Seizures: Daily Mail in Old News Shocker

Epileptic boy has epileptic fit

Posted by Staff
Health warning found in PS2 game manuals. Note the highlighted passage.
Health warning found in PS2 game manuals. Note the highlighted passage.
The Daily Mail sensationally reported this morning that ?boy has fit playing violent computer game?. It seems that Jack Tinn, an 11 year old Sunderland boy, collapsed unconscious minutes into playing Resident Evil 4 on his PlayStation 2, and had to be taken to hospital after suffering an epileptic fit.

Jack, from Barnes, Sunderland, was given his Sony Playstation 2 for Christmas three years ago. He has, the Mail bizarrely report, ?also been to discos and movies with flashing lights, but has never suffered a seizure before.? Jack suffered the epileptic fit on Boxing Day whilst he and his parents John and Ruth were visiting relatives in Portsmouth when he decided to play the clearly 15+ age-marked game.

The Daily Mail then goes on to describe the ultra-violent content in the clearly 15+ age-marked game which features, ?scenes of exploding heads and gory battle scenes including what is described as 'an escape from a village filled with Texas Chainsaw Massacre extras'.?

The boy's mother and father, a primary school teacher and a secondary school maths teacher respectively, have called for ?the dangers of such games [to] be made more clear to all ages.? Or rather, in actuality, SPOnG suspects that they haven?t. This is merely something that they have said to the muck-racking Daily Mail hack, who has then gone and built this non-story into a typical moral panic against the evils of videogaming on our children.

Yawn, here we go again. SPOnG is almost tempted to ignore the story, but if we ignore it then we allow the Daily Mail to continue to misrepresent the truth in each of these kind of cases, which we simply cannot do.

So, aside from the fact that Capcom?s Resident Evil 4 is clearly marked for users aged 15 and above, and that any responsible parents, such as SPOnG would expect teachers such as John and Ruth Tinn to be for example, should not really allow their 11 year old boy to be playing the game, what can we glean from this story and from the Daily Mail?s take on the story?

The Daily Mail?s website ? which is here ? asks readers ?do you let your children play violent computer games? Tell us in the reader comments below?. Whilst SPOnG can?t really imagine many parents even admitting to letting their under-age children play violent games, let alone Daily Mail readers making such a shocking admission, do feel free to post your thoughts on this issue on the site.

Jack's blackout bore all the hallmarks of photosensitive epilepsy, a disorder which affects nearly one per cent of children aged one to 14 but, as the Mail goes on to report, ?is thought to be on the increase as more youngsters spend longer playing computer and video games.?

Now this is the interesting bit. Who is this ?thought? by? Is it thought by well-established, peer-reviewed medical journals? Or is it just thought by a muck-raking Daily Mail journalist? SPOnG suspects the latter.

The parents in this case apparently could not find any age or epilepsy warnings on the game, which seems strange, as both are always clearly printed on the box and in the manual respectively.

Thankfully the Mail go on to quote voice-of-reason, Capcom?s good old Ben le Rougetel, who defends the many steps games producers take to avoid such unfortunate incidents occuring, pointing out that many games print fullpage warnings about the dangers of epilepsy on the instruction manual.

Ben also added: "The game is intended for people aged 15 and over. There is a warning within the manual for Resident Evil, as there is for all video games, which does talk about the potential risks involved."

Ben also makes it very clear that the games industry is just as concerned as the Daily Mail in any case of young gamers having epileptic fits, going on to say that, "It is a very regettable incident that has happened to this young boy and we're glad to hear he's OK."

SPOnG agrees wholeheartedly with Ben and also with other industry spokesman quoted in the piece, SCEE?s Jonathan Fargher, stressing that parents should not provide their children with games which are classified for older age groups.

Jonathan stresses that Sony, ?are deeply saddened to hear the boy hasn't been very well but there is clear guidance in the manual.? He also went on to sensibly point out that. ?He was also playing a product that is categorically not aimed at his age group. That may also have been a factor."
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Comments

VastikRoot 10 Jan 2006 11:15
1/10
I love the way the Daily Mail turned an article about a boy having an epileptic fit into a factless attack against violent video games. Because they're obviously related. See what they did there? Very clever...
zoydwheeler 10 Jan 2006 11:30
2/10
"We have books, we have board games, we have push-bikes and the great outdoors, why the hell do we need computer games full of anti-social behaviour. And yes - the parents are to blame." quote from the current comments on the Daily Mails forums.... go there and be amazed!
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Cheeky Rascal 10 Jan 2006 11:30
3/10
I wouldn't wipe my arse on the Mail. Xenopobic/racist/homophobic clap trap that keeps curtain twitchers from feeling bad about the fact that they really don't like anyone/anything that isn't like them.
J_C_X 10 Jan 2006 13:11
4/10
This is just stupid the game is clearly a 15 its not a PEGI rating it is a BBFC rating. This means his parents have broken the law given the fact they bought it for a minor. Lets all remember the Mail sided with the Faschists during WW2 so there very big on censorship.
acemallanski 10 Jan 2006 13:32
5/10
my friends son was allowed to play goldeneye on the n64 when he was about 3, and he was better at it than me - even though he couldn't reach the fire buttons on the controller and had to turn it upside down to press them so i guess he learnt problem solving and developed his eye-hand coordination very rapidly and learnt effective close quarters combat. He is ten now, and hasnt murdered anybody (as far as I know)

YenRug 10 Jan 2006 13:51
6/10
I've got a friend who works at the Daily Mail, not in an editorial capacity; I'll pass on the story to him, see if he can find the idiot responsible and "give them a talking to". We've both been enjoying RE4 on our Gamecubes, recently, so this will probably wind him right up.
YenRug 10 Jan 2006 13:53
7/10
acemallanski wrote:
my friends son was allowed to play goldeneye on the n64 when he was about 3, and he was better at it than me - even though he couldn't reach the fire buttons on the controller and had to turn it upside down to press them so i guess he learnt problem solving and developed his eye-hand coordination very rapidly and learnt effective close quarters combat. He is ten now, and hasnt murdered anybody (as far as I know)


He's probably been watching CSI and knows how to cover his tracks. ;)
YenRug 10 Jan 2006 15:03
8/10
Sorry for third post in a row, but the edit option has expired now. Anyway, if anyone is interested...

dan.parkinson@dailymail.co.uk
merciless_james 10 Jan 2006 18:44
9/10
acemallanski wrote:
my friends son was allowed to play goldeneye on the n64 when he was about 3, and he was better at it than me - even though he couldn't reach the fire buttons on the controller and had to turn it upside down to press them so i guess he learnt problem solving and developed his eye-hand coordination very rapidly and learnt effective close quarters combat. He is ten now, and hasnt murdered anybody (as far as I know)



Fancy a game of Goldeneye? say a tenner a game?
Mrs Smith 2 Jul 2009 13:13
10/10
There is clear evidence that Play Station games are causing seizures in children of all ages whether age appropriate or not. Anyone including yourselves attempting to defend the companies are irresponsible. The only people benefitting from Play Station Games are the companies themselves. Making millions of pounds and dollars. Play station games should be banned completely and children encouraged to get back out into the real world ,swimming, cycling, playing badmington or tennis. Bring back sport! and Dance.
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