You'd have to say something like, 20% of GTA IV players committed violent acts in the month following purchase, compared to 10% who bought Gran Turismo and 30% who support Man U :-) Even then you'd need to check for other possible explanations.


I'm glad I wasn't in when the postman dropped my copy off yesterday! I mean, everyone's heard what the postal service are like for taking guns to work!

Other than that, all I can say is what a game it is!


Stumbled home for a knife? The idiot. Everyone knows he should have stolen a car, then picked up a hooker to recover his health before popping into the local AmmuNation for a shotgun.

Adrian Jackson

Didn't this happen when the xbox 360 was released? ie - people attacking each other for the limited supply of product?

Aren't there fights EVERY time something long anticipated is released and stock is not plentiful (nearly always)?

This isn't a matter of the GAME being violent, people do this for the hardware itself which can't POSSIBLY be considered a violent influence on its own. People are quite simply selfish bastards who will, on occasion, do ANYTHING to get their hands on the latest shiny.

Simon Neill

So, this guy had a knife, got in an argument and stabbed someone ? Where it happened is irrelevant - the same thing could have happened at the Cinema or in MacDonalds.

It speaks volumes about the pair of them though - one stabbing someone over an argument, and the other going home to get his knife to stab the guy back.

Let Darwin sort it out, I say !

(Kudos to a friend, however, who when I emailed him this story responded with "Did he drop a glowing bundle of cash?")

Sir Ian McKellan is to reprise the role of Gandalf the wizard in a big-screen adaptation of Tolkein's The Hobbit. The news was generally well-received, although some of you were worried by the promise of an "original story":

Sounds like a blatant attempt to cache in and that's terribly disappointing since it cheapens the other films and the works of Tolkein.

When it was suggested that they would bring The Hobbit to the screen it seemed natural, although personally I thought it was a bad idea. The Hobbit was ostensibly a children's book with much simpler and somewhat nieve storylines, something Tolkein himself explained away by saying that it was written by Bilbo, a child like character. The Hobbit doesn't compare well to LoTR for this reason, it lacks depth and doesn't gel with the latter.

I doubt anyone except Tolkein himself could create an original story which can bridge the gap and not tarnish either book in the process. If George Lucas can't even do it with his own material what hope is there for someone working with a world so precisely created and described by Tolkein?

Splitting the Hobbit into two would have been a better idea, the source material might have been stretched in the process but it would have been better than cramming it into one film.

Anonymous Coward

Not necessarily bad with a new story. So we've got the prequel on the Aragorn and Arwen love story, already written by JRRT. We've got Denethor and Theoden taking up leadership - not documented, but scope for good stories. Possibly younger versions of Eomer, Grima, Faramir and Boromir, all with interesting back stories. How the wizards and their allies discovered the Necromancer was really Sauron, Sauron's move to Mordor, and the beginning of assaults in earnest on Gondor and Rohan. Almost certainly the corruption of Denethor and Saruman via the palantirs - *very* story-worthy. Perhaps even the start of the elves' departure on the White Ships, bearing in mind that this hadn't started during Bilbo's time, but was well underway by the time of LotR.

In other words, there's an absolute stack of material to be working with. All they need is a scriptwriter who can do it justice. On past evidence, del Toro is probably well set to do this.

Graham Bartlett

And brilliant as far as I'm concerned. We should have more of it, the world is far too nice. Hated it ever since the 80s went away. More commercialism this time please, there wasn't nearly enough Lord of the Rings junk to buy after the first 3 movies.

Seriously though the period between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings lends itself very well to a new movie, as long as they get the right people to do the story and script. The Silmarillion is to complicated for popcorn eating, soda swilling movie watchers to understand. It would be better served with a full blown TV series, and has enough blood, guts and horror to keep people watching for several seasons.

Andy Bright

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