Computer games and violence, often linked by critics of the video-game industry, came together in an unusually graphic manner Monday night when a man was stabbed while waiting to buy "Grand Theft Auto IV."
The adult-rated game, which has been praised for its immersive storytelling but criticized for its violent and sexual content, went on sale at midnight Tuesday morning.
Demand was predicted to be high and long lines formed outside many game shops.
By 11 p.m., about a hundred people had gathered at Gamestation in Croydon, south London, when a 23-year-old man standing in the queue was stabbed several times by a passer-by.
Police said that he did not call for help, but a witness dialed 999, the British equivalent of 911.
When the police arrived they found the victim a short distance away and took him to a hospital, from where he has since been discharged.
Police have appealed for help from other people who were waiting to buy the game.
"I urge them to make contact with police as they may hold vital information to help us track down the suspect," Detective Inspector Liz Baker said. "He is described as a light-skinned black man aged about 21 years old, 6 feet 5 inches tall, of medium build, wearing a light gray hooded top with his hood up."