Saturday, 28 April 2007

Bad journalism

I was watching on the news the other day about how they've recently banned "junk food" advertising directed at young children here in the UK, but that it's only broadcast media, so the Web isn't included in that. The reporter said that companies such as McDonald's were still targeting children on their websites by providing games and such making "junk food" still hip, cool and fun.

The news item included footage of some kids playing "the latest game from McDonald's" which involves managing every aspect of the McDonald's corporation, from crops to cashiers.

It seems the reporter didn't do much fact checking, tho. It turns out that the game these kids were playing isn't from McDonald's, it's actually an anti-McDonald's, anti-fast food game.

The game acknowledges that running an enterprise such as McDonald's is a very complex thing, and encourages you to try it out for yourself. In order to be successful in the game you have to make decisions like when the best time is to introduce genetically modified crops, when to add industrial waste into the cattle feed (while keeping an eye on them to destroy any that become diseased), fire angry or bored staff, bride politicians and introduce "please the people" campaigns.

For the record, I'm not very good at this game, I haven't gotten past 2010.