DarkZero Staff Discussion #12

Most of the general media have video game stories on a daily bases. Most stories air on the bad side of the video game industry, with the now infamous “MURDER BY PLAYSTATION” story a worldwide talking point. Do the papers deliver a just view of the games industry? Here are our staff’s thoughts


They are in it to sell papers, and for that they need dramatic headlines such as “Puzzle Bobble Boy goes bananas” or suchlike. I don’t actually think they are in the least bit interested in the facts of the matter, a good headline wouldn’t sell. Still, they do have a point when talking about parents allowing 12 year olds to play GTA, parents need to get a grip and take some responsibility.


Its all about sensationalism, which sells newspapers.

I’ve read many of these stories, and not one of them has had any kind of supporting evidence, just tenuous links, hearsay and conjecture. At no time has The Mail or any other ‘paper’ called for an investigation into this.

Journalists are supposed to find out the truth behind the story – they never attempt to do so in this area. Why? Because they don’t really care.

I have never heard of The Times or any other ‘proper’ newspapers running stories like this. These guys are professional, so if they believed there was a hidden menace in society waiting to entrap millions of children, don’t you think they would have investigated it? Either they have, and found nothing, or they realise its just a load of rubbish spouted by the gutter press.

I know a guy on a games magazine who was contacted by the Daily Mail after 9/11. They wanted to speak to him about Microsoft Flight Simulator, to see if terrorists really could learn to fly planes on it. When he pointed out that as realistic as it was there was no way in hell they could do this, they quoted him saying it was “realistic”.

the papers blame the games and always miss out the fact that it is the parents who should be responsible for what the kids do.

Games keep the kids up late at night? The parents should stop them from playing so late.

Games stop kids from doing their homework which ruins their studies? How is this for a phrase – “No PlayStation until you have done your homework”. That is actually an incentive for better study, and better grades.

All of these debates and unfounded horror stories come down to one thing, that is always ignored.

PlayStation is not a babysitter. Parents should not treat it like one.

When I have kids, sure I will let them play games – and I will be playing with them, not ignoring them. Hopefully it will be something we have in common, not something to keep them out of my hair.


Papers only do these stories to sell papers quite frankly. What gives more attention on a relatively drab day some story about the Queen, or the fact some kid has brutally murdered his whole family with a toothpick because of a game?*

Personally, i think the whole business of condemning violent games is wrong. If you publicize a violent game, but writing about it in every newspaper – its only gonna’ hype it up. You don’t need an economist to tell you it’ll sell more.

Also, when you turn 18, do you magically develop the skills to play an 18 rated game? No. Its all about maturity.


Most off it is negative, but my missus told me of a couple of stories in the Sun recently with a more positive spin. They were ‘Surgeons who play video games make less mistakes in surgery’ and ‘Video games help improve your IQ’. That sort of thing makes a nice change from all the ‘murder by Playstation’ crap but these sort of things tend to be buried pretty much and only single column articles on page 20 unfortunately.