Everyone has played a video game, whether it be a first person shooter on a console, or an addictive mobile game for on-the-go fun. With the addition of multiplayer in the last decade, people all over the world can now be together on a screen. This however, scares people. Most of this fear is somewhat warranted, but the news usually makes claims with little evidence about why certain video games are bad.
News stories try to understand what video games are, how they work, and what people can do with them. But most of the time, a simple Google search of the name of the video game doesn’t help someone get an understanding of these games. In 2009, a news station reported on how Animal Crossing: City Folk could be used by pedophiles to get in contact with children, and during this, they said a NPC (a non-playable character) could be a pedophile. This shows how much these news stations know what they are talking about, and the amount of research they do is miniscule.
When talking about a topic the news is not familiar with, it would be obvious that they would go and research what the game’s about, what people can do on it, and how the game works. But mistakes like this and many more show that large news companies don’t bother to do much research into the game they are covering, and in turn make a fool of themselves on the air.
Targeting specific video games also won’t solve the issue of predators online. This will only make parents focus specifically on hating on a singular game. Instead we should focus on the internet as a whole, because then we would have one thing targeting the entire problem, instead of smaller reports on basically the same thing. Also omission from games is not the only thing you can do.
Many of these news reports act as if the only solution to this problem is for kids to simply not play video games, but this is not the case. Children should be taught what to do on the internet, instead of just having the parents try and filter all of the info they are taking in. Parents should also do their job and watch their kids. They should look over their shoulders often and ask what they are doing, and not just leave them on the vast expanse of the internet without any guidance.
A lot of big news stations need to start doing research on what games they are covering, and also be more broad with their topics because this is the information parents will then force onto their children, and they will end up living off of over exaggerated information. If parents are misinformed on something as big as the internet, it may send the child on a whirlwind of lies and sheltering for the next 18 years.