CityNews Toronto’s Nitish Bissonauth ran a two and a half minute piece about video game addiction and the recent World Health Organization’s attempt to have video games labeled as a mental health disorder. The piece ran on March 10th, 2018 and was titled “Possible dangers of video game addiction”. Some of the gamers that Bissonauth interviewed for the segment aired their frustrations online after they saw the final piece.
The two and a half minute segment first sets up the stage with Bissonauth mentioning that the World Health Organization is adding video game addiction to its label of international diseases. He then proceeds to interview various gamers who were in attendance at the EGLX gaming convention that took place in Toronto, Canada.
The gamers who were interviewed for the piece felt they were misconstrued in what they had to say about gaming, and that the segment attempted to portray gaming in a negative light.
Jirard “Dragonrider” Khalil, a video game content creator for YouTube, expressed disappointment in how his answers were edited together to depict a specific narrative for the piece, responding to an inquiry from another disappointed viewer who asked Khalil about his participation in the CityNews piece.
They absolutely were. I’m going to make something to share my discomfort. I did a very large interview in the middle of the Normal Boots signing to answer all of his questions and literally all I talked about how wonderful games are. This is super upsetting.
— The Completionist (@JKCompletesIt) March 14, 2018
Kotaku In Action user GG_Number_9 also spotted a few other tweets from those who also expressed disappointment in the piece, pointing out how the clips were all cut together to feed into the narrative about video game addiction.
Nice. Come to our event, tell nobody you interview what your story is about, and then publish a fabricated report. No respect for you.
— Smash Canada 🇨🇦 🔜 Revenge of the 6ix Episode IV (@SSB_Canada) March 13, 2018
Extremely sad that @NBissonauth spent a lengthy amount of time to speak with one of our Rocket League players only to use the 5 second clip of him explaining how many hours he plays per week to drive this overused narrative.
— Ryerson Esports (@RU_Esports) March 14, 2018
This kind of journalism is not uncommon. As a matter of fact, this kind of journalism is why #GamerGate managed to carry as much steam with it as it did; many consumers were, and still are, tired of unethical journalism.
This isn’t even the first time in recent history that the media has attempted to portray gaming in a negative way. Back in 2016 BBC Three ran a piece by cutting and snipping together comments from female gamers in order to contrive a hit-piece against the gaming industry, painting it as sexist and misogynistic. Various females who partook in the segment spoke out against it after viewing the finished version of the piece.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation also fell afoul of similar unethical practices, with one of the division directors outright stating that they could run slanted coverage of events like #GamerGate because “some events don’t need balanced coverage”.
When the Ombudsman was informed about the breach of ethics by various CBC journalists, they admitted on multiple occasions that the CBC journalists failed in upholding their duties, but refused to suggest reprimands or retractions. Even after receiving multiple complaints about slanted coverage of #GamerGate since 2014, three years later the CBC continued to misidentify #Gamergate as a harassment campaign.
Kotaku In Action user LunarArchivist decided not to take the issue lying down, and suggested in the thread to look over information on filing complaints against Canadian broadcasting, or to file a direct complaint using the CBSC complaint form.