In a move which has single-handedly brought the worldwide average respectability of journalists down by at least two points, the UK’s free Metro newspaper has run the complete non-story of a young Animal Crossing: Wild World player, whose mother has banned her from playing the game due the filth and depravity inherent to its makeup.
The girl’s mother has taken this action after everyone’s favourite cute and cuddly village simulator apparently used the phrase “f***ing cow”, unprovoked and completely without warning. Either oblivious to, or ignoring the fact that AC:WW is not only an online game, but also allows players to customise its lexis, the woman seemingly then felt the need to take the “news” to the Metro, who then ran it.
I despair, I really do. Not only does one look at the screenshot of the incident in the Metro‘s story make it plainly clear that the phrase in question was a a piece of user created dialogue (identified by its blue highlighting) but the fact that a national paper like the Metro saw this as newsworthy, rather than a blatent piece of stupidity or attention seeking, is thoroughly depressing.
Whether the phrase was the work of another player, a previous owner of a second hand copy, or the girl herself may never be known; but regardless of the explanation, the fact that this was printed at all is embarrassing to all concerned. While the Metro have been steadily building a reputation for slack-jawed sensationalism for quite some time, this is a step up even for them, and I can’t imagine the girl’s mother is going to be too impressed once she gets to the bottom of things either.
A bit of research, people … Seriously, it helps.