For many years now video games have been blamed for a spate of violent incidents in society, from murders and rapes to bullying in the playground. Yet, in all of the years of the media casting the blame on video games (and away from the degradation of society as a whole) one video game platform has never come under fire… the Nintendo DS.
That has all changed now as the Nintendo DS, and the happy children’s game Nintendogs, has been blamed by a grandmother for a dog’s attack on her granddaughter.
A video game responsible for making a dog attack a little girl? Surely this is ridiculous? Yet, The Daily Mail has proceeded with the story as though the game were to blame for the incident.
The girl in question, nine year old Megan Walker, was playing Nintendogs at her friend’s house (her mother was, and still is, on holiday) when the family dog, a bull mastiff, bit her lip. Her family described the dog as ‘going berserk’ and said that the barking sounds made by the Nintendo DS were responsible for the dog’s behaviour.
The attack was short lived as family members, aided by another dog, pulled the bull mastiff away.
Jean Taylor, the grandmother, commented:
“I think this game should carry some kind of warning.”
“People should be told not to play it when there are dogs in the room. I blame the game for what happened to Megan. If they hadn’t been playing it I don’t think the dog would have gone for her.”
After the dog was pulled away, it was put down by the authorities. The girl’s lip has since been reattached by surgeons at a hospital in Manchester.
Megan, describing her ordeal, stated:
“When I woke up I turned on the Nintendo. It barked and Saracen dragged me off the couch by my foot. I was scared.”
One of the police that attended the incident, Phil Spurgeon, commented on the breed of the dog and the law regarding what had happened.
“This was a really nasty incident but one which falls outside of the law. The dog in question was not a banned breed and the incident happened in a private address, not in public.”
“The owner signed the dog over for destruction and it has now been put down by a vet.”
Meanwhile the owner of the dog, Ms Melville, believed that the video game was not responsible and told police at the time that she suspected Megan had in fact kicked the dog to provoke it.
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