Panorama reporter "deliberately misrepresented game addict" in TV programme

   16/12/2010 at 09:47       Phil May       0 COMMENTS.
Source - Computer and Video Games
 - Games addiction, Panorama, Raphael Rowe, Joe Staley, Trent Pyro

Raphael Rowe's recent documentary on game addiction for BBC's Panorama current affairs programme deliberately misrepresented one of the participants, claims a friend who also took part in the programme.

The plight of Joe Staley was highlighted in the programme. Joe, a student, was reported to have quit university because of his addiction to gaming.

But according to Trent Pyro, who also took part in the programme alongside Joe, Rowe deliberately twisted and distorted Joe's story to make it better fit the theme of the programme's scaremongering on games addiction.

"Firstly, Joe was thrown out of university because he was failing and he couldn't afford to keep going," continued Trent. "He did not drop out because of playing games. He became disinterested and disenfranchised with his course and therefore had no drive to go on."

"While much of the money he spent to get him into the 'crippling debt' the programme was so happy to impress on viewers was in fact spent on games, the actual debt was more a result of Joe not being very good with money.

"Sure, he bought a few more games than he should have considering his budget, but I know of numerous occasions where he was confident he could afford the expenditure but in fact couldn't. So the debt was more a result of Joe's bad budgeting skills than an addiction to gaming," he added.

According to Pyro, the BBC cut the parts of the interview where he "injected some sanity into proceedings" in order to maintain "the mood and overall goal" of the documentary.

TIGA also claimed the programme deliberately cut material provided in order to shore up the games addiction argument.

If the BBC does this, imagine what ITV and Lorraine Kelly will do when they tackle the thorny subject early next year.

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