The UK’s Daily Mail – notorious for it tabloid slant and anti-gaming agenda is back in the gaming media – this time caught red-handed and red-faced, completely fabricating quotations to push the supposed ill effects videogaming further in to disrepute. In an article headlined “’Stoned with tiredness: Generation of children are becoming zombies because of late-night gaming sessions…,” both the Daily Mail and the BBC claimed that Robert Hart-Fletcher for children’s charity Kids and Media said videogames were turning children in to “living zombies.”
Only he said no such thing.
"Gaming is a phenomenon that’s been around quite a while. Now we are starting to see the effects in behaviour of young people,” he’s claimed to have said. "In the past people had genuine relationships with empathy and compassion which has been replaced by this virtual relationship where they are not necessarily having to show empathy or compassion. That’s starting perhaps to change the way they interact on a day to day basis."
Hart-Fletcher has said that the quotes attributed to him are “completely fabricated,” – and that he actually thinks games are good for kids – provided it’s done with a dash of moderation.
"Our stance is that gaming, being in constant contact with friends and playing with other gamers around the world, is good for most kids most of the time," Mr. Hart-Fletcher clarified to BeefJack. "While people can over-use games or smartphones, they can over-use anything – and that’s no reflection of the value of the activity."
The Daily Mail even baseless implicates Modern Warfare 3 and FIFA 12 – claiming they zombify children by “keeping them playing for hours.” The best bit is that Hart-Fletcher actually has an audio recording of the entire interview to prove the quotes were nonsense. For their part, the BBC has amended their article – but the Daily Mail’s is still tactlessly intact.
Yellow Journalism at its finest. Once again I’m forced to bring this up; the only reason we know the media is bogus with regards to videogames is because its something we’re so passionate about…but what about the rest of the news?