More Daily Mail / videogame dumbassery

Check this out. Pretty tragic story, if true: a woman, recently widowed, neglects her young children and lets her pet dogs starve to death because she becomes utterly obsessed with a social network-based boardgame. It says a lot to me about loneliness and isolation and heartbreak and tragedy, and whilst that’s no excuse it’s saddening that this woman apparently had so little support from friends and family.

What’s chock full of fail, which will be obvious to most anyone who has ever played a videogame, is that the Daily Hate Mail have seen fit to include a screenshot of an entirely different game for their scaremongering. Apparently the cutesy graphics of the boardgame-style Small World weren’t enough so they’ve dropped in a screenshot from Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning instead. It has a scaaaaary ork warrior in it! They’ve even added a fake source URL to make it look more convincing.

This looks like deliberate obfuscation to me. Although I suspect the excuse will turn out to be that the screenshot was intended to illustrate, uh, some other addictive online fantasy games, but someone forgot to use the right caption, and the Photoshop guy just added the same URL to all the pictures, and damn man you can’t expect someone to keep these things organised when underpaid overworked journos are shitting out a dozen articles like this every morning.

I’m going to direct link to the image they use to see if they change or delete it any time soon. Mad skillz!

UPDATE: This gets even better. Apparently there is no online version of the Small World boardgame, and yesterday the same Mail article was reportedly accompanied by screenshots from this game – which as it’s also developed as a Facebook app seems much more likely to be the game in question. Of course, given that someone has retroactively altered the article so that it appears to be about two different games entirely, the truthfulness of the entire original story could be called into question.

UPDATE 2: Kieron Gillen at Rock, Paper, Shotgun has used his journalistic powers to investigate this issue and has pretty much gotten to the bottom of it, so head over to RPS if you would like to know more. I’m leaving my original post up, complete with my correct & incorrect assumptions (the original story was written by an agency and farmed out to the Mail rather than written by a Mail writer or contractor). Thanks to everyone who has linked over here, the resultant hit count has made a dull Monday morning marginally more exciting…

Oh yes, and the Mail have removed the image from their article at the request of Games Workshop’s legal team, although the image itself is still on their servers as indicated by its continued presence above. (If it gets replaced with a picture of a cock we’ll at least know that someone on the paper’s IT team has an internet-savvy sense of humour.)

Comments
7 Responses to “More Daily Mail / videogame dumbassery”
  1. I thought Small World was iPad only, with local multiplayer only? How are you supposed to play that online?

  2. Shaun CG says:

    Good spot – and on further investigation I wonder if the Mail have fucked up even more than I first thought. I reckon (assuming the basic story is true) that this Facebook game is the one in question: http://www.smallworlds.com/login.php?login=true

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