The Daily Star is at it again. Not content with using the grief of a recently bereaved grandmother to satisfy their hunger for games-related controversy, they’ve searched out Steve Pope (remember, the psychotherapist who compared playing games to snorting charlie?) for a couple of vague soundbites that misguidedly allude to the non-fact that video games are bad for, well, everything. I really wish they’d let Jerry Lawton write all of their anti-entertainment stuff, I’m losing track of who I think is an idiot.
The daily “newspaper” has managed to conjure up a story implying that some premier league footballers are letting their game suffer because they’re spending too much time playing video games. Look, here’s their quote:
FOOTBALL stars are so addicted to video games they are wrecking their performances, it was claimed. They stay up into the early hours playing the night before important matches.
The “newspaper” makes no indication of who “it was claimed” by but it’s a reasonable assumption that it was the country’s leading cocaine-expert Mr. Pope. Here’s another quote from the “article” that the Daily Star have published:
Joe Cole, 28, David James, 40, and Cesc Fabregas, 23, have admitted in the past to spending hours glued to their consoles.
So that’s one of the most talented and exciting English midfielders in recent years, the Premiership’s best English goalkeeper of the past four or five years and a World Cup winning Spanish playmaker widely considered to be one of the best passers of the ball in the world. They really should put those DualShock 3’s down and practice a bit more shouldn’t they? But hold on, the Daily Star might have a new lawyer because the very next paragraph in their “article” reads like a legal disclaimer on a story that everyone involved with knows is an utter fabrication:
But there is no indication they are among those receiving help or that their game has suffered.
“…no indication”. Right, Daily Star, I’ve been sitting on this little piece of advice for a while now because I yearn to believe that since you claim to be a newspaper (and you’ve got people in your offices that actually went to school and probably have one or two journalism degrees between them) you might know better than I do. I realise now that my desperate desire for you to be a real source of journalism is to be forever unfulfilled so I’ll point something out to you without fear of being intellectually outclassed by your team of crack story-inventors: If there’s “no indication” then it’s probably not worth writing a story about it. Since “no indication” esentially means that there is absolutely nothing to substantiate the claims that you’re making then perhaps those claims are best left un-made?
For example, I could claim – right now – that the Daily Star “journalists” write all their stories with a green biro on the discarded banana skins from the gorilla enclosures of China’s national zoos. I have no indication that those claims are true but all I’m saying is, your newsroom might smell faintly of bananas. Allegedly.*
It’s not really a proper news story though, is it? There’s no evidence, no proof. No substantiation and not even an explicit source. So it would seem that it’s nothing but a charming little hate-inciting story that you’ve made up to further your own bigotry about video games.
Incidentally, if any of the “journalists” at the Daily Star want to contact me for more soundbites concerning the green-biro-banana-skin scoop I’ve just given you then feel free, my email address is on the staff page.
*for the record, because we’re not as dishonest as it appears the Daily Star are, I completely made up the tale about green biros and banana skins for a laugh. It is not, to the best of my knowledge, true. We should probably send someone to check though.