While reading the news yesterday, this headline caught my eye:
Being a longtime gamer and someone who is wary of the often misguided media sensationalism with regards to video games, I read the story with a careful eye.
The headline and the grandmother’s quote about the boy being killed “over a video game” are irresponsibly misleading, most likely incorrect, and say nothing about the actual root of the problem – which is the lack of responsibility in leaving a child alone with someone known to possibly be violent.
Unfortunately, a lot of people will see “video games” and “murder” in the same story like this and develop or allow their negative views of gaming to be reinforced. I realize that the source the highest of journalistic respectability, but it’s still extremely sloppy reporting.
The information that the young murdered boy was left in an apartment with an older man who, quotes from family imply, was known to
have behavioral problems, is buried way down in the article.
“He was a friend. I can’t believe this happened,” Carlos Juela said. “He doesn’t act right on the street but he always minded his manners in the house.”
If this 25-year old man had a violent or problematic history, what was he doing left alone with a child? Even bringing in the games is completely incidental, but the paper hypes and inflates the role such that one could be fooled, if not reading carefully, that gaming played some role. Also buried in the article — all the way at the bottom — is a positive quote about the child and how he loved his PlayStation. The article itself isn’t negative, but the headline irked me because it’s not only unnecessary, but misleading. Sometimes reporters don’t write the headlines for their pieces, so the fault may lie with the copywriters who might not have read the story in full.
My condolences to the family of little Anthony.