A successful record breaking day for the games industry has been marred by violence in two cities over copies of Grand Theft Auto IV.
Sure to be jumped on my the media bandwagon proclaiming that violent video games only create violent people, the crime is a reflection of the sad state of our country not the influence of video games.
While our thoughts are with the 18-year-old man who was mugged in Leyland, Lancashire, and the 23-year-old man who was stabbed whilst waiting in the queue to buy the game in Croydon, London, the fact of the matter is that if you encourage people to go out on the streets to buy something that is almost 50 quid in the middle of the night then you are bound to be asking for trouble.
I can understand the urge of gamers to brave the elements and the drunks on the streets to get the game ahead of everyone else, but do we really need to open our high street at midnight? Heck I've done it myself...
But surely, walking in to a shop at 8am the next morning would suffice, after all chances are if you were in the crowds at midnight then you're either bunking work, college, life (delete as applicable) the next day or got very little sleep.
While it would be wonderful if we were reporting no crime associated with the launch, the fact that it is only two people in the thousands that must have been on the streets with money in their hand is a surprise really.
So what is the industry to do? There is not much it can do, but probably, as seen with the launch of the PS3 in London last March, either not have midnight openings (the police stepped in saying people walking around with product that cost 400 quid was asking for even more trouble) or if so, have them inside in a safe environment.
Crime isn't the answer to anything, however if we are to blame anyone, and I recommend that we don't, it is midnight openings that should be questioned for their usefulness not violent video games. After all, if this was the story of a boy getting attacked outside a cinema after watching a horror movie it probably wouldn't have even been reported.