The ongoing torrent of blame targeting video games for youth violence, obesity, attention deficit disorder, sleeplessness, illiteracy, rickets and broken bones, and what my old algebra teacher used to call 'bad attitudes' has found one more victim: Team England.
Goalkeeper Robert Green blames video games for England's failure to qualify for the 2008 European Football Championship:
If you want to have the best national side on a longer-term basis, you need to go into every household and throw away the PlayStation, Xbox and video games. Maybe in 15 years' time you'd have the best national side.
It's a society thing. Look at countries who always seem to bring up world-class players, like Brazil and Argentina. If you look at the situations that they live in, it's football or nothing. We live in one of the leading countries in the world and we have choices.
Disappointed UK football fans apparently have other worries as well. An independent study commissioned by Microsoft suggests that 76% of parents in the UK are concerned about the content of video games. Coincidentally, Microsoft is rolling out its "Family Timer" feature for the Xbox 360 this week.
Maybe Green is right about English football, or perhaps he's venting because he got left off the national team roster. Maybe the Microsoft-funded study is accurate, or perhaps its real purpose is to sell hardware. Who can say?
What I do know is I've got a headache, the Chicago Bears stink, our baby has gas...and I blame video games.
Graphic courtesy of Donnyhood at DeviantArt