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Rickets, Gaming and Righteous Fury

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kingred 22nd January 2010, 16:01 Quote
oh god. its like reading research on a wonderful new material with little known properties apart from it doesnt like being hit with a hammer and proclaim it a cure for aids.

I think people should be more objective to the things they read, and point out the literary comedy gold moments through eyes unclouded.
Blademrk 22nd January 2010, 16:03 Quote
Answer: write a similar story to the metro's replacing blaming people staying in to "play computer games" to "read the Metro" :D
mjm25 22nd January 2010, 16:20 Quote
or you could write in and say there's a heady surge in racism every time an issue of the daily mail is published. at least that would be partially accurate.
Krikkit 22nd January 2010, 16:21 Quote
I'm very glad someone else has enjoyed Ben Goldacre's book, I usually avoid books of a similar type, especially about statistics, but the Mrs got a copy for xmas and insisted I give it a go. Having done a couple of statistics courses it's easy to see where the media and advertising companies get their ideas from, and why they pervert statistics so totally to arrive at the wrong conclusion.

Definitely a must-read for those even vaguely interested.
Hugo 22nd January 2010, 16:28 Quote
If you like the book, I recommend adding Ben Goldacre's blog (also called Bad Science) to your RSS reader of choice. As a real, bona fide, qualified doctor Goldacre does a good job of highlighting the poor representation of medicine in the media. He's also a charming guy to meet in person.
Abhorsen 22nd January 2010, 16:31 Quote
I read this too this morning and it brought on a serious case of WTF!?
Nexxo 22nd January 2010, 16:42 Quote
Well-written article. ;)

I wonder, by the way, how many outraged Metro, Daily Mail or Sun reading parents who think that "video games are teh evil" have bought a video games console or handheld for their kids this Christmas. I'll indulge in some scientifically and statistically unsubstantiated speculation that it will be quite a few. When you ask them (as I have done --at least my opinion is based in anecdote) why they are so critical of video games and then buy their kids one, they admit to doing it for a quiet life free from the kids' nagging (on that note, I also wonder how many of them have bought their little dote a TV for their own bedroom). So there you have it: ineffectual parenting is teh evil, not video games per se.

Of course I could also comment on how parents drive their kids to school rather than let them walk or cycle. Physical exercise begins at home; if children learn to ride in cars rather than to get on their feet/bike, then they are less likely to see physical exertion as a normal way of life. Or perhaps all those 4x4's should come with a sunroof as standard.
alpaca 22nd January 2010, 16:47 Quote
i absolutely agree with what you're saying, do not, DO NOT get me wrong.

but i feel this kind of article has no real place on the frontpage;
i have this little feeling this should have been a blogpost
bigsharn 22nd January 2010, 16:48 Quote
I read this and actually burst out laughing... I should really stop reading news articles in class :p
CardJoe 22nd January 2010, 16:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
i absolutely agree with what you're saying, do not, DO NOT get me wrong.

but i feel this kind of article has no real place on the frontpage;
i have this little feeling this should have been a blogpost

It was originally planned as that, but the length quickly reached a point where it would be too hard to read on the blog pages. The format there is so narrow that the article would have gone on forever. And we don't want people stuck inside reading our articles for too long. They might get rickets.
alpaca 22nd January 2010, 16:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
They might get rickets.

true:d i appologise
badders 22nd January 2010, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
And we don't want people stuck inside reading our articles for too long. They might get rickets.

Roffle!

The problem with the overabundance of this kind of journalism (the Metro, not you Joe) is that you end up taking everything with a pinch of salt and become a cynical old man. :(

Now I only believe things I read on the internet
stoff3r 22nd January 2010, 17:04 Quote
Good read. Cases like this appear from time to time, and I think it's because of ignorance and/or young journalists trying to get their name out there.

We had a similar case in my town recently, but it was about young people playing poker in "secret poker-clubs" (gambling with money is illegal here), and the journalist made these guys seem like hardcore criminals hiding from the police in an underground enviroment with illegal distribution of alcohole and whatnot. It was a long crime-story that appeared on the front-page, but the police said they didn't even assign any resourses fighting illegal gambling.
Ross1 22nd January 2010, 17:27 Quote
the ben goldacre book was far from perfect. he was often guilty of exactly the same things he was critical of... sometimes in the same paragraph. I still enjoyed it, it helped clarify a couple of things which i was already sceptical of. Secondly, i think you are right to question the integrity of the story, however is it necessary to take the 'press hates video games' tone? I found it just blunted what could have been a very sharp attack.
Kenny_McCormick 22nd January 2010, 17:30 Quote
WTF, seriously. They have better things to do than blaming games for everything (violence, drugs, rickets...). I bet my kidney that they buy a console to their kids so they don't get disturbed.
CardJoe 22nd January 2010, 17:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross1
the ben goldacre book was far from perfect. he was often guilty of exactly the same things he was critical of... sometimes in the same paragraph. I still enjoyed it, it helped clarify a couple of things which i was already sceptical of. Secondly, i think you are right to question the integrity of the story, however is it necessary to take the 'press hates video games' tone? I found it just blunted what could have been a very sharp attack.

Bludgeon, stab - who cares as long as they end up dead?

Maybe not necessary, but certainly it felt like an important and attached topic that was worth mentioning considering where the story appears and who is writing it
[ZiiP] NaloaC 22nd January 2010, 17:59 Quote
As a PhD student and scientist, I appreciate and applaud the article in showing it as the farce that it is. Goldacre's book is indeed an interesting read and would recommend it to many, especially those who view homeopathy and such nonsense as valid medical practices. The placebo effect is a powerful one, but one we do not understand fully and as such, there is no need to play on it and potentially endanger peoples lives.

The general populace will, no doubt, read the article and expect that in the next decade or so, that half the country will be suffering from Rickets. People have no common sense these days and rarely have the cop-on to open their eyes. Hell, most people these days cannot even spell properly and subjects are being dumbed down to "acceptable" levels.

Sorry, went off the track a bit there.

I had spotted the offending article in a few places today, but didn't look into it as I debunked it looking at the title.

However, there will be some who can "link" this to people who do spend almost every waking hour sat in front of a PC/console levelling up or doing marathon 17 hour sessions drinking milk, trying to get into MW2 and punching walls (sorry, had to, it was just too funny).

Solution; balanced diet. Done.
johnnyboy700 22nd January 2010, 18:17 Quote
I was told 25 years ago that the only thing the average journo is interested in is in getting a story, usually this means making sensationalist claims and/or repeating unfounded claims or stories just to get noticed. I see nothing has changed and probably never will.

Take a look at the tripe that gets published in the tabloids, they blatantly make up stories just to have something to print.
frontline 22nd January 2010, 18:39 Quote
I only read the Metro for the personal ads :)
Hugo 22nd January 2010, 19:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy700
Take a look at the tripe that gets published in the tabloids, they blatantly make up stories just to have something to print.

You should see the stuff bit-tech makes up. Apparently I was a teenage hand model (3rd paragraph from bottom).
LucusLoC 22nd January 2010, 20:40 Quote
THE MEDIA LIES?!? NO WAY! THEY ARE THE PINNACLE OF TRUTH!

. . . or not. to be honest i stopped paying attention to the MSM a long time ago. i do not think they ever get the science right. or the politics. or business. it is all lies and spin. as a journalist, if you do not link back to your source you are making an unfounded claim as far as i am concerned, and i do not trust your opinion. the only news articles i trust are linked back to their original source, and i will make my own judgment call on weather you are right or not.
Rocket_Knight64 22nd January 2010, 21:47 Quote
Its nothing new and uttery unsurprising TBH.

Earthquake? Braid did it! Just ask Jack Thompson, he knows his games.

I personally would like to see deliberately easily mis-interperated or mis-reporting of science in mainstream news made illegal and punishable. Just look at the ****storm MMR kicked up. That caused more suffering then the supposed risk could ever cause. Remember the first switch on of the LHC? All you ever heard about was how we are all going to die. God only knows what will happen when they fire up ITER.

Again, the crux of the matter is that people are stupid...

Interestingly the Daily Mail got caught with thier hands down thier pants not long ago:

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/01/why-is-the-news-media-comfortable-with-lying-about-science.ars
matt... 22nd January 2010, 22:15 Quote
as a science / business journalist its nice to see the misinformed articles that appear in the daily rags getting the bashing they truly deserve,

It is worth noting though that many journo's have no control over what happens to their articles once they submit them and while they may write something that is factual, those in the editorial team often decide that they need to sell more papers / advertising and so sex the stories up a bit....
Teq 22nd January 2010, 22:21 Quote
tbh I regard the Metro with the same disdain as the Sun, both are comics with a hint of factual content. The metro does have a pretty science double spread though ;)
Darkraven 22nd January 2010, 22:58 Quote
No offence meant to the Brits but is good to see the States does not have monopoly on poor journalism. Course what do I know, I'm a baby boomer and that means my mind was permanetly warped by listening to rock & roll .
Guess I'll wander off now and waste an hour on watching a cable show on how we should all live in total fear of the planet being destroyed or why they can't find bigfoot.
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