Ultra-violent video game Blood Trail which was ‘adored’ by boy, 16, who shot his friend, 15, in the face with a shotgun has NO age limit for buyers
- Defendant played hyper-realistic video game Blood Trail night before shooting
- The 16-year-old teenager was yesterday found guilty of attempted murder
- He opened fire on his 15-year-old victim from just 5ft as he walked to school
The ultra-violent video game ‘adored’ by a teenager who blasted a schoolmate in the face with a double-barrelled shotgun does not have any age restrictions to stop children buying it.
The 16-year-old shooter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was yesterday found guilty of attempted murder for opening fire on his 15-year-old victim from 5ft as he walked to school.
The night before the shooting in Kesgrave, Suffolk, the defendant wore a virtual reality (VR) headset to play the hyper-realistic video game Blood Trail, taking on the role of a hitman to annihilate a fanatical cult, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Despite being described as the ‘most violent game in VR’, it does not have an age rating, allowing anyone to buy and download it.
The 16-year-old shooter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was yesterday found guilty of attempted murder for opening fire on his 15-year-old victim from 5ft as he walked to school. Police are pictured at the scene
Only games bought in physical stores are given Pan European Game Information (PEGI) ratings requiring customers to be above a certain age to buy them. This does not apply to those bought online, where most gamers now get them.
Blood Trail – whose US maker Electrovore boasts it has ‘unique death sequences with unparalleled realism’ – is sold on virtual stores such as Steam.
Experts said if it were rated it would ‘definitely be an 18+’, suitable only for adults, due to the level of violence and injury detail.
During the trial, the jury was played a police interview in which a friend of the defendant, who was 15 at the time, revealed he had played it the day before the shooting on September 7 last year, saying: ‘It’s hyper realistic and he adores it.’
Blood Trail – whose US maker Electrovore boasts it has ‘unique death sequences with unparalleled realism’ – is sold on virtual stores such as Steam
The defendant’s friend said he was ‘really aggressive’ throughout the day before the shooting, at one point shouting at a bus driver: ‘I’m going to put you in the ground.’
The court heard he later told his friend he would carry out his ‘plan’ to shoot the victim the next day but he had thought it was ‘just a joke’.
The shooter claimed he was being bullied by his victim, a friend he had known since primary school. The injured boy, now 16, suffered a stroke when he was taken to hospital.
Partially paralysed and with some brain damage, he was not well enough to attend court yesterday.
The defendant was also found guilty of possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger the boy’s life. He will be remanded in custody until sentencing on September 3.
Andy Robertson, author of Taming Gaming, a book looking at the effect of gaming on children, said games bought via online stores should have age ratings.
He added it was important for parents to ‘notice a tendency towards violent games or other playing habits that might signpost other issues in a child’s life’.
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