Gamers are no stranger to the mass media painting a horribly inaccurate picture of their pastimes. While things have improved slightly since the Jack Thompson era and the Mass Effect sex scandal days, it seems that traditional reporters still have a lot to learn.
Fox's KDVR of Denver, Colorado today ran this news report in video form as well as a transcribed version on its website.
The story, which incorrectly makes use of a picture of the original Xbox console, paints the online gaming worlds offered by Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony as a sexual predator's playground. The report says that the problem is "often times the players are adult posing as kids, luring children through headsets and instant messages," making it "one of the fastest growing crimes."
While sexual predators have used online gaming services, the report fails to fill in key details such as what parents can do to protect their children. All three online consoles offer parental controls that can help protect players against sexual predators. Like in many things, sometimes educations and awareness are the best ways to stay safe. Instead, Fox's KDVR allows the sensationalist report to leave parents everywhere terrified.