|British tabloid and BBC "completely fabricate" anti-videogame story|
|Posted: 31.01.2012 06:03 by||Comments: 12|
British tabloid The Daily Mail and the BBC have apparently invented anti-videogame quotes by a prominent children's charity director. Robert Hart-Fletcher of the Kids and Media charity is accusing both news sources of outright fabricating statements he allegedly made in an interview.
Hart-Fletcher, according to The Daily Mail and BBC, told them, "Gaming is a phenomenon that's been around quite a while. Now we are starting to see the effects in behaviour of young people.
"In the past people had genuine relationships with empathy and compassion which has been replaced by this virtual relationship where they are not necessarily having to show empathy or compassion.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."
The Daily Mail ran with the , with a provocative headline reading, "'Stoned With Tiredness: Generation of children are becoming zombies because of late-night gaming sessions, claims charity." The BBC's trumpeted, "Devon youngsters 'stoned' after gaming."
However, Hart-Fletcher denies he ever uttered those words, with an MP3 file as his proof. "Our stance is that gaming, being in constant contact with friends and playing with other gamers around the world, is good for most kids most of the time," Mr. Hart-Fletcher told videogame news site in a followup interview. "While people can over-use games or smartphones, they can over-use anything - and that's no reflection of the value of the activity."
While the BBC has since altered its story in response with the disclaimer, "This story has been amended to make clear that comments initially attributed to another source were actually made by Paul Bowser", The Daily Mail's story remains unchanged. Considering the tabloid's history, it's unlikely to do so.