During the Salford riot of August 2011 a BBC Manchester car was set alight at Salford City shopping centre, a run-down '70s precinct full of budget supermarkets and moneylenders just a mile or so from the BBC outpost in "aspirational" MediacityUK.
The BBC in flames became an iconic image which was broadcast around the world, much to the annoyance of the media giant and its powerful landlords.
Zac Challinor was sentenced to a total of seven years for his part in a very Salford riot. The BBC did not report on his trial.
It was just another rainy night in Salford when Challinor went to prison.
Cars and commuters stretched into the distance like marching ants along the M62.
A neon billboard in the wasteland reads: "11,265 deserving cases in Manchester received funds from the National Lottery. Changing Lives," but not in Salford.
As darkness falls, crowds of youths gather around Salford Shopping City as they have done for decades with nothing to do and nowhere to go.
Like Stephen Carter, another of Salford's sons serving time for riot-related crime, Challinor was homeless, jobless and estranged from his family at the time of the riot.
A breakdown in his relationship had separated him from the daughter he clearly adores. Profoundly dyslexic, Challinor was suspended from school and left without qualifications.
Despite this handicap, he was in full-time employment for all but six months during the past seven years and volunteered with the PDSA in Chorley.
Never holding one job for any great period of time, Challinor took various low-paid jobs across the city, most notably with Old Trafford.
His offending behaviour started early, and by the age of 21 had nine convictions for 15 crimes. Challinor drank heavily and convictions for violent disorder followed.
His daughter was born in February 2010, so he sold his computer games to raise money. Following the breakup of this relationship shortly after, he returned to live with his mother, described by Judge Foster as a woman of impeccable character who works for the NHS.
On April 1 he walked out to begin months of couch hopping. His mother confirmed she had been unable to cope with his lifestyle, and shortly after this Challinor attempted suicide.
Without the stability of family life, he was living what Judge Foster termed "an itinerant and unsatisfactory life," and was not coping with the rift between himself and the women who loved him.
At midnight on August 9 Challinor posted on Facebook that he was going to see what was happening in town. A friend warned him "not to be a dickhead all your life."
Challinor response was "carnt wait till thes riots hit twn just been dwn ther not a fing goin on yet."
Disappointed, he returned home at 10 past one in the morning as there was no-one but "pure heads there just wandering but no rioting."
Within hours, Salford streets erupted after a confrontation with police in Brydon Close.
At 5pm, Challinor threw a coin at lines of police in riot gear battling with youths in Brydon Close. Hundreds of youths overturned a BBC Radio Manchester car in Heywood Way.
Challinor excitedly suggested they set it on fire and lit the match.
As smoke rose over Salford the mob made their way to a Lidl supermarket and smashed through the shutters. Challinor was captured on CCTV with armfuls of aerosols.
Finally, he aimed a kick at William Hill bookmakers in the precinct but for some reason stopped before the shutters were damaged around 9pm.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage was attributed all or in part to Challinor's actions - he was charged with arson, violent disorder, criminal damage and burglary.
Challinor was on the run until arrested on New Year's Day when his Facebook posting stopped.
He seemed relieved when police finally caught up with him and posted new messages virtually every day.
In his interview with police, he said: "I was just a knob." He told the judge that "it was inevitable that this day would come."
Challinor described a sense of purpose and community during the riots, saying "the day seemed like a real live game of Grand Theft Auto (GTA)."
Drifting and aimless with no hope and no future it was not inevitable, but sadly foreseeable. Throughout the hearing Challinor seemed accepting of his fate.
I wondered if this was a self-fulfilling prophesy until I remembered that in Grand Theft Auto everyone is brought to justice.
When someone attributed the British riots to the influence of GTA, gamers staged another revolt online.
The London Evening Standard said: "Rioters were playing GTA and want to live it for themselves."
Needless to say, the gamers trashed the tabloid argument, which was never very strong anyway, but it tapped into the suspicion that new media may not turn kids into cold-blooded killers but that it had influenced the riots somehow.
Challinor was born in the same year that Nintendo released the Game Boy, the world's first handheld console. When he started his first job, Sony released the PS3 and permanently changed the way a generation works, rests and plays.
Video games did not cause people to riot, but similarities between GTA and the 2011 riots are undeniable - characters go where they want, do what they want and take what they want while frequently confronting police. Characters receive calls and text messages from friends directing players to meet at specific locations to initiate the next mission.
The game is self-directed and often impulsive. It is possible to talk on the phone whilst driving a bus through a police blockade.
Videogames problematise the world we live in - they are interactive movies with guns in which viewers shift from identifying with characters to being the character and directing the action.
In GTA the symbolic city takes on a life and history of its own. Xbox 360 magazine said: "It has characters that you're immediately able to connect to. They're almost all bad people but each of them has character weaknesses and vulnerabilities that make them real. Characters have reasons for doing what they do, and its apparent that they also have morals and inner demons as well."
Young people, like Challinor, identified with the tragic city of GTA. The exploration of the "city" by a British games designer is a metaphor for how the disenfranchised negotiate capitalism, a tragedy that succumbs to the sleazy brutality of the city, a wanted outlaw just like Challinor.
As MediaCity executives struggle to maintain the illusion of a cohesive community the disaffected youth, the elderly, the sick or impoverished have no place there.
In his deliberations Judge Foster recognised the symbolic value of the BBC Radio Manchester car and what it represented.
He quoted recorder of Manchester Judge Gilbart who said "Salford City Council have worked hard to get this city to its best foot forward. The achievements in regeneration have been substantial."
He described the events of August 9 as heartbreaking, and he was right.
Challinor was taken down with a yellow plastic bag bearing the message "best of the best" slung over his shoulder, and the irony was not lost.
The torching of the BBC car will never be seen as a symbol of working-class struggle by the organisations at the interface of accelerated social change and the digital revolution.
But perhaps it should be, as youths gather in shadows of the precinct.
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