FoxNews Fear Mongering: Online Games May KILL You!

from the sensationalism-at-work dept

In a piece that with just a few tweaks could easily be from The Onion, FoxNews has written up a fear mongering article about online game players. It selectively picks out a few extreme cases where people who met via online worlds ended up doing something bad, and broadens that to suggest that online games like World of Warcraft are a threat that's only going to get worse. To be fair, the article does squeeze a few quick quotes in the middle from folks who point out that the premise is highly exaggerated, but it brushes them off and quickly goes back to fear mongering. It includes typical fear-inducing sensationalist statements like: "But some hook-ups have had deadly consequences" (you can practically hear the scary voiceover voice saying it). The article offers nothing in the way of proof that anything described in the article is a common occurrence, instead just offers scary words and conjecture not supported by facts: "You're going to see a lot more of these stories, unfortunately." Oh really? Then how come as these games have become more popular, violence has been dropping? How soon until we see Congress start looking into laws regulating online games?

Filed Under: fear mongering, foxnews, online games, violence
Companies: fox, news corp.


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  • identicon
    Erik, 10 Dec 2007 @ 3:24pm

    People who watch Fox News deserve every bit of fear mongered ignorance they are left with. They also deserve the nightmares about Brit Hume.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TheDock22, 10 Dec 2007 @ 3:24pm

    Fox

    The article offers nothing in the way of proof that anything described in the article is a common occurrence, instead just offers scary words and conjecture not supported by facts: "You're going to see a lot more of these stories, unfortunately."

    Well it IS "Fox News" after all, which is an oxymoron. They want to entertain you without those silly facts getting in the way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 3:24pm

    Want to hear a good joke?



    Fox News.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    claire rand, 10 Dec 2007 @ 3:32pm

    for a given value of 'true'

    well it is true, they *may* kill you, after all i'm sure eating too many won't do you any good. or if you sharpen the discs they are dangerous.

    see they are not lying at all...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 3:51pm

    Are you trying to tell me that 'The Onion' isn't a credible source?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Haywood, 10 Dec 2007 @ 3:59pm

    I thought it was: Faux News

    At least that is the conjecture on the street.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    B, 10 Dec 2007 @ 4:01pm

    Great Job Fox 'News'

    Although I don't like World of Warcraft, I'm going to have to defend it in this case.
    There are, what, 8 million+ people playing WoW? And of those 8 million people they found a few cases of violence. If you take a sample of people 8 million large of course you're going to find rapists, killers, pedophiles, and other strange people. And that's only counting the WoW fanbase, not all the other MMOs they added to the mix.
    It would be like finding someone with AIDs who is a murderer and then claim that AIDs makes people vicious murderers.
    Oh, and I like how they through a MySpace incident in the mix just to boil blood.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Overcast, 10 Dec 2007 @ 4:11pm

    I agree - compare percentages of WoW players who commit criminal acts.. as opposed to... well, let's say politicians?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DontDisMyGame, 10 Dec 2007 @ 4:11pm

    Masnick is the Sensationalizer

    I would be the first to jump on this bandwagon, but I read the article and I just don't agree. I think the author of the post has an axe to grind regarding games getting blamed for violence, and jumped a little too soon to lump this article in with others that really do blame gaming for the ills of the world. I only see here an article attempting to point out the fact that online communities do tend to lull people into letting their guard down, and in the end that can lead to tragedy. We just need to be aware (and make our families aware) that you can't trust someone you meet in an online community.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul`, 10 Dec 2007 @ 4:20pm

    It's Fox

    It's Fox 'News', of course everything that comes from them is sensationalist crap to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SH, 10 Dec 2007 @ 4:24pm

    Axes and grinding

    Sounds like the folks responding here are the ones with axes to grind. The article being referenced is a popcorn piece. You can find them on ANY news service, not just Fox. The reporter put some minor cooincidences together and created this article. It's not fearmongering, it's just a 'Hmmm, wonder where this is going' kind of thing. It never gives solid stats nor implies a growing trend. Some of the comments of the persons in the article are interesting and purely opinion, presented as such. All in all, this is just popcorn and reacting to it shows me more about the responders than the article does about any threat of MMORPG gamers.

    FYI, I play WoW regularly, but not compulsively. I also have a life so I can see both sides of it. I agree with the jist of the article, it bears watching but no serious scrutiny at this time. It's not prevalent enough. Lets see if the same is true 5-10 years from now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    B, 10 Dec 2007 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Axes and grinding

    "such Web sites have a unique environment that could be a breeding ground for criminal minds"

    Are you sure that article was that innocent?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alfred E. Neuman, 10 Dec 2007 @ 5:01pm

    Well, maybe

    if the games being played are the ones played by the Drew family.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Robert, 10 Dec 2007 @ 6:11pm

    Business

    Neil Cavuto and Fox Business News is going to have the owners of sites like www.GamerTex.com to be fair and balanced...

    Didn't there used to be a law about corporations like FoxNews?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kayla, 10 Dec 2007 @ 6:21pm

    For once the Faux news folk are right...

    but for the wrong games. Can anyone say Left Behind??? Don't forget the fact the military uses games and simulators for recruitment and training.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Just Me, 10 Dec 2007 @ 7:45pm

    Fear Mongering?

    I'm all for jumping on the band wagon to attack Fox News, and I am a WoW player so I was a little riled-up when I saw the headline...but I gotta say - this looks a little on the tumpred up side.

    Yes the Fox article is sensationalism, but that's getting to be expected everywhere.
    And to be honest the title of *this* article looks pretty sensationalist in itself.
    Fox = Online Game Meetings Sometimes End Tragically, but Phenomenon Remains Rare
    Techdirt = FoxNews Fear Mongering: Online Games May KILL You!

    I didn;t really get that message from the Fox article. They were *somewhat* suggestive, but I think I have to side with #16. Not much of a story here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    byte^me, 10 Dec 2007 @ 7:53pm

    Here we go again.....

    First, I have to disagree with all the people slamming Fox News. This is the era of tabloid news. It seems just about everybody who does news goes for whatever is sensational and will get people's attention. Fox News, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, even PBS, they all pull the same crap. Hard serious news doesn't matter.

    It's just the the recent shootings. You can't read anything about the shootings in Colorado without them making a connection to the incident in Omaha, eventhough there is no real connection between them. (Other than people were killed by those EVIL guns! Sheesh.....)

    That being said, this is just like back in the 80's when everyone was having a fit over people who played Dungeons and Dragons. Because a few people lost touch with reality and did bad things, the *GAME* was evil. Give me a break. It's just a game and so is WoW and EverQuest.

    Now go away and leave us alone or I might have to get medieval on your ass......

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trevlac, 10 Dec 2007 @ 10:32pm

    Fox news...

    Moar liek Faux News amirite?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob Jones, 11 Dec 2007 @ 4:35am

    Disappointed with Fox

    They clearly missed the actual story ... games won't kill you - thats nonsense that even BBC Panorama wouldn't touch.

    The actual story is they might be used by Terrorists, Mexicans or Gays to learn how to kill you in your sleep!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2007 @ 6:48am

    Please read TFM!

    Online Game Meetings Sometimes End Tragically, but Phenomenon Remains Rare

    OK... so just by reading the title I can see this is a bogus complaint... FOX and Newscorp are hardly perfect, but if that headline is considered fearmongering, then we are in big trouble...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Chronno S. Trigger, 11 Dec 2007 @ 7:20am

      Re: Please read TFM!

      To all the people trying to protect Fox

      "A 2-year-old girl nicknamed "Baby Grace" by detectives was found dead in October in a locked box in Texas — allegedly the victim of a beating murder at the hands of her stepfather and teenaged mother, who met playing the online fantasy game "World of Warcraft.""

      Read the F'n article. This is all out fear mongering. I'm not saying Fox is the only one, but I am saying that they are.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2007 @ 8:08am

    Sounds exactly like the technique used in Global Warming scare stories!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BTR1701, 11 Dec 2007 @ 10:06am

    Misleading

    I particularly enjoyed the slight of hand that Fox News played regarding the couple that killed their infant baby. First they state that these two degenerates met each other playing World of Warcraft, then they describe how they killed the kid, implying that the online game had something to do with the killing, when in fact the killing happened months later and had nothing to do with the video game or the internet. But since they met each other online, I guess that makes the internet responsible for their actions.

    I suppose that means if you meet someone online, then the internet is responsible for everything you do with that person for the rest of your life.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    chris (profile), 11 Dec 2007 @ 11:56am

    you lost me

    i read "fox news" in the title and stopped reading.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Suckers.., 11 Dec 2007 @ 5:54pm

    Ppl are stupid...

    Foxnews is the only credible mainstream news out there. Even hardcore liberals quietly admit that the majority of media cheers for the left - so if you believe otherwise you are simply a tool...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2007 @ 6:07pm

    So a media outlet that "cheers for the right" magically becomes credible?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Suckers, 11 Dec 2007 @ 7:20pm

    Ppl are stupid, I'm just lazy..

    Fox is neutral; it's the obvious liberal bias from other networks that skew reasoning.

    Which brings about the ridiculous comment by Anonymous Coward and snowballs to a misinformed clusterfudge which every liberal thereafter tries to keep alive in hopes that their misguided opinions aren't proven equally ridiculous..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2007 @ 8:42pm

    laughing at the fox apologist

    fun to watch ppl come out and defend fox news

    i particularly like these last couple claiming it's a cedible and netrual news source

    even the people working there wouldn't make that claim

    good stuff - keep trying guys, you may convince yourselves but absolutely no one else

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2007 @ 9:20pm

    laughing at the fox apologist

    ok i opologise but its still funny cedible and netrual news

    i particularly sometimes think before i type but not less often than brown

    i just picked a boogy and thats prettf funny evem mom things so its the same thing as this

    good stuff, vote to keep me in the jean pull..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek (profile), 4 Jan 2008 @ 8:56am

    It's obvious

    News reports radical stuff = people read = reporters keep their jobs

    How many of you read this because it labeled "World of Warcraft"? If it had not said that, a lot of people would not read it, cause its the same old bad news we get every day, and we cant read it all.

    By reading the article, you are playing into their hands and assuring that more articles like this are published.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jose Pedro, 16 Nov 2009 @ 5:26am

    To all Fox News bashers

    This could be a little exagerated article, but, who hates Fox News or are a atheist or a lousy democrat whom has the syndrom of Jihad denial, you all deserve the president you voted, good luck in you 24 series in reality with your country (Fox one more time predicting the future) =)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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