“Video games can receive a harsh dressing down from most mainstream publications,” said Daily Mail Games writer Talal Musa. “We aim to show another side of them and what better way to reach out to people than the world’s largest website.”
That will be the same Daily Mail who linked Modern Warfare 3′s train crash scene to the London Underground bombings, a website who as of right now shove video games under the general banner of “Science” rather than “Entertainment”.
A search on the website for “Video game” reveals such horrific literary gems including “Babysitters kill girl, 7, with Mortal Kombat video game moves” and “French terrorist played violent video game Call of Duty before embarking on brutal killing spree of seven, says wife”.
One of their most recent articles, “Hiking, camping and… Call of Duty? Boy Scouts of America introduces new video game merit badge” begins with horrifically negative sentence “Forget the hiking and the camping – now Boy Scouts can earn a badge just by sitting around and playing video games.”
Just by sitting around and playing video games, their exact derisory words. Even the headline is misjudged, Call Of Duty is an 18 rated games, American Boy Scouts are aged 10 to 18 so only the very eldest could play the game.
Two paragraphs later they explain how the badge will be achieved:
“To earn the award, the scout must analyze different types of games; describe the play value, content, and theme. Finally, he must understand the significance of intellectual property as it relates to the game industry.”
Does any of that sound like just sitting around and playing video games? Not at all, Scouts are going to have to work hard to get the badge.
Just for good measure they decide to add in “The badge comes after a tumultuous few months for the Boy Scouts, who have been debating over whether to allow gay members.” They are not finished yet though, oh no. “In October, thousands of pages of secret documents known as the ‘perversion files’ reveal how sexual abuse of boys was covered up for decades.”
The Daily Mail have taken what should have been a positive story about gaming, a pastime they clearly still view as sitting about doing f*ck all, and dropped in mentions of gays and perverts in the next two sentences, subtly – but not explicitly – linking the three stories.
Update: Having been directed to this post via Twitter (and TSA community member, Adam Guest) The Daily Mail Games twitter account has responded saying that they understand this reaction and endeavour to deliver more regular and positive coverage.
It’s a very sensible, calm response from someone who seems to understand the situation and want to work to make things better and that’s an attitude that, despite any misgivings we have about the rest of the publication, we wholeheartedly support.