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Daily Mail 'fabricated' anti-games article

Charity worker calls foul on 'games turning kids into zombies' story

Several news outlets including the Daily Mail and BBC have been accused of "fabricating" an article claiming games are turning children into "zombies".

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In its article headlined 'Stoned with tiredness: Generation of children are becoming zombies because of late-night gaming sessions, claims charity', the Mail states games such as FIFA 12 have caused a generation of children to become "living zombies".

Both the Mail - which often pushes an anti-gaming agenda - and the BBC quoted Robert Hart-Fletcher of charity Kids and Media as saying: "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"In the past people had genuine relationships with empathy and compassion which has been replaced by this virtual relationship where they are not necessarily having to show empathy or compassion.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."

However, Hart-Fletcher has come out to claim the quotes attributed to him in the articles are 'completely fabricated', and that he's in fact a proponent of gaming for children, provided they're suitable and played in moderation.

"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."

Mr. Hart-Fletcher supposedly provided an MP3 file of the interview to prove the comments are indeed erroneous.

The BBC has since amended its story to "clear" up the comments, while the Mail story - complete with picture of man dressed as a zombie - is still live.

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