Games writers get quite a lot of (often justified) stick for reporting on rumours, not following up on facts and generally writing nonsense.
It’s rare, however, for any of these stories to be actively dangerous – as is the case with this piece, reported by top peddler of absolute bobbins The Daily Star. In a classic example of one of the paper’s inaccurate articles about the terrible moral decline of society, the Star expressed horror at “plans for a Raoul Moat game … before the man he killed has even been laid to rest.”
The only problem being, of course, that the cover art is an obvious photoshop and has no basis in reality. That minor fact didn’t stop the Star contacting one of the victim’s relatives and helping them to relive their trauma by asking for quotes about a game that didn’t exist, though.
It’s almost as if British tabloid journalism makes a habit of spreading dangerous lies about areas of society it has chosen to demonise, in order to fuel fear and suspicion in an audience it cultivates for financial survival.
The story has since been removed from the Star’s website without any apology or correction, but Alec Meer from RockPaperShotgun was smart enough to grab the screenshot you see above.