Birmingham is the violent video game capital of the UK – and sales are linked to the area’s high crime rate, finds poll
Shoppers in Birmingham are the nation’s biggest buyers of violent video games, according to new research.
Comparison website PriceSpy.co.uk analysed how many violent video games were bought over the past 12 months across 44 UK cities and towns to see which region bought the most.
Birmingham topped the list ahead of Newcastle and London, and PriceSpy found their results roughly correlated with the areas of the UK that have the highest crime rates.
Source: Daily Mail, 4th November 2013
I have to admit, this story leaves me feeling hugely ambivalent. On the one hand, the old narrative of ‘games with depictions of violence cause real-world incidences of violence’ is a failed and disproven hypothesis.
In fact the main reason why Birmingham and London appear near the top charts for both crime rate and purchases of popular video games is likely more a function of population density than anything else.
The sponsor of the story doesn’t fill me with confidence in the validity of the data, either:
Erik Lorentz, Head of Communications at PriceSpy.co.uk, said: ‘The shopping data we have access to gives us a fascinating insight into online consumer shopping trends across the UK.
‘From Southampton to Stockport – we were curious to see which areas snap-up the most violent video games. It will be interesting to see if new releases like Call of Duty Ghosts will top the charts in the run up to Christmas.
Given that the source of this story is a video game comparison site, it’s clear what the angle is here – PriceSpy want to remind consumers that they’re a good option for buying popular new games.
So far, so standard for Bad PR. However, there’s one element to this story which does give me hope for the future – I managed to track down the original press release from PriceSpy.co.uk to confirm they were the ones behind the story. How did I find it? Are you sitting down? Because this will be a bit shocking:
The Daily Mail provided a link to the press release at the bottom of their article.
No obscuring the source of the story, no pretending this was independent or valid research. They linked you to the source data.
I’m pleasantly shocked. If it weren’t couched in such a nonsensical pseudosociological piece as the rest of the article is, I’d kiss them.