A story by the UK's Daily Mail newspaper and the BBC that tapped an expert claiming that games were turning children who played them in to the wee hours of the night in to zombies has been debunked. The expert cited in the story says that the quotes attributed to him were completely fabricated.
The Daily Mail and BBC reports quoted Robert Hart-Fletcher of charity Kids and Media. According to the reports he said:
"Gaming is a phenomenon that's been around quite a while. Now we are starting to see the effects in behaviour of young people "In the past people had genuine relationships with empathy and compassion which has been replaced by this virtual relationship where they are not necessarily having to show empathy or compassion. That's starting perhaps to change the way they interact on a day to day basis."
All well and good, but Hart-Fletcher says that he did not say those things to either publication. In fact he thinks gaming is a good thing.
He added that quotes attributed to him are "completely fabricated."
"Our stance is that gaming, being in constant contact with friends and playing with other gamers around the world, is good for most kids most of the time," Mr. Hart-Fletcher told BeefJack. "While people can over-use games or smartphones, they can over-use anything – and that's no reflection of the value of the activity."
Hart-Fletcher provided an MP3 file of the interview to prove that the comments were taken out of context or completely fabricated.
The BBC has since corrected its story, while The Daily Mail story remains the same…