London Looting Victim Photo Inspires Outrage, Video GameS

Aaron Biber, 89, stand with his hands out, eyes downcast, looking at what remains of the barber shop he's run for 41 years in London.

"Everyone knows me around here - I have been here since the 1970s - but now I will probably have to close because I haven't got insurance and I can't afford the repairs," he said.

When the picture hit Reddit it spurred thousands of readers to offer help to Biber and others impacted by the raucous riots in London.

"Yes, if anyone in the area can go by the shop... and I'm going to try to contact some of the new agencies in the area," one reddit reader wrote. "A man who lived through WWII isn't going down like this... oh no."

It also inspired one flash game developer to make a game.

"Well I do a lot of these games now that are based around news events," Kenney Vleugels, a 21-year-old Netherlands developer for Flash games site RoundGames.com, told Kotaku. "But for this one in particular I did it because I was very angry with the thieves and looters. I saw a picture of a 89-year old man who was standing in his little barber shop looking at all the damage the rioters did. I wanted to make a game to show those idiots what kind of moronic actions they're undertaking."

London Looting Victim Photo Inspires Outrage, Video GameS

In the game London Looters, players take charge of a bat-wielding pixelated man in a blue button-down shirt, red tie and khaki slacks as he defends his store from a constant stream of looters. The object of the game is to beat the approaching looters with the bat before they can make off with the television, Wii and iMac in his shop.

"I thought (the picture of Biber) was one of the saddest pictures of the riots but it's really sad for everyone having a home or business in the riot areas," Vleugels said. "I hope my game doesn't hurt people more but I guess it'll be okay since you're on the good side. I got several requests to make a game where you can stab the cops but I totally ignored anyone saying that kind of stuff."


You can contact Brian Crecente, the author of this post, at brian@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.