Destructoid Zings GP Coverage; We Bite Back

GamePolitics came in for a bit of journalistic criticism the other day from Destructoid.

In a critique on game blog content, editor Jim Sterling writes:

One of the main arguments here is that we bloggers serve only to perpetuate the "games cause violence" mentality already held by many anti-videogame lobbyists out there… sometimes blogs go out of their way to essentially do FOX News’ job for it, making their own weak videogame connections so that the mainstream press doesn’t have to.


GamePolitics is guilty of this on a number of occasions… One example is GP’s "16-Year Old GTA IV Gamer Charged with Grisly S&M Murder of NYC Newsman" article. The story is that an emotionally disturbed individual responded to a dirty sex ad and killed a man. GP, however, does what a sensationalist news channel would do and focuses squarely on the unrelated and minor fact that he liked videogames. The original news post that he sources only briefly lists games among the killer’s hobbies — it does not blame games, nor have games been implicated in any way. GP made that implication, and helped perpetuate it, without any input from other media.

Jim is referring to this GP story from March 25th. George Weber, a radio reporter from New York, was allegedly murdering by John Katehis, a dysfunctional 16-year-old whom the 47-year-old Weber solicited via Craigslist for a sleazy drugs-and-rough-sex encounter that went badly awry.

I should point out that GamePolitics is far more involved with issues of video games and violence than most blogs because that supposed connection drives much of the political debate around games. That being the case, whenever there is a violent incident and games come in for a mention, we report it.

In the case at hand, GP didn’t invent the fact that the accused is a 16-year-old fan of violent video games. That information was reported by the mainstream media. I did do some extra digging – which I see as my job as a journalist – and found additional details on Katehis, including a picture of him holding up his copy of GTA IV.

Nowhere in the story do I write that GTA or any other game motivated the brutal murder. Nor did I, as Sterling writes, "focus squarely on the unrelated and minor fact that [Katehis] liked video games." Is the video game angle front and center in the story? Of course. If Katehis was not a gamer there would be no reason to mention the story on GamePolitics. But we also cited Katehis’s MySpace profile which seems to illustrate that he has other issues: 

I enjoy long conversations, drinking, bike riding, hanging out, roof hopping, hanging off trains, any type of Parkour exercise. Extreme violence (chaos, anarchy, etc.) Video Games, Violent Movies and listening to my ipod… I like to do crazy and wild things. I am like an adrenaline junkie. I’m a big risk taker and like to live life on the edge…

The story concludes with my comment: 

There are just so many dysfunctional pieces to this story, but video games will certainly be blamed in some quarters.

That line goes a long way to explaining this article and others like it. Whatever role you or I may think violent games played in the crime, there are others who will make such linkage. I prefer to get out in front and report the facts, not chase them later. And while the crime itself is lurid and sensational, GP’s coverage was strictly factual.

Perhaps Sterling’s criticism highlights an essential difference between GamePolitics and some other game news outlets. Here, my first commitment is to reporting the story, wherever it leads. I do not see my role as either promoting video games or shielding them from potentially bad news. That said, I enjoy Destructoid and have great respect for Jim Sterling. This response is not written in anger, but in the hope that it will spark debate on the topic.

Back atcha, Jim.

UPDATE: This must be "I love GamePolitics, but…" Day

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  1. Stealthguy says:

    Nuts as it is will that really stop someone like Jack from using it as fuel to his fire

  2. Thomas says:

    I agree, in fact I’ve been abit absent from the website because of GPs recent bias over certain issues.

    I understand, fully, that people feel strongly about things such as the japanese game, or the Fallujah developers talking to insurgents.. but I expect professionalism, and unbiased reporting, and if I don’t find it I’ll slot the reporter into the same place in my mind as FOX news reporters.. I’m also not happy to find people who should be promoting the developers right to put what they want in a game, attacking games because it offends their personal morales.

    "We never paid any heed to the ancient prophecies… Like fools we clung to the old hatreds, and fought as we had for generations"

  3. Mech says:

    I like the whole "I personally don’t think it’s newsworthy, hence you should know better and not have posted it in the first place." mentality of some of you people. Don’t like it, don’t read it. Careface.

  4. NovaBlack says:

    sorry i 100% do not agree.

    you think that by NOT saying rape is horrible, you instantly are saying that its great?

    um right..

    Thats like saying somebody can be found guilty of murder, unless they prove otherwise. It doesnt work like that sorry.

    Why cant the facts be reported without ANY opinion. Just literally ‘ this happened today at 12:08, mr X said ‘blah blah’ and Y responded with ‘blah blah’

    To suggest that it is required that someone denounce rape every time it is brought into conversation etc is ludicrous. Its inherently disgusting. To suggest that somebody who doesnt say ‘ps. rape is bad’ whenever it is mentioned is a supporter of rape is just nuts.


  5. Charax says:

    Every other media source I’ve seen reporting on the game can manage to restrain themselves from calling it "disgusting" in the opening sentence of a news post.

    Kotaku can manage to not pepper their news on it with value judgements or bias, where’s the uproar about that? At the risk of over-referencing the Gawker network, even freaking Jezebel manages to remain largely neutral in it’s coverage.

    So I’m calling BS on your hypothesis. Nobody (excepting possibly Zapp Brannigan and JT) is ever going to be up in arms about news being too neutral.

  6. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    Well, he has the PS3 version, so at least they can’t claim his mind was warped by seeing the digital penis in the "Lost and Damned" DLC.

  7. Ratros says:

    I’m not agreeing or arguing for or against anybody.  I’m just pointing out that its rare to find a site that will put both sides on controversal stories such as:

    A game about the war in Iraq

    A game that some find racist (though for obviously stupid reasons)


    Although I have often seen some comments of bias in some parts, I also see that it lists the facts and has a place for the users to comment on the bias comments and what not, and form their own opinions.  But mainly I’m just thinking to much on the subject.


    Also note that all news uses sensationlism and what not to get more people to read.  It’s part of being a good reporter.  Which would catch your eye. 

    Fire happens but nobody dies




    Raging inferno engulfs seven individuals

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  8. Ratros says:

    GP has been mentioned by several American news media outlets, is visted by a mentally unstable zealot, and is viewed by many others who have some form of power or outlet for certain groups (politically or otherwise) that are also viewed by several people. 

    Now lets say that he does NOT say that rape is horrible, or even defends the game in the least.  What do you think that these people would say?  Not only could this get the site shut down, but it would also be used as an example of all gamers (and you know a certain J something would do it).  Not saying that he doesn’t find the game reprehensible, but I’m just stating that saying ANYTHING otherswise or NOTHING at all could hurt Game Politics as a whole. 

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  9. Neeneko says:

    You know.. I had not thought about it, but you might be onto something there.  Even setting asside the aformentioned series of posts, GP does seem to be a bit more sensational/commentary/bias lately.

  10. NovaBlack says:

    yeah i understand that but..

    ‘Here, my first commitment is to reporting the story, where ever it leads. I do not see my role as either promoting video games or shielding them from potentially bad news’

    that statement simply does not ring true therefore based on the facts. Bias is bias. ie not reporting ‘the story’ but reporting ‘a biased view of the story’.

  11. thefremen says:

     Sounds more like a weird typo than improper word usage. Either way wasn’t trying to insult d-toid, just stating the facts as observed. Kotaku is the Maxim of game journalism, D-toid is the FHM, GP would be Men’s Health and BrainyGamer would be Wall Street Journal.


    Before NewsCorp bought WSG, that is.

  12. gamadaya says:

    GP and Dtoid are the sites I go to most. Jim doesn’t have a point have a point in this case(he frequently doesn’t). Of course GP reports on violent stories when videogames are involved, it has to. And I can’t think of any sensationalist violence stories. What I can think of though is plenty of sensationalist stories on Germany and Rapelay.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  13. Dragoon1376 says:

    I’m with DS on this.  Don’t put your blinders on simply because you like GP or view this site as being credible.  Mistakes that violate journalistic integrity do happen (though some may just consider them a flagrant disregard for integrity).  No site can be some paragon of journalistic ethics because they are run by people.

    First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

  14. JDKJ says:

    Man, it’s just like "rap beefs" are contrived to sell records. It’s all marketing bullshit. Behind the scenes, Tupac and Biggie loved each other!

  15. Stealthguy says:

    No shit indeed, I guess you’ll just have to ignore future articles like this one from now on. Does anyone have a filter button to give to stabbity?

  16. stabbity_info_addict says:

     No shit. They’re just giving each other publicity. AKA popularity. Hence popularity contest.

    Which is why I was trying to say that it isn’t newsworthy.

  17. Stealthguy says:

    Controversy generates hits, for all parties involved. Slow news day or not, it’s always nice to have more readers.

  18. Stealthguy says:

    Here’s an umbrella, just in case it looks like I’m foaming at the mouth.

    Comparing GP with Fox News is a bit of a low blow isn’t it? I mean sure, the odd article is perceived as being sensationalist but how many other articles on here arn’t? What’s the percentage? So just because GP happened to have a few in close proximity that people disagree with that gives others the right to target it for not following their standards? Hasn’t Dennis made it clear what he believes to be news worthy for HIS blog. You have every right to do what you want with your articles.

    Your comment, to me, seems to run parallel with an old complaint filed against some gaming blogs for covering Jack Thompson, claiming that by dropping him he would lose all credibility kinda like how by closing your eyes in front of the rabid dog it or you disappear. Ignoring possible links in a story might make them less obvious to the game hating critics but should he really ignore them out that possibility?

    You say nuff respekt but if you have a problem with how GP runs some of it’s stories why don’t you just become better than it and win away all it’s readers with your top notch content. There, I didn’t get any on you did I?

  19. JDKJ says:

    Much to their credit, Destructiod did break the video of Jack Thompson’s appearance before Judge Friedman. That right there, for the LOL factor alone, is worth 10 of GP’s best Thompson articles.

  20. stabbity_info_addict says:

     It seems to me that GP is living up to modern journalistic standards as best they can, which is admirable considering they are a blog. The bloggers or journalists, however they choose to think of themselves, are only following common practices in media. Find the story that relates to your audience, localize it, report on it. The fact that the audience doesn’t always interpret the message the way the sender intended is not surprising, and trained journalists will recognize that.

    There will always be people claiming that the news is biased or helping the problem. Because it is. There is no such thing as objective news because by catering to a certain part of a society, or any society for that matter, you are including many of those societies biases. Such as the link to bdsm which was made by multiple news sources when reporting that particular subject. We view it as taboo overall, and so that was a link easy to exploit, though since it was a definitive factor in the death they did have a duty to report it, so they did so according to their audience and biases. 

    Overall, GP does much better than many news blogs, and holds itself to high enough standards that complaints from other sites should really only be given attention if the site itself feels that there was, or may have been, truth in those comments. The link to video games was there. What point would there have been to them reporting on that story without mentioning the tie in to video games? 

    As Trajen stated earlier, this is not a popularity contest. My biggest complaint here is that it was turned into one by first reporting on it… seriously? Reporting on someone complaining about you? To me that says that there is either very little news today, or that someone feels very self important. I feel that the article in question is far more newsworthy than this "he said, but they said, but they implied and I interpreted" game. 

    The audience will always interpret the news according to their own biases, and how their mood is that particular moment. Add that to the established biases that come with reporting anything and any message can be interpreted as sensationalist and any message will become skewed. Yes, it is the responsibility of the audience to call them on it when they seem to be doing their job incorrectly, but I don’t feel it is the job of anyone involved to turn that into a whole new article unless there are prominent enough people involved that make it qualify as news. And granted, these people are prominent in some gaming communities, but should there really be a story done on someone else doing a story on your story?

  21. Michael Brooks says:

    Professional journalism aside, Kotaku is the sloppiest written piece of crap "professional" blog I have ever read. I mean, talk about needing a copy editor. Never read Destructoid though.

  22. Jim Sterling says:

    Surely you can do better than filth. A commenter on another site called us all "poltroons" today. You must do better to sound all intelligent when you’re looking down your nose at us worthless bloggers.

  23. dutch_gamer says:

    Dennis does jump the gone once in a while to try to find a video game angle even when there is none, yet I much rather have a different site calling him out on that, instead of Destructoid. And this especially when there is a comparison being made with Fox News. I think Destructoid is actually using this tactic far more than Gamepolitics ever has. The headlines on Destructoid are oftentimes lame attempts at trying to get the view count up. The main reason why Destructoid gets high view counts through Gametab is because of their sensationalists headlines. I used to think Kotaku and Joystig were bad but Destructoid almost never has an actual journalistic article worth reading. This is the reason why I simply think Destructoid can’t say much about others when they are far worse

  24. JDKJ says:

    This wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that GP groupies are all hotties and Dtoid groupies are all hags, would it, Mr. Sterling?


  25. DarkSaber says:

    Down fanboy, GP is far from a flawless epitome of unbiased journalism. (But for the most part does have well written, informative articles. There just seems to a touch of May Mayhem going around blogs I think.)


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  26. thefremen says:

     I think that you know you’ve made it when the other people in your field try to knock you down with cheap potshots and outright lies.


    Destructoid, Kotaku and all the rest of the filth which just act as a diversion for when /b/ is boring are just acting like B^U does with real comic artists.

  27. DarkSaber says:

    I agree, the small bias has become noticeably larger in recent months.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  28. DarkSaber says:

    He’s right, there’s been quite a bit of manufactured sensationalist creep going on lately.

    A prime exactly is the German POSSIBLE ban on paintball guns. In the original source, it said they MIGHT be banned, on the BBC source, it said they MIGHT be banned. On GP, it said they ARE banned.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  29. Charax says:

    GP’s bias seems to rear it’s ugly head whenever a story about a certain legally published 2006 Japanese game comes around. Those are the most prominent examples I can think of, anyway.

    I tend to treat GP like a tabloid – there will be bias, but where there is it’s easy to spot, and there’s some truth in the reporting anyway if you feel like digging for it.

  30. Michael Brooks says:

    GP’s stories will NEVER be completely unbiased, no matter what the author’s intention. He’s reporting on issues he feels strongly about and has a clear opinion about. He has that right completely, obviously, but it will never be a purely objective news site.

  31. Jim Sterling says:

    "For what it’s worth, Sterling’s often inflamitory articles aren’t overly popular with Dtoid users either. "

    I don’t think that’s a fair or true assessment. Most comments in my articles are actually very positive. I have a handful of haters, most of which follow me around in posts and repeat their grievances. They post a lot, but the numbers of people on Dtoid who don’t like me are actually rather small.

    As far as the subject matter goes, first of all I am thrilled GP rebuked me, as I’m a long time fan of the site and have always enjoyed chatting with Dennis. I’m glad he took my comments for what they were and that there’s been some interesting discourse with the readers. It’s good that a site’s readership can hold the editors accountable, which is something we pride ourselves on at Dtoid.

    For the record, and Dennis knows this, I have the utmost respect for GP and its ability to find a great story. It’s my personal opinion that GP sometimes tries too hard, but if it resonates with the readers, I can’t judge too harshly. There’s a reason GP is successful, and that I use it as a primary source for my own articles.

    Nuff respekt.

  32. Trajen says:

    I agree with Dennis. It’s better IMO to find all potential points of reference to make sure we’re educated about all the issues. This is a site about politics. If we’re blind-sided by a story when we’re trying to defend our love of gaming, it really hurts our posistion.

    Also, this isn’t a popularity contest. He posts the stories he feels he should. I read the sight everyday, but I don’t read all the articles because some don’t interest me. That’s perfectly fine. If he starts weighing every possible article against whether or not it’ll beloved by the community I’d bet the site would shut down before long.

    My two cents.

  33. Dan says:

    For what it’s worth, Sterling’s often inflamitory articles aren’t overly popular with Dtoid users either. But they do make you think.


    Me, I <3 Colette.


    —— Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

  34. NovaBlack says:

    ‘Here, my first commitment is to reporting the story, where ever it leads. I do not see my role as either promoting video games or shielding them from potentially bad news

    See up until a few months ago i would have agreed with that. GP is a top quality site. However there have been a number of stories lately (ive been particularly vocal about one particular recurring story) where it does feel as though the story has not been ‘reported’ purely on the facts, but seems absolutely rife with opinion and excessive focus on certain areas.

    The whole ‘i report, you decide‘ ( i think GP used words to that effect ) unbiased reporting concept behind the site seems to have taken a bit of a battering as of late, with a fair amount of un justified, unfounded (and frankly unecessary) comments added to ‘sex up’ a story.

  35. sortableturnip says:

    Two Blogs enter, One Blog leaves…

    Two Blogs enter, One Blog leaves…

    Two Blogs enter, One Blog leaves…

  36. GoodRobotUs says:

    They are so much more interesting 😉

    Besides, if there are two jobs to do, it’s always good to get the biggest one out of the way first.

  37. JDKJ says:

    Every morning, as I wade through my voluminous daily news, the first thing I do is separate the slander, lies, and gossip from the credible factual news . . . so I can read the slander, lies, and gossip first.

  38. Michael Brooks says:

    I’m not saying blogs are garbage. If anything, you supported my point. Reading blogs is like going to McD’s for news. The journalism industry has been finding out the hard way that people are not paying for news because they can get it for free on the net. The danger of the Internet is some people don’t know how to discern between slander, lies and gossip, and credible factual news.


  39. JDKJ says:

    That’s a rather stilted view of the self-interestedness of consumers, don’t you think? If that were really true, no one would bother getting in the drive-thru line at McDonald’s. They’d just head for the dumpster in the back. 

  40. Michael Brooks says:

    And to add, people will keep reading GP as long as they don’t have to pay for it. Because people are cheap.

  41. JDKJ says:

    I think we are on the same page. And my point is that those same mainstream journalistic standards you describe should apply with equal force to a blog . . . certainly a blog holding itself out as a credible source of news. I certainly apply them in considering whether any given blog deserves my continued eyeballing. 

  42. Michael Brooks says:

    I think we’re not on the same page here. I’m not complaining about the quality of GP’s writing. I don’t think anyone is. If they were, we would be discussing people not reading the blog. When I talk about standards, I mean journalistic standards: objectivity, fairness, timeliness, etc. It’s just not on the same level as a news organization, but people are still going to read it. It’s always a good read.

  43. JDKJ says:

    Isn’t there a market of sorts in that they all compete for our eyeballs (regardless of whether or not the eyeballs have to pay for the ability to eyeball)? Granted, as a matter of pure economics, a blog with zero readership may well be free to remain on the ‘net, but if ain’t no one reading it, who cares? Do trees falling in the forest make a sound, if no one’s there to hear them fall?  

  44. Michael Brooks says:

    I didn’t say they shouldn’t be. The fact is, by its very nature as a blog, it isn’t held to any standards. Blogs can’t be shaken out of a market, because there is no market. Readers don’t pay to read GP or any blog on the net. It’s not like anyone can say, "I’m canceling my subscription!" or "The quality of this news isn’t worth paying for!" I said that as a disclaimer. Doesn’t matter what I say, GP will still do what it does.

  45. GoodRobotUs says:

    True, but then, Jack is the only one of these crazies that he is in regular contact with, there are more out there, the simple fact that Jack actually gets politicians who are naive enough to listen to him is evidence that Jack isn’t alone in his beliefs.

  46. beemoh says:

     >Dennis is quite frequently accused of being part of a conspiracy for not reporting a story.

    Only ever by Jack, to be fair.


  47. GoodRobotUs says:

    Actually, Dennis is quite frequently accused of being part of a conspiracy for not reporting a story.

    As I said, sometimes, I think it’s over-done, but not always.

  48. ARP says:

    I highly doubt that anyone would suspect a conspiracy if Dennis failed to report this story.  And, yes, it is possible that some media outlets will blame video games.  However, I don’t think it should be Dennis’s responsibility to report on these stories and make those connections before anyone else does.  Again, I love the site, but I think Jim is right on this particular story.

  49. GoodRobotUs says:

    Exactly! Good analogy.

    Thing is, if someone commits a crime and it is known that among their hobbies is Video Games, then it’s almost a given that some will blame those Video Games, if their interests also include Gansta Rap, then, equally, there will be those who will try to blame it on that, really, it depends on the prejudices of the blamer. This can be quite clearly seen in Germany at the moment, where despite GP’s original focus on Video Games, it’s actually Airsoft and Paintball that are being the scapegoats, or the V-Tech shootings where the film ‘The Basketball Diaries’ took as much, if not more flak than Video Games did.

    Is it neccessary to report when someone like that is a Video Gamer, I think sometimes, yes, because you can be certain that if Dennis doesn’t report it, it will be seen as ‘a conspiracy to cover up the fact’ from some quarters. Of course that does raise the question of should Dennis rise to that bait, because by pre-emptively reporting, as can be seen from the Thompson example, it can still provide some people with fuel for the fire.

    It’s a no-win situation really.

  50. Neeneko says:

    I have a slightly differnt complaint about headlines like that story.

    Not only does it suggest a suggestion of linkage between games and the murder, but it does imply that bdsm has a hand in it,  which is a community that, like gamers, is kinda tired of sensational news articles linking it to murders.


  51. JDKJ says:

    @Michael Brooks:

    Why shouldn’t a news blog — and one which clearly holds aspirations of being though of as a legitimate source of news — be held to journalistic standards beyond those of it’s own making? Even in the market of new-age journalism, won’t the bullshit artistes eventually get shaken out from the market, as is true for all markets?

  52. E. Zachary Knight says:

    On the subject of gamer soldiers, GP only reports on those that the families of the soldiers specifically state tehy were gamers. In all the articles he has written about gamer soldiers, he links to the obituaries of the soldier where it is stated that gaming was a large part of their life. If the family felt as much, they ca nbe remembered as much.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  53. Michael Brooks says:

    I agree to a certain extent. I love the news I get on this blog: Jack Thompson’s antics, the stupidity of politicians, unfair media coverage, Jack Thompson’s antics, exposure of hypocrisy, Jack Thomspon’s antics …

    But GP sometimes goes way out of its way to connect issues to games.

    I don’t think GP made any implications about the murderer and GTAIV in the story itself. The issue comes with the headline: "16-Year Old GTA IV Gamer Charged with Grisly S&M Murder of NYC Newsman."

    In the headline, you specifically identify him as a gamer. But just because he happened to play GTAIV doesn’t mean he or anyone else would identify himself as such. Other news outlets may identify him as a student or by his job title, but once GP runs that kind of headline, it is linking games and murder, intentional or not. People may just read the headline and assume the worst. It would be different if you omitted the gamer reference in the headline, mentioned he happened to play GTAIV, and ask the question of whether this will come up in the investigation or prosecution. I don’t think it’s the place of a news organization, professional or not, to say "video games will certainly be blamed in some quarters" without anything to report on. People will still accuse you of making an issue out of nothing, but at least you are only reporting fact and not on your own thinking of the event.

    It’s the same with reporting on "gamer" soldiers who are killed in Iraq. Would they have identified themselves as gamers? I think they would like to be remembered for serving their country, not for the fact that they happened to like video games. That doesn’t make their sacrifice more or less important.

    Of course, being a blog, GP isn’t held to any higher journalistic standards except for the ones it imposes on itself. Welcome to new age journalism I guess.

  54. ARP says:

    I tend to agree with Jim on this one.  Jim, like myself, has the utmost respect for gamepolitics and really appreciates the quality of reporting on this website.  However, the relation to video games in the Katehis story was extremely tangential.  It’s almost as if you had Google alerts set to search for GTA and when a murder story popped up, you jumped on it.  That said, as Jim mentioned in his article, this site–like many other game-related blogs–largely appeals to those already deeply entrenched in the video game violence debate and the Katehis story is unlikely to change the opinion of any readers.

    Overall, I’m not a big fan of blogs illuminating links between video games and violence when none are readily apparent; however, I’m also aware that blogs–even one as widely read and highly respected as gamepolitics–are unlikely to significantly influence the larger debate by running stories similar to GP’s coverage of the Katehis murders.

  55. ChronoWraith says:

    While thoroughly enjoying GamePolitics for a long time, Jim does have somewhat of a point.  I’ve noticed it with some stories lately that they seem to be published only for the fact that the person involved had played or liked video games at one point, while the story itself had nothing really to do with the video game itself.  There was only a causal link, but the story was deserving enough to be published.

    I’m not going to say what should and should not be reported on, but I’d just like to note that some (not all) of the parallels that Jim is mentioning is worth being noted.  I just don’t want to see the unfortunate situation where you look back at the stories of GamePolitics only to see a large amount of "Gamer kills X People" or "Gamer Involved in X Situation" that begins to look like the stereotypical gamer portrayed in the public media.

  56. JDKJ says:

    Of course, GRU, the obvious analogy to your example is the copycat killer who bases his exploits on media coverage of the original killer’s exploits. Should the media not provide fuel to his fire by not covering the original killings?

  57. GoodRobotUs says:

    I think it’s always hard to know where to draw the line between reporting something because there is a real relevance, and reporting something because there is a possibility of relevance.

    For example, I am pretty much 99% certain that Jack Thompson has jumped onto a number of bandwagons only after reading them on GP, and then he’s done his usual and tried to turn rumour and gossip into fact, had GP not reported the possibility of relevance, would Thompson have been able to start trying to twist matters to suit his own agenda?

    So sometimes, yes, I agree that GP is capable of making it’s own controversies, but, that doesn’t mean that GP should stop reporting those things because someone might try to use them to their own advantage.

    Headlines are always a problem, it’s difficult to fit the meaning of the story into one sentence without it sounding ‘sensational’, because that’s exactly what a headline is supposed to be, though I will admit some concern sometimes with things like the Germany paintball ban which is not yet active, it is only being considered at this time, however, the headline made it sound like they had already been banned.

    I suppose, just as we demand that Politicians actually study the Video Game problem before making a comment, it’s useful if, in certain situations, the commentors take that self same advice and do a bit of research before blowing their gasket in the comments section 😉

  58. JDKJ says:

    Not that it neccessarily bears any relevance to this discussion but, for what it’s worth, I will point out that all niche media must tread that fine line between reporting on matters which only clearly fall within it’s niche and maintaining the interest of it’s readership. Sometimes, the former must suffer in pursuit of the latter. That’s just the nature of the biz. 

  59. beemoh says:

    I’m going to side with Jim, personally, but not for the same reason- the GP story in question is basically "Man kills another man, videogames may have outside chance of being implicated in near future, possibly."- not really news.

    I don’t think it’s strictly relevant to anything at all- GP or otherwise- until somebody actually starts to make the link- Fox, Jack, police or even the accused himself.

    This all being said, I think there are more important privacy and media-effects-on-court-cases issues to be looking at first- taking details off people’s social networking profiles is increasingly looked down on in the UK press, for one.


  60. Vake Xeacons says:

    If GP finds connections, you know others will too. We have to be ready for those attacks. And not printing info like this does not deter those strikes. Even when pundits cite GP, they will always have alternate sources, and looking the other way only leaves us vulnerable. He who shoots first, lives longest. You did the right thing, GP.

  61. cppcrusader says:

    Unfortunately Dennis, I think I have to agree with him to some degree.  There have been a number of stories in the past year or so that really feel more like sensational grabs for hits.  I seem to remember you used to rake the big news outlets across the coals for making a big deal out of discovering somebody who did something played games.  With that story you really did do the same thing.

    Honestly, is that the road you see GP going down, always reporting a story even when it just barely has anything to do with games?  If that’s the case then you may as well turn the site into a police blotter since gaming as hobby is so widespread that most people that would show up on it would have played games before.

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