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Monkeythumbs's picture
Joined: 2007-11-29

It seems British tabloid rag The Daily Mail has fabricated some quotes for their anti-Buzz! article. In many UK gamer's opinion, the tabloid newspapers the Daily Mail & the Daily Express are the two major causes of FUD over video gaming, both as an art form and as a leisure hobby. Website PlayTM has the scoop:

[INDENT][SIZE=4][URL=http://play.tm/story/15486]Thompson rejects part in Buzz! controversy[/URL][/SIZE]

[INDENT]Daily Mail quote-confusion...

* by [URL=http://play.tm/author/Luke%20Guttridge]Luke Guttridge[/URL]
* 17 january 2008
[B]So-called 'anti-gaming' US lawyer Jack Thompson, who has engaged the likes of Rockstar in a number of high-profile lawsuits aimed at restricting the release of violent games like GTA, is apparently unhappy that Buzz! The Schools Quiz, could find its way into classrooms.[/B]

Speaking to the UK press, Thompson cast aspersions over Sony's motives in releasing these versions of the quiz specifically designed for teaching use in schools. "Videogames have hurt far more people than they have helped," Thompson railed in The Daily Mail. "I don't see how they can be of any more benefit than normal teaching."

"If you watch kids on a computer, most of them are just hitting keys or moving the mouse as fast as they can. It reminds me of rats running in a maze," chirped in education psychologist Jane Healy. Does she realise that 'Buzz!' is just a quiz game?

The new version of Buzz! has been released by developers Relentless and includes 5000 Key Stage 2 questions. The game is available now.

[B][I]Update:[/I][/B] Attorney Jack Thompson has contacted us this afternoon to deny having given the quotation above to The Mail. Indeed, the gaming campaigner has denied ever having heard of Buzz!, copying us in on a strongly worded email to The Daily Mail's editor on the subject:

"I was NEVER contacted by anyone at your paper about this story, and I never said or wrote the below," he wrote. "I don't think such a thing and thus would not have uttered it anywhere, anytime. Your writer lied about this, and he/she ought to be sacked for this utter fabrication."
what are your thoughts?[/INDENT]

The original article can be found below:

[INDENT][SIZE=4][URL=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?in_page_id=1965&in_article_id=507597]Row as PlayStation launches 'National Curriculum' quiz game for seven-year-olds[/URL][/SIZE]

[B]Sony is to begin selling a computer game aimed at children as young as seven.[/B]

It hopes the PlayStation multiple choice quiz game will be used in classrooms to teach the National Curriculum.

The £35 game, called Buzz! Schools edition, was developed with the Department for Children, Schools and Families and uses keypads that enable pupils to choose their answers.

Play is controlled by a teacher who can select which subjects are included and at which level.

There are more than 5,000 questions, all based on the National Curriculum. A virtual 'quizmaster' guides players though the game.

But critics have attacked Buzz!, claiming teachers should concentrate on traditional methods of educating children.

"Video games have hurt far more people than they have helped," said Jack Thompson, a US lawyer and campaigner against video games.

"I don't see how they can be of any more benefit than normal teaching."

Educational psychologist Jane Healy claimed computer games fuelled the development of children's "flight or fight" instincts rather than considered reasoning.

"If you watch kids on a computer, most of them are just hitting keys or moving the mouse as fast as they can. It reminds me of rats running in a maze," she told a Las Vegas conference.

A Children's Department spokesman today defended the use of technology in classrooms, which in recent years have seen the introduction of electronic whiteboards, online exams and even laptops for pupils.

"Technology has the power to transform teaching and learning — and engage unmotivated pupils and communicate complex ideas simply," he said.

"There are many ways in which teachers make learning engaging and entertaining — quizzes and games are a classic example.

"When combined with traditional teaching methods, they can be a fun way of making key facts and figures stick in the mind."

David Amor, creative director and co-founder of Relentless, which wrote Buzz!, said: "We're incredibly excited about this project.

"Using the buzzers and the quiz format means the game is instantly accessible and works on the basis that kids learn more when they're having fun.

"Learning games like this will, we hope, give teachers an extra tool in the classroom."

ConnectED, the company selling the game to schools, says it has received praise from teachers.

"We have trialled the game across the country and the response has been very good," said spokesman Mark Stimpfig.

"Computer games are already a big part of children's social landscapes and all we have done is re-purpose this game for Key Stage 2 by changing the questions.

"We have taken out the questions about Madonna and David Beckham and put in questions about everything from punctuation to history." [/INDENT]

Dennis, if you're reading, please could we get a news post about this on the main site? The tabloid media are the real threat to gaming in the UK and should be called out as such.


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