When in the space of a week, games are linked to crack, obesity and knife crime, you can either just shrug and accept it, or get angry and have a bit of a rant. I tend to take the latter option.
Maybe the industry itself and the gaming community are the only ones that can see it. Games are games – another form of entertainment. Okay, so I murdered a hooker after a quick go on GTA once. Big deal – it was nothing to do with playing these ‘evil’ video games.
That is, of course, a joke (and a predictable one at that). The mundane reality is that sometimes, I have punched my keyboard after my Liverpool side have let in a last-minute goal on Football Manager. And I also get a bit tetchy when people walk past the TV just as I’m in the middle of a really tricky bit of Super Mario Galaxy.
These are not the actions of a game-crazed maniac. I have not become morbidly obese from playing games either; I have instead become borderline ‘huggable’ from living directly opposite – and frequently visiting – a Chinese takeaway.
Games are, at their very best, compulsive, absorbing and deeply satisfying experiences. But, if you’ll allow me to state the blindingly obvious, games can’t touch crack for that moreish feeling and adrenalin rush.
Just ask Amy Winehouse – if The Sun had caught her playing a quick game of Cooking Mama this week, they wouldn’t have bothered splashing that all over the cover.
When old prejudices die out and us games-savvy types inherit the earth, we’ll see these links to violence, obesity and chronic addiction disappear.
Although if Rockstar announce a new title called Cracked Out Burger Eating Knife Gangs next week, we might as well all give up.