Advance Wars linked to murder? Somehow it happened

You know that mainstream media’s “violent videogame” controversy has jumped the shark when DS strategy game Advance Wars is being linked to a murder, but a link has been made. A tenuous one, yes, but a link nonetheless.

20-year-old Nottingham resident Matthew Pyke was an Advance Wars nut who apparently ran a fan site for the turn-based tactical game under the screen name “Shade.” He was found stabbed to death this past Friday, and police are investigating his love of Advance Wars as part of the murder investigation, along with other games. They believe a fellow gamer may have killed him.

Police said on Wednesday that they believe he may have known his attacker and are examining who he knew from playing internet-based games… Nottinghamshire Police said officers were investigating his links with other online gamers but stressed it was just one of a number of leads being pursued.

This story comes from The Telegraph, a paper which in the past has provided very fair and encouraging editorials about videogames. The article gives an even-handed assessment of Advance Wars, pointing out that it is not graphically violent and that the focus is strategy, not killing. It did, however, mention that there is some criticism accusing online games of causing people to become withdrawn.

So yes, Advance Wars has become involved in a murder story. How very British.

Jim Sterling