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British paper paying for game violence stories

Kyle Orland

Good journalism is almost always based on real shoe-leather reporting -- working the phones, hitting the streets and talking to people to find out what's really going on out there. Or, alternatively, you could just offer to pay people for a story that fits your preconceived notions of what would be "juicy."

That seems to be the idea behind this StarNow posting which bluntly asks, "Did computer games make you turn to a life of crime?" According to the posting, a national British paper will pay "hundreds of pounds" for the right tale of game-inspired crime. The site doesn't mention which newspaper is searching for the stories, and the free listing could well be a prank (we are dangerously close to April 1), but the whole thing seems entirely plausible to us -- checkbook journalism is pretty common among the English tabloids, as are sensationalist takes on our favorite hobby.

While other similar postings on StarNow insist submitted stories be "true" or "real," the video game violence offer simply promises that "if it's something we like, we'll call you straight back." We're almost tempted to encourage our British readers to write in with the most ludicrously false stories they can come up with, but that plans runs the risk of having a ridiculous fiction actually running as the truth in a major British newspaper. Decisions, decisions ...

[Thanks Randy]

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