Three stories the Daily Mail could have run with

Last week the Daily Mail reported that 16 year old Jake Gallagher died of a heart attack while playing Sonic the Hedgehog on his Xbox. Jake suffered from undiagnosed Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome and it is thought that the excitement caused by the video game triggered the fatal attack. Jake’s mother used the exposure to highlight the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, and has called upon the government to make screening for the disease mandatory in young people.

The Daily Mail ran with the headline ‘Killed by a video game’.

Jake’s story is certainly one that needs telling, if only to highlight the danger of his condition, and the precautions parents can take to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. What it didn’t need was sensationalising, hijacking and moulding into something that would fit with the paper’s smear campaign against video games, violent or otherwise.

While it’s no great surprise that positive game-related stories have not been mentioned by the paper it is disconcerting that the general public’s perception of video games is still attached with negative connotations, despite a wealth of positives stories coming from the industry and its fans.  So, while the paper ran with the killed by a video game story, here are three other recent(ish) stories that went unreported by the Daily Mail.



Penn and Teller’s Desert Bus, dubbed the worst video game ever made, earned $1m for Childs Play, a children’s charity that donates consoles and games to children’s hospitals around the world. The Sega Genesis game was created by the magic pair in the mid-90s as a simulated driving game in which you steer a bus from Tucson to Las Vegas in real time. The trip lasts eight hours and if you veer from the road you fail and the arduous trip begins again.

In 2007 a group of enthusiasts obtained a copy of the rare game, and established a charity called Desert Bus for Hope, which took donations for every mile driven in the game. The first year the event took place, the charity raised $22,000, but it has grown dramatically since then, with the most recent event raising a whopping $443,630. In total the charity has raised £1m and the next mammoth journey is scheduled to commence on November 16th.

Desert Bus



Operation Supply Drop, a charity which donates video game ‘care packages’ to serving and injured US soldiers has recently delivered its latest box of goodies. Codename ‘Pixel Fireworks’, the package consisted of $30,000 worth of consoles, games and gear to those serving in Afghanistan and those currently at the Walter Reed National Military Hospital. The packages reached the troops for the 4th July celebrations.

Operation Supply Drop is run by Captain Stephen Machuga (retired) who served with the 82nd Airborne Division and 2nd Infantry Division, and accepts donations, both financial and physical, in order to dispatch as many of the console bundles as possible. In total the charity has raised and donated over $300,000 worth of gear and is busy planning its next dispatch.


A new study conducted by Arizona State University has revealed that parents can use video games to help raise their children, particularly as they are entering middle school. Professors Sinem Siyahhan and Elisabeth Hayes, who both carried out the research, claim that during this time children can retreat into games as they want to become more independent from their parents. Siyahhan and Hayes explained that the video game can become another channel of communication between parents and children, strengthening the relationship.

In light of the new research, the university has arranged an event to allow parents the opportunity to learn more about video games and the skills needed to play them. The event is called ‘Under-21 Intergenerational Game Play’ and will be held at the Phoenix Art Museum.







2 responses to “Three stories the Daily Mail could have run with”

  1. John Brown avatar
    John Brown

    the mistake we make is believing that the DM has any interest in reporting the News! DM Online is nothing, NOTHING, more than a click-bait advertising revenue generator, scouring DIGG for trending stories and creating inflammatory headlines to draw people in. The day there is a fair and balanced story I’ll buy a Microsoft Surface RT.. and use it!! 🙂

  2. Richard avatar

    I agree. Unfortunately that doesn’t diminish its influence. If you ever want to give yourself a sleepless night don’t think about world hunger, impending super-viruses or the AIDS epidemic in Africa, just look at the DMs circulation and hit numbers.

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