The Sun shoots itself in the foot, can’t blame games for it
Being a Liverpool fan, my hatred for UK rag, The Sun, is something that’s been ingrained in me for quite some time. Even without their history of lies and the recent Hillsborough revelations, though, I would still rate that publication as a classless, crass piece of shit that is a stain on the English media. Even just having to see some of their “headlines” on their website in research for this piece almost brings a little sick into the back my throat. The sooner Murdoch’s paper goes under, the better.
It was no surprise to me, then, to see them jump on the violent video-games bandwagon this last week in relation to the awful events at Sandy Hook.
“KILLER’S CALL OF DUTY OBSESSION” read The Sun’s frontpage headline. It didn’t matter that some of the rag’s quoted sources dismissed the game as a trigger; we all knew what The Sun was trying to do: sell their ailing paper with sensationalism rather than sound reporting and facts. The piece is littered with passive-aggressive statements towards games, labelling them ‘Bloodthirsty’ and such. I’m not going to delve too deeply into it as countless others already have, plus I’ve thrown in my tuppence on newspaper sensationalism in the past.
Weirdly, prior to this, The Sun has actually been trying to put together a regular gaming content section (though, mainly on their website). Despite the odd misstep (their bizarre and poorly reasoned rant on the Wii U, for example, which has since been removed?), I hear that it’s been going well; I’m just never going anywhere near it to find out.
Yet, I get this tip-off, and I just have to pen at least something about it. The Sun has chosen the evil and corrupting Call of Duty: Black Ops II as one of its 2012 Games of the Year.
WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK?!
In just these two actions, the paper has once again further devalued its own editorial direction after attacking the very people they’ve been trying to attract.
I can’t speak for those on the gaming team there and of course, I’d wager that they probably weren’t consulted on the insulting headline from earlier this week. Opinions will also always invariably differ within a team and, after all, our site is based on that fact alone; I don’t expect everyone there to be on exactly the same page.
As a publication, though, you can’t blame an entire medium with one hand, resorting to regressive, sensationalist headlines and then try to reward with the other and expect to maintain an interest in your “specialist” gaming section. It just doesn’t work that way. Eventually you’re only going to turn away an audience that you’ve been working hard to build up.
So Sun, please decide. Are you for games, or against them? Embrace our medium or stick to your trademark lies and pictures of tits. Personally, I’d rather you simply didn’t exist, but hey-ho, we can’t get everything we want for Christmas.
(Disclaimer: One of our own writers, Ray Willmott, contributes to The Sun’s Games Column. Just to be clear, this article is my opinion and not necessarily that of the other writers on this site.)