SMARTER BY PLAYSTATION
Despite carrying the headline "Murder By Playstation" after the tragic murder of 14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah two years ago, don't expect the same prominence from the Daily Mail given to the results of a two year study into the effects of video games on children.
It just doesn't make good headlines.
The fact that after two years of tests and research, including results from studies in the US, it appears that video games, even violent ones, are good for kids.
While parents are quite rightly being encouraged to keep an eye on the stuff their kids are seeing (just as they should for DVDs, TV, and the kind of crap spewed out by the Daily Mail), that is about it really.
I played Manhunt - the game blamed for Stefan's death - and it's a fucking sick snuff game.
But the Mail's campaign even ignored the fact that you score points by turning your murders into movies - something that didn't happen when Stefan was killed by a mate who went bonkers.
I'm not very good at Playstation games and I get bored easily, but I played it for a while. I haven't been stringing people up and filming them while I cut their heads off. Not unless my sleepwalking has livened up a bit, but I'm sure I would have noticed the mess.
In fact, the study says playing video games helps kids with decision making, gain confidence in their individual identity, and, generally, improves their development.
But will we see "SMARTER BY PLAYSTATION" over the front page of newspapers today or tomorrow?
I doubt it
Don't get me wrong, most Playstation addicts should get out more, and if I had kids I wouldn't want them watching this kind of crap. Some games are clearly inappropriate for kids - just like some movies are.
But players are probably less likely to commit murder or carry a knife than the ones that don't. Just like Monopoly is unlikely turn you into a property owning tycoon, Manhunt, and other games, just don't turn kids into psychos.
So relax if your kid is really good at blowing apart zombies in his favourite game. Just like playing cowboys and indians, or war games, or even bleedin' Dungeons and Dragons, he knows it's only a game.
Maybe it's time, as adults, we realised that too.