Daily Mail Spuriously Implicates Dark Souls in Stabbing of Teacher

By Keza MacDonald on at

In its latest maddeningly erroneous act of video game scapegoating, The Daily Mail has decided to point out that the teenager involved in the awful stabbing of a teacher in Leeds this week was "obsessed with [an] online video game where lone cursed character travels through fantasy world killing others" - Dark Souls, in other words.

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I refuse to link to this trash, but the Mail also took great pains to point out that the 15-year-old boy was a part of several online "gaming networks", picturing him in an Achievement Hunter t-shirt, and that he posted gaming videos to YouTube. Because no other teenagers in Britain do that.

It also goes into distressing and sometimes heartbreaking detail about the boy's background, family, behaviour and suspected mental problems, but obviously the headline is that he played Dark Souls, because that's the real story here.

Other newspapers, for context, have not mentioned the 15-year-old's interest in gaming or tried to turn it into a talking point. The Mirror went with '"No one took him seriously": Pupil who stabbed teacher to death 'warned he would kill her', whilst the Telegraph chose "Leeds teacher murder: boy, 15, in custody after Anne Maguire stabbed to death'.

Every single time this happens, I am equally furious that it's still considered appropriate to deflect attention from a dreadful tragedy and, in this case, the increasing need for this country to support the mental health of its teenagers by demonising a form of entertainment that enriches the lives of millions, including a great many people struggling with depression and mental illness.

We need to be doing more to support our teenagers, not demonising the things they do, like playing video games. When will this nonsense stop?