OPINION: What to do with ‘media bullshit’?

There are two ways you can react upon reading a typical gaming outcry in the mainstream media. You can cry foul. Or you can take the piss. Or maybe we should instead just plain ignore it?

We’ve had a discussion in the office this morning. My erstwhile editor-in-chief thinks that it’s imperative that we cover the growing furore surrounding this ridiculous ‘games cause sleeplessness nonsense’ that has been picked up on overnight.

We reported it yesterday, and since both The Sun and ITV’s breakfast show Daybreak have leapt upon it.

And I know full well that if we publish a follow up our readers will lap it up. But personally, and for want of a far more eloquent description, I’m simply sick of this sort of shit (perhaps ‘irresponsible’ would be a better word) reporting.

Don’t get me wrong. It fills me with delight to pen pieces such as this which gleefully tear apart the alarming amount of one-sided ignorance that dominates much games reporting in the press.

And let’s not be mistaken – this sleeplessness story is a stupid as they come. Games aren’t making kids sleepy. Parents’ inability to enforce discipline with their kids is. Gaming’s just the scapegoat. As it always is.

But at the same time we have to acknowledge that The Sun, The Daily Mail and many other media outlets (and I won’t completely absolve MCV from responsibility here) sometimes write things because they know other people will react to it, write about it and link to it.

It’s called the link economy.

Sometimes that reaction is positive and sometimes it’s negative. "Hey, look at this dumbass. LINK?". "Wow, this guy is spot on. LINK." Either way it’s a click and either way that’s an improved Google Analytics performance.

When The Sun publishes a piece like this it attracts two massive audiences. The elderly games-ignorant crowd who wish to indulge their moral outrage. And the games-literate younger crown who wish to indulge their moral outrage. That’s called a win win situation.

Except in the instance The Sun hasn’t published the piece online so I can’t link to it. Damn, what a shame. It’s in today’s edition, mind. Page 32. Available for just 25p in this neck of the woods.

Though personally I preferred the ‘Hooker’s NHS axe’ story on the bottom left column. Did you know that a nurse is set to be struck off after being found guilty of moonlighting as an escort? It’s political correctness gone mad. Ban this sick filth. Bleeding heart liberals. It’s all down to the lack of corporal punishment in schools. Back our boys. Bring back beheading. Immigrants killed my dog. With a stolen Chinese-made model of a mosque. With a bomb in it. Gays.

There you go. That’ll please the boss.

Until we open the pages of The Daily Mail tomorrow.

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