On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: violent video games

Queues of pale-looking boys and young men snaking round shopping centres and down high streets can mean only one thing: the release of the latest hotly anticipated video game.

This week, joystick monkeys quivered with excitement at the release of the latest instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series, GTA5, a game that allows players to run around shooting each other with a vast array of munitions, with the addition of shiny new cars and prostitutes. Charming.

We are aware that video games are sometimes used by forward-thinking teachers as a useful tool in their lessons, but GTA5 is unlikely to come in handy in many classrooms.

Instead, schools should prepare to hear far-fetched excuses from bleary-eyed children who have illicitly got their hands on the adult-rated game and have thus neglected to complete their homework. There have even been predictions of a rise in the number of people calling in sick to work in order to stay at home and play the game. The affliction has been dubbed "GTA flu".

So, for disrupting lessons and leaving headteachers with a headache over who should cover Class 2B, it is off to the naughty step with GTA5.

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