Professor Dispells Metro/Mail Article – “We Never Said That”

[drop2]Following on from yesterday’s rather odd Metro reporting, the free paper (and The Daily Mail) published another article this morning claiming that “gamers couldn’t tell real world from fantasy”.

The gaming community has, as was expected, been up in arms about this all day, but Spong have spoken to the author of the research the newspapers cited, and he’s hit back at the reports, saying they “obviously have an agenda.”


In a smart piece by Svend Joscelyne, Professor Mark Griffiths goes into detail about the paper, including the sample size (42 gamers) and the neutrality of the report, something that the Metro seemingly ignored.

“For one thing, we never said that in our paper,” the Professor said, “and for a second thing, the findings don’t even hint at that. The press release I put out yesterday regarding this study was completely neutral, not one negative thing in there.”

The Metro spouted about ‘games transfer phenomena’ – a catchy phrase that’s been passed around Twitter today, and – again – went on about Grand Theft Auto, which is still apparently about ‘wrecking things and killing people’.

“The Metro, they obviously had an agenda,” said Griffiths, “because all [the reporter] said was that he just wanted to know about the negative stuff. I told him that the paper was primarily positive, or at least neutral. He said ‘I don’t want to know about that, I want to know the negative stuff.’ So I just went through what we did, what we found and what we are doing next.”

For the full thing, we suggest reading the article on Spong, where you can also read the research paper.



  1. Well done Svend, showing that he’s a much better journalist than the guys at the newspapers in question.

  2. Wow! There we are, yet another example of how the dominant right-wing press in this country insists on being a negative institution rather than being a reputable one.

    • and how is any left-wing garbage any better?

      • Now now chaps, it’s not left vs right. It’s just the fact that good news doesn’t sell. If something shocks, it will.

      • I feel that the independant and its sister paper ‘i’ are, whilst leaning to the left fairly balanced, propaganda free, and agenda free.

        That is how.

  3. “I want to know the negative stuff”

    Says it all about tabloid jounalism really, doesn’t it?

    • yep, which is why news is never ever positive. Well the front pages anyway

    • What I don’t understand is why the professor didn’t just end the interview there, after all it’s a pretty big hint that the “reporter” is going to twist whatever he says..

      Also, regarding the trash that is the Metro, it’s a good lesson that just because something is free, doesn’t mean you should accept it.

      • That is a good point, he really should’ve seen this coming lol.

  4. These reporters really do bring the journalism industry down. They aren’t journalists. Now, Huw Edwards and John Simpson are proper journos.

  5. Anyone else spotted the fourth criteria for participant inclusion in the study (page 3 of the study)? I’m still looking…

  6. Reading through the report it all makes sense. If we plays games for a long time then they will have a temporary imprint upon our thoughts, much like, wait for it… films, books, comics, tv programmes, music, etc. Has anyone gone to the cinema, watched a Rocky films and then done a bit Rocky sparing down the street afterwards? Yup, me too.

    Turns out that it’s not just the more established media but, games too. Is it going to make me go and commit crime? Nope. Is it likely make me think that (after playing FIFA) I can play in the Premiership? Nope.

    So, nothing new there then. Just that it’s perhaps irresponsible to let minor plays games which are meant for an older audience… much like films, books, tv programmes and music.

    • Yeah I’ve just read through the whole paper – I’ve definitely experienced some form of GTP – imagining being able to climb buildings after playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed.

    • Well said.. +1

  7. I read this in the metro this morning (apparently Edinburgh metro is a day behind) I could believe how one sided it was until the last sentence, which said something like there still needs to be more testing and analysis.

    • You aren’t behind – This article is based on a story from this morning.

      The one yesterday was from a sensationalist headline blaming GTA for some unhinged dude killing people (after he said he was going to, got drunk & was given a gun – Go figure!).

  8. Looks like another paper that is no longer worthy to be used as toilet paper. I am outraged at the heading of the article in the pile of donkey shit. “gamers can’t tell the real world from fantasy” i am fucking pissed off by that statement. Most gamers if not all work for a living in the real world. Do they seriously believe that we think that by jumping into a loo that we will be transported to the mushroom kingdom or that we suddenly believe that we can do anything?

    That explains why i’m having trouble getting a job then as i can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fantasy!>:( what a pile of shit. I know i have sworn a bit in this comment but it pisses me off whenever something like this happens in the media.

    • potty mouth

      • Don’t be angry at him, it’s not his fault he still thinks he’s living in Bulletstorm..

        On another note, I agree entirely. This article is fucking disgusting.

  9. I’m still not happy about the term ‘gamers’ itself. You wouldn’t get a headline like “Readers unable to distinguish their own lives from books” or “Filmers can’t tell they’re not Jedi”.

  10. I read this article this morning and it actually made me laugh. One part actually said “grand theft auto where gamers score points for driving recklessly and killing civilians”. It made me laugh because I can’t ever remember any kind of point scoring system in grand theft auto. It was clearly written by somebody with an agenda against gaming but very little knowledge of it.

    • They all say similar things, it’s hilarious how little knowledge they have of the games they hate..

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