The Daily Mail Fabricates Quotes To Make Pro-Gaming Charity Appear Anti-Gaming
The British media is fairly obsessed lately with video games and their supposedly nefarious influence on the children. You’ll recall how recently, the Evening Standard uncritically reported a ridiculous statement by a police officer blaming the British riots on GTA and didn’t bother challenging the premise. But the UK tabloid rag The Daily Mail is especially notorious for its bizarre crusade against video games, a crusade which has now taken a decidedly absurd turn.
In an article bearing the hyperbolic headline “Stoned with tiredness: Generation of children are becoming zombies because of late-night gaming sessions, claims charity”, the mail quotes extensively from Robert Hart-Fletcher, head of the Kids and Media charity concerned with usage of digital media by children. Hart-Fletcher apparently has serious concerns about video games, and was reported by the Daily Mail to have expressed in reserved, but stark terms, how serious he believes the threat they pose to be.
“Gaming is a phenomenon that’s been around quite a while. Now we are starting to see the effects in behaviour of young people,” the Mail quotes him as saying. “In the past people had genuine relationships with empathy and compassion which has been replaced by this virtual relationship where they are not necessarily having to show empathy or compassion.
That’s starting perhaps to change the way they interact on a day to day basis.”
Naturally, we at GameFront believe these comments about the effect games have on people are ridiculous. But the opinion of someone who runs a charity working directly with children is a formidable one, and difficult to effectively refute. Or, it would be, if it were his actual opinion. As it turns out, the Daily Mail is lying. Hart-Fletcher never expressed such thoughts when he spoke to hem; not only that, he is actually a supporter of video games for kids.
Hart-Fletcher rebutted these fabrications while speaking to Beefjack. “Our stance is that gaming, being in constant contact with friends and playing with other gamers around the world, is good for most kids most of the time,” he said.”While people can over-use games or smartphones, they can over-use anything – and that’s no reflection of the value of the activity.” Hart-Fletcher provided Beefjack with an MP3 of his interview with the Mail proving he never uttered the words. They were apparently taken from statements made by one Paul Bowser (No relation to the scourge of the Mushroom kingdom).
The BBC, which posted an article about the matter based on the Daily Mail story, has since corrected that article. However, it remains unaltered on the Daily Mail site.
Via Computer and Videogames