Yesterday as a task within my University course I was given several of the ‘mainstream’ newspapers to go through in search of both inspiration, and to help learn how to spot the biases many papers succumb to, which would hopefully prevent me from becoming caught up by it myself.
I’m forced to admit that throughout my life thus far I have never been one to follow modern events, particularly the news, with any degree of dedication. However, this has I suppose helped to keep me free of many of the influences modern media attempts to press on to us as a society. I have always noticed for instance, that newspapers such as the Sun and Daily Star tend to focus on sports and celebrities more than they do political, economical, or international events and issues. Sadly, today we live in a society where the masses generally care more about the lifestyles of celebrities or TV talent shows than they do about world events or governmental affairs which can all too often have a direct effect upon their very lives. This is made perfectly clear by the simple fact that the best selling paper within the country (on average at least) is the Sun, despite the fact that its headlines are rarely, if ever, events of ‘earth-shaking’ magnitude. Readers are more likely to see such ‘breaking news’ as the latest X Factor scandal, or the last poor celebrity unfortunate enough to get caught having an argument in public.
Sadly, even those papers that do tend to focus more on important world events tend to try and influence us heavily in some way shape or form, rarely giving their readers an unbiased view of the issue in debate. The Mirror for example, will often put a positive spin on any coverage concerning the Labour party, or issues which concern them; yet will more often than not make any news concerning the Conservatives as negative as possible. The opposite can be said of the Times and the Daily Mail, who tend to support a Conservative viewpoint whilst chastising Labour as much as possible.
The most unbiased paper would appear to be the Guardian (although the articles will often be slightly biased in some way or another; it is still possibly the most impartial newspaper currently widely available), which tends to not only address issues such as schools and homes (Yesterdays edition discussing money which could be put into the construction of new housing, and issues about new schools being built around the country; both as headline articles), but steers much farther away from unimportant issues such as celebrity and sports news than most other papers. Admittedly I have heard many people in the past consider the Guardian to be the most ‘boring’ newspaper on the market; but in retrospect, perhaps that just says something about those who said that in the first place. If people want to read about Simon Cowell or Some football players latest fling, then they can feel free to pick up the Daily Star and let their brain slowly decay. I personally would much rather join the ‘boring’ Guardian readers, who at least know what’s going on in the world without it having to be mentioned on the X Factor first.
On the note of game concepts however I must confess that I was unable to came up with much in the way of news inspired concepts. If anyone can come up with a top-selling game based on falling numbers of fish in the ocean due to global warming, then I have to salute them. I did find a rather amusing (In a grim way admittedly) story about a group of cows which were hit by a train … I think some type of Frogger-esque game comes to mind … Probably wouldn’t sit very well with vegetarians though …