How The Daily Mail Uses Tragedy To Spread Gaming Fear

The Daily Mail has again tried to prove that playing games is deadly. The tragic story of a 14 year old who killed himself has been twisted by the national newspaper, in a attempt to profit from his death by propagandising the cause of his suicide. This is too sad.

For those unaware, the Daily Mail is a long-running UK national newspaper, owned by Associated Media, that is well known for its far-right-wing stance and its extremist views. Today the paper is infamous for carrying unevidenced scare stories on many matters, frequently targeting gaming, as well as suggesting that almost everything in the world causes and simultaneously prevents cancer.

In today’s piece the paper has spun a very sad story about a 14 year old boy who hanged himself into more of their fear-mongering about the dangers of games. I’m not identifying him or his family any further than that, because it’s hideous that this kid’s life is being used for point-scoring, and I’m not going to do the same. But I do believe it is always worth countering when stories like this appear, if anything to just provide a link for people to share with Mail readers for an alternative perspective.

This young man, about whom not much is revealed in the piece, was seemingly having a tough time. It was revealed that he had plans to run away from home with his 13 year old girlfriend, with the intention of their having a child together.

What the paper leapt on was a quote from the coroner, who for unexplained reasons decried the game that this teenager had played with his stepfather, declaring he couldn’t see why anyone would want to play it. Well, I can’t say I entirely disagree, but I’m not sure his criticism was perhaps based in first-hand experience. And while we absolutely endorse the sentiment that 18 certificated games should of course not be played by people under the age of 18, to claim that a clearly troubled teenager would kill himself with a school tie as a consequence of playing is entirely without evidence. In fact, the coroner goes on to say, “For whatever reason and it is I’m afraid somewhat mysterious [his name] just decided that he was going to put the tie around his neck and suspend himself from the bunk beds.” So apparently (according to the Mail’s report) after implicating the game, he then makes it clear that they have no idea why he did it.

This is just too sad. It is far too tragic a story to be treated so callously and so stupidly. The Mail piece instantly insinuates that this is in some way therefore associated with the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik (as well as French terrorist Mohammed Merah), because they both played the game. This is somewhat ignoring that Breivik stated clearly in his gut-churning manifesto that the game did not influence his decision to kill anyone, and omitting to mention that the majority of his ‘diary entries’ in the document were about legally and illegally acquiring real world weapons. They also ignored that the other 99,999,997 players of the game haven’t gone on to kill anyone, nor themselves, as a consequence, despite quoting the sales figures a line earlier. They then go on to include pictures of Breivik as if the two stories are linked in any way, and repeatedly insinuate that the game itself was involved in both cases, despite no evidence being presented to support this.

To repeat myself, I want to be abundantly clear that RPS entirely endorses the enforcing of age ratings on games – we want under 18s to be protected from adult imagery and violence, and we want over 18s to be protected from censorship. The coroner raised this point in the courts too, and we take no issue with that at all. Unfortunately, it’s then discoloured by his condemning the game and insinuating its connection to the death.

Of more concern to me is the way the Mail story is crafted, designed to instil fear rather than information. For instance, these two paragraphs are carefully placed to be ambiguous reading:

Before he died at his family home near Stockport in March last year, [he] had been upstairs in his bedroom playing on the computer, though his family said he was probably using Facebook and Youtube.

But the hearing was told he had been a fan of playing Call Of Duty, where players are ‘soldiers’ fighting in current wars and played frequently with stepdad.

It’s a technique where the truth is told in both cases, but arranged in such a way to ensure conflation by the reader. The reality is, as testified in court, that he was on Facebook or YouTube before he killed himself, but he also sometimes played CoD with his stepdad. When it’s put in the article this way, it creates the implication that the family was wrong to think he was on social media, and must have of course been playing the killer game.

Even more interestingly, the story goes on to reveal that his mother took quite a hard line in policing the games he played, and for how long he played them. Call Of Duty was allowed, but other more overtly violent games were not. And frankly, the Modern Warfare games really don’t feature much that wouldn’t make it into a 12A film. What’s perhaps most distressing is the impression you get from the included quotes where it seems to be implied that the death was the mother’s fault for allowing him to play this game.

The article then goes on to finally list the order in which statements were made in court, but only when squeezed into a narrower column by an adjacent boxout explaining “the controversy” of Call Of Duty. Here we learn that the boy shared with his girlfriend that he was not happy at home. But then as soon as we’re past that blue box, another ludicrous conflation switcheroo appears. In fact, it’s one of the most egregious examples I have ever seen, slipping in a completely irrelevant statement in the most inappropriate place:

Head of year [removed] said the school had looked into issues of bullying but that they could find no evidence of any bullying and that [he] had seemed mostly settled at school.

MPs have called for new restrictions on violent video games with Labour backbencher Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee leading calls for new powers to ban material rather than only apply age classification.

A spokesman for Audenshaw High School said: ‘It was with the greatest sadness that the school learnt of the sudden death of [removed].

It’s very easy to assume ourselves above being affected by such blatant attempts at not-even-subliminal coercion, but it’s a mistake. It colours what we read, no matter how much we may be aware of it. And it of course sows doubt in all who do not have specialist knowledge about the subjects. And that is the intent.

Were there to be any real evidence that playing a PC game could lead to suicide, we would want to know about it straight away. And were there any real evidence to suggest this kid’s death was directly associated to his gaming, we would want to report it. But it seems there is no evidence for either, and pretending there is is dangerous and stupid. Sadly, the Mail’s motivation for doing so is to make money at the expense of the dignity of the boy and his family. My motivation for writing this is to be an opposing voice to such awful actions. The Mail then finishes things off with an embedded trailer for Black Ops 2, because that makes sense.

I firmly believe it’s not good enough to say, “Meh, it’s just the Daily Mail, what do you expect?” I expect better. And I believe we should constantly demand better, no matter how frequently they or others may behave this way. At the very best, they are spreading misinformation in a dangerous and stupefying fashion. At the very worst, they are implicating Activision in a murder. No interpretation of it is acceptable.

Something the Mail certain gets right is to end their piece with details for the Samaritans, and I shall do the same. In the UK their number is 08457 90 90 90, and they’re online here.


  1. nemandg says:

    The daily mail are bad for doing this but its a joke that people in general seem to think that gamers are violent and that all games create murderers etc. of course all of the millions of people who do nothing of the sort dont count. damn shame

    • Acksiom says:

      First off, because I put my money where my mouth is rather than my mouth where my money is:

      For any of you other RPS readers who sometimes feel like nonpersons around here because you’re male: link to

      That done, I’m bookmarking this for the next time one of you RPS folks yet again posts something clearly indicating your view that games can have a significant effect on people’s self-images, with meaningful real-world consequences. . .

      . . .for a certain value of “people” that doesn’t include males.

      My primary point, BTW, and I think D3xter’s also, isn’t that the Guardian article isn’t fear-mongering tripe. It clearly is. My, and perhaps our, primary point is that the similar female-chauvanist media nonsense about the effects of sexism in gaming on females that you fellows consistently report on agreeably and supportively, in contrast, is also fear-mongering tripe.

      My secondary point following on from that is how the difference in deference you display is a textbook example of one of the main factors contributing to the 4-5X times higher difference in suicide between the genders.

      I, and apparently at least a few others, wish one of you had treated this poor boy’s tragic death as the same kind of opportunity to do something good and noble about the effects on people of gender characterization in gaming that you consistently do only when the people in question are female.

      The bottom-line problem here for you fine RPS fellows is that AFAWCT, none of you ever do comparably sympathetic posts about the negative effects of sexist characterization in and around gaming on men and boys. We notice that. We really do. I’ve seen other people point it out to you in the past.

      Normally I’d just let it pass myself, but the issue in question here happens to be one of the primary. most important men’s liberation issues we have. Suicide is the 7th largest cause of male death over here in the states of unreason, and probably about the same in your dear old blighty (unlike our CDC, your official statisticians split cancers into several categories, but my first run at the numbers a few weeks ago ended up with the rates looking comparable).

      I note in passing how similar this is to the treatment of Fox news here as being meaningfully worse than the rest of the mainstream media. Sorry, no; they’re pretty much all horribly biased and incompetent. You just don’t notice because they’re biased and incompetent in favor of the favors you favor for yourselves.

      In very much the same manner, the female-chauvanist garbage you opine upon so positively to your readers is likewise just as much pandering, fear-mongering tripe as this Guardian article. Possibly a bit more subtly conveyed, but pandering, fear-mongering tripe nonetheless. But you consistently treat it so very, very differently.

      Judging by your responses to D3xter et. al. here, however, and in previous threads to other critics of this gross inconsistency in your behavior, I doubt that even this lucid and explicit an clarification will suffice to illuminate you. Your behavior has been characteristic, to paraphrase Upton Sinclair’s classic aphorism, of that of men whose own self-images depend on *not* understanding something.

      Thus, in closing, I have a simple socratic question for you — all of you, not just the RPS staff — to consider:

      What, if any, issues of discrimination against men and boys on the basis of their gender, do you stand up to acknowledge and oppose?

      And do please keep in mind that any response which does not directly answer that question will only serve to further support the thesis presented above.

      • postrook says:

        I doubt you’re smart enough to see the irony of you jumping on this article (about a tragic suicide being used, on the slimmest of pretexts, to further the political agenda of a shitty newspaper), and, again, using the most tenuous of logic, attempting to somehow link the tragedy of this boy’s suicide which you don’t actually give a fuck about, to a completely unrelated tangent promoting your own misogynist bullshit.

        you disgust me

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        “For any of you other RPS readers who sometimes feel like nonpersons around here because you’re male:”

        That is an intensely weird and sad statement, and I wish you luck in working through whatever intensely weird and sad state you’re in right now that would even motivate you to say something like that. I’m willing to believe you sometimes do feel like a nonperson, but I’m also willing to bet it’s not because of RPS, or women, or feminism, or whatever it is you’re fixating on here exactly.

      • PacketOfCrisps says:

        I’m not sure how you managed to spin this into an anti-feminism debate but well done, I suppose.

      • Fenn says:

        “And do please keep in mind that any response which does not directly answer that question will only serve to further support the thesis presented above.”

        It’s very difficult having a reasoned discussion with someone who will take any response that they don’t feel addresses their own points directly, as support of their own points.

        Your arbitrary linking of this or the original newspaper article to the topic of gender issues also indicates your logic is unlike any I’m likely to be able to contend with. So take this response as validation of your points and please – don’t troll around here no more.

      • eks says:

        Oh wow. It’s both amazing and disgusting how you managed to spin a teen suicide into a platform to spew your misogynist bullshit.

      • Henke says:

        Acksiom, I read the first 4 paragraphs of your post and couldn’t figure out what you were on about, had to scroll down to the comments to see what you were raving about. Next time, just write “women are the worst, am I rite guys?”. I mean, ofcourse noone’s gonna agree with you, but at least you’ll get to the point quicker.

        • Xepter says:

          That’s the same thing I thought too, then I’ve thought that the comment section was bugged and I skipped a comment or two xD

      • Sheng-ji says:


        I, like many others who have read your post feel sympathetic towards you and how you feel like a non person due to your gender. Given this article was about a young persons suicide and your subsequent point about the rates of make suicide, no one is taking your feelings lightly as they read your post. As one of a handful of female readers who is happy to post identifying myself as such, tell me, what can I do to help you to feel better about yourself?

        In partial answer to your direct question (I’m confident I could list men’s gender issues all day) the most important gender issue facing men today is the expectation that they should be strong. Not all men are strong just as not all women are weak. And just like strong women are degraded, so are weak men. Just watch any popular tv show, I’m watching two and a half men, the weaker man is mocked and ridiculed. Because of this expectation of strength, men feel like they cannot ask for help. If a woman can’t deal with her emotions, she is not defying social convention in getting support. If a man can’t, he not only feels he is already weak just because of how he feels, but to ask for help is to admit even more weakness! Small wonder there is such a gap in suicide rates.

        My advise to you, just as strong women are challenging the social convention, weak men should challenge it too. Firstly forget any positive and negative associations with the words strong and weak. If I were to describe two other states: acrobatic or clumsy for example, no one expects someone who isn’t dexterous to be, no one thinks badly of themselves because they can’t walk a tightrope etc so apply that same thinking to strength and weakness. If you are weak, admit it, be honest with yourself about it and stop seeing it as a negative thing. Of course we would all like to be strong, but if we are not, don’t pretend.

        Which leads us on to the next step. Get help. There is no shame in talking these issues through with someone. By doing so, you will be defying social convention, challenging it and making for a world in which your gender does not carry these expectations.

        Some people are going to think I am being sarcastic. Some people are going to think I am trolling but we are talking about a poster who described himself as a nonperson and went on to talk about suicide. This is serious, as serious as it gets, OP, everying I write is trying to help you. I am speaking only to you.

        • Tiewaz says:

          What a wonderful reply. The internet can be pretty quick to say STFU; it’s virtually conditioned into many of the internets citizens, and it’s one of the main reasons discussions like this come up. Big kudos for being willing to enter into dialogue instead of spewing vitrol, and doing so in a manner than helps bring the real issues to light.

        • treeshadow says:

          There is no such thing as a person who is strong, or one who is weak. The closest we come is a person who is consistently strong, while still being weak at times, or vice-versa. I say this because telling men that its okay to be weak at times is a much easier pill for them to swallow than telling them to admit they are a weak person on the whole.

          Just as women need to overcome gender norms and learn its okay to be strong and capable (which they are on their way with doing), men need to do the same and learn its okay to be weak or vulnerable (which, overall, they arent).

          It often seems that an attempt by a male to discuss male gender roles comes in an attack of feminism. Sure, men, criticise feminism for not taking the time to fight negative gender roles for men, but dont demand that this has to come by the undermining of feminism’s efforts for women. Ideally, we can all work together for equality. Feminism is guilty of ignoring the fight against negative gender roles for men, but I feel the biggest cause for this is man’s own indifference towards getting things started.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            My apology, treeshadow if you dislike the semantics or the inference that a strong person is always strong or a weak person is always weak. (Please feel free to adjust the words as you read, I’ll stick with them because they make sense to me). Of course weak people can show extraordinary strength and strong people can show weakness and a person can be strong consistently in one situation, for example with one social group but weak consistently in another in which they are less confident.

            I didn’t want to muddy my point by building all that into the statement I was making. I hope you can read through the simplification and see what I was trying to say.

        • SneerRolts says:

          Sheng-ji, I think that was the best reply possible. Congratulations for being a great human being.

        • HothMonster says:

          I like you more every time you touch your keyboard.

      • Worcanna says:

        To completely ignore anything that was said, simply to point out something that YOU feel the need to say that not only insults the general female populous (like myself) but the memory and timing of a child that has died. You turn something tragic into nothing more then flag-waving and picketing against….god i don’t even have words.

      • JavJav says:

        Oh wow… I think… I think this might be a magnificent spambot. The likes of which we have never seen before.

      • bill says:

        Is there a context to this rant that i’ve missed, or should I block my first RPS poster in 4 years?

      • Nallen says:


      • Big Murray says:

        “What, if any, issues of discrimination against men and boys on the basis of their gender, do you stand up to acknowledge and oppose?

        And do please keep in mind that any response which does not directly answer that question will only serve to further support the thesis presented above.”

        Really? Because it seems like all the responses which didn’t directly answer that question served to further support the thesis that you’re a hypocrit.

        The fact that you want to treat “this poor boy’s tragic death as an opportunity” is case in point.

      • Premium User Badge

        FhnuZoag says:

        What Guardian article? This is about the Daily Mail?

  2. philbot says:

    Games have gotten to a point where a very high proportion of the population are playing them. Unfortunately, some will do bad things; and people, looking for an immediate “Correlation is Causation” answer will immediately point their finger at the violent video games.

    It’s a stigma that gamers will probably have to live with for a while.

    • Gorf says:

      yes excactly. next the Mail will be saying “brushing your teeth causes suicidal thoughts” (and cancer).

      • Flimgoblin says:

        link to

        ok not quite brushing teeth…

        • Rise / Run says:

          Yeah, lovely periodicals in Southern California successfully blocked fluoride in water with similar scare tactics. Strangely, it seems like this is an [unknowing?] allusion to Dr. Strangelove

          • sanmu645 says:

            For any of you other RPS readers who sometimes feel like nonpersons around here because you’re male:

          • lurkalisk says:

            Water fluoridation has certainly been overblown at times, but it definitely poses a (admittedly small) risk. If carried out correctly at all times, problems stay at a minimum, but things aren’t always done right.

            Hell, we’re told nuclear power is safe, and for most intents and purposes, it is. But we still got the Kyshtym, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima incidents (and many more).

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            The important point being that the health benefits of water flouridation far outweight the risks though.

            The same can be said of many things – most medical procedures for instance.

      • PacketOfCrisps says:

        How about “Reading the Daily Mail causes retardation”. It’s more accurate than the rubbish that they spew up but they probably wouldn’t want to print that.

        • Caiman says:

          Given that the media plays a significant role in influencing how people think, this is not only true but one of the great tragedies sweeping our nation: the destruction of independent and intelligent thought. Aliens visiting us in the future will probably find a planet of blubbering imbeciles strapped to chairs and fed through tubes.

          • TCM says:

            The human race has more access to information now than ever before.

            Protip Idiocracy has no basis in reality or fact.

          • scatterbrainless says:

            “Information” without contextualization or critical interrogation does not equal knowledge. I believe John pointed out that most of the information the Daily Mail cited was “true” but construed in such a fashion to lead to unsubstantiated conclusions.

      • HothMonster says:

        100% of people who drink water die.

  3. x1501 says:

    It’s nice to see that you Brits get to have your own version of FoxNews.

    • woodsey says:

      At least Fox News has that sheen that makes it a humorously vile thing to watch. Seeing Glenn Beck put on the waterworks will never get old.

      I just don’t have the strength of will to read anything from the Daily Mail ironically.

    • The Greatness says:

      It is essentially the newspaper version of Fox News, although stuff causes cancer rather than communism.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      It’s funny. In America, most of the newspapers at least try to look like they have journalistic integrity and objectivity (there are tabloids, but they’re pretty niche), while TV news competes to see who can dig deepest in the shitpile. In Britain, it seems to be the other way around.

    • Geen says:

      British/American conversion chart
      Daily Mail = Fox News
      Newspaper = TV
      Cancer = Communism
      Goddamn the world is weird.

    • jmtd says:

      How wonderfully condescending of you, but you have it the wrong way around. You have, with Fox News (est. 1996) your own version of the Daily Mail (est. 1896).

      • BluElement says:

        He never stated which one came before the other. He just said both cultures had their “versions”. You should also look up “condescending” since you’re using the word incorrectly.

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    in the mid-1930s it supported the Nazis, it’s owner a personal friend of Hitler

    it’s? its!

    sorry, sometimes I feel the need to be a total grammar daily mail reader

    • Unaco says:

      I feel bad for doing this, but…

      “And it of course sews doubt”

      No, it doesn’t. It sows doubt.

    • airmikee says:

      You created two sentence fragments, neither of which were capitalized. You didn’t capitalize the third sentence, and you didn’t capitalize the ‘D’ or ‘M’ in the proper noun ‘Daily Mail.’

      If you’re going to be a Grammar Daily Mail Reader, at least use proper grammar yourself, please. :)

      • Hoaxfish says:


      • LightninLew says:

        There’s no way that colon and close brace could possibly be grammatically correct. You never even opened the parentheses.

    • John Walker says:

      Sorry, I drank caffeine today, and my fingers aren’t behaving at all.

  5. Memphis-Ahn says:

    lol daily mail lol

  6. golem09 says:

    Sounds like something our German BILD-Zeitung would print.

    • Morlock says:

      As terrible as the BILD is, the Daily Mail is worse, especially in terms of racism.

      • Sian says:

        I guess this is because racism is probably a bigger deal in Germany. Touchy subject and all that stuff.

  7. dontnormally says:

    Here in the states there’s the impression that no-one takes tabloids seriously anymore.
    Is Daily Mail comparable to an American tabloid?

    This is some pretty heinous abuse of tragedy to further a political agenda.

    • Brun says:

      Is Daily Mail comparable to an American tabloid?

      It’s comparable to Fox News or any other right-leaning news organization. Every country with free press has one or two, and usually they aren’t much worse than their left-wing counterparts. It and its equivalents just get a lot more flames here because this is the internet and the internet leans left.

      The Brits are blessed with the BBC though, which is renowned and respected (even amongst Americans) as a remarkably level-headed and balanced news organization. Not sure why anyone over there would read/watch anything else.

      Ultimately the problem with any “mainstream” media outlet reporting on video games is that the people writing the stories usually haven’t ever touched a video game in their lives (or think that games are Angry Birds and Farmville). The stories are being written by people who grew up in a time where it was still socially unacceptable to be an avid gamer and that stigma is going to taint their reporting on games.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The BBC’s reporting is, in general, lousy. Look at the fearmongering they whipped up over Fukushima. Look at their continual use of “scare” quotes. Look at their breathless echoing of nonsensical technology buzz. Look at their “ordinary man on the street” soapboxes, and their idea that fair and balanced reporting means letting two cretins each have a say, then making no comment on them whatsoever—that objective reality has no place in factual news reporting and everyone’s opinion is equally valid.

        That they look good against others is a damning indictment of just how miserable those others are.

        • frightlever says:

          I’m a big fan of the BBC and the news site in particular, but they really do fall into the trap of scare-mongering and never examining the statistical evidence that “if X then Y” – to the extent that “More or Less” their own statistics based radio show and podcast often pulls them on it. Not that it ever means the original news story gets changed.

          (More or Less: link to though Tim Harford can sometimes be excruciating to listen to. He likes puns and such.)

          But in general allowing two opposing sides to state their case and not taking an editorial viewpoint is EXACTLY how the news should be presented. There IS plenty of biased editorial on the news site but it’s presented as such and not as the opinion of the BBC.

          • Cam says:

            I like it when multiple sides are given enough time in an argument. However, if one of them is lying, they should be called on it. Many mainstream news talk-shows in the U.S. regularly have guests(or hosts) lying, and the hosts not properly clarifying things for their viewers. This only leads to more confusion and ignorance.

          • Cut says:


            “You are arguing that content of sexual nature in video games has an effect on the playerbase that could be quantified and supposedly has a real-life effect and impact in social context and behaviour in regards to women all the while trying to claim that violence in video games doesn’t have the same effect and wouldn’t lead to certain behaviours and you don’t see the contradiction?”

            This seems like a solid argument at first sight, but there is a huge difference between suggesting that violence or sexual content in video games incites people to murder, suicide or rape and suggesting that either facet “could be quantified and supposedly has a real-life effect and impact in social context and behaviour” – whether it be in regards to women, Muslims, Russian separatists, or even humanity in general.

            There is no contradiction in believing that “sexist video games do not create rapists” while at the same time arguing that “violent video games may have an influence on the dehumanisation of death and suffering and the glorification of war”.

          • bill says:

            As someone living abroad (because the Conservatives and Daily Mail have effectively made it impossible for me to come back to the UK, but that’s another rant) you really don’t know how lucky you are to have the BBC.

            If anything, I’d say they fall into the trap of trying too hard to challenge the liars, leading to the occasional situation where you wish they’d stop challenging long enough to let them actually say something. But overall they are light years ahead of any other news TV i’ve found overseas.

            British newspapers though, I think have a lot to answer for. Partly for making the UK such a bloody pessimistic and depressed place.

        • mondomau says:

          Thank you for saving me the effort of typing out pretty much the exact same thing, I get fed up enough doing it in reddit/r/worldnews as it is.

        • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

          Can’t agree more. Been living in SE Asia for the past 4 years now, and BBC World is an occasionally convenient link to what’s going on back home. It’s utterly terrible – the same 3 or 4 stories recycled every hour with some condescendingly gash half-hour filler programme in between (‘Click’ makes my teeth hurt), and every different news presenter given some poncily titled bullshit segment like ‘The Hub’ or ‘Impact’ despite being the same regurgitated tripe presented by a different gurning muppet. I can’t imagine the domestic rolling news being any better. It’s so bad I’ve even occasionally found myself watching CNN because as crap as it is they at least have more than 3 stories to report. Thing is, back when it started as News 24 in the late nineties it was actually pretty good.

          Still, when you see pretty much an foreign public telly it makes you appreciate where your license fee goes.

        • The Magic says:

          Not to mention the foreign news that tows the government line like sisyphus pushes a boulder. They have, on occasion, cherry picked statistics (20% of males muslims do not support the war in afghanistan [cut to dudes in a car rolling up and saying “taliban, taliban”,] while 80% of muslim women support the war [cut to a round table discussion with a bunch of well read and well spoken women talking about the oppression of women in afghanistan]. There is no mention of the 20% of women who don’t support the war, nor the 80% of men who do. There is no mention of possible reasons not to support the war other than “taliban taliban”)

          They have insulted the recently deceased (spent about 10 minutes listing the aims of Yasa Arafat, then proceeded to talk about how he “failed” every single one, therefore failing his people, and failing as a president [despite the fact that almost immediately after his death, palestine ideologically fractured, putting it in a worse position than it ever was when under his control.)

          and outright lied through modified translations (Remember just after 9/11 when Osama bin laden was denying that he was involved in it, and only changed his tune after all the publicity made him famous? Well BBC decided make that change early, putting a translation that should have been “I swear by God that i did not organise these attacks,” but was instead changed to “death to america, death to the west.” Thankfully Channel 4 doesn’t have as rigid an alleigance to the government and ran the accurate translation on the same day.)

        • Contrafibularity says:

          I would have to disagree. Going by their reporting over the last two decades, their video and photo-journalism, and I’m especially referring to international journalism, is something unique in the world. You might not have the perspective of a European appreciating global coverage where there are sadly few to no alternatives. At least few that try to uphold journalistic principles (and topics) although AJE is also good and getting better.

          And re:Fukushima “scaremongering”, no one really knew what was going on at the time, because Tepco held a firm lid on it. Journalists without enough information under heavy pressure to inform the public won’t always live up to expectations, and the BBC performed fairly well given the circumstances. By the way Jim Al-Khalili in BBC Horizon: Is Nuclear Power Safe? set the record straight.

          The problem is that a massive organisation like the beeb will never appease every one, because people make mistakes, and lots of people make lots of mistakes. That doesn’t make BBC’s global journalism anything short of impressive (despite, like so many media, being business-centric). You certainly seem to be hammering on that there’s no commentary, but there’s actually quite a bit of that. If you’re referring to how they treat the topic of British politics.. well, I think different rules apply there, for.. reasons, I guess?

      • DJ Madeira says:

        I agree. I’ve never watched BBC, but every major news network (liberal or conservative) in America is incredibly bad at being unbiased.

        • D3xter says:

          What about Al Jazeera Worldwide?

          • The Magic says:

            AlJazeera English are pretty solid. They’re not completely innocent, i’m sure. Nobody is, but they’re better than most in terms of equality.
            (For example, stats come out that racism against muslims in england is most common in small rural villages and towns. Most news stations with a stat like that, where there was descrimination against their primary audience, would go out of their way to talk about the plight of the victim and create the other people as villains. See for example whenever a british person, or just white people in general, are attacked or oppressed. They go on about it for months. They dont do the same for the majority of non british or non white people [did they do anything about indian soldiers shooting bangladeshi civilians on sight?])
            So what do al jazeera do with this information about islamaphobia in britain? they talk to a victim of attacks. they talk to a racist old white woman, and then an even older, perfectly non discriminatory guy, giving the two points of view around about the same short amount of time.

            I rarely ever see such balance in other news organisations.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Funny thing: A conservative, fairly authoritarian, and sometimes alarmist acquaintance of mine had to grudgingly admit to following Al Jazeera, because they had the least slanted coverage.

      • DiamondDog says:

        Yeah the BBC fall into the same trap as everyone else on their 24 hour channel. Bullshit and nonsense used to fill time.

        Plus, if you’ve ever had the misfortune of listening to Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 program at lunch, you’ll know the BBC are quiet capable of reducing themselves to Daily Mail levels of stupidity.

        • The JG Man says:

          Oh, but that’s just funny. Whilst some of the topics are certainly more tame (slow news day and what-not) its the sent-in messages and call-ins that are troubling.

          • jmtd says:

            I’m sure even the highest quality programmes get their share of crazy-mail. The difference is those which choose to publish it.

      • Om says:

        “Every country with free press has one or two, and usually they aren’t much worse than their left-wing counterparts. It and its equivalents just get a lot more flames here because this is the internet and the internet leans left”

        I’m sorry, can you name a “left-wing” media source that is racist and homophobic? One that supports coercion against immigrants or derides the existence of interracial couples? This kind of automatic assumption that left = right is nonsense. It’s the bizarre notion that the left is simply a mirror image of the right (ohhh… the ‘extremes’) and thus equally hateful and bigoted. Which makes a mockery of the actual positions held by both

        Then again you go on to suggest that there is some sort of inherently socialist bent to the internet…

        • mickygor says:

          You should try reading the New Statesman then. Of course, their bigotry and hatred is rarely directed to racial or sexual minorities so you might not recognise it, but it’s very much present.

      • jmtd says:

        I do believe we are blessed with the BBC, which provides extremely high quality programming across a variety of media (in particular high quality radio stations) and has led the way with “iPlayer” into the digital domain. Sadly their news is not one of their strong points. They’ve been racing to the bottom ever since the Iraq war. Their website has increasingly become a click-chasing headline factory, with very little substance in their reporting.

    • Mattressi says:

      I assumed that basically everyone living in a free country realised that all news sources are biased in one way or another. Yet, I’m proven wrong every day.

      • Grygus says:

        There is a difference between “inevitably biased people attempting to report the truth objectively and sometimes failing,” and “biased people massaging news stories to promote their agenda.” Nobody is seriously asking for perfect objectivity; an honest attempt at it would be just fine for most folks. Unfortunately, honesty is boring next to lying, and so, in the long run, ratings and therefore money will always favor the people who do not try.

    • iucounu says:

      UK papers are more like US current-affairs TV and radio than US papers.

      • Zombie Jesus says:

        That’s because all US newspapers copy the New York Times, which in my experience does a pretty good job of being objective.

  8. Morlock says:

    Link at the bottom doesn’t work.

    As for the text, it’s a John-Walker-artcle about the representation of gaming in the media. I am tired of reading them because I am tired of how games are portrayed.

    IMO it is a question of transition from one generation to the next. With each new generation of journalists, media owners and readers chances of such “reporting” about game decrease.

    However, I certainly hope CODBLOPS2 will incite hatred against military drones. That would be pretty cool.

    • DoctorBrain says:

      “However, I certainly hope CODBLOPS2 will incite hatred against military drones. That would be pretty cool.”

      Doubtful. The villain of BLOPS2 is “the Messiah of the 99%,” who is also “an insidious mastermind hell bent on global insurrection.” This is just going to be a pro-military, right-wing-ish propaganda piece.

      • Morlock says:

        What a shame.

        • Brun says:

          However, I certainly hope CODBLOPS2 will incite hatred against military drones. That would be pretty cool.

          What’s the deal with the hate on drones? It’s never made much sense to me unless it’s been part of a more general dislike for weapons.

          • Morlock says:

            The use of drones eliminates need for personel. Drone attacks are more centralised, involve even more secrecy and require less sacrifice. On a political level it is easier to send drones. Obama is currently showing ithe political potential of drone use.

          • DJ Madeira says:

            Tony Stark agrees link to

          • Brun says:

            Those all pretty much sound like positive things to me, except for maybe the political part.

          • DJ Madeira says:

            @Morlock I agree that drones can be dangerous, especially with recent congresses that have just handed military authority to the POTUS and let them do whatever, but if it’s a choice between sending in soldiers with families and lives to live and drones I’ll take the drones every time.

          • Morlock says:

            For me this all culminates in the “political part”.

            I guess it depends on whether you support the use of military force or not. I object to it nearly 100% of the time, so I don’t want to make it easier to bomb people thousands of miles away.

            If I considered a war legitimate, I would prefer the use of drones.

          • Cyrius says:

            @DJ Madeira
            Uh what?

            link to

          • nemryn says:

            @Brun: In theory, yeah not having to risk personnel is a good thing. But in practice, if there’s less of a cost for drone attacks than for manned ones, then it becomes easier to order them; and you probably end up making a number of drone attacks that you didn’t need to, or that you wouldn’t make if they had to be manned attacks.

          • Shivoa says:

            Yes, how could anyone hate drones? (I fear we are stepping beyond the useful confines of a RPS comment thread at this point)

          • Brun says:

            So it basically sounds like it’s really just part of a disapproval of war or weapons technology in general, and drones are just the flavor of the decade (much like nuclear weapons, ICBMs, and other military technologies in decades past).

          • Morlock says:

            Wait, you don’t understand why people hate nuclear weapons? :)

          • Brun says:

            No, I do understand that. I had been under the impression that it was something specific about drones that people didn’t like, but in reality the problem seems to be nothing more than that “they make killing people easier,” which is something that can be said about a wide variety of weapons technology. I brought up nuclear weapons because they also make killing people easier and were/are similarly controversial for it.

          • Morlock says:

            Sorry – I wasn’t assuming that you learned to love the bomb :)

            Of course my opposition to drones may be different to others.

          • Devan says:

            I think one of the biggest risks with drones is their use domestically. Combined with warrantless wiretapping and internet monitoring, they can pretty much enable a 1984 level of big-brother surveillance. That’s why it’s important for governments to be accountable for how/where/why drones are used.
            link to

          • lcy says:

            @ Devan

            That’s true. Drones, unlike manned vehicles, won’t refuse to follow unethical orders.

          • TCM says:

            Drones aren’t exactly AI controlled at the moment, at least, not at high level. You still need somebody piloting them.

            I cannot say what my stance on drones is, as I am conflicted. On the one hand, making war ‘cheaper’ in lives cost is almost certainly a bad thing for non-defensive wars. On the other, not having to risk men and women on the ground, improving the chance that they can return to their families, is a very good thing.

          • Wisq says:

            On the other, not having to risk men and women on the ground, improving the chance that they can return to their families, is a very good thing.

            That’s a very myopic viewpoint, frankly.

            Aside from obviously not taking into account the soldiers on the other side (usually a third world nation that can’t afford drones), eliminating our own casualties also eliminates our main source of public pressure to avoid or discontinue wars.

            If Iraq had been fought with drones and had minimal American casualties, they would probably still be there, and neither country would be particularly better off for it. The death toll would also be much higher, except it would be almost entirely on the Iraqi side. Are their lives somehow worth less than ours?

            This is the real problem with drones. They’re the next logical step in the progression of war, but that doesn’t make them a good thing.

          • TCM says:

            If you have no chance of inflicting losses on the enemy, what reason do you have to fight? Diplomacy becomes a lot easier to stomach when you’re incapable of actually causing serious harm to the other side.

            Obviously, this can be turned around: If one side doesn’t take losses, what’s to stop an even greater resurgence of the era of imperialism and exploitation? It’s a lot easier to justify a war if you don’t need to justify loss of life to the public.

            This is why I am conflicted. Of course all human life is precious, ‘our guys’ are not worth more than ‘their guys’ inherently. But it isn’t as black and white an issue as ‘if WE take casualties, we’ll want war less’. I do believe that there are valid reasons for one nation to make war on another, but where that line is drawn and a ‘just war’ becomes not so much is open to debate.

            Incidentally, I am of the opinion that the existence of the Atomic Bomb has saved many more lives than it has taken, purely as a deterrent to open conflict on the scale of the World Wars.

          • Consumatopia says:

            I think people are using drones as a synecdoche for the war on terror in general–a war without any apparent end, in which any place could be a legitimate target if someone on a secret list is staying there. Like that “Made in the USA” tear gas cannister in Egypt, it is not that making drones (or tear gas) is inherently immoral, but drones exemplify the assymmetry of American policy–Afghans in the wrong village live in fear while American citizens are barely even aware that the war is ongoing.

          • Wisq says:

            I have no doubt you’re right re: the atomic bomb, since only two of them have ever been dropped on humans at all.

            Of course, that would’ve changed dramatically if either side of the cold war had ever fired at each other for any reason.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I like John-Walker-articles.

    • asshibbitty says:

      I’d be happier about these pieces if for every one of them there was another one, that discussed the real issues. Effect on kids’ vocabulary for example, dangers of social games, the biggest games celebrating military adventurism etc.

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        That would be great. There seems to be a general lack of recognition at RPS that while game can be art they don’t realise art can have negative as well as positive consequences. The search among gaming fans is always for gaming’s Citizen Kane but there is never any worry about how games like Modern Warfare are inching ever closer to being gaming’s Triumph of the Will.

        • asshibbitty says:

          That’s a good analogy. It’s not 1998 anymore, you can’t make a difference by talking about crates or other trivial shit. The medium has matured and it’s turned out kinda vile, yet the games people are still in denial.

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            On another level I was pretty darned depressed that RPS earnestly reported that Ubisoft were essentially installing spyware on every user’s computer without their consent but then a few days later were merrily doing a puff piece for Assassin’s Creed III.

            The big problem though is that RPS, like everyone else, needs advertising money to function so they have to keep publishers and develpers onside. I would say the propaganda model broadly applies to RPS: link to

            It of course applies in spirit and not in totality because computer games news isn’t nearly as important as the full breadth of journalism but but several tenets of the model, especially funding and sourcing, do apply to all Journalists.

          • Wisq says:

            I hardly think that RPS does articles purely to keep their advertisers happy. I could be wrong, but I think they’re above that.

            The truth of the matter is, regardless of whether it used Ubi DRM or not, a lot of RPS readers were going to play AssCreed3 in any case. It’s a big budget PC game from a much-enjoyed franchise. As such, it was simply their job to cover it.

            So long as they continue to make readers aware of the DRM problem, and lobby against it (which they did), I don’t see why they should have been required to boycott Ubi.

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            There are degrees to which appeasing advertisers go to and I do not think this was RPS’s sole reason for running the article (although it was sad no mention of Ubisoft’s DRM / snooping policies was mentioned in that AC3 article just a few days after the incident.)

            However you identify just how RPS was forced to conform to the propaganda model. Ubisoft make big budget popular games. People come to RPS, in part, to read about popular big budget games. Thus in order to keep people coming to the site who will then look at the adverts and provide the funds to keep the site going they have to appease Ubisoft to some degree or they will stop getting access to preview builds and so on.

            Does this mean anything like the blatantly false defence games journalists make about never seeing anyone being directly bribed need to be trotted out here? No, I believe that RPS has considerable integrity but that they also exist in a flawed world and have to make compromises like appeasing big but shady publishers in order to keep the previews that draw lots of clicks flowing.

            I mean the ultimate example of good previews going to the friendliest press then look at Game Informer, a magazine owned by the retailer Gamestop gets most if not all the biggest exclusive reveals. The interests of the publishers and the owner/retailer dovetail completely so they know they can trust each other to work together to preview big games in the most positive light possible.

            RPS is waaaaay better than this but it is an issue they no doubt have to make some compromise towards.

          • HothMonster says:

            I think you are conflating doing something because your readership wants it and doing something to appease publishers. I’ve seen plenty of sarcastic and slightly mocking pieces showing off a trailer video. Now is that their because they think a large % of readers wants to see the trailer or because they are trying to make the marketeers happy?

  9. plsgodontvisitheforums says:

    I’m pretty sure their depressing low earning paper routes has made plenty victims too… Doesn’t mean they’re wrong though.

  10. HarryFabian says:

    You appear to have named the boy, while going out of your way to say you won’t name him.

  11. Unaco says:

    It isn’t just the Daily Mail… The Telegraph, The Sun and the Manchester Evening News have also ran stories about the case, and focussing on the ‘Warning about Call of Duty’.

    • x1501 says:

      Teen suicide didn’t exist before Call of Duty. It’s just a scientifically proven fact.

  12. Deano2099 says:

    I’d suggest trying to track down the coroner and ask why he made such a statement, but given the Mail’s track record I’d say it’s 50-50 they just made it up.

  13. caddyB says:

    One more reason why we can’t have nice things.

  14. Palindrome says:

    The Leveson inquiry is the last hope for the British print media at this stage. Shoddy and scaremongering journalism seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

    • sinister agent says:

      Seriously. I really can’t see any satisfactory resolution to it short of Leveson arming himself with a machete and personally chasing these gutter propagandists out of the country.

    • Zarunil says:

      I avoid a lot of papers on principle, even if they sometimes have interesting articles. Papers that rely on reporting celebrities, lolboobies and spin the news (regardless of purpose) instead of reporting the news are not getting my money. Since I started doing this, I can’t say I’ve been missing out on anything important, and I feel better for it.

      • gunny1993 says:

        If i’m not mistaken you can thank Mr Murdoch for all those things in journalism culture.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          And the people that bought Mr Murdochs work. He supplied a demand at the end of the day, we all love a soap opera, he supplied one.

          • gunny1993 says:

            That’s true, but rather ironic since he always denounced elitism, whilst being one himself. (except of course his prerogative was to lower the IQ of the world so he could sell more satellites)

            link to …. only slightly relevant but a great laugh from Stephen and Hugh

          • SpakAttack says:


  15. Pantsman says:

    Was the thing about the Nazis really relevant? Repugnant as the paper is, this seems like an ad hominem, and not even a logical one given that I doubt anyone who worked at the paper back then still works there now. I know you love your histrionics, John, but I would hope in an article about rhetorical fallacies you’d choose to avoid the same.

    Also, I think the word you’re looking for is “sow”, not “sew”.

    • Palindrome says:

      Its not all that relevent, although its political stance really hasn’t moved very much in the intervening decades and its still a good indicator of what the Daily Fail is like.

    • danimalkingdom says:

      I think in this case it’s more for the sake of non-Brits who don’t know about the Daily Mail’s pretty shoddy past. And the newspaper’s system of ownership means that by-and-large the owner’s moral stance not only dictates that of the paper’s but of their successor as well. So yes, I feel it’s good to mention their support of fascism in the 30s and give context for foreigners.

      • lionheart says:

        So you’d have no problem if I told foreigners about left wing favorite The Guardian, and the fact that it supported the Confederacy in the US Civil War.

        Am I “just giving them context”, or is it a baseless and prejudicial misrepresentation? Got a clever come back?

        You should probably go with “F*CK off you tory C**T” or something of that ilk, because going on the standard of logic you’ve shown so far there won’t be much else.

        • sinister agent says:

          The Guardian’s modern bullshit is far more relevant than their civil war stuff, but I’d imagine John has heard enough of that discussion already from Mr. Mailer.

          Although I don’t really think the Confederacy and the Nazis are at all comparable, frankly.

        • Palindrome says:

          Well the modern Guardian would never support the Confederacy. In contrast the modern Daily Mail would still be cozy bedfellows to the Nazi party, at least until their true nastiness started to come out (and even then I’m sure they would be happy in secret).

          It also has to be said that the Guardian has a lot more journalistic integrity than the Daily mail. Even if that is a relative term. The Guardians real opposite would be the Telegraph, there simply isn’t a left wing hate machine (The Mirror barely counts as a newspaper).

        • Brigand says:

          Somewhat relevant.
          link to

          • Consumatopia says:

            They sided against Lincoln because he wasn’t sufficiently abolitionist? They thought slavery would end faster if the South would win? Wow, nineteenth century Guardian was very ill-informed. The value of all slaves as an asset in 1860 was about $4 billion. The GDP of the U.S.A. was not much more than that at the time. There is no way they were going to give that up without bloodshed–in fact, the South’s principal aim was to expand slavery–both to new states in the American west and outside U.S. territory (e.g. the Mexican-American war, or Jefferson Davis’s talk of potential “new acquisitions south of the Rio Grande” and reopening importation of slaves from Africa). So a victorious CSA would not only tolerate, but aggressively strengthen and expand the institution of slavery.

            I’d say supporting that is at least as bad as supporting the Nazis in the early 30s. Lincoln wasn’t perfect, but neither were Churchill and Roosevelt–to say nothing of Stalin.

          • HothMonster says:

            The civil war was about a lot more than slavery and at the outset the Union had no plans to abolish slavery. Hell Lincoln really only absolved it in the confederate states, it was not abolished in some of the boarder states and in some areas that were already under union control.

    • hersal says:

      Not an ad hominem, he was just giving an example of the kind of newspaper it is and has been. If he implied that the article was wrong because the DM supported the nazis 80 years ago, that would be an ad hominem.

    • Unaco says:

      I was just about to say this. I’m no fan of the Daily Mail (except for reading the comments section on the occasional story, for a laugh), but I’m not sure what the Editorial stance of the paper 80 years ago, before the atrocities of Nazi Germany were known about, has to do with them currently. It’s easy, in hindsight, to use that to bash them these days. But it is, as you say, an ad hom attack… and unnecessary. They’re not a despicable, biased rag because they supported the Nazi regime in the 30s. They’re a despicable, biased rag because of the “journalism” they produce today.

      In fact, this sort of ad hom insinuation is the sort of tactic the Daily Mail would use.

      • iucounu says:

        My grandmother was in Germany between the wars; her first love, a German Jew, ended up in the camps. Back in London, with some of her fellow Young Communists, she infiltrated an Oswald Mosely rally, throwing off her black shirt to reveal the red shirt beneath. She was a brave woman, a heroine; she died this year in her 90s.

        She remembered the Battle of Cable Street; and, through her, I won’t forget “Hurrah for the Blackshirts!”. Has the Mail ever apologised for that? It was an editorial written by Lord Rothermere, whose family still control the newspaper. They’ve never been anything other than the vicious id of Little England, never backing down, never wringing their hands in the manner that the Guardian has over Abraham Lincoln.

        With the Mail, it isn’t just about left and right – though I am of course naturally more amenable to the former than the latter. It is about yellow. They’re the pioneers, in the British conversation, of yellow journalism. The house style, as John shows above, is all about the careful manipulation of prejudice. It’s all the more dishonest for the pretence of sophistication (they don’t like the term ‘tabloid’.)

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      I do hate it when people bring up the fact the Mail supported the Nazis in the 30s. Do you know what The Sun was doing in the 30s? It was a trade union paper running left wing stories, back then it was called the Daily Herald. Murdoch bought it in the 70s and deliberately subverted it’s content over time, also renaming it.

      The Daily Mail is utterly awful but it is awful because of the actions of people alive today, not people who are long dead and whose influence is barely if at all felt today.

  16. JonClaw says:

    Demand better? A dirty rag can’t clean itself.

    • Vorphalack says:

      A dirty rag it maybe, but once recycled it can be turned into something useful, like toilet paper. There is some poetic justice in knowing the fate of every spare copy I find lying around on public transport.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Don’t forget to do the same with The Metro, also part of the same group

  17. SonicTitan says:

    As a linguist this sort of thing interests me, in a morbid way. You have to admire the ability of the writers at The Daily Mail for being so slyly able to abuse the English language, and Mr. Walker for being able to call them out on it.

    Loved the ‘everything is giving you cancer” link, by the way. Jesus.

  18. sinister agent says:

    And if you’ve spent months or years thinking to yourself that you really should get round to volunteering with the Samaritans, do yourself a favour and do it now. If you’re not ready for it, the worst that can happen is that you’ll spend a day with some lovely people, have a really interesting time, and realise it’s a bit much for you right now but you can come back in a year or two.

    Honestly, unless you’re an astonishingly lucky person, you’ll never have been in such touchingly good company before in your life.

  19. DrKirre says:

    So sad… especially since, in my own experience, games don’t cause suicide. They PREVENT it.
    A little backstory: When I was a wee lad, school was… hell. Didn’t go to an ordinary school, it was a place for the ‘mentally handicapped’ (to this day I don’t know why). After so many beatings, people just gave up. But something kept me going. “If I just… end it… I won’t know what happens to Alys.” “I have to be strong. I need to take out Zio.” “I WILL save Rajah.”
    I almost died. I almost gave in completely and took the lead sandwich. But games saved me. For what it’s worth, that’s at least one in their favor.

    • sinister agent says:

      Honestly, my anecdotes are the same. If it weren’t for games, I genuinely doubt I’d have survived my teens. Everybody needs an outlet.

  20. CaspianRoach says:

    A teen who killed himself ate fish right before that. News at eleven: Eating fish causes suicides.

  21. asshibbitty says:

    “And frankly, the Modern Warfare games really don’t feature much that wouldn’t make it into a 12A film”

    A 12A film is a film that kids of that age can watch, right? How many 12A films there are that feature eight hours of shooting people filmed from first person perspective? You are being a lil dishonest here.

    • Vorphalack says:

      The CoD games don’t exactly use cinematic techniques and narrative to fool the player into believing their opponents characters are real people. They do not create any kind of emotional attachment to said characters, and barely personify them beyond giving players’ avatars a human form. One does not simply compare the impact of a film with the impact of a game based purely on content.

      • asshibbitty says:

        You’ve identified one of the problems that should be discussed here instead of this bullshit.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          You don’t think a national newspaper deceiving the public into wrongly believing that a child’s suicide was due to a game is a problem worth talking about?


          • asshibbitty says:

            Two comment posters walk into a bar. The first one says “hey violence in games has no consequence or emotional impact so it’s alright!” Then the next one says “hey it’s an inconsequential manipulative tabloid article it needs to be dissected as if it has a valid point of some sort!”

          • Vorphalack says:

            What I actually said was films and games are not directly comparable, for a number of very obvious reasons. The Daily Fail would be proud of your spin though.

    • faillord_adam says:

      How many 12A films are there that feature 8 hours filmed from the first person perspective?

      • asshibbitty says:

        The bartender replies “hey kiddie flicks don’t let you act out murder fantasies for hours on end so it’s ok when videogames do”

        • HothMonster says:

          The first guy says “I didn’t really read and digest your comment I just reshaped it so it can fit the snarky dialogue I am having with, apparently, myself because I refuse to comprehend the words anyone else writes.”

  22. Fox89 says:

    John, you said you didn’t want to identify the boy or his family in your article, but you may want edit them out of the quotes from the Mail.

    In other news… well, what can be said that we haven’t all said a hundred times before. I hate stuff like this, the Mail, the people behind it… this whole attitude that the important thing is not the event itself but instead the attribution of blame.

  23. lionheart says:

    Jesus Christ, this is a games site, and not just a platform for partisan political views. Lots of newspapers, and politicians, of the left and the right, view games this way and pull these stunts, yet you make a specific issue of the Daily Mail being right wing, and then bring in Hitler; really mature. The Guardian, doubtless your favourite left wing paper, advocated eugenics among many other unsavoury things, do people bring it up in every article mentioning them? How stunningly sophomoric can the basis of your attacks be? The mail is a shit newspaper, that has nothing to do with its political views.

    Is there one, ONE writer at RPS who hasn’t been politically screened to ensure they have the same smug lower middle class soft lefty political views as the rest? You seem obsessed with diversity and inclusion in the political stories you run. Is there any political diversity whatsoever at RPS? Any tolerance of different views? Or do conservative scum not really count when it comes down to it?

    It’s childish and self-centered to take advantage of a platform built on game journalism to go off on the same political point-scoring again and again, and the inane reply of “it’s my party and I’ll do what I want to” is beginning to wear a bit thin. This isn’t a politics site, grow up and learn to act like professionals, and stop using the credibility you have in one arena to push an agenda in an unrelated one in which you have no credibility at all. You really are the Matt Damon of games journalism.

    And for everyone with left wing views who will doubtless attack me, how would you feel if it was constant right wing barbs and infantile invective you had to read when you just wanted to enjoy decent games writing? Would you enjoy it?

    If RPS ever wants to be treated like more than a glorified blog, this shit has to stop.

    • Brun says:

      Any tolerance of different views?

      It was my understanding that political intolerance was the only type of intolerance tolerated by leftists.

      If RPS ever wants to be treated like more than a glorified blog, this shit has to stop.

      To be fair to them, they’ve been nothing but honest that this site is, in fact, nothing more than a glorified blog.

    • Fox89 says:

      RPS already IS treated like more than a glorified blog. Even if that’s exactly what it actually is.

      As for the rest… well you kinda lost me when you said “…how would you feel if it was constant right wing barbs and infantile invective you had to read…”

      Had to read.

      Had to read?

      If John Walker has been breaking into your house and tying you to your chair in order to force this article into your eyes and brain, then on behalf of the RPS community I apologize. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be forced to read something… usually if I get part way through an article and don’t like it I just move on to a different one.

      • Morlock says:

        John Walker can break into my house anytime.

      • lionheart says:

        This is the only site that offers quality pc games journalism, albeit sprinkled with less and less infrequent political snark, so no, one doesn’t have to read it, but if you want the former, then you’re forced to take the latter.

        In the same way people often sign up for university courses only to be subject to political rants unrelated to the subject when they’re half way through the term. They could just leave, they don’t have to be there, right? but I think most people would agree it’s not really cool. A more extreme analogy I’ll accept, but basically the same thing in form if not in magnitude

        They can do what they want, it’s their site, but how you treat guests in your home say a lot about you. RPS are like the guy who invites people over for tea, sits them down, puts a cup in their hand, then starts an unexpected lecture about the benefits of wife swapping. The political ambushes make a lot of readers uncomfortable. RPS’ political views aren’t signposted when you walk in, and what used to be undertones and the occasional barb have morphed into full articles and ongoing editorial crusades recently.

        • Fox89 says:

          And were you the guest invited for tea you would similarly be complaining if the host offered coffee to someone else? Nobody’s forcing you to drink it, and there is plenty more tea for you in the kitchen.

          Also I bought some of those pink wafer biscuits… I’m not entirely sure how they fit into the metaphor but I think they’re lovely.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          “RPS are like the guy who invites people over for tea, sits them down, puts a cup in their hand, then starts an unexpected lecture about the benefits of wife swapping.”

          That is my favourite analogy for the site ever!

          Honestly, great stuff. If making conservatives feel uncomfortable is going to throw up more gems like this, I think we should ramp up the political blather.

          • TCM says:

            Hey man, we conservatives have feelings too, even if they’re buried under a seething contempt for all humanity!

            (Or maybe that’s just me.)

    • Thirith says:

      @lionheart: I wouldn’t frequent a site like that, quite simple. I don’t see why you frequent this site if the people who write here have views that are repulsive to you and – shudder! – express those views.

    • John Walker says:

      Soothing sounds…

      I said that it’s well known for its right wing stance. I’m fairly sure that’s true. The Times is also well known for its right wing stance, but it does seem to stop short of writing stories like this.

      Also, it’s not really very sensible to decide I’m a big fan of the Guardian, and then argue on that basis. While I would prefer to read the Guardian over the Mail, I have a lot of problems with the paper. In fact, the last time I read their site was a piece on CIF slagging me off.

      You appear to agree that the Mail is a bad newspaper. I was setting out its position for our majority of readers who do not live in the UK. I have tweaked the intro so hopefully it will be more difficult to misinterpret. I remain intrigued to learn what the “right wing barbs” were in the piece. I have a feeling you imagined them all.

      Also, I think I should make it very clear that on the two occasions we have hired full-time writers we have never asked nor considered their political views, and the same for all the freelancers we use.

      • sinister agent says:

        Oh so you don’t like caffeine. I suppose you must love your precious cannabis then. I think that’s bad, and here’s why…

      • Mattressi says:

        It’s bad for the Daily Mail to insert irrelevant facts (like, how CoD was played by Breivik), but it’s fine for you to insert irrelevant facts? Being right wing doesn’t indicate that the Mail is horrible any more than it being left wing. It has nothing to do with the story. A cynical person might even say it was written solely so that others might associate bias, misinformation and hatred for videogames with the right wing.

        This is coming from a libertarian – neither left nor right. I get flak from both sides and have no love for either, so don’t think I’m siding with anyone. I just dislike how everyone seems to think bias is ok if it is from their own political perspective.

        • John Walker says:

          I was explaining the paper’s political stance for non-Brits. However, contrary to your comment, I have yet to find an example of a left-leaning publication that condemns videosames as deadly. While I have seen it as a repeated motif in the right-leaning press. This seems a relevant factor.

          • Mattressi says:

            Maybe Britain is different then – here in Australia, both left and right wing news sources vilify games, and I’ve seen as much in the US (though, right wing news sources are the most criticised for it). Even if there really aren’t any left wing news sources in Britain which vilify games, identifying the Mail as right wing won’t help international readers understand.

            Edit: having looked into British newspapers’ political lean, I’m shocked to see that most papers are generally thought of as right wing. The only exception is the Guardian. Is this really true? If so, no bloody wonder no left wing papers vilify games – left wing papers don’t exist over there!

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Theres also the independent, another broadsheet and in tabloids, there’s the mirror and some communist ones.

            I think its because the right wing in the uk has traditionally helped the rich become richer (broadly generalised) and newspaper owners tend to be quite rich.

          • Mattressi says:

            Odd – my impression of news sources in Australia and the US is that they’re mostly left wing. It’s strange to me that it would be the opposite in the UK, but it certainly seems that it should be the opposite (as you said, people who own news outlets are rich and rich people tend to be right wing). Now I’m wondering why ours and the US’ are left wing :S

          • iucounu says:

            iucounu’s Law: the Media is biased against you.

          • John Walker says:

            My own opinions, clearly: Papers that would describe themselves as left wing are the Guardian and the Mirror. However, the Mirror’s definition of left is a touch dubious. The Independent is intended to be exactly that, although I think it’s reasonable to say it skews left. The Mail, Sun, Times, Telegraph, Express and Star are all right wing. Although the Sun will occasionally switch allegiances to Labour if it’s in Murdoch’s interests, while still essentially taking right wing positions on most matters.

            However, the reality in the UK is we only have centre-right and right wing political parties, meaning everything else has skewed that way too. The Guardian has gone a bit bonkers in response, embracing extremists, anti-Semites and terrorist-affiliated groups so long as they agree that various governments are bad.

          • Muzman says:

            The media in Australia is Left Wing? That’s a larf. The US too. Craven, opportunistic indifference is a kind of neutrality I suppose, but that’s about as far as they’ll stray from the Right on average. (MSNBC is kind of progressive, the AusBC covers a broad range, usually the ones the others won’t, so it gets called left wing a lot, mostly by conservatives trying to smear its reportage)
            I’m sure most of the right wing in Blighty think the press is all pink too, don’t worry. The problem could be you think being a libertarian is neutral. It’s neutral in the same way that a child thinks he or she doesn’t speak with an accent.

          • TCM says:

            Allow me to repeat something that has already been said: The media is always biased against your views. Always.

          • Jackablade says:

            Oop. Thread is longer than I realised. Disregard.

          • Mattressi says:

            Muzman: I’m not sure how you could describe Australian media as anything but left wing. About the only things which I could say are close to right wing are the current affairs shows (ACA and Today Tonight), but even then they aren’t right wing compared to the US. All major news outlets here are pro-healthcare, pro-welfare (though, some are a little less “pro”, if that makes them right wing?), anti-gun, anti-war (but pro-troops), etc. We’re so far left of centre that the only things that are needed to make you considered “right wing”, here, are that you might be a little more pro-business and might, for example, be against “boat people” coming here. Also, I’ve never worked out where the republic debate fits – I think it’s a left wing thing over here, but in the US it would be right wing. Apparently it’s “conservative” to want to be ruled by a monarch…

            I can agree with those who say that the media is always biased against you, to an extent. There are definitely clear political leans that each news source has, but many people seem to only pick on the ones that are against them. Perhaps, as someone who disagrees with most people, that is the reason I see them all as biased?

            I guess it was silly of me to get involved in a left-right discussion, when the definitions of them clearly differ greatly from country to country. As I’ve said before, left and right wing have only minor differences over here, with one being slightly more intolerant of immigrants and pro-business. Again, this is relative to the US system (but, most places would be left of the US, I guess). People here seem to think there’s a big bloody difference between left and right, but, like in most countries, there just isn’t – it’s usually only a different stance on a handful of issues.

          • Muzman says:

            None of those things you list are necessarily left wing. That’s the thing. The commercials rarely miss a chance to take a swing at the poor, the bludgers, the “dole cheats”, the young (except when it suits them to laud ‘battlers’). Let’s not forget the likes of lying race baiters like Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and most of commercial talk radio in fact. Some of the popular and influential media in the country. And conservatives wouldn’t support the monarchy? Seriously? What do you think they’re conserving exactly, if not tradition and the status quo?
            If you think all these things are defined by the American narrative, you’re sadly misinformed.

            For the sake of it I do think trying to nail down most papers and TV stations to being ‘left or right’ is generally a mistake. They’ll generally take whatever position suits them to play to their audiences prejudices, which can land all over the map. This isn’t to be confused with fairness, honest reporting and breadth of reportage however, even though some will say it’s accidentally the same. Being even handed is a fairly shocking thing (witness the occasions the ABC has hauled over the coals for perceived ‘bias’ and given a clean record, their crime essentially being ‘reporting the world from points of view that didn’t suit the Howard government’).

    • Deano2099 says:

      From what I can tell, the Mail reported this first. The Telegraph and The Sun picked it up later, probably from the Mail’s piece.

    • Brigand says:

      “You really are the Matt Damon of games journalism.” RPS should use that as a banner line.

      • Brun says:

        Despite the fact that the site is now bannered with the “glorified blog” comment in which I may have played a small part, I tend to agree here.

        Rock, Paper, Shotgun: The Matt Damon of games journalism.

        • x1501 says:

          I only know Matt Damon as a likable-actor-slash-Jason-Bourne, so I don’t quite get the reference. Can someone explain?

          • X_kot says:

            I believe it’s a reference to how Damon is portrayed in Team America:

          • fyro11 says:

            Matt Damon is very talented in varied roles, such as Rounders, Goodwill Hunting or then your slew of action, thriller and comedy movies.

            I, too fail to understand lionheart’s implication.

            EDIT: @X_kot: Still don’t understand.

          • Muzman says:

            He’s a big advocate of a lot of progressive causes and is often ridiculed for it, because he’s just an actor what the hell does he know? ( so the comparison is “John Walker is just a games journalist. What the hell does he know?” (although in this case it’s actually more like “How dare John Walker take the name of the Right Wing in vain!”)

            The meme has kind of overrun the fact that Damon is usually erudite, well informed and puts an intelligent case for his side. South Park unfortunately gave a whole lot of idiots a real easy out from dealing with the actual substance of the things he says.

          • X_kot says:

            Wot Muzman sez!

    • Sheng-ji says:

      ” Or do conservative scum”

      The daily mail is not conservative. If you drew a line with a center point and placed the conservatives 1cm to the right of that center point, you would have to place the daily mail 40 or 50 cm to the right. They are (borderline dangerous) extremists and please dont darken the name of one of the finest political parties in this country with their views.

      Not a tory voter by the way, for full disclosure, I’m a labour supporter.

      • Harlander says:

        I’d be hard pressed to describe any UK political party as “one of the finest”, and not only because there’s only three major ones.

        • LionsPhil says:

          What about the Monster Raving Loonies, at least up until the tragic departure of Screaming Lord Sutch?

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I did say one of the finest!!!

          • Harlander says:

            Yeah, but it’s still like saying that my left hand is one of my finest hands, along with my right hand

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Er… We have 11 political parties holding uk seats right now and they certainly couldn’t all be called fine (Looking at you, respect), we have had dozens of parties who held seats in the last 50 years and they have been contested by hundreds of parties.

            You aren’t talking about America, right?

          • Harlander says:

            No, you’re right of course. It’s easy to dismiss the “minor” parties, but not really accurate to do so.

      • Milky1985 says:

        Not really sure you can say they are one of the finest political parties when they have just promoted one of their guys who got caught out in a curroption scandle and was telling people before discussion had even started congratulation for getting the deal. To me thats not finest in any way shape or form.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Shrugs. I judge by what they have achieved in my lifetime and focus on the positives, not their screwups, every party has screwed up many times, not every party can claim to have achieved much.

    • derbefrier says:

      its just something you need to accept since the vast majority of media is ran by liberals. We can point to things like MSNBC or CNN or even the BBC as a point of liberal bias in the media but it always seems to bounce right off these people. Fox news while home to many conservative talk shows I would argue is much less biased in their news reporting than any other main stream american media outlet, its simply seen as a far right news source simply because its so different from the left leaning new casts even though i would argue it stay more towards the center most of the time. This is most obvious when you look at things like headlines to see CNN headline for the RNC last week “Obama Bashing week begins! compared to fox news headline “RNC begins today” now look at Fox’s headlines today for the DNC you may expect something equally inflammatory but they are all straight and to the point “Michelle Obama: You can trust my husband to move us forward” there’s nothing right wing about that it simply gives you an idea what she will be talking about.

      I am not saying fox is innocent 100% of the time, I am not foolish enough to say that but its obvious which side of the media is a glorified extension of the Obama re-election campaign and which side at least attempts to stay “Fair and Balanced” :P

      “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” -William F. Buckley, Jr.

      • John Walker says:

        I prescribe you one viewing of the film Outfoxed. It’s on Netflix. Seriously, watch it through.

      • Terragot says:

        Now try getting that post onto reddit… Liberal atheist extremist central

        • TCM says:

          Because circlejerking over what bad people those you disagree with are is exactly what you need to do to get credibility in a political discussion.

      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        “Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face, and you’ll stay plastered.” – William F. Buckley, Jr.

        Maybe not the best source for quotes.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Because, and this may surprise you, political views do actually effect the world around us.

  24. ButchCore says:

    Ha ha, I always find hilarious how people’s fascism invariably translates into that ludicrous (but worrying) witch hunt for the supposedly good of humanity, at any level, while they end up being the ones doing horrible things…

    Common story. *sigh*

  25. Tuggy Tug says:

    The Sun is also running this….

  26. D3xter says:

    I always hate these sorts of articles and hated them for as long as I can think back and they’ve always been argued against with the same arguments. Luckily there is much less of them nowadays, with gaming having become more “mainstream” and this only brought up every now and then by some politician looking for approval when there is some new massacre or tragedy.

    But isn’t this basically what you are doing yourself every other week, propagating extremist feminist views and the rise of a “rape culture” and all that male privilege and implication of guilt nonsense on the basis of the oh-so-horrible digital boobs in video games corrupting the youth? Why are you getting so outraged over this without sweeping through your own front lawn first?

    • Tuggy Tug says:

    • Thirith says:

      Would you seriously claim that RPG’s discussion of such topics is as undifferentiated, misleading and disingenuous as the Daily Mail article mentioned here?

      • D3xter says:

        I would certainly, at least articles such as these, they are certainly not differentiated or trying to remain “neutral” on the issue and examining it from different perspectives and there’s always the air of pushing a certain agenda, not very much unlike what is being talked about above:
        link to
        link to

        • Thirith says:

          Jeez, gotta love how having an opinion = pushing an agenda. The writers here have a position – if you disagree with them, present an argument, but you’re essentially saying, “I don’t like their opinion so they should shut up about it.”

          • LionsPhil says:

            Expressing that opinion by posting an article about it on your high-traffic gaming site kind of is pushing it, you know.

            They also push agendas such as “DRM is really quite annoying”, “the PC is a wonderous land of creativity”, and “we like games, games are fun”.

          • zeekthegeek says:

            High-traffic Gaming BLOG. That’s an important differentiator. They post opinion all the time – what do you think Reviews are – and thinking that maybe sociopaths shouldn’t stock Anita for her kickstarter project is not exactly hardline..

          • LionsPhil says:

            I would have thought the three other examples I gave were sufficient indicator that promoting an opinion on the site people come to to read your opinions is not intrinsically bad.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          I’m baffled by the notion that anyone at RPS has to remain neutral as a principle. If they see something they disagree with they should call it out. How else are you going to change what you don’t agree with?

          It relates to the idea that some people seem to think that there are always two sides in a matter. That’s not always the case. If there are indeed two sides, then they should be presented. But sometimes there are such a thing as a right and wrong and you should spurn the wrong side.

    • John Walker says:

      I find it very troubling that you consider our asking for some equality in the representation of women in gaming to be “extremist” anything, and that you believe it “nonsense”. And we certainly haven’t claimed that it is “corrupting the youth”. I think I have, in editorials, suggested that it possibly propagates a negative attitude toward women in gaming circles. I do not believe this correlates with lying that a kid killed himself because he played a game.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I was going to reply, but how could it be put any better than this.

        (Which is why John writes for a living and I don’t)

      • D3xter says:

        You are arguing that content of sexual nature in video games has an effect on the playerbase that could be quantified and supposedly has a real-life effect and impact in social context and behaviour in regards to women all the while trying to claim that violence in video games doesn’t have the same effect and wouldn’t lead to certain behaviours and you don’t see the contradiction?

        Basically you are saying that in the case of violence people can make the difference between what is real and what isn’t, but when it comes to anything related to sex they can’t and should be “protected” from it.

        Frankly I don’t see much difference between your argument in these type of articles and what FOX News and similar publications were trying to say just a few years ago and people got (understandably) all defensive over: link to
        And yes I DO regard a lot of these new feminist views as extremist, and not the ones where people are asking for equal wages or treatment, I can completely get behind those.

        • Grape says:

          You are basically arguing that content of sexual nature in video games has an effect on the playerbase that could be quantified and supposedly has a real-life effect and impact in social context and behaviour in regards to women all the while trying to claim that violence in video games doesn’t have the same effect and wouldn’t lead to certain behaviours and you don’t see the contradiction?

          Basically you are saying that in the case of violence people can make the difference between what is real and what isn’t, but when it comes to anything related to sex they can’t and should be “protected” from it.

          Frankly I don’t see much difference between your argument in these type of articles and what FOX News and similar publications were trying to say just a few years ago and people got (understandably) all defensive over: link to
          And yes I DO regard a lot of these new feminist views as extremist, and not the ones where people are asking for equal wages or treatment, I can completely get behind those.

          This. THANK YOU.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Except there is evidence, increasingly so demonstrating that gamers and developers are, on average more sexist than the population as a whole. There is no evidence to suggest gamers or developers have violent tendencies over and above the average.

            Please pay careful attention to my use of the word “evidence”, note that I have not used the word “proof”.

            Sexism is a different beast to violence. You can’t say because one, then the other. They are both complicated issues that need dealing with on an individual basis.

          • Sakkura says:

            That gamers are more sexist than average (assuming that’s correct, which I find plausible) doesn’t mean games are what made them more sexist than average. It’s much more likely that games tend to appeal to audiences that tend to be more sexist.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Sakkura, I couldn’t agree more!

        • zeekthegeek says:

          Basically you are using the word Basically to be a weasel without having to bring evidence, and make any conclusions you want. A well known shitty argumentation technique.

          • Grape says:

            Except there is evidence, increasingly so demonstrating that gamers and developers are, on average more sexist than the population as a whole.

            Dumbest fucking thing I’ve read, today. And I’ve just read RPS endorsing the idea that your mental and emotional maturity is 100% linked to how many years you have chronologically existed, which was so offensive I nearly puked at my monitor.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Man, what is it with children and vomiting.

          • SpakAttack says:

            Leave the poor boy alone. He’s not well.
            He just needs a big cuddle…

        • Valvarexart says:

          I can’t tell you how much I agree with your comment. While I agree on the general stance of this article right here, there have been others, like you mentioned, with very contradictory ways of looking at things. Not to mention that sources are usually lacking and there are sometimes (not talking about this case in particular, but several other articles of a similar nature) so many informational fallacies that it became too much to comment on even half of them. But I guess the point here is not to bring anyone “to justice”, but rather to generate ad revenue. That is my theory at least, based on the other articles that I have seen John write on controversial subjects.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          “You are arguing that content of sexual nature in video games has an effect on the playerbase that could be quantified and supposedly has a real-life effect and impact in social context and behaviour in regards to women all the while trying to claim that violence in video games doesn’t have the same effect and wouldn’t lead to certain behaviours and you don’t see the contradiction?”

          Can you point to that argument anywhere?

          I thought we were arguing that sexist themes in games were straight up offensive.

          We’re not saying that it makes players sexist and offensive, we are saying that it *is offensive*.

          • choconutjoe says:

            “Can you point to that argument anywhere?

            I thought we were arguing that sexist themes in games were straight up offensive.

            We’re not saying that it makes players sexist and offensive, we are saying that it *is offensive*.”

            The argument is generally assumed because it’s the only reason for anyone else to take your complaints seriously i.e. fictional sexism has repercussions in the real world and therefore is a real problem.

            If your only complaint of a game is that you find it offensive, then the solution is simple: stop playing that game.

          • Jim Rossignol says:

            But it’s not *a* game that we are campaigning against, is it? It’s a culture of shitty attitudes towards women, of which some games are just a part.

            Our argument is almost always “don’t be dicks toward other people,” which is somehow controversial.

            And I missed the upthread conflation of sexual/sexist before. Sigh. It’s very sad.

          • TCM says:

            The problem is that casual sexism, even if unintentional, is ingrained in the industry as is.

            While I STILL don’t agree Arkham City was a sexist game (at worst, it had unfortunate implications), the designer of Borderlands 2 talking about the game’s self-buffing, ‘easy’ class as ‘girlfriend mode’, however poor the word choice, is reflective of a certain attitude. The treatment women get in the Fighting Game Community is much, much more disgusting.

          • choconutjoe says:

            “But it’s not *a* game that we are campaigning against, is it? It’s a culture of shitty attitudes towards women, of which games are a part.”

            Then implicitly you’re claiming games are capable of influencing the prevalence of sexism in the real world. Much the same way that games could be capable of influencing prevalence of violence in the real world.

            In both cases, it’s an empirical question as to whether they do or don’t. It’s not just offensiveness. It’s about the effect games have on the psychology of the people who play them.

            Even if D3xter is misguided in his motivations, his basic observation is correct: Although John’s articles on the violence issue maintain healthy degree of critical skepticism, RPS’s articles on sexism generally don’t.

          • TCM says:

            Pretty sure that sexism in games is argued as perpetuating and normalizing a culture of sexism, not contributing to it and causing it. There is a difference.

          • choconutjoe says:

            “Our argument is almost always “don’t be dicks toward other people,” which is somehow controversial.”

            The controversy lies in defining what does or doesn’t count as being a dick to other people. It shouldn’t be so surprising that there’s room for disagreement there.

          • TCM says:

            Portraying women as sex object tear machines who are very vulnerable and get raped a lot is kind of dickish, don’t you think?

          • choconutjoe says:

            “Portraying women as sex object tear machines who are very vulnerable and get raped a lot is kind of dickish, don’t you think?

            Does this portrayal negatively affect the well-being of real people in any way?

            If the answer is yes, then yes it is dickish, and my argument to this point is validated.

            If the answer is no, then no, it isn’t dickish.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            You are comparing two different positions and getting yourself into a muddle. If the kid had killed himself after playing a video game that promoted suicide then that would fall within the idea that media images maintain and promote social attitudes (negative ones towards women in your example). The Mail would be right to raise this issue, media portrayal of self harm has been shown to be correlated with self harm incidence rates (with spikes in service admissions after a self harming storyline appeared on Hollyoaks). I hope that if a game was portraying suicide as cool or something then RPS would take a stand against it. The mail article is about nothing of the sort, it is saying that the kid killed himself after playing a violent videogame completely unrelated to suicide. As it happens the US army also accepts that warfare based games like MW can promote social attitudes and makes its own videogames as a recruitment tool.

            Essentially you are saying that blaming a computer game for directly causing someone to commit an act which is unrepresentative of the games content is the same thing as arguing that media representations can influence social attitudes.

            You are also using the old strawman argument that people who argue the media is influential are saying that the mechanism is one of monkey-see monkey-do. Nobody has ever argued that on the RPS staff, instead they make the well researched point that media imagery influences social attitudes. There is a bucket of literature to support this. I don’t think any nuns are going to be murdered because of Hitman, but it doesn’t exactly promote positive attitudes towards women to its mostly male fanbase.

          • choconutjoe says:

            “You are comparing two different positions and getting yourself into a muddle

            No. I’m trying to compress very complex arguments into a couple of paragraphs. I can assure you I’m not at all muddled.

            “Essentially you are saying that blaming a computer game for directly causing someone to commit an act which is unrepresentative of the games content is the same thing as arguing that media representations can influence social attitudes.

            No. I’m arguing that our opposition to both violence and sexism in games relates to how these things affect the behavior of real people. Thus, they are both empirical questions. A valid opposition to sexism in games does not rest entirely on the notion that sexist games are “offensive”, as Jim argued. You seem to be in agreement with me on this point.

            “You are also using the old strawman argument that people who argue the media is influential are saying that the mechanism is one of monkey-see monkey-do.”

            No. I never said anything like that. Nor have I opposed the notion that media is influential.

            “Nobody has ever argued that on the RPS staff, instead they make the well researched point that media imagery influences social attitudes.”

            No. Your claim directly contradicts Jim’s post that “I thought we were arguing that sexist themes in games were straight up offensive. We’re not saying that it makes players sexist and offensive, we are saying that it *is offensive*.

            Your recourse to a “bucket of literature” implies that you agree with me and disagree with Jim, that the issue of sexism in games is an empirical question of how these things influence real people in the real world, not of how offensive they are.

            I get that you’re trying to oppose sexism, as is Jim, and I’m totally down with that. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore Jim’s error, however good his intentions.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            That’s funny, because it comes across a lot like you’re saying that criticising sexism in gaming as having a broad negative influence on social attitudes towards women is the same as blaming a game that does not involve suicide for directly causing a players suicide.

            But it’s entirely possible that I don’t understand you, and judging from your last post you don’t seem to understand me very much. We should probably just give up on each other, it was never meant to work out.

          • choconutjoe says:


            I think the problem may be you have confused me with D3xter, or possibly somebody else you had an argument with one time.

      • smb says:

        I find it very troubling that you consider our asking for some equality in the representation of women in gaming to be “extremist” anything, and that you believe it “nonsense”.

        I find it troubling that you believe women are not capable of choosing whether or not they want to be a gamer, and that the population of gamers must be split equally by gender. More girls play with dolls and wear makeup than boys do, is that sexist? No, but it would be pretty extreme to suggest that these industries must restructure themselves in order to promote the dogmatic belief of “gender equality in all things!”

        Women generally prefer certain things, men generally prefer other certain things.

        Difference =/= Inequality

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Just because there are less women in gaming doesn’t make it ok to portray women in a sexist way or treat those fewer women in a sexist way. If anything, it adds bullying to the problem

        • Premium User Badge

          FhnuZoag says:

          I’m a man, and I don’t like sexist bullshit in my games.

          I want an end to creepy misogynist or even racist garbage in my games, because that makes for better games.

          And makes me feel like less of an arse for playing them, or talking about them.

  27. chewbaccasdad says:

    If you look at the comments on this story on the Daily Mail’s website, it is heartening that the commentariat there are generally mocking the Mail’s attempts to link this sad event to CoD.

    Also, Keith Vaz needs to do one. He’s an absolute cretin.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Also, Keith Vaz needs to do one. He’s an absolute cretin

      And a bribe-taking crook too, let’s not forget that.

  28. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I wish someone could explain why there is an anti-games agenda within politics. There is no evidence, yet politicians, semi-qualified personages and journalists KEEP going on about it like its truth. Why?

    • Brun says:

      To distract from real problems, mainly. It’s one of the oldest political tactics in the book.

      • sinister agent says:

        And ironically, when the book of political tactics was first written, all the politicians were falling over each other to condemn it.

        Fortunately that all came to an end when a reality-warping vortex opened up and consumed them, of course. And that’s why today we have deja vu.

    • Mattressi says:

      It’s more of a “blame” agenda. Politician’s jobs are to make laws. The public sees an issue (like the fact that people are, funnily enough, still committing suicide and murdering) and demands a solution. Politicians who don’t pass a ridiculous number of laws are seen to be not doing their job. So, all manner of things are blamed for all manner of issues, by politicians – this allows them to ban and restrict more things so that they will be re-elected. The newspapers are always in some political party’s back pocket (and most independent journalists still love to toe one party’s line), so they parrot the same crap.

      Games aren’t the only thing vilified and they won’t be the last. Notice that politician’s rarely revoke laws or make laws to unrestrict rights – and that people rarely want them to. Everything is solved by taking something from someone else…apparently.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Journalists neither need nor want evidence (look at MMR back a few years ago) All they want is sales, the truth is nowhere near as profitable as the debate. (There is a lovely section of hitchhikers guide to the galaxy that is rather relevant to this …. but it’s far too long to post)

    • RaveTurned says:

      In addition to some or all of the reasons above, games are an activity of the younger generations, while politicians in general have a tenancy to be older (“Old Men”, to use an RPS pet phrase). Also demographically speaking, older generations tend to be more engaged in the political process while young people are more disaffected by it. This means that the pastimes of the younger generations can be used as political scapegoats because the people using them as such have less fear that it will lose them votes from people that actually know anything about said pastimes.

      Solution – Gamers: take note of the people who do this shit and the people who take a more reasoned view, and when the elections come around get out there and vote for the latter, not the former.

      • Buzko says:

        See also: penny dreadfuls, opium, gin, rum, blues music, marijuana, jazz, rock music, comic books, role-playing games, violent movies, sexy movies, manga, the internet, etc, etc, etc.

        People fear for their children, and don’t like them having fun in ways that are new. Politicians and publishers exploit this fear. It’s all about the imaginary hobgoblins.

        • Groove says:

          In fairness, doing all those opiates was probably a bad idea.

          Fair point on the rest though.

  29. Sheng-ji says:

    This from the wonderful publication who attempted to bring back the Nazi slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” – Work sets you free, a slogan wrought in iron over the gates of concentration camps and apply it to the long term disabled (whose benefit is to help us maintain our wheelchairs etc and is in no way linked to whether we work or not, we claim jobseekers like everyone else if we are unemployed.)

  30. Lemming says:

    I know it’s hard, but ignoring it and not drawing attention to it might actually be the best way to deal with it:

    link to

    • frightlever says:

      Right, I’m swearing off the Daily Mail website. Back to traditional porn for me!

  31. Kal says:

    Thanks for writing this, John. This was an excellent piece, I enjoyed reading it, and moreover I think it’s important that this sort of behaviour gets called out in this way. This is Gaming Journalism.

  32. Zwebbie says:

    I’m always a little disappointed that, just as the Daily Mail overlooks more complex issues and jumps at the easiest victim, so too does RPS like to rage on its easiest victim, the Mail. Video games may have made social isolation a viable option for many teenagers, and discussing the potential dangers is worthy of a more balanced approach than just attributing concern or dislike of video games to the prejudiced, ill-informed and malicious only.

  33. Shooop says:

    It looks to me like your Daily Mail is the equivalent of our Fox News.

  34. Eddy9000 says:

    As a Clinical Psychologist who works in an adolescent self-harm and suicide service the really galling thing about this article is that it associates teenage suicide with computer gaming despite the fact that there is absolutely no scientific evidence linking the two. This diverts attention away from the real evidence based reasons that young people take their own lives, including abusive and neglectful parenting, educational pressures, cultural expectations and the turmoil and changes that mark the adolescent developmental stage. By diverting attention towards the bogeyman of gaming and away from these actual factors funding will be diverted which could be better spent on services and interventions which have been well evidenced to prevent suicide.

    Research investigating direct links between the media and violence are well trodden and proved fruitless. I’m too disciplined a scientist to assume that research between computer games and suicide will prove an equal dead end but hey, if the government is so concerned then they should commission some preliminary research; and if.when this shows no correlation then they should publish it and get back to funding interventions into the real reasons young people take their own lives and actually save some. For the expense of another pointless government enquiry I could employ at least a couple of mental health workers that I could guarantee through our outcome measures would prevent several deaths over a year.

    Meanwhile the Mail should stick to publishing the facts, because there are real factual reasons why adolescents kill themselves, many of which emerge between the lines of the article, and the public needs to be made aware of these rather than being led on a shock value goose chase to sell papers.

    And also doctors with no psychological training should stop pretending that they’re experts on everything to do with peoples lives, this is a personal bugbear of mine. I’ve got half a mind to turn up at the coroners tomorrow and start telling him how his cadavers died.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Could everyone read this before commenting please. This is the whole point!


    • gunny1993 says:

      This is exactly what is wrong with journalism (and in other cases the law system) in a lot of the 1st world, I mean the best parallel is the MMR scandal that happened a few years back. Thanks to Rupert Murdoch most of the media is now obsessed only with sales and exposing some celebrity, rather than actually looking into the issue with any kind of objective view.

      “I’m too disciplined a scientist to assume that research between computer games and suicide will prove an equal dead end”

      That is another point; when a scientist says “I cannot say we will not find a link in the future” The paper will imply that means the case is still a legitimate one, even if previous research has proved that logically there is next to no chance it will be true.

    • asshibbitty says:

      Irrational stuff demanding rational reaction, research on violent videogames to calm public hysteria, pedantic rebuttal of a tabloid article, time and energy better spent on more pressing issues. Too bad there are only two of them: game distribution methods and DRM.

  35. stupid_mcgee says:

    Solution: BAN EVERYTHING. You’re welcome.

    • Groove says:

      I’ll keep thanking you until the air in my seclusion bubble runs out.

  36. Valvarexart says:

    Shouldn’t the Daily Mail be in full support of Breivik? Oh right, Breivik was semitist…

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      To be fair to the Daily Mail they did try and blame Muslims for his terrorist attack until the evidence was overwhelming.

  37. frightlever says:

    Can we all at least agree, the Daily Mail website is a great place to view pop stars in bikinis.

    Also, Peter Hitchens makes me feel violent. Can we ban him?

    Also, also, every time something like this happens The Daily Mail reports on it. Is there a link? If we stop the Daily Mail reports, perhaps the tragedies will no longer occur. Worth a try.

    • smb says:

      That gigantic “Femail Today” sidebar really shows what their focus and demographic is: hot gossip for women.


      “What does our underwear reveal about us?”
      “Pregnant Drew Barrymore keeps it simple in a black sweatshirt and jeans as she edges nearer her due date”
      “You’re chasing pipe dreams, girls! Pro surfer Kelly Slater ignores bikini-clad groupies as he hits the waves in Malibu”

      People consider this a news site? This is tabloid journalism, nothing else. I like how even the news headlines are appropriately sized in order of their sensationalist “wow” factor.

      • LukeNukem says:

        The website uses all of the paper’s content and adds to it with popular fluff. Most ‘serious’ articles will have appeared in the physical paper also.

  38. Zaxwerks says:

    Yet another display of how the gutter press armed with no evidence whatsoever start eagerly profiteering off a poor boy’s death to create a news story and issues that don’t exist.

    Call of Duty 3 in the first FIVE DAYS of being released sold in excess of 11 million copies and held the top spot for games sales for the next 4 weeks, so we can draw from that that this single game sold WAY in excess of 20 million copies, and that’s not counting all the people that must have pirated it and not paid for a copy (estimated at at least 3.5 million people in only 1 month of it’s release).

    The chance of winning the national lottery are 1 in 14 million. So statistically speaking this boy would have been more likely to have killed himself due to depression about not winning the lottery after being bought a lottery ticket by his parents than he would have because of a silly computer game.

  39. Grape says:

    And while we absolutely endorse the sentiment that 18 certificated games should of course not be played by people under the age of 18…


    I see you’re one of *those* types, then.

    Fuck you.

    Fuck you, and everything you stand for.

    • SpakAttack says:

      I think you came in the wrong door. There’s the way out.

      • TCM says:

        I think RPS confused ‘should not be played’ with ‘should not be purchased’

        At the very least, I hope our esteemed newscrew get that it’s totally cool for a 15 or even 12 year old to play an M/18 game with the consent of their guardian.

        • Jackablade says:

          “Totally cool” meaning “legal” rather than “appropriate.”

          • TCM says:

            I played Metal Gear Solid at 14, and it had nothing to do with making me the bitter depressed shell of a human being I am today.

            Kidding aside, I’d say that this needs to be left up to the discretion of the parents. In an ideal world, people are capable of judging what they want to expose their children to without government interference, and kids are in turn capable of discerning what is and isn’t appropriate for them to view.

          • Delusibeta says:

            Do note that this is still a mainly UK based site, and supplying a video game (or film) to a person who is below the age rating on the box is illegal. Fines and P45s have been handed out over this.

          • TCM says:

            Yes, which is still an incredibly stupid thing that the government has no business getting itself involved in, but that’s neither here nor there — it’s an ideological difference between the UK and the US that is really pointless for me to even bring up.

          • Harlander says:

            I’d generally got the impression that the hivemind agrees with the “parents decide what’s appropriate for their children to consume” stance, TCM

            Tangentially: “Kids are capable of determining what is and isn’t appropriate for them to watch” – even for an ideal world this is a bit of a stretch

          • LionsPhil says:

            Delusibeta: Without doing any actual research (no time), I believe that applies to retail, not individuals, much like with alcohol. Effectively a way to try to make sure the parent/guardian is explicitly involved in the decision to let the child have access to the age-restricted thing.

      • Groove says:

        Er ineed.

        Children shouldn’t be playing 18 rated games?!? You…bastard? I guess? What?

    • bill says:

      “one of those types” = any sensible adult? I’m not sure I’d add John to that group. ;-)

      Bye Bye though.

  40. Lawful Evil says:

    That website “Kill or cure?” isn’t saying that “almost everything in the world causes and simultaneously prevents cancer”, and if you’ve looked at it for more than 1 second while scrolling down you would have seen it. It simply lists a heap of articles made by Daily Mail, and some articles say that something is causing/preventing cancer, while most of them actually are not contradictory, at least in comparison to those that are. That is far from your statement “almost everything …”.

    Also, I don’t think Daily Mail writes about those things (cancer) without at least some reliable sourcers to base their statements. They simply write about things that some researches somewhere have had studies that have shown a corelation (or sometimes causation) betwen 2 or more things. And many scientific studies are indeed contrary, but it doesn’t mean we should abandon their conclusions.

    EDIT: I feel the need to apologise for my statement where I implied that you haven’t spend for more than 1 second, because I obviously can’t prove it. That is all…

    • gunny1993 says:

      The Daily Mail very rarely list their sources properly, and when they do it is always from a non-peer reviewed (at least to a standard) online article.

    • iucounu says:

      Dude (or Dudette – I’m a liberal, dontchaknow), the Daily Mail runs these stories for two reasons.

      One: because – as everyone in the supermarket checkout tabloid industry has known for years – running a story about a possible cancer cure, however tenuous and only-works-on-rats it is, boosts sales.

      Two: because they get a lot of press releases which can, with minimal effort, be churned into column inches and website hits.

      If they were taking a rigorous approach to interpreting scientific research, this stuff wouldn’t make the editorial cut – the notability cut. Instead it gets the spotlight and as much positive spin as they can manage.

      If you want to see exactly the same cynical mechanisms at work, but in an even grosser form, pick up a copy of the Daily Express, the Daily Mail’s viler, noisier, emptier little brother.

      • Lawful Evil says:

        Of course they tend to make articles which will, despite being possibly weak with facts, atract attention and sales. That nonetheless doesn’t mean they shouldn’t bring those things in their papers: they are not serious scientific magazine, nor they need to be. They simply inform us about the results of some research, and don’t need to give us indepth review about it.

        I simply don’t find it tolerable that because they write contrary about the same thing (and, again, scientific results vary greatly), they need to be told to shut up. Sure, there is lots of possible manipulation involved with the facts they present, but we should then fight that differently, and not just point at some website which lists contrary articles as a “proof” of some newspaper’s wrongdoings.

        • LionsPhil says:

          They simply inform us about the results of some research

          If it’s not peer-reviewed, it’s not research.

          — LionsPhil, PhD

          • X_kot says:

            While I appreciate the spirit of your comment, it’s not technically accurate. Conference proceedings are not typically peer-reviewed, but they do represent a great deal of initial research that may become journal articles, books, etc.

          • Lawful Evil says:

            Do you want to say we should not even bother reading all those articles in non-specialized newspapers, due to the fact they’re not peer reviewed? That all that data they write is pointless and useless? And I’m being genuinely honest about these questions.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Pretty much, actually, in terms of editorial decisions! The peer review process is what we have to weed out the crackpots and the frauds. It’s a long way from perfect (academia is all a bit of a political circle-jerk, and the publishing side of it is such a crock that it makes EA et. al. look positively golden), but at least research presented at or published in an established conference or journal stands a chance of being actual repeatable, empirical science, whose claims tally with its findings. (There’ll be a ton of puff and spin on top, natch. You have to compete for journal space. The journal competes for subscriptions. By the time news gets to even “real” research, you need a lot of salt.)

            But if you’re going to give equal footing to every bloke who comes home from the pub and thinks he’s cracked perpetual motion in his garden shed, you might as well start publishing the completely unverified gossip from that said pub visit as the headline news, too—who needs Reuters?

            …oh, right. Daily Mail. That’ll be their made-up “EU ‘ELF AND SAYFTEE, YOU COULDN’T MAKE IT UP” content, then.

          • X_kot says:

            This is off topic but germane to part of Phil’s comment about academic publishing:

            Satire of Elsevier’s academic pub model

            I should note that I, too, am in this industry but with a non-profit that doesn’t actively screw the people it depends on.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            ” It’s a long way from perfect (academia is all a bit of a political circle-jerk, and the publishing side of it is such a crock that it makes EA et. al. look positively golden)”

            Oh you’re telling me. I swear there is some guy at the ‘Nature’ group whose sole job is to receive blowjobs for publication, after you’ve given the other guy a blow job to find out who he is. In the social sciences there is a lot of research that doesn’t get published becasue it falls outside the politics of accepted ideology however, so I don’t disregard the smaller journals.

          • LionsPhil says:

            @X_kot: Oh god, it burns.

        • iucounu says:

          Giving people false hope of a cancer cure by uncritically spinning a press release is an editorial decision, and it’s a sleazy one. Bad science journalism can cause real harm. I’m not specifically thinking of the Mail here because I can’t stomach going back through their archives, but there are precious few papers who haven’t indulged themselves in it; I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

          It’s fine to say ‘but a popular newspaper isn’t a scientific journal and shouldn’t be held to those standards’ – but they made a decision to mislead their readership for profit, and in preference to using those column inches for something else. They made a decision, they wrote their story, and they can be held to account for their choices.

  41. Maldomel says:

    I’m glad too see RPS is always countering such nonsensical accusations. As usual, games are evil, and no other problems are to be noted, or rather they can be quickly dismissed because games are there to take it all…

    I think this attitude will change in a few generations, when games will be as ‘respectable’ as movies and new stuff will have popped up for bad journalists to feed upon. In the meantime, we can only keep on saying that games are not dangerous, and do not turn people into bloodfrenzied/suicidal individuals.

    Also, I had A ton of jokes going on in my mind while reading this piece, and I almost feel bad (but only almost, cause you know games and all).

  42. captain nemo says:

    I’m sorry to say this, but the evil Daily Mail is one of the biggest on-line newspapers in the USA :
    link to

    If you’re interested, there is a great description of how this rag works in the book ‘Flat Earth News’ by Nick Davies. It’s referred to by an article by New Statesman here :
    link to

    • Delusibeta says:

      Considering how damn politically right-wing America is, it’s not too surprising that a politically right-wing news paper would be popular there. It must seem fair and balanced to them, or something…

      • TCM says:

        Huffington Post is, what, twice as popular on that graph?

        • Delusibeta says:

          Last I checked, it doesn’t have a physical version (granted, aforementioned physical version of the Mail is not available in America outside of shops that import newspapers, and I’d wager most would import the Financial Times, the vanilla Times and the Telegraph and Guardian at a press, instead of wasting shelf space on tabloids), so it’s not a newspaper site. News, yes; newspaper, no.

        • nootpingu86 says:

          Tangent of tangent here: Huffpo has very loose editorial standards and employs many unpaid bloggers and marketing shills. Not that it’s utterly terrible 100% of the time, but maintain a bit of skepticism. In fact, that goes for any source in the media like LionsPhil is taking pains to explain. There are times when I feel like certain news magazines have actually made me more simpleminded by reading them.

  43. NathaI3 says:

    I don’t really understand commentators saying this type of article doesn’t have a place on RPS. This type of article sets RPS apart from other gaming sites. Editorials like this show that a) the writers are actual people and not news-spouting robo journos, and b) that said people care passionately about the way our hobby is perceived by the world.

  44. SpakAttack says:

    Fucking Daily Mail. Someone should warn them about the weight of evidence proving that posting misleading stories on the internet leads to an increased chance of people using their rag as toilet paper.

  45. Ashbery76 says:

    When did RPS turn into a socialist worker affiliate?.This site is going down the pan with all this left wing nonsence.

    • zeekthegeek says:

      You’re right, damn those socialists asking for people not to lie about things.

    • gunny1993 says:

      I’m not sure you know what “left wing” means. To denounce an article that has the affect of damaging the industry that your job relies on is more center right than left.

      Attacking a right wing paper doesn’t make you left, it makes you an attacker of a right wing paper …. now back to the telegraph comment section with you.

      • TCM says:

        Yeah, pro political tip: You are not the party line. Just because you tend to agree with Group X about their economic policies doesn’t mean you should hate Group Y for their economic policies, or be totally cool with Group X’s foreign policies.

    • LostViking says:

      A gaming site that don’t think games cause suicides. Communists!


  46. dmadrfe says:

    This is why I read RPS, great article. I am happy that RPS takes a stand against this kind of things.More people should take a stand so this kind of thing does not happen anymore.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      I agree. It’s big and important sites like RPS who have to speak out against stuff like this. I’m glad that they do it.

  47. TCM says:

    I am moderate to right leaning by US standards (which probably makes me far right by UK standards), but this bull needs to be called out whenever it pops up, ever, regardless of who says it or what their motivations are for saying it. Good on you RPS.

  48. LostViking says:

    Video games always get the blame, regardless of how ridiculous it is. All time douche ABB planned his terror activities for 9 years, but apparently it was the fact that he played CoD and Wow that made him a killer (even though he himself admitted he just did it to relax). To prepare for his shooting spree he spent countless hours shooting real guns at a gun range, because as any person with an IQ above a squirrel he knew that playing video games doesn’t give you any real military experience.

    Video games took over after music and film, as the one media that would destroy our youth. Hopefully a new media will show up soon and video games will be left alone ;)

  49. int says:

    Just checked Daily Mail online, one headline reads:

    “Telephone salesman died after sex game in which he took bath salts drug while wearing gas mask and wellington boots”

  50. btiddles says:

    As a positive way that video games can actually help children, there’s a charity event happening in October for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation that provides services to sick children and their families in hospital.

    The event – The Sick Kids Save Point, individual 24hr gaming marathons – has been running for a few years and has been largely supported by Rockstar Games employees, other game devs and gamers in general. Together they’ve raised tens of thousands of pounds for the care of sick children.

    link to