In perhaps the most extreme case of stupidity in the media’s history of game hating, British tabloid newspaper Daily Star has had to pay out ‘substantial’ damages to Rockstar Games in apology for an ‘exposé’ on a non-existent Grand Theft Auto title based on the recent murders of British killer Raoul Moat.
Supposedly entitled ‘Grand Theft Auto: Rothbury‘ after the small English town where the crimes were committed in July, Daily Star attacked Rockstar Games as “questionable idiots” who were exploiting other people’s misery for their own financial gain. What was their evidence? A Photoshopped package shot the author picked up in a forum.
Rockstar’s court victory comes after the newspaper issued a grovelling apology after the inaccuracies came to light, where it claimed it made “no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication.”
Even though Daily Star did not do the fact-checking they should have, they did manage to make the effort to grab a comment from a relative of one of Moat’s victims about the game. Err… what was that about “exploiting misery for financial gain”, eh?
Whether this case will encourage fairer reporting of the videogames industry remains to be seen, but it did yet again reveal just how ignorant some potentially influential people are to gaming, even after the age of the family-friendly Wii and DS.