Metro "can't tell real world from fantasy"

Ben Parfitt

“Hardcore gamers become so immersed in virtual worlds that they turn to imaginary consoles to ‘zoom in’ to people in crowds or to pick things up from the floor.”

That’s the opening to today’s Metro games-bashing piece. What it means MCV can’t tell you. If you have any idea than please let us know.

Bettering yesterday’s awe-inspiring reportage, today’s piece carries the headline “Gamers ‘can’t tell real world from fantasy”.

It continues: “Some teenagers even confess that flashbacks from games can blot out real-life – and others admit to fantasising about running over and killing pedestrians.”

The source of this hard-hitting psychological insight? A Nottingham Trent University study, which claims that some gamers experience “games transfer phenomena”, which roughly translated means thinking about or doing things in real life that you’d be more likely to do in a video games.

Like chain sawing a Metro journalist with a Lancer.

Knowing Nottingham Trent and the report’s author Professor Mark Griffiths, the piece itself is likely hugely sensible. But there’s no stopping Metro from picking out the bits it’s interested in and fitting them to its narrative.

“One 15-year old named Simon admitted wanting to use a ‘gravity gun’ from half Life to fetch  something from the fridge.”

THE HORROR. It reminds us of the torment we experienced in our youth after all those hours failing to move the remote control with the Force. And that shatterer of dreams George Lucas still walks free.

“Another gamer, Milton, 19, said he dropped a sandwich after playing Prince of Persia: Sands of Time his finger ‘twitched’ as he tried to retrieve it with his console.”

Sorry, what?

“Linus, 19, said he thought he could use a search button in World of Warcraft when he tried to look for his older brother in a crowd.”

Of course, no Metro games article would be complete without a “points for killing” reference to Grand Theft Auto, and today’s fine diatribe duly delivers.

“The report said a few participants reported ‘criminal thoughts’ such as recreating Grand Theft Auto, which awards points for ‘wrecking things and killing people’ while they are driving.”

The worst piece of video games journalism ever penned? It’s an undoubted contender. This cries out for a new GMA category.


Tags: video games , metro , study

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So this morning's commute to work in a games store was hilarity; fuelled by this drivel. This age-old scapegoat is over-used and under-investigated and the guys at Trent deserve better press for their efforts to find out more. The people who have been interviewed for this article must be literally just a handful of thousands that were asked to participate in the study. The 'phenomena' may be an actual occurence, but the way the Metro have portrayed it is abominable. Not every gamer is as impressionable as those listed, or whether the quotations have been taken completely out of context, and paraphrased to fit, is a considerable possibility. I'd call myself a hardcore gamer. I play for at least 30 hours over the week. But i'm not currently trying to hack off the limbs of bikini clad hotties, or for that matter ANYONE. Each of these quotes I think may have had a prefix saying "Wouldn't it be nice if..." or "I wish i could have a..." but have been conveniently left out by the 'reporter' who wrote this. No wonder it is a free paper, they couldn't charge for this...

James Bain

Sep 21st 2011 at 12:55PM

0 0 in the world is this getting to press?

Metro's supposed to be the 'good' paper for games, being as they are GameCetnral's home after the demise of Teletext. You'd think this sort of story would at least be passed by them for some sort of tokenistic comment, or at least countered by GC themselves.

Even before it's sensationalist, it's poor organisation.

Mark Kelly

Sep 21st 2011 at 1:29PM

0 0