One of the men featured in BBC One’s Panorama investigation into the possible addictive qualities of video games has questioned the way in which the show represented his friend, Joe Staley.
The documentary claimed that Joe’s life went into freefall when he bought an Xbox, with Joe himself stating: “I just spend more and more time playing. I wouldn’t move from my bed, with my controller by my side. I couldn’t physically drag myself away from the game. I could go two or three days without sleep. That to me sounds like an addiction.”
Friend Trent Pyro, whose house was in fact the setting for Panorama’s piece about Joe after Joe’s father refused filming permission, was then quoted as saying that Joe “just eats, sleeps and eats games – it became his occupation”.
However, writing on This Is My Joystick, Pyro disputes Panorama’s editing of the piece.
“While it may seem to some that I was all for the cause that the BBC were creating, I was actually trying to inject some sanity into proceedings, all of which was cut,” he wrote. “While I do not think I was misrepresented, my comments were used well within context, it was obvious to me that much of what I had said was tactically cut as it did not support the theme of the piece.
“Firstly, Joe was thrown out of university because he was failing and he couldn’t afford to keep going. He did not drop out, as Addicted to Games explicitly tried to imply, because of playing games. He became disinterested and disenfranchised with his course and therefore had no drive to go.
“In his boredom, he began to play his Xbox more. So, his disinterest in university was a reason for his increase in gaming, not the other way around.
“Also worthy of note is that, while much of the money he spent to get him into the ‘crippling debt’, ATG was so happy to impress was in fact spent on games, the actual debt was more a result of Joe not being very good with money. The debt was more a result of Joe’s bad budgeting skills than an addiction to gaming.”